PDA

View Full Version : E-620 report



raven15
07-26-2009, 11:38 PM
After a week with the camera, here is what I think so far.

The camera shell feels thinner than the old E-410 at first, leading you to suspect is it not as sturdy. After a while you start to realize it actually has less flex and is noticeably stronger. The difference being fiber reinforced plastic, which (I know from experience) is many times stronger than non reinforced plastic, and seems similar to the material used in the 9-18mm and 25mm pancake lenses.

The grip is excellent. The viewfinder seems a little brighter and crisper, if not really bigger. The information at the bottom is harder to see sometimes.

Focusing is noticeably faster than the E-410 in all situations and with all lenses, focusing either with center point only or with all of them. In one situation I used both cameras in a poorly lit room (ISO 1600 time) with my 14-54 lens and center point only, S-AF. The E-410 locked focus 2/7 tries, while E-620 locked focus 4/4 tries before I made my conclusion and stopped. Even tracking birds flying overhead with the 70-300 (I used center point only again, but C-AF and S-AF both) the camera showed a remarkable ability to keep the bird in focus compared to the E-410. The 70-300 still sucks at focusing though. Basically all my lenses retain their same relative focusing characteristics, they just display them at a higher rate and more accurately.

Live view is substantially faster than the E-410. The LCD screen still fails the resolution test. "Screen size in inches x 100,000" is a passing resolution, "screen size in centimeters x 100,000" is an A. So the E-620 fails with an F+, but the LCD is slightly nicer than the E-410, plus it rotates all over the place.

In general the camera feels faster and more responsive in all respects.

Feature set is great, so many things are available. My favorite is the ability to semi-permanently change the camera's exposure bias, mine is set to +1/3 EV.

Highlights / dynamic range are incredible. It replicates a process I worked out for the E-410 in photoshop over nine months, but then the E-620 has more total dynamic range in addition. And it is all available in jpeg. I actually get more highlight recovery from a "large fine" jpeg than I do from Adobe Camera RAW and photoshop. And I'm now using "large superfine." I may end up a jpeg shooter with the E-620. I was recovering a white sky from jpeg, and I kept recovering and recovering, and the sky kept getting bluer and bluer. I think I ended up using 180% recovery, and the sky ended up blue! From a "fine" jpeg! One problem is it often does the job too well, and I need to make the darks black and the lights white to make the picture look acceptable. I need to be very subtle changing the E-620 files, they do not respond in the same way as the E-410 files at all.

Noise is worse at low ISO's, but because of no banding and better dynamic range, high ISO's are better than the E-410. I need to use noise reduction more frequently, mostly after changing things quite a bit in PP. I expect to work out a way to consistently avoid noise soon, but haven't got it down yet.


OK that's all for now. I only had it for 6 days so it's not a totally refined opinion.

kgosden
07-27-2009, 07:55 AM
Please no more reports. I really do not want to buy another body this year:) Also nice to know I am not the only one who thinks the focusing on the 70-300 sucks. It almost makes me want to try the 40-150 with one of the teleconverters instead. Too bad I cannot justify the cost and weight of the 50-200 (and it really lacks the extra reach).

raven15
07-27-2009, 09:32 AM
Too bad I cannot justify the cost and weight of the 50-200 (and it really lacks the extra reach).
Same here.

Don Kondra
07-27-2009, 09:35 AM
Now that's curious and not my experience, I only had the 70-300 for a short while but it focused fine with the 510, at both ends ?

Cheers, Don

jekostas
07-27-2009, 12:52 PM
Now that's curious and not my experience, I only had the 70-300 for a short while but it focused fine with the 510, at both ends ?

Cheers, Don

Same here - unless the light is absolute crap, I've not had problems focusing the 70-300 at either end, telephoto or macro shots.

In terms of absolute focus speed, I have a feeling a battery grip would probably help as well.

Phill D
07-27-2009, 02:47 PM
Only thing I've had real trouble with on my E510 & 70-300 is shooting flying birds & fast aircraft when it's either terrible or I'm useless. But I'll keep trying as I love the range and weight combination. I'd say the IQ is better than the kit lenses.

Raven good to get feedback on the 620. Your noise comments are a bit concerning & it's a shame about the LCD. I suppose they had to leave something else to improve when they add video in the next incarnation.

kgosden
07-27-2009, 07:54 PM
I have used the 70-300 on both the E510 and now the E520. My focus issues seem to be that the lens tends to focus slightly fore or aft of the intended subject. Not a lot, but enough that when I am at auto races I seem to get a lot less keepers than I expect. Maybe it is just me and a need to get used to what is a reduced depth of field compared to the 40-150. It does have a tough time with birds in flight.

raven15
07-28-2009, 11:15 AM
I have used the 70-300 on both the E510 and now the E520. My focus issues seem to be that the lens tends to focus slightly fore or aft of the intended subject. Not a lot, but enough that when I am at auto races I seem to get a lot less keepers than I expect. Maybe it is just me and a need to get used to what is a reduced depth of field compared to the 40-150. It does have a tough time with birds in flight.
That's what happens to me too, it focuses just slightly ahead or behind the subject, even with the E-620 I'm pretty sure. But a week ago I was trying to shoot a blue jay that landed on a tree ten feet from me. I was using center point S-AF with the center point directly over the bird. Never, in three tries, even on the second and third when I stopped when it was about in focus and half pressed the shutter a few times, did it ever focus. It went straight from infinity to macro where it stopped and ground around without even pausing at the bird, or the mountains behind it. After about a minute the bird left and I never got a shot of it. I think that was the E-410 the day before my E-620 came though.

raven15
07-28-2009, 11:48 AM
Only thing I've had real trouble with on my E510 & 70-300 is shooting flying birds & fast aircraft when it's either terrible or I'm useless. But I'll keep trying as I love the range and weight combination. I'd say the IQ is better than the kit lenses.

Raven good to get feedback on the 620. Your noise comments are a bit concerning & it's a shame about the LCD. I suppose they had to leave something else to improve when they add video in the next incarnation.

Yeah, if not for the focusing the 70-300 would be the ideal lens (though I personally think it should lose 200 grams).

I think the noise is something that can be worked around. Part of the problem is that I'm still using it like my E-410, underexposing the shots and then lightening them later. You should never under expose with the E0620 unless there is a dire need. You also have to be very careful of how much photoshop work you do, which is often OK because the E-620 needs less photoshop.

Also, it has occurred to me that autogradation sometimes turns itself on, even when I have it turned off. That is bad because it will do its best to make every shade of utter black into grey, recovering detail that can't possibly exist in the image except as noise. In this shot I was making use of the flippy LCD to take shots of an ant hole (which would be stupid to do without one, if ant venom is a preservative my camera strap and lens filter mount will never decay). Autogradation turned itself on when I was already shooting at ISO 640 and made the blackness of the tunnel gray, which did absolutely nothing except reveal noise.

The 35mm macro is a nice lens. There is no cropping in this image or any attempt at noise reduction, it is a jpeg straight from the camera.

raven15
09-09-2009, 01:05 AM
OK, I'm officially a jpeg shooter now. Adobe Camera Raw is unable to produce results as good as an Olympus jpeg 9/10 times, and the extra time and disk space isn't worth doing both.

I set my custom button to "one touch white balance" so I can get that right without RAW. It also cures the problem with the button's default, face detection. When you turn on face detection the camera switches on all autofocus points and autogradation too, which is really irritating if you push it accidentally. Much better to have the button on white balance because you have to hold the shutter too to make that work.

Phill D
09-09-2009, 10:30 PM
Raven is that one touch white balance a specific feature of the E620? sounds quite useful to me.
The 35mm lens looks to be pretty good too. I hadn't considered it as the 70-300 is proving better at macro than I'd expected & I'm trying to save up for the 50mm. What is the close focussing distance like?
Here's a cropped shot I grabbed recently with the 70-300 (not actually in macro mode) but it impressed me with it's detail even downsized for the forum. The reflection in the eye is me taking the shot from probably about 6/8 feet away.
48751
Oh yes & it was in jpeg too. I rarely use RAW.

raven15
09-10-2009, 12:03 AM
Raven is that one touch white balance a specific feature of the E620? sounds quite useful to me.
The 35mm lens looks to be pretty good too. I hadn't considered it as the 70-300 is proving better at macro than I'd expected & I'm trying to save up for the 50mm. What is the close focussing distance like?
Here's a cropped shot I grabbed recently with the 70-300 (not actually in macro mode) but it impressed me with it's detail even downsized for the forum. The reflection in the eye is me taking the shot from probably about 6/8 feet away.
48751
Oh yes & it was in jpeg too. I rarely use RAW.

That's pretty good! (meaning the picture).

I think all recent Olympus DSLR's can do it. Even my E-410 had the option, but it meant reassigning another button so I didn't. I expect the E-510 has a dedicated button, probably the "fn" button like the E-620. You should be able to set it to white balance in the menu.

The 35mm macro is OK, especially as a light lens with focal length halfway between 18mm and 70mm, but I like the 50mm better for whatever reason. The 50mm macro has the same magnification as the 70-300, while the 35mm macro has double the magnification of either.