Olympus E-620 Review
The E-620's lineage is immediately apparent - its design being entirely consistent with an attempt to build something half-way between the E-4X0 and E-5X0, with a dash of E-30 added around the LCD. Although a few buttons have been moved around and the E-620 has a tilting screen (something the E-420 and E-520 have to do without) the basic control layout is pretty much in line with with previous Olympus DSLRs. The grip is slightly larger than the E-420's but not as pronounced as that on the E-520, and the camera has grown a little in height to accommodate the new viewfinder.
The handling was something we liked about the E-420 and E-520 and the newcomer does nothing to spoil this. It also retains what is probably the most convincing build-quality in its class, thanks to an excellent choice of materials - it feels rugged and well-made.
Side by side
Below you can see the E-620 between its siblings the E-520 and the new E-30. It's marginally smaller and almost 100g lighter than the (already fairly compact) E-520, which makes it one of the smallest and lightest DSLRs currently on the market.
(W x H x D)
(inc. battery & card)
|Olympus E-620||130 x 94 x 60 mm (5.1 x 3.7 x 2.4 in)||521 g (1.1 lb)|
|Olympus E-30||142 x 105 x 80 mm (5.6 x 4.2 x 3.2 in)||768 g (1.7 lb)|
|Olympus E-520||136 x 92 x 68 mm (5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)||552 g (1.2 lb)|
|Olympus E-420||130 x 91 x 53 mm (5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)||426 g (0.9 lb)|
|Canon EOS 450D||129 x 98 x 62 mm (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)||526 g (1.2 lb)|
|Nikon D60||126 x 94 x 64 mm (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)||524 g (1.2 lb)|
In your hand
Despite its small size the E-620 sits very nicely in the hand, and forms a well-balanced package with the equally small 14-42mm kit lens. The grip is marginally larger than the E-420's but still unusually small for a DSLR. Instead of holding it in a 'gun grip' style you hook a single finger around the rubberized grip at the front of the camera in the same way you would hold a compact camera. Thankfully the E-620 with kit lens is light enough to be held this way, indeed it is actually quite comfortable.
|Lights On||Lights Off|
The E-620 sports a new 2.7" HyperCrystal III TFT LCD monitor with 230,000 pixels, which is transmissive to aid viewing in bright light. In addition many of the buttons are illuminated to allow easier working in low-light situations.
One of the criticisms of many recent digital SLR offerings has been that the usefulness of Live View is somewhat compromised by the lack of an articulated screen. Like its bigger brothers the E-3 and the E-30, the E-620 has a versatile screen that swings out through 180° and swivels through a full 270°, meaning you can view it from pretty much any angle you wish. The screen can be stored 'face in' to the body when not needed.
Often live view still offers a less than perfect alternative to the good old optical viewfinder (thanks to the shutter delay and drain on battery life), but in certain shooting situations the powerful combination of live preview and a multi-angle screen should not be underestimated.
|The 'Super Control Panel' gives direct access to all the key functions of the camera, right down to white balance fine tuning in a consistent and easy to use manner. Once you're familiar with the camera, you'll learn to check all your settings at a glance, with the ability to change any of them in a couple of button presses without having to use the main menu.|
As mentioned above the viewfinder is a little smaller than the E-30 (about the same size as the smallest current APS-C camera, the Sony Alpha 380) but it is an improvement over the ones fitted to the E-420 and 520. It's slightly larger and has moved the information panel underneath the main view, rather than off to the right. Users wearing glasses may still have to peer down to see the info strip but it's a great improvement over the existing Olympus entry-level models.
One figure hidden away in every SLR's spec is the size of the viewfinder (often in a format that makes comparison between competing models impossible). The size of the viewfinder is a key factor in the usability of an SLR - the bigger it is, the easier it is to frame and focus your shots, and the more enjoyable and involving process it is.
Because of the way viewfinders are measured (using a fixed lens, rather than a lens of equivalent magnification), you also need to take the sensor size into account, so the numbers in the diagram below are the manufacturer's specified magnifications divided by the respective 'crop factors'. Hence the E-620's quoted figure of 0.96x magnification ends up as 0.48x when compared to a full-frame, 24x36mm sensor camera.
The diagram below shows the relative size of the viewfinders of the E-620, Nikon D5000 and Canon EOS 500D, alongside, for reference, the EOS-1Ds Mark III (currently the biggest viewfinder on the DSLR market).
|Although the spec-sheet figure of 0.96x magnification may sound impressive, the reality is a slightly less exciting. By the time you've taken the sensor size and aspect ratio into account, you're left with a rather small view on the wolrd.|
Most cameras at this level crop the frame slightly when you look through the viewfinder - in other words you get slightly more in the final picture than you see through the viewfinder. In common with most of its competitors the E-620 only shows 95% (vertically and horizontally) of the frame.
|Olympus E-620: 95% viewfinder.|
As well as having a new and sophisticated autofocus system, the E-620 has borrowed the E-30's highly adjustable AF setup. It's possible to fine-tune every AF point individually, with separate settings for the wide-angle and telephoto ends if it's a zoom lens. And, not only can different values be specified for every lens you own (by serial number, so you can compensate for differing behavior between two copies of the same lens), you can even set up multiple presets, just in case your lens behaves differently at different focusing distances. (The screen grab blow is taken from the E-30.)
However, the process just for inputting the corrections requires an awful lot of button presses, and it's not at all clear how you're supposed to collect the data to allow you to choose the correct settings except through trial-and-error. Clearly it's no bad thing to offer this level of control but, if it is necessary, it would appear to make more sense for this to be a feature controlled via a computer, rather than via a four-way controller. It would also be nice to be able to measure the required offset values directly, perhaps by correcting the distance chosen by the autofocus using magnified manual focus in live view mode.
- 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
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.