By Elias Plastiras PC World Australia | on May 28, 2009
Pros: Fun to use; excellent low-light performance; excellent Live View mode; compact size; intuitive menu system.
Cons: Slow high-quality burst mode; will overheat if Live View is used for hours on end.
The Olympus E-620's art modes can be used to give your pictures creative effects such as vignetting (Pin Hole), graininess (Grainy Film), and rich colour saturation (Pop Art) just to name a few -- but as usual it's better to apply these in Photoshop. There is also a comprehensive set of scene modes and an auto mode that can guide you through snapping photos if you don't want to manually fiddle with the exposure settings.
When you shoot in manual mode, you can use the control dial to change the shutter and aperture values. Furthermore, all the shooting settings are present on the LCD screen at any one time, and it’s just a matter of using the navigation buttons on the rear of the camera (which also illuminate so that you can see what you are pressing in the dark) to select the setting you want to change (such as the shooting mode and focus point, for example).
The Olympus E-620 is available in a kit with two lenses: a wide angle 14-42mm zoom lens and a more far-reaching 40-150mm zoom lens. These are easy to attach and are small and light, meaning that the Olympus E-620 doesn’t become a behemoth once you attach your preferred lens. You can, of course, purchase more lenses.
The lenses in the twins lens kit are of very good quality and can produce crystal-clear images without a hint of chromatic aberration. The 14-42mm lens produces some distortion at its widest angle, which was expected, but not enough to ruin the shot.
The E-620 has a 7-point focus area and focuses quickly, even in low light. You can elect to use single focus or continuous focus operations and you can also manually focus shots yourself.
The camera has quick shot-to-shot performance, but a slow burst mode. We recorded a burst mode rate of 2.25 frames per second in high quality mode, which is much slower than the Canon 500D and the Review: Nikon D5000, for example. It will shoot up to 45 shots on its xD card before slowing down. Despite the camera’s small dimensions, it also has a CompactFlash slot, so you can use either type of memory for your storage.
Between the excellent Live View mode, pop-out LCD screen and the art modes, the Olympus E-620 is a lot of fun to use. We recommend it if you want a compact digital SLR that’s not hard to use and which doesn’t compromise on advanced features. It will also produce vibrant, clear and well-defined shots. By itself, the body has an RRP of $1299. The single and dual lens kits have RRPs of $1399 and $1599, respectively.