Home » Camera » Digital SLRs » Olympus » OLYMPUS EVOLT E620 12.3MP LIVE MOS DIGITAL SLR CAMERA WITH IMAGE STABILIZATION AND 2.7 INCH SWIVEL LCD W/ 14-42MM F/3.5-5.6 ZUIKO LENS

  • 12.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor for photo-quality, poster-size prints
  • Lightweight ergonomic design; pack includes 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko lens
  • TruePic III for higher picture peculiarity in all lighting situations; Supersonic Wave Drive (in-body sensor shift)
  • 2.7-inch HyperCrystal III Swivel LCD; Smooth Live View allows we to shift a support rate of a Live View display
  • Stores images to Compact Flash (Type we as well as II), Microdrive, xD Picture label (not included)

Product Description
OLYMPUS 262161 12.3 Megapixel E-620 Camera Kit (Includes ED 14–42mm wizz lens)

Olympus Evolt E620 12.3MP Live MOS Digital SLR Camera with Image Stabilization as well as 2.7 in. Swivel LCD w/ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko Lens



5 Reviews

  1. philosoph says:

    I’ve had the E-620 for a few weeks now and am quite pleased. Other options I considered were the Nikon D5000, Canon T1i & XSi, Panasonic G1, Sony A300 & A350, and Pentax K200D & K20D. Some comments with comparison notes:

    1) SIZE & WEIGHT — There’s no point in having a camera that is so bulky that it doesn’t get much use. Only the Panasonic G1 is smaller than the E-620 but not by much. There is a more dramatic difference in the size of the lenses, with Olympus being much smaller than all but Panasonic. Makes for a very compact outfit. For anyone used to the size of film SLRs, the E-620 is very similar. My wife also found it the most comfortable for her to hold.

    2) BUILD QUALITY & HANDLING — Very impressed with Olympus here. Solid, dense and with lots of sensibly placed buttons for direct access to settings. The other cameras had a less solid, plasticy feel, and their larger grips still weren’t large enough for a comfortable pistol grip with my average size hands. The Sonys, in particular, had awkward button placement. The E-620 has a different style of grip where you hold the camera in the same way as old film SLRs, and is more appropriate to such a small camera. I carry the camera comfortably in my *left* hand, grasping the body and lens barrel with my fingers on the zoom ring; this frees my right hand from having to support the camera while working controls, and leaves my good hand open (I’m a righty).

    3) LENSES — The kit zooms from Olympus are reputed to be of higher quality than the others, as well as being more compact. So far I have been very impressed. I didn’t want to buy a camera only to feel the kit lenses needed replacing; I’d rather spend on lenses that offer new capabilities, like fast primes or dedicated macro lenses. For anyone interesting in using legacy manual focus lenses, inexpensive adapters are available to attach virtually any MF SLR lens to Olympus bodies; used lenses can be quite inexpensive on eBay. Panasonic is limited by a very small range of lenses. For a two lens kit, the E-620 was the cheapest option.

    4) IMAGE QUALITY — I wanted to spend my time taking pictures, not fiddling with them in post-processing; Olympus has the best out-of-camera JPGs of the bunch (Canon and Pentax, in particular, fall short here). Although the smaller Olympus sensors are reputed to be a bit noisier, what noise there is is primarily luminance noise, giving images a film-like grain, rather than the colored blotches of chroma noise. I’ve found noise very well controlled through ISO1000, even with noise reduction set to LOW. For printing up through 8×10 and monitor display, I don’t think noise is a concern up through ISO1600 (certainly with noise reduction set to standard). One caveat: be sure to keep gradation set at NORMAL (the default), not AUTO, unless you really need it; using AUTO gradation will noticeably increase noise.

    5) IN BODY STABILIZATION — I prefer in body stabilization to lens-based stabilization for two reasons: in body works with all lenses, and lenses can be more compact. You only carry one body but you are likely to carry multiple lenses, so it pays to keep them small.

