Overall Rating:


Olympus E-620

  • Noise/resolution:
  • Metering:
  • Features:
  • AWB Colour:
  • LCD viewfinder:
  • Dynamic Range:
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  • Autofocus:



Price as Reviewed:


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

Resolution, noise and sensitivity

In normal use, in bright lighting conditions, images from the E-620 are reasonably clean until around ISO 800, but in subdued light, images taken at ISO 400 start to show some chroma noise in areas of smooth tone. Shooting in raw mode allows greater control over noise reduction, as well as providing a better basis for sharpening and extreme tonal adjustments.

Assuming, as seems very likely, that the base ISO sensitivity of the E-620’s sensor is closer to 200 than 100, we can see here that in a studio environment at ISO 200, the camera is capable of resolving a lot of detail. At higher ISO settings, images from the E-620 are essentially indistinguishable from those shot with the E-30, and it is clear that although noise reduction (which is set by default in JPEG mode) helps to reduce grittiness, when the function is turned off the camera is able to resolve more lines on our test chart.

However, while turning noise reduction off at ISO 3200 means that resolution increases, the corresponding increase in luminance noise renders ‘real-world’ images unattractive, and greatly reduces the density of shadow areas. With noise reduction turned off, the E-620 produces virtually identical noise level readings to the E-30. This graph shows noise levels with noise reduction set to ‘standard’, and it is clear that measured noise levels decrease significantly, although fine detail suffers. That said, sub-A4 prints look fine until ISO 1600, when noise starts to degrade quality. ISO 3200 is best avoided except in emergencies.

These images show sections of images of a resolution chart, still-life scene and a grey card, shot with a 105mm macro lens. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting. 

  • White Balance: Auto, custom (four settings), eight presets, colour temp 3,000-7,500K, amber-blue and 
green-magenta fine-tuning
  • Shutter Type: Computerised focal-plane shutter
  • Built-in Flash: Yes, pop-up unit GN 12m @ ISO 100
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -3 to +1 dioptre
  • Memory Card: CompactFlash, xD
  • Viewfinder Type: Pentamirror
  • LCD: 2.7in TFT (HyperCrystal III ) with 750,000 dots
  • Output Size: 4032x3024 pixels
  • Field of View: Approx 95%
  • AF Points: Seven points selectable individually or automatically
  • Sensor: High Speed Live MOS Four Thirds type (17.3x13mm)
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes, over three images
  • Focal Length Mag: 2x
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/180sec normally or 1/4000sec with external flashgun in Super FP Mode
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
  • Exposure Modes: Program with shift, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual
  • Weight: 475g (without battery or card)
  • Shutter Speeds: 60-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus B
  • File Format: 
Raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery BLS-1 (supplied)
  • Drive Mode: Max 4fps until card full in Fine JPEG or six raw imagesLCD 2.7in TFT (HyperCrystal III ) with 750,000 dots
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Dimensions: 130x94x60mm
  • Metering System: 49-zone ESP metering, centreweighted, spot (approx 2%) – normal, highlight and shadow
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1⁄3, 1⁄2 or 1EV steps
  • Compression: Three-stage JPEG
  • Lens Mount: Four Thirds
  • ISO: ISO 100-3200 (in 1⁄2, 1⁄3 or 1EV steps)
  • DoF Preview: Yes (via Fn button)
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single AF, continuous AF, manual and AF in both single and continuous modes
  • Tested as: Enthusiast DSLR

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