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CNET First Look
CNET First Look
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>> Hi, I'm Lori Gurnin, senior editor with CNET, and this is the Olympus E620. The E620 fits in a very competitive category of budget-priced, and slightly above entry-level digital SLRs that's currently occupied by the Nikon D5000 and the Cannon Eos Rebel T1I. It's relatively compact, and pretty well built, it feels solid. It does have a shallower grip than most of the other competitors, and to me it doesn't feel quite as stable. It has a wireless flash controller built in, which even Nikon has dropped from the D5000. The E620 has dual card slots. Now Olympus does this because one of them is an XD picture card, which you can't really use in a digital SLR, they're just too slow and too low capacity. Now even Sony has augmented their slot with an SD card slot. Olympus instead chooses to go with compact flash. But in this segment, a consumer-oriented camera, SD might have been a better choice, and frankly, they probably could have shaved a few ounces off the weight of the camera. It has a flip and twist LCD, which only the D5000 offers at this point, as well as a bunch of advanced features that I'm not sure would appeal to a user in this price segment. It also has Olympus' art filters, which are fun special effects that you can apply while shooting. It's got the same 12 mega pixel live [inaudible] sensor, as well as the same true pick 3 image processor that's in the E30, and the image quality looks pretty similar. That means that the mid-range ISO, about up to 800 is fine. Depending upon image content you can use up to the maximum of ISO 3200, but it's not something you want to rely on. In terms of performance, it's just a tad slower than the rest of its class. Mostly however, as the digital SLR that the point and shoot user may be moving up to, it's just far too complicated. Even the menu system is a little more complex than it needs to be. For instance, Olympus hides the custom settings, that frankly you'll need if you want to program the function button. The one obvious feature that the E620 is missing is video capture. Now granted, the D5000 and the T1I don't do the best video capture in the world, but still it's nice to have, especially if you've gotten used to it in your point and shoot camera, and this just doesn't have it. Overall, it's a solid camera, but just falls short of competing with the two leaders in the class, the D5000 and the T1I. I'm Lori Gurnin, and this is the Olympus E620.
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