    6) LIVE VIEW & LCD — Olympus has the best live view implementation (maybe tied with Sony) with quite quick autofocus. This is very important if you want anyone, e.g. my wife or random bystanders, who’s used to compact cameras to use your SLR for snapshots or the like. The tilt & swivel LCD is very handy and seemed more natural than Nikon or Sony’s implementations.

    Overall, I found the E-620 to be the best value for a two lens kit.

    Here are a few notes on the other cameras I considered:
    Nikon D5000 — Good build & handling, but a bit bulky. Live view isn’t great. Much more expensive for a two lens kit than the Olympus.

    Canon T1i — Not impressed by the build quality, felt plasticy. Not comfortable for me to hold. Out of camera JPGs not so good. Inferior kit lenses. Much more expensive for a two lens kit than the Olympus.

    Canon XSi — Not impressed by the build quality, felt plasticy. Not comfortable for me to hold. Out of camera JPGs not so good. Bulkier than the Olympus. Inferior kit lenses.

    Panasonic G1 — Limited lens selection; will take legacy MF lenses but doesn’t offer image stabilization with them since it isn’t in the body. Plasticy. Not much smaller than the Olympus. More expensive than Olympus for a two lens kit.

    Sony A300 & A350 — Hated the button placement–ruled them out on that alone. Live view is very good though.

    Pentax K200D & K20D — Poor out of camera JPGs. Great handling and build quality. Short on features. Kit lenses aren’t great. No live view / live view useless.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Waqas Mustafeez says:

    I have had the E-620 for about a week and i moved from a E-510. E-510 was my first DSLR and using that over the years i have been very satisfied and happy with the 510 especially due to the in body image stabilization and lens line-up. Liveview was also a plus over competitors but i never really used it unless it was really dark or i needed to manual focus.

    Some things on the E-510 that were aging and were kind of the few weak points of the entry level E series was the 3 point autofocus system, small viewfinder and low light focusing. The lcd was so so too but for an SLR i don’t see why a high pixel LCD should be important.. sure its good to have one but its not important.
    Anyhow the E-620 really improves all these problems and really becomes a strong no compromise camera; worthy of buying just because its excellent.. not because its great value as was the case for me for the E-510.

    1) The viewfinder is much larger; suitable for manual focusing.
    2) now has 7 points – 5 cross (which is better then any entry slr .. d5000, t1i etc included). — now that Ive had sometime to try out the imager AF; ill say that although its not the fastest AF system (talking about the hybrid mode as i don’t have compatible lenses for standalone imager mode) — it works very reliably in low light conditions; better then the phase detect sensor on its own. Using liveview to compose night shots many times i found my e510 hunting and eventually taking out of focus shots forcing complete manual focus– hybrid mode definitely lets you use AF in seriously dark conditions.
    3) nice flipping LCD which again trumps the other 2 boys in the group in terms of utility.
    4) Much better tone curves/gradation/dynamic range.. people argue .. i don’t know.. i just know that highlight and shadow information is retained very well. Of course jpgs turn out nice due to the gradation but there is dynamic range improvement visible in raw too.

    Some things that have continued to be Olympus selling points
    5) in body image stabilization
    6) Excellent body quality… compare it to canon entry levels and see what i mean
    7) Very strong, potentially the best lens line-up out there. kit lenses being outstanding value for money — you can start taking good photographs right away.. unlike kit lenses from others.

