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Olympus E-620 DSLR Review

Claims. Claims. Claims. This time Olympus promotes the E-620 as the “world’s smallest and lightest digital SLR to incorporate an image stabilizing mechanism.”

Olympus E-620

The camera’s Four Thirds system offers not only a small and light camera but means that extras like additional system lenses, battery holder and underwater housings are also smaller and lighter. The camera weighs just 475 grams (without battery). Light.

In the company’s current five model array the Olympus E-620 sits squarely in the middle.

Autumn Leaves 1

Olympus E-620 Features

Using an internal stabilizer, the camera promises image compensation for up to 4EV steps – or four halving levels of shutter speed. There are four modes: off or on, plus correction of horizontal and vertical instability.

Lcd Status

Supporting the turret-mounted optical viewfinder the rear Live View 6.9 cm LCD screen swivels 180 degrees laterally and 270 degrees vertically.

The Live View MOS sensor has 12.3 megapixels, while the maximum image size of 4032×3024 pixels gives a 34x26cm print, Images can be saved in RAW, JPEG or RAW+JPEG.

The seven point AF system can be monitored both in the optical finder and the LCD screen. It’s active for single shots or continuous shooting. Plus manual focus.

49 zone exposure ESP metering is backed up by center-weighted and spot modes. The latter can be varied to accommodate highlight or shadow readings – a useful hangover from the company’s film SLRs.

Exposure modes include auto, Program AE, shutter or aperture priority plus manual. You can shoot in continuous mode at 4 fps and for as long as the shutter button is pressed. Shutter speed range runs from 60 seconds to 1/4000 second plus Bulb. Flash sync is set at 1/180 second or 1/4000 with an Olympus Super FP flash unit.

Face detection: the camera can detect up to eight faces, optimizing focus and exposure; this can even be applied post-exposure during image playback.

The E-620’s dust reduction system operates when the camera is switched on and at the moment you operate Live View and pixel mapping functions.

On board flash covers any lens up to 14mm (28mm SLR equivalent) and can sync with first and second shutter firing for streak effects. Intensity is variable by three f stops up or down. The system can also be synchronized with Olympus’ external wireless control flash units.

ISO range runs from 100 to 3200. In tests I found the top sensitivity level with surprisingly little noise in the image. The examples shown here were shot (top to bottom) at ISO 200, 800 and 3200.

Iso 200 Test Original

Iso 800 Test Original

Iso 3200 Test Original

If you’re into multiple exposures the E-620 can line up a second shot to match the previous one, then lets you save the pair as one image. You can choose from half or full exposure for each while up to three stored RAW format images can be merged into one.

A useful function and one that will appeal to dedicated photographers is the lightbox function: it gives you an LCD display of two images side by side.

Another nicety: the replay and erase buttons are illuminated for night work. However, in an otherwise well-featured camera you could wonder why there is no movie capture.

Yachts 2 Grainy Film

Like many other Olympus models the E-620’s Art Filters selection is very useful if you want to push the envelope in rendering unusual versions of otherwise staid subjects. Serious photographers may avoid them while fiddlers will love the collection. The array: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale Light & Color, Light , Grainy Film (pictured above), Pin Hole.

The camera provides a slot for CompactFlash, xD-Picture Card and Microdrive media.

I found the camera very easy to use but it may be a little too basic for the more experienced. Picture quality was accurate with excellent colour saturation and resolution.

Olympus E-620 Specifications

  • Image Sensor: 12.3 million effective pixels.
  • Metering: ESP multi-pattern; centre-weighted; spot.
  • Effective Sensor Size: 17.3×13.00mm.
  • Memory: xD-Picture Card, CompactFlash cards and Microdrive.
  • Image Sizes (pixels): 4032×3024, 3200×2400, 2560×1920, 1600×1200, 1280×960, 1024×768, 640×480.
  • File Formats: JPEG, RAW.
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 3200.
  • Flash: Auto, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction slow sync, first and second curtain sync, forced on and off, manual.
  • Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, AC.
  • Dimensions: 130.5x94x60 WHDmm.
  • Weight: Approx. 475 g (minus battery).
  • Price: At Amazon the Olympus E-620 comes in a variet of options including: Body only $539.99Single lens kit (14-42mm) $699.99Twin lens kit (14-42mm + 40-150mm Lens) $799.
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      Barrie Smith
      Barrie Smith

      is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

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