February 24, 2009: Olympus will add a new DSLR camera, the E-620, to its consumer range of Four Thirds System-compliant cameras in April.
Weighing only 475 grams, the E-620 is claimed as the smallest and lightest DSLR with built-in image stabilisation. The new model is positioned between the E-520 and the E-30 and offers features found in both models. It has the same 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor and TruePic III+ image processing engine as the E-30 and also the same free-angle, 2.7-inch HyperCrystal II LCD monitor. The new camera’s optical viewfinder covers 95% of the sensor’s field of view and provided 0.96x magnification.
Front view of the Olympus E-620.
The image stabilisation mechanism in the E-620 is a brand new unit that is 20% lighter than the mechanisms in the E-520 and E-30 due to a substantial reduction in the component packaging size for the internal circuit boards and image sensor. It is also more energy-efficient. Four stabilisation modes are supported: off, Mode 1 (all directions), Mode 2 (horizontal panning) and Mode 3 (for panning with the camera held vertically). Olympus claims the system provides up to 4 EV if ‘effective compensation’.
Rear view with the free-angle LCD monitor reversed. The coloured button icons can also be seen.
For the first time in a DSLR camera, the E-620 provides illuminated button controls to assist with low-light photography. It also has the same Super Control Panel LCD monitor display as the E-30, providing high visibility and easy access to key controls. The new camera is also Colour Universal Design certified. The colours of the printed icons on the camera body and the on-screen graphics have been carefully selected to ensure they can be clearly viewed by users with a wide range of individual differences in colour perception.
Another new feature is the autofocusing system, which uses a new sensor with seven focus points. It features five central AF points with a twin-cross configuration (twin lines arranged in a cross formation) and two twin-line focus points at the periphery. The new system is fully compatible with the following Zuiko Digital lenses: ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.6, ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, 14-54mm f2.8-3.5II, ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6 and 25mm f2.8 but can also be used with other lenses with marginally reduced functionality.
Improvements to the read speed of the sensor/image processor system, the continuous shooting speed of the E-620 is increased to four frames/second with an ‘unlimited’ buffer for JPEG files and support for up to five ORF.RAW files before capture rates slow. Aspect ratio options are more limited than the E-30 offers, with 4:3, 6:6 and 16:9 settings (3:2 tbc). Raw files are always recorded with a 4:3 aspect.
The E-620 has similar Live View functions to the E-520 and E-30 and the same Perfect Shot Preview, auto gradation adjustment, Face Detection & Shadow Adjust Technology and Multi-Exposure capabilities as the E-30. It also boasts the acclaimed Olympus SSWF Dust Reduction System. The creative Art Filters, pioneered in the E-30, are also provided in the E-620. The E-620’s high-precision metering system covers the entire frame with 49 zones, providing fast, accurate metering.
Five scene program AE modes and 13 Scene Select AE modes are selectable via the Mode Dial, which also carries settings for P, A, S and M shooting modes. In the Scene Select AE mode, sample images with concise descriptions are displayed on the LCD screen display to provide the user with a convenient way to choose preset optimised camera settings for a variety of common shooting scenes, such as landscape, portrait and fireworks.
Bracketing options cover ISO, white balance, exposure and flash brightness and the E-620 is fully compatible with Olympus’s wireless multi-flash control without requiring an external commander unit when used with FL-50R and/or FL-36R flashes. The E-620 is also equipped with a GN17 (ISO 200) built-in flash with TTL flash exposure control. In playback mode, the Lightbox function enables photographers to display two images side-by-side on the LCD screen and also enlarge them to check fine details.
The E-620 with the HLD-5 power battery holder fitted.
Battery life for the new model is rated at approximately 500 shots per charge. Optional accessories include the new HLD-5 power battery holder, which can accommodate two BLS-1 lithium ion rechargeable batteries which are identical to the battery in the camera. An underwater housing (PT-E06) is also available, along with a protective body jacket in white or dark brown and matching shoulder straps.
Concurrent with the release of the E-620, Olympus has also announced two new flash brackets. The Flash Bracket FL-BK04 is a versatile unit that can be assembled in different combinations, allowing photographers to mount an external flash on either the left or right side of the camera, and also enabling vertical flash shooting. The opening angle of the arm can be set in 45-degree increments to adjust the distance between the lens and flash. The Twin Flash Bracket FL-BKM03 is ideal for macro photography and allows the arm angle and flash position to be freely adjusted.
The E-620 and new flash brackets are scheduled for local release in April. Pricing has still to be determined. For more information, visit www.olympus.com.au.