    Some other feature like the Art filters and multiple exposure (over laying multiple photos) are just a side for most people. Id say all of them are aesthetically pleasing filters and fun to try– if you use them, you still have your raw file to do off camera processing. But id say that these features to me are like the video recording by canon and nikon — just a pleasant aside but not really what dslr photography has been about (at least in the past).
    The issue of high ISO with oly has always been there, some thoughts:
    I like the extra ISO steps and use the ISO 160 as standard ( people say 200 gives best DR in comparison to 100 — but i think 160 is slightly better then 200)
    In contrast to canons move up to 15MP for the 50D and t1i– Olys move from 10 to 12.3MP you will find actually better high iso performance then the E-510 and 520. ISO 1250 is about comparable to 1600 of others. id say upto ~ 1250 is useable. Notice that 15MP and over the APS-C pixel density actually goes above the 10MP 4/3rd sensor. Essentially low light performance in APS-C cameras has been going down (or staying stable at best) across the board. So if you want to take pictures of football games in pitch dark at 6400 ISO 4/3rds or APS-C is not what you are looking for. Generally the solution to low light is not pumping up the ISO the first course of action is of course flash- with regards to that E-620 allows a lot of functionality with the Fl-36R/50R units including built in wireless flash support (no need for carrying a transmitter)
    Over all for an mid entry SLR you will be very happy with the E-620. Another factor is ergonomics and i like holding an Olympus but that you will have to try and compare yourself– happy shooting!

    -updated to include thoughts on Imager AF and wireless flash support

    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Robert Bell says:

    I’ve had an E-620 for about a month, and with each photo I’m finding more to like about it.

    Any camera represents a series of compromises as the manufacturer trades weight vs. features vs. cost vs. ergonomics vs. image quality. Any purchase decision should be based on how those particular trade-offs jibe with the intended use. None of the name-brand cameras in this price range that I’ve looked at are bad. But, for me and for the type of photography I do now, the E-620 is the closest fit.

    Number one is the available lenses. Read the reviews of the kit zooms such as the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS with its chromatic aberration and the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR DX with its barrel distortion. Unlike the Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED, both have front elements that rotate when you focus, making the use of a polarizer or a petal-type hood difficult. Unlike the Olympus, both have manual focus rings that can’t be used without shifting the lens out of autofocus. Yes, Canon and Nikon make other lenses that are sharper, faster, heavier and more expensive — so does Olympus. But if you want to use the kit lens, the Olympus one gets better reviews.

    Olympus also makes a sharp and handy Zuiko Digital 35mm f/3.5 Macro, which has been spending more time on my E-620 than either of the kit lenses. For me, it’s a great walking-around lens, good for both environmental portraits and product shots. On the other hand, if I needed a 600mm f/4 or a 14mm f/2.8, I’d have gotten a Canon or a Nikon.

    The E-620 has in-body image stabilization, which means you buy it once and haul it around once, instead of adding weight and cost to every lens. Again, one could argue that at the extreme high end in-lens image stabilization is better, but I don’t live at the extreme high end.

    I had thought that the E-620’s live view would be a gimmick, but it’s quite useful zoomed in 10 times for manual focus on a copy stand- or tripod-mounted camera for macro work. You can easily assign the E-620’s Fn button to auto white balance when you need it, and just as easily re-assign it to toggle face detect or autofocus on and off when that’s what you prefer.

    In the kit with the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 and the 40-150mm f/4-5.6, the E-620 is currently priced comparably to the Nikon D60 and its kit 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens plus a Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6 VR lens and to the Canon Rebel XS and its kit 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens plus a Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS lens.

    The E-620 lacks the D60’s manual focus indicator and separate autofocus assist light, while the Nikon lacks the Olympus’ dedicated ISO and white balance select buttons and has only three autofocus points. Like the Olympus, the Canon has seven autofocus points, but it has a very awkwardly placed exposure compensation button. All three cameras have a viewfinder with 95 percent frame coverage, but the E-620 has a magnification of 0.96x, compared to 0.8x for the D60 and 0.81x for the Rebel XS.

    The E-620; the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6, the 40-150mm f/4-5.6, the 35mm f/3.5 Macro; and an FL-36R flash in a Domke F-3X bag weigh 6 pounds, less than the equivalent Nikon and Canon kits and far less than what I schlepped around when I was shooting film. The best camera is the one you have with you.

