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
|Al Fateh Grand Mosque by mallen1976|
from Your City - B&W Night Picture
|Beakable by Hobbyfotograaf|
|St Paul's - DT NYC by mollymcd|
from Modern - Old-Fashioned
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.
After 1.7 million downloads on Apple computers since the launch in November 2015, Aurora HDR will be available for Windows PCs for the first time with the 2018 release.
The company behind the new Meyer Optik Goerlitz lens manufacturing business has formed a new brand to bring back the Biotar 75mm F1.5 that was made by Carl Zeiss Jena in the 1940s and 50s.
The updated Qualcomm Spectra system is a dual-camera setup that is capable of sensing depth and motion in real time.
A sizable swath of the United States will be treated to a total eclipse of the heart – er, sun – in just under a week. Here are a few excellent guides to help you photograph this rare occasion.
f11 Magazine—an ad-supported, free magazine for 'photographers and aficionados' that focused on photos rather than gear—is suspending publication due to financial troubles.
The Minolta MC Rokkor-X 40-80mm F2.8 is unlike any zoom lens you've probably ever seen. Instead of a helicoid, it uses a gearbox, and because of this it's still one of the sharpest zoom lenses out there.
If you're looking to switch to Sony, the company's new limited-time "α trade up" promotion can snag you up to $500 + trade-in value towards a brand new a9, a7 II, a7R II, or a7S II when you hand over your DSLR or mirrorless camera.
The Google Camera app exclusive to the company's own Pixel phone has been unofficially ported to other Android devices. If you're willing to take the risk of installing, you can now use features like HDR+ on the Galaxy S8, LG G6, OnePlus 5, and more.
49-year-old David Hilos is known by the Singapore photography community as the 'camera whisperer.' When a service center says a camera is beyond repair, Hilos can usually coax it back to life.
Photographer Ryan Kelly captured one of the most viral and graphic images of the horrifying events in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. This is the harrowing story behind that photograph.
Data storage manufacturer Synology has added a new, lower-cost NAS to its DiskStation j line that has a maximum capacity of 40TB, and which is aimed at home users and photography enthusiasts.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but here it is: the $500 interchangeable lens camera is about to go the way of the $200 compact.
On April 16, 2016 disaster struck in Kumamoto in the form of an unprecedented 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Here is the public's first look at Sony's sensor factory during the quake, the resulting damage and the efforts to restore operations.
Last August, travel photographer and Resource Travel editor Michael Bonocore escaped to the island of Tahiti for a month of cool adventures and amazing photography.
Curious just how tough Nikon's KeyMission 360 action camera really is? This one got chewed on by a tiger for several minutes and recorded the whole thing.
The EOS 6D Mark II is essentially a full frame version of the EOS 80D. However, we weren't exactly bowled-over by it, when we reviewed it. Does that mean it's not worth the cost of upgrading? Let us walk you through the differences.