There's nothing like a bit of friendly competition to send camera companies scurrying back to the drawing board, but when that competition comes from within their own range, that's a completely different ball game altogether.
In this case, the showdown comes from Olympus' new E-620, which borrows most of the features that we only saw a few months back on the. So, for a smaller body and a cheaper price, why wouldn't you choose the E-620? Read on for our full answer.
The E-620 comes as body only for AU$1299, in a single lens kit with a 14-42mm for AU$1399, or a double zoom kit with a 14-42mm and a 40-150mm for AU$1599.
When it comes to the design of Olympus dSLRs, it really comes down to the old saying of "if you've seen one, you've seen them all". Nothing deviates much from the standard look and feel of other Olympus cameras. You get the same textured black plastics, and just like the(which we reviewed a little while ago), an articulating LCD screen at the back.
There is one nice new touch which will come in handy for those night owls though, and that's the illuminated buttons at the back of the camera. Far from being a novelty, they are actually quite useful, making shooting in dim situations much easier.
The control wheel, situated next to the main mode dial, is nice and intuitive to use and has a responsive feel. On the right side of the camera is the card slot housing a compact flash slot and an xD slot, whereas the battery is loaded from the base of the camera. The new viewfinder covers 95 per cent of the field of view, and is relatively bright.
The E-620 (right) is now king of the pack amongst the E-420 (left) and E-520 (middle).
Just like the E-30, the E-620 has a 12-megapixel sensor and a 2.7-inch free-angle LCD screen. It also borrows a lot of the other features like multiple exposure mode, variable aspect ratios, a quick 4 frames per second burst speed, and a 7-point autofocus.
In plain specifications alone, the E-30 has slightly better odds on all of them; it can shoot 5 frames per second instead of 4, has an 11-point autofocus system and can expose 4 frames rather than 2 in multiple exposure mode, but for the most part these cameras are remarkably similar — apart from their size, of course.