    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Moreno Tagliapietra says:

    Hello, I am a seasoned fine art photographer. Outdoors, I photograph landscapes and classic architecture, mostly European. In my studio, I do my own flower studies and reproduce original artwork for artists and crafters. My main system is a Pentax K20D with DA* and DA lenses. I use an Olympus E series as a backup system or when I want to travel light.

    I have recently replaced my E-510, that had served me well for one year, with an E-620 two-lens kit. As soon as I got it, I put the camera through a set of field tests consistent with my kind of photography. My conclusion is that with the E-620, Olympus have fully met their 1999 promise to use the 4/3″ format to develop small and light cameras and lenses without compromises of quality and price. I was concerned about the diminutive size of the body but I found it to fit my average-sized male hands remarkably well. The feeling is comfortingly solid and the commands are logically placed. I never had a problem with the Olympus control system and this camera is no exception.

    The new 12.3Mp sensor is quite good. Depending on light conditions, noise is very low up to ISO800-1600. Dynamic range is definitively improved. Pictures taken in early July of my house and garden at noon in full sun recorded the entire tonal range with no shadow/highlights clipping. Minuscule detail is also captured remarkably well. Co-responsible for this are the two kit lenses, rightly famous for their high quality/price ratio with good corner-to-corner sharpness and low optical distortion and chromatic aberration. Very important to me, the viewfinder is larger with coverage of 95% and magnification of 96%, and allows me to focus manually.

    This is my first (transmissive) LCD monitor truly usable in full sun. It is completely articulated, hinged on the side of the camera so that it does not interfere with the head of the tripod (like the Nikon 5000). Even with “only” 230,000 pixels, I still find it to be remarkably bright and sharp. It helps a lot with copy stand work and macro in the field. This is enhanced by the quality of the camera’s Live View. The E-620 can use contrast-based autofocus eliminating the need for the sequence mirror down/focus/mirror up. Live View shows a lot of information, live histogram included, and allows for many key regulations. You can choose any area of the picture and enlarge it x5, x7 or x10 for fine focusing. The enlarged view is quite clear and sharp. The new 7-point phase detection autofocus has evolved and feels faster (I use spot autofocus anyway to ensure that I always know where the camera is focusing). Image stabilization on the sensor allows for smaller, less delicate and less expensive lenses. Lab tests indicate that it provides a 2 to 2.5 f/stops gain. The dust suppression system is still the best (some experts say the only one truly effective on the market). The camera offers an unparalleled wealth of manual and automatic regulations through its dedicated buttons and the LCD monitor.

    Outside, I use the camera on aperture priority at f/8-11 (to minimize lens diffraction) at a setting as close to ISO200 as possible (the camera’s sweet spot for noise and dynamic range). No matter how good the exposure meter is, most of my pictures have always needed compensation. I take as many test pictures as necessary (with the Fn button set to “test picture”) to get the proper exposure. The half-pressed shutter button is set to lock focus only. I focus where I want (mostly with an eye on hyperfocus), recompose and take the picture. In studio, I use the Fn button to get a custom white balance and set the camera to Live View and manual focus. I enlarge the subject for fine focusing, take some test pictures to perfect the exposure, and shoot with an extension cable and the “anti-shock” function set to 3 seconds (with anti-shock on, when you press the shutter button the camera lifts the mirror and waits the number of seconds set by you – up to 30 – before shooting, letting the mirror vibrations subside). Since the camera is on a tripod, I do turn image stabilization off. I shoot Raw+jpeg, use jpeg for family emails and reserve Raw for all my professional work. Developing in Camera Raw 5.4 at 16bit/channel in the ProPhoto color space, processing in Photoshop CS4, upsizing in Genuine Fractals 5, and printing with Epson UltraChrome inks and fine art papers and canvas, I obtain impeccable prints up to at least 24×30″.

