Olympus to offer budget E-600 dSLR for holiday shoppers

Olympus E-600 will ship in November for $599.99 with lens.

Olympus America

Olympus America

Shipping in November, just in time for your holiday purchasing fun, Olympus' E-600 dSLR will offer a slightly stripped-down version of the E-620 for consumers whose price elasticity is stretched to the breaking point. At $599.99 with the 14-42mm kit lens (28-84mm equivalent), by dropping down $100 Olympus will be taking on the Nikon D3000 (and whatever new model Canon finally decides to ship--its entry-level model is overdue) in a very competitive price segment.

For all the essentials, the E-600 and E-620 are identical:

 E-520E-600E-620
Sensor (effective resolution)10-megapixel Live MOS12.3-megapixel Live MOS12.3-megapixel CMOS
17.3mm x 13.0mm17.3mm x 13.0mm17.3mm x 13.0mm
Sensitivity rangeISO 200 - ISO 1600ISO 100 - ISO 3200ISO 100 - ISO 3200
Continuous shooting3.5 fps
8 raw/unlimited JPEG (large/normal)
4 fps
6 raw/unlimited JPEG (large/normal)
4 fps
6 raw/unlimited JPEG (large/normal)
Viewfinder
magnification/effective magnification
95% coverage
0.92x/0.46x
95% coverage
0.92x/0.46x
95% coverage
0.92x/0.46x
Autofocus3-pt AF
n/a
7-pt AF
5 cross-type
7-pt AF
5 cross-type
Live ViewYesYesYes
VideoNoNoNo
LCD size2.7 inches fixed
230,000 dots
2.7 inches articulated
230,000 dots
2.7 inches articulated
230,000 dots
Battery life (CIPA rating)650 shots500 shots (estimated)500 shots
Dimensions (inches, WHD)5.4 x 3.6 x 2.75.1 x 3.7 x 2.45.1 x 3.7 x 2.4
Body operating weight (ounces)18.6 (estimated)18.9 (estimated)18.9
Mfr. Price$499.99 (with 14-42mm lens)$599.99 (with 14-42mm lens)$699.99 (with 14-42mm lens)
Olympus America

What's missing? The E-600 only offers three Art Filters--Pop Art, soft Focus, and Pinhole--versus the E-620's six. Plus, it jettisons the illuminated buttons, aspect mask control (for shooting at different aspect ratios), and multiple-exposure mode. These are all things you could easily live without, and when the street price drops below $599.99, that leaves you with some extra coin to put towards another lens.

And while the E-620 is a solid camera, its feature set is far more competitive at the lower price:

 Olympus E-600Sony Alpha DSLR-A230Nikon D3000Canon EOS Rebel XS
Sensor (effective resolution)12.3-megapixel Live MOS10.2-megapixel CCD10.2-megapixel CCD10.1-megapixel CMOS
17.3mm x 13.0mm23.5mm x 15.7mm23.6x15.8mm22.2mm x 14.8mm
Magnification factor2.0x1.5x1.5x1.6x
Sensitivity rangeISO 100 - ISO 3200ISO 100 - ISO 3200ISO 100 - ISO 1600/3200 (expanded)ISO 100 - ISO 1,600
Continuous shooting4 fps
6 raw/unlimited JPEG (large/normal)
2.5fps
n/a
3 fps
n/a raw/100+ JPEG (medium/fine)
3fps
5 raw/unlimited JPEG
Viewfinder
magnification/effective magnification
95% coverage
0.92x/0.46x
95% coverage
0.83x/0.55x
95% coverage
0.80x/0.53x
95% coverage
0.81x/0.51x
Autofocus7-pt AF
5 cross-type
9-pt AF
n/a
11-pt AF
center cross-type to f5.6
7-pt AF
n/a
Live ViewYesNoNoYes
VideoNoNoNoNo
Built-in wireless flash controllerNoYesNoNo
LCD size2.7 inches articulated
230,000 dots
2.7-inch fixed
230,400 dots
3 inches fixed
230,000 dots
2.5 inches fixed
230,000 dots
Battery life (CIPA rating)500 shots (estimated)510 shotsn/a500 shots
Dimensions (inches, WHD)5.1 x 3.7 x 2.45.0 x 3.8 x 2.75.0 x 3.8 x 2.55.0 x 3.8 x 2.4
Body operating weight (ounces)18.9 (estimated)18.318.3 (estimated)17.6
Mfr. Price$599.99 (with 14-42mm lens)$549.99 (with 18-55mm lens)$599.95 (with 18-55mm lens)$599.99 (with 18-55mm lens)

The E-620's--and presumably, therefore, the E-600's--performance fits much better with this class of cameras, though its low-light AF performance will likely still lag the field. The articulating LCD is an attractive option, though the trade-off is the effectively tiny viewfinder.

(ViaImaging Resource)

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