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Olympus E-620 Impressions.
Old 10-23-2010, 07:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I know there are plenty places to read a review of the technical aspects of the E-620 and compare them with similar cameras, but I thought maybe a brief new owner’s review might be helpful to some.
As a background, I have used Olympus exclusively for the past 30+ years…starting with an OM-1n (equipped with motor drive) and most recently the E-10 which I bought new and have had in the neighborhood of 10 to 12 years. The E-10 was equipped with the B-HLD10 Battery Grip and lugging it around was sort of like carrying a cement block on a strap around your neck, but it did feel solid and well built, and I guess in an emergency would have made a good weapon if swung on the end of the strap.
The E-620….to put it bluntly, feels cheap. Its super light, and as of yet I have not bought the battery grip so it gives the impression of being too small for my hands. It feels almost like a kid’s toy. Now, I know I’ll appreciate the light weight on those 5 and 10 mile walks, and soon I’ll get the battery grip, which will not only give a bigger area to hold on to, but double the shooting capabilities and also speed up certain camera functions like auto focus. But for now, holding the E-10 feels a whole lot better.
The camera and other goodies came late Friday morning and of course it’s pouring rain today and the same forecast for tomorrow so there isn’t much chance of going out and trying that new 40-150 zoom. It’s just the standard f-4/5.6 lens…I’ve gotten a bit spoiled with the E-10’s 9-36mm, F-2/2.4 fixed lens but I sure am happy to have interchangeable lenses again!
Another real sore spot with the E-620 for me is the camera strap. There s a very small strap loop on the camera, to small to use a strap with quick release fasteners on it…you got to loop the strap end through and secure it in a manner that just plain takes to long. You may as well forget about removing and replacing the strap on a whim…it’s more like a half hours project. I’m hoping I can find a vendor that makes some type of quick release adapter I can attach to the camera’s strap attachment, but I have not had any luck so far.
Another thing I don’t like is the through the view finder readout. It is difficult to see…Hopefully as I use the camera more that will change, but now it seems I have to strain to see the readouts on the bottom…they are kind of hidden until I move the camera slightly down from where it’s comfortable to hold.
The rain let up and even stopped for a while so I went out to see if I could find a train or two to photograph. Most of the time I was shooting near the long end of the lens (on purpose) between 100mm and 150mm with a F-stop of 5 or more…shutter speed was NEVER faster than 1/30th of a second and boy oh boy, does that image stabilization make a difference. In PhotoShop I zoomed in super tight on a small area of the photos and could not believe how sharp the pictures were, I could read many of the decals that I could not even see in the photo. The other thing that really, really jumped out at me was the Shadow Adjustment Technology…that was extremely noticeable in the area of the wheels and under carriage of the trains where they are painted black…with my old E-10 I was always having to dodge those areas in PhotoShop, but the E-620 pictures are far better right out of the camera than my best PhotoShop attempts, they needed nothing.
I only walked 3 or 4 miles, but never even noticed the weight of the camera around my neck.
As some of you might remember, I was considering the E-420, E-520 and E-620. (and the E-3, but only if I hit the lottery) I eliminated the E-420 because it did not have Image Stabilization and I decided against the E-520 because there wasn’t a battery grip available for it. As it turned out the E-620 didn’t cost much more anyway…I got a factory refurbished unit with full warranty, so I’m plenty happy.
Ya…I’m gonna love it…especially when I get Eve or some other suitable, scantly clad female in front of it.
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Re: Olympus E-620 Impressions.
Old 10-23-2010, 07:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrollMongo View Post
I know there are plenty places to read a review of the technical aspects of the E-620 and compare them with similar cameras, but I thought maybe a brief new owner’s review might be helpful to some.
As a background, I have used Olympus exclusively for the past 30+ years…starting with an OM-1n (equipped with motor drive) and most recently the E-10 which I bought new and have had in the neighborhood of 10 to 12 years. The E-10 was equipped with the B-HLD10 Battery Grip and lugging it around was sort of like carrying a cement block on a strap around your neck, but it did feel solid and well built, and I guess in an emergency would have made a