    I believe that the best camera is the one that gets you to carry it around and have fun photographing. Today, it is the Olympus E-620 that does it for me. If Olympus is listening, I would respectfully wish for an AC adapter.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. Enche Tjin says:

    Olympus E-620 is positioned between Olympus beginner and advanced DSLR camera. Currently, Olympus has E-420/450 and E-520 in the lower level class, and E-30 and E-3 in the higher end class. Compared to other popular DSLR cameras, Olympus employs smaller image sensor called 4/3 live MOS sensor. 4/3 means that the native image has 4 : 3 ratio instead of 3 : 2 ratio. This could be plus and minus. The plus is 4 : 3 ratio is widely used in TV screen size and monitors. It is also squarer. In my opinion, it is better for portrait. However, you can adjust the ratio to 3:2, 16:9 or other as you like at the expense of maximum image resolution.

    The negative side of this type of sensor is the noise in high ISO. There is appearance of noise in lower ISO level such as ISO 640 or 400 as well. Fortunately, I found the noise is rendered very fine and more pleasing to look at than noise generated from other DSLR or compact cameras. It has the film like feel to it.

    WHAT IS NEW COMPARED TO E-420 and E-520?

    Compared to Olympus E-420, the E620 is just a tad bigger, but it is now has Image Stabilization that works with Olympus or third party lenses. Compared to both cameras, E-620 has 7 AF points instead of 3. A slightly bigger viewfinder, improved 2.7 swivel LCD screen, wireless flash commander and six art scenes mode.

    BODY & HANDLING

    Olympus is not the lightest camera around. It weights 521g, which is almost the same as best seller Canon XSi / 450D, but measured 130 x 94 x 60 mm, 2mm shorter and thinner than Canon XSi. The E-620 noticeably smaller than Olympus E-520.

    Despite the size, Olympus E-620 is very solid to hold. Thanks to the weight and ergonomic design. The built quality is also a step up from entry level DSLR cameras. It has a nice rubberized texture in the hand and thumb rest on the back.

    It has one thumb dial and four-way buttons which you will use to change various settings and navigate the menu. Each of the four-way buttons for navigation and also for access popular settings such as ISO, WB, metering, and AF mode. This is buttons are similar buttons that you often find in compact camera layout.

    In addition, there is Super Control Panel. By the touch of INFO button, it will let you navigate and change various important settings in one screen. This is very smart design. Canon and Nikon interface does not come close.

    Buttons are considered small compare to other DSLRs, so if you have a big fingers, you might find a bit uncomfortable to find or access the button. Unique to Olympus E-620, it has backlit buttons, which is automatically light on when you are in dark condition. This small feature is significant if you often shoot in low light condition indoor or outdoor. There is also a dedicated live view button, which will activate live view mode instaneously.

    Viewfinder (96% coverage, .95 magnification) is slightly bigger than E-520 but still smaller and narrower than other entry level camera. Looking at the viewfinder is like looking at the tunnel, which is uncomfortable. You will notice significant different if you regularly shoot with higher end cameras such as Olympus E-30 or Nikon D90.

    Overall, the body design and ergonomic is very good, better than some beginner DSLR cameras on the market. Despite that, you might have balance issue when you mount Olympus pro grade lenses which is heavier than regular kit lens. Olympus has thought about it and provide battery/vertical grip to counter this problem. The only significant downside is the small viewfinder.

    LCD SCREEN & AF PERFORMANCE

    Olympus E-620 has swivel LCD screen which is helpful for composition and also for people who are used to compose photos using back LCD screen (compact camera users). The resolution of the screen is standard (230k) but it is clearer and more detailed than other DSLR with 230k resolution.

    Auto focus in live mode is slower than most compact camera, but works very well in bright or low light condition. Depending on the light condition, it takes a round one to two seconds for the camera to focus.

