The Olympus E-620 combines a small, portable body with high-technology features – is it the definition of the Four Thirds Advantage?

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Olympus E-620

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Olympus E-620 review


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Olympus’s ESP (Electro Selective Pattern) metering is very reliable in general use, and I find that it rarely needs to be overridden except in unusually challenging lighting conditions. These include any scene where an especially light or dark area makes up most of the image, and/or where a small subject is significantly brighter or darker than its background.

In this latter situation, spot metering is the best choice for accurate exposures, and Olympus’s highlight/shadow spot metering provides an added level of flexibility compared to the E-620’s competitors. This function is very useful, although I do worry that casual photographers or first-time buyers may not necessarily understand how and when to use it.

In essence, highlight/shadow spot metering works by adjusting a reading taken from a highlight/shadow area to ensure that this area isn’t burnt out or ‘blocked up’ in the final image. The same result can also be achieved using ordinary spot metering (with manual intervention to slightly increase/decrease the original reading).

Using ESP metering, I was impressed to see that very few of my pictures showed any significant loss of detail in highlight areas. Of those that do, the majority were taken at ISO 100. Having noticed the same effect on previous E-system DSLRs, I set up a few scenes and shot them at ISO 100 and then ISO 200, adjusting the exposure by 1EV to compensate. Those images taken at ISO 100 contain brighter highlights, in which detail is often lost (marked in red, above). This suggests that ISO 200 (or thereabouts) is the base ISO setting of the E-620.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and handling
  4. 4. White balance and colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Resolution, noise and sensitivity
  8. 8. Dynamic range and Gamut
  9. 9. Viewfinder, LCD and Live View
  10. 10. Our verdict
  11. 11. The competition
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