Written by Gordon Laing
The Olympus E-620 is a 12.3 Megapixel DSLR with built-in anti-shake facilities and Live View enhanced by a fully-articulated 2.7in screen. Announced in February 2009, it’s positioned between the entry-level E-4xx series and the higher-end E-30, and while Olympus continues to sell the E-520 at the time of writing, we expect the E-620 to replace it over time.
As such, the E-620 represents a step-up from budget entry-level models for those who want a more sophisticated camera without having to invest in an upper mid-range or semi-pro body.
The E-620 inherits a number of key aspects from the higher-end E-30 including the same 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS sensor, six creative ‘art-filters’ and the articulated 2.7in / 230k monitor, allowing you to easily compose at any angle in Live View – although the screen panel itself is a newer version.
These are also the headline improvements over the earlier 10 Megapixel E-520, although the new E-620 additionally addresses several complaints of its ‘predecessor’ by featuring a more sophisticated phase-change AF system (7-point vs 3-point) and a slightly larger viewfinder (0.96x vs 0.92x); continuous shooting is also a little quicker (4fps vs 3.5fps). The E-620 is also a little smaller than the E-520 without sacrificing too much of a grip, making it the smallest DSLR with built-in Image Stabilisation. It’s even more impressive when you consider there’s also a fully articulated screen in there.
It’s another compelling DSLR specification although one that approaches the price of two key rivals: Canon’s EOS 500D / Rebel T1i and the Nikon D5000. In our Olympus E-620 review we’ll compare all three models closely, starting with their physical differences and ending with how their respective image quality measures-up. So if you’re considering one of these three DSLRs or are simply after a step-up from a budget, entry-level model, you’ve come to the right place.
We tested a final production Olympus E-620 running firmware version 1.0 and 1.3 in its body and kit lens respectively. Following our convention of testing cameras using their factory default settings unless otherwise stated, the E-620 was set to Large Fine JPEG quality, Auto White Balance, ESP metering and the Natural Picture Mode with Normal Gradation; Noise Reduction and the Noise Filter were set to their ON and STD settings respectively. In-camera Image Stabilisation was enabled for all handheld shots and disabled for tripod-based tests.