    Aufo focus performance in viewfinder are much faster. Now it has 7 AF points, 5 of them are cross type sensor. AF continuous works very well, it is very quiet and fast. There is nothing to worry about.

    To change AF points, there is dedicated button in the top left of the camera, and then you change it using thumb dial. This approach is similar to Canon DSLR cameras, but different from Nikon approach. Nikon uses four way buttons which I prefer more because it is faster and spot on.

    IMAGE QUALITY

    Image rendered by this camera is generally very good dan very detailed. Thanks to the above Olympus Zuiko lenses. ISO. Unfortunately, noise in in issue. There is noticeable noise especially in shadow area across ISO (low of high). Of course in high ISO, the noise are more prominent. ISO 800 is the limit between acceptable and unacceptable image.

    However, to be fair, the noise generated by this camera is not annoying like many other DSLR. It is more film like than electronic noise which is usually generated by camera with CMOS sensor. It is also worth to mention that Olympus prefers to keep details rather than losing it by smearing the noise, which could be good or bad depending on your taste.

    ART SCENE MODE

    Art scene mode is fairly new in Olympus DSLR cameras. Basically, the camera will process the image directly after you take the picture. The process is very fast and negligible. If you use live view mode, you can see the effect on the screen. This might be fun for people who has no editing or photoshop skills but for advanced / photo enthusiasts, they might want to take original image instead and edit the photo later. In the other words, donft based your decision on buying this camera because of this feature.

    OTHER

    1. The shutter noise gka-chingh is not very appealing. It is quite loud and sounds cheap.

    2. The size of the camera and kit lenses are equally small. It is half the volume of pro grade system, and much more enjoyable to carry on traveling or walking.

    3. Evaluative metering is slightly underexposure to protect highlight, but there is also exposure compensation button that you can use to adjust it. I usually set it at +0.7 in various lighting condition.

    COMPETITORS

    Olympus E520
    Olympus E-520 is an older DSLR cameras which is a bit bigger in body size, but have fewer and less sophisticated features. Like E-620, it has built-in image-stabilization, but thatfs about it. E-520 has a smaller viewfinder, non-swivel LCD screen, no backlit buttons, no art scene mode, and only has 3 AF points and 10 megapixel image resolution. But E-520 wins in price. It is approx. $250 cheaper than E-620.

    Canon T1i
    Canon T1i is $100 more expensive than E-620 but it has movie mode, bigger and hi-res (910k) LCD screen, 11 AF points and compatible with EOS lenses collection.

    Pentax k-x
    Newcomer Pentax k-x has better image quality in high ISO, very compact size, has a live view mode but in a cheaper package. Pentax kx might be the toughest competitor Olympus must face beside Canon and Nikon cameras.

    Nikon D5000
    D5000 also has swivel LCD screen, but lack of AF motor that prevent this camera to use older Nikon lenses. Image quality is superb in low or high ISO setting.

    CONCLUSION

    Olympus E-620 is an interesting camera, it focuses on compact size which is the right thing to do to get advantage of four third sensor. Built quality is better than most beginner DSLRs. There are many dedicated buttons and very friendly menu / control panel so you can find and change setting you want very fast. The ergonomic is also very good especially for average hand man/woman. Featurewise, this camera is very up to date although it lacks movie mode. In addition, it has backlit buttons which is non-existence even in my Nikon D700, a $2500 camera. It also has crystal clear swivel LCD screen. I find myself using it for many occasions. There two weaknesses of this camera, small viewfinder and noticeable noise in ISO 1600 or higher. If Olympus fix this problem in upcoming dSLR while retaining the compact size, this camera will make a great travel or street companion.

    Subjective rating relative to beginner DSLR cameras in 2009
    Image Quality : 4/5
    Features : 5/5
    Performance : 5/5
    Body and Handling : 4/5
    Value for Money : 3/5

    Please visit my website for sample images, high iso comparison and size comparison.

    Rating: 4 / 5

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