Spent a little time with an E620...
Got a chance to spend about an hour shooting with a brand-spanking new E620 today. Was at my local camera store looking at some manual lenses and they let me take it out for an hour by leaving my credit card. Couldn't keep any of the pictures (pity, I didn't have my own memory cards with me), so I'll keep it strictly to "look and feel", and usage.
-Solid, of course, like all Olympus dSLRs
-Very responsive in terms of shutter lag, focusing, turning on -> first picture, menus, etc. Focusing very good even with the stock kit lens
-Art filters are actually interesting and fairly well implemented. I don't know how much I'd use a feature like that, but at least they're not over-the-top cliched
-Many more focus points are nice
-Comfortable enough to hold (though see below), most of the controls fall well to hand. The control wheel is very nice. You kinda have to handle it to know what I mean.
-Flip-out, rotating LCD screen, with excellent resolution. I could see this as being great for studio shooting, but honestly, in the field, the Live View implementation I felt still wasn't fast enough focusing to really take advantage of it. The Live View system is much improved, though, and for street scenes, it was nice to be able to shoot waist-level.
After all this, by far, by FAR the biggest positive change is the viewfinder. I was kinda getting used to the "tiny box" that the E-510 viewfinder gives you, but the E-620 is much larger and they moved the exposure and shooting information to the bottom of the viewfinder, underneath the image (where it should've been in the first place). Eye relief is probably .5-1CM better than my E-510. Brightness was similar, but the actual size of the viewfinder was a big difference.
-Still has that idiotically convoluted menu system
-Power button felt odd turning on R-L instead of L-R
-Still somewhat button happy on the back
I think the biggest negative is easily the handgrip. It's bigger than the E-420, and it has the same "reverse curve" design, but after the E-510, I never really did feel comfortable with it. Perhaps with time this could change, but I would've really preferred the far chunkier handgrip on the E-520. Part in parcel with this is that because the handgrip was made smaller, the E-620 uses the smaller BLS-1 battery, instead of the more standard BLM-1 battery. While the supposed shooting life is pretty good (500 shots) I can't help but think it would've been much better if it had the BLM-1, which has something like 25% more wH behind it.
Just some quick first thoughts. In the end, I really liked shooting with the camera, but I'd probably have to get something like a hand strap to be truly comfortable with it.
Last edited by jekostas; 05-01-2009 at 01:23 PM.
Thanks for posting a great mini-review!
I personally take a lot of notice of exactly this sort of report from an unbiased, average-Joe (sorry ) consumer. And I also appreciate you getting to the chase without a lot of fancy high-tech, subjective opinions. It either cuts the muster or it doesn't. Too easy.
I'm thinking we could do with more of this type of user hands-on review on these forums.
Yes thanks from me too. You put your finger (so to speak) on the one point I was concerned about ie the grip. I like the E510 grip & have tried a 410 in the past & felt it was too small hence had reservations about the 620. Will need to have a play myself sometime but suspect I'll stick with what I have for a while. Maybe the next generation will still be small but have a bit bigger grip?
Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
- the fun's in finding them
The grip is kind of midway between the E-420 and E-520. It's got the same "reverse curve" design of the E-420, but size wise it's about halfway between the two.
Originally Posted by Phill D
I've kinda got smaller hands, and even for me it sometimes worried me a little shooting. On the other hand, with the somewhat smaller grip, the controls on the back fell to hand a little bit better because I found more of my hand was on the back of the camera.
Regarding the "pros" section, relative to what? Do you that mean it is better than your current camera in those respects?
For the E-410, I have developed an effective method of holding it securely with the leather strap, to that point that a grip is probably counter productive. But even then my first 3000 pictures were taken with no strap whatsoever, so I never had a difficult time holding it securely. As you no doubt have read, the secret is to grab the lens, not the body.
Even now, I would actually prefer the on-off switch to be reversed, so con that is good for me.
Ironically, I might prefer the E-450 when it comes down to it. It is smaller, lighter, and has a solid design I know inside and out by this time. Depending on what the new processor does etc. , it is possible it will have even less noise and more dynamic range than the E-620. It is no less than the 4th E-400 series camera to hold a 10MP sensor, so maybe they have perfected it. Come summer, if I don't go crazy and have the ol' E-410 fixed before then, I'll have to see if any of those factors are true or worthy to trade for the many advantages of the E-620.