Olympus E-620 Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Superb image quality
- Good tonal response and dynamic range (at ISO 200 and above)
- Good high ISO performance
- Built-in Image Stabilization
- Generally fast and responsive in use
- Twist and swivel screen useful for certain shooting types
- JPEG engine makes the most of the sensor's output
- Useful in-camera RAW processing option (though lacks any preview, which is limiting)
- Excellent degree of customization
- Class-leading level of external controls for quick shooting (once you've acclimatized)
- Dependable autofocus (and five cross-type AF points)
- Reliable metering that will tend towards underexposure if caught-out
- Programmable FUNC button with a range of options (though it's the only way to set manual WB)
- Control over high sensitivity noise reduction
- Wireless flash control for external flashguns
- Art Filters can be quite fun
- AF fine-tuning (if you're convinced you can get it right)
Conclusion - Cons
- Contrast detect AF pretty slow in live view (which is often the case on DSLRs)
- Moderate LCD screen resolution (and too reflective in bright light)
- Slightly lower absolute resolution than rest of class
- Complicated menu system not that easy to navigate (though it offers a great degree of user customization)
- Viewfinder noticeably smaller than its APS-C peers
- Short battery life (especially if you use the Art Filters)
The Four Thirds range has tended to lag a fraction behind the best contemporary APS-C sensor-size DSLRs in terms of absolute performance but make up some of the difference with excellent lenses, feature-packed specifications, and lower sticker prices. This isn't the case with the E-620 - however you look at it, it's up there with the best of them. It doesn't offer the video recording capabilities of some of its contemporaries, but as a dedicated stills camera, it's a pretty compelling package. Built-in Image Stabilization gives it an edge over its rivals if you're buying additional lenses.
Don't let any talk of the lack of a large grip put you off - the E-620 is a well thought-out and laid-out camera that sits comfortably in the hand. The interface has also been well designed - it's not quite as stripped-down and unthreatening as those of some of its peers but this means it's quicker to use and easier to access all the camera's capabilities once you've learned how to use it (and the Super Control Panel, interactive display means that shouldn't take long).
We still have a few gripes about the settings menus but you rarely have to use them and they can be hidden once you've tailored the camera to work exactly the way you want it to. If you've used a DSLR before, then you'll be impressed by the level of control you get for so little money.
The E-620 is pretty small in DSLR terms (it's hyped as 'The World's smallest image stabilized DSLR') but that still leaves it about the same size as the majority of manual focus film SLRs - so it's not tiny. Unfortunately the viewfinder is also smaller than the competition - it's about the same height but not as wide, because of the squarer image format.
While the E-620's operation may seem surprisingly sophisticated for an entry-level model, its ability to deliver great images, straight out of the camera hits the spot precisely. From a technical perspective, the image quality is on a par with its peers in just about every respect, at least up as far as ISO 800 (even at the levels of scrutiny we subject cameras to). Our only concern about the E-620 would be that it seems to have inherited the rather strong anti-aliasing filter that has arguably held-back recent E-system cameras. This means it's not able to render the really fine detail that its rivals can (a shame given how good Four Thirds lenses can be). But, just as importantly, from an aesthetic point-of-view, the output is all that you'd want from a camera at this level - bright, punchy and consistent.
The JPEG engine makes the most of everything that the camera is capturing, in terms of both resolution and dynamic range, significantly reducing the need to shoot RAW or post process (unless you're particularly inclined to). There's a little more chroma noise in the shadows - particularly with Gradation set to Auto - but it's something you tend to have to go looking for.
The final word
When we reviewed the Olympus E-30, we said it was the best Four Thirds DSLR yet - it didn't hold on to that crown for long. The E-620 crams most of the E-30's feature set into a much smaller, much less expensive package that competes more convincingly with its peers than any Four Thirds camera we've yet seen.
Olympus E-620 (EVOLT E-620)
Category: Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
The best Four Thirds camera yet closes the gap and competes convincingly with its APS-C competitors. More importantly though, it's small, produces excellent 'out of the box' image quality and is jam-packed with useful--and a few novel--features. If you can live without movies, it's an easy pick.
Original Rating (July 2009): Highly Recommended
Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Specifications
- 3 What's new
- 4 Body & Design
- 5 Body & Design
- 6 Operation & Controls
- 7 Operation & Controls
- 8 Operation (Live View)
- 9 Displays
- 10 Menus
- 11 Menus
- 12 Performance
- 13 Photographic tests (RAW)
- 14 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 15 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 16 Photographic tests (DR)
- 17 Photographic tests
- 18 Features (Art Filters)
- 19 Compared to
- 20 Compared to (JPEG)
- 21 Compared to (JPEG)
- 22 Compared to (JPEG)
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (RAW)
- 25 Compared to (RAW)
- 26 Compared to (RAW)
- 27 Compared to (RAW)
- 28 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 29 Compared to (Resolution)
- 30 Compared to (Resolution)
- 31 Conclusion
- 32 Samples
Jul 1, 2012
Jul 6, 2009
Feb 24, 2009
Sep 30, 2011
|scrum break away by al booth|
from Sport competition
|Parking Deck by Olaf R|
from Your City - Parking Garage
|Communication Tech by alberto_b|
|With & without by OBellini|
from Empty - Full
ISOCELL comprises four sub-brands: Bright, Fast, Slim and Dual which are tailored to specific mobile device market demands.
The new store will be located at the Fotografiska center for contemporary photography in Stockhom, Sweden and carry the full range of Hasselblad products.
A recent vacation gave Richard a chance to think about the needs of travel photography – and how our reviews might recognize the perfect travel camera.
Need more evidence that 2017 is the year analog begins its comeback? Well, welcome another new film stock to the world.
The winners of the 10th annual iPhone Photography Awards have been announced, and they're striking.
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.
Photojournalist Pete Souza served as the presidential photographer for both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. In an interview with fellow photographer Marcia Nighswander, he discusses several of his most noteworthy images.
Photographer Michael Wolf has been documenting the crowded conditions of Tokyo's subway trains since the 1990s. The photos have gone viral regularly in the years since he started the project, and he just published the final edition in the series.
The just-launched OnePlus 5 is getting a minor update that should improve camera function.
A Belgian camera shop is showing off an extremely rare, limited 'Rex Edition' Nikon D500. The cosmetic alterations were provided by a customer's German Shepherd Rex, who got ahold of the camera within a day of its purchase.
Adobe says that many of its users have been relying on SkyBox for VR editing and it therefore made sense to make the plug-ins available to all subscribers through Creative Cloud.
The Pictar grip provides a number of customizable physical controls for your iPhone camera, but at its price point we would like to see better materials and build quality.
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not famed as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you look in the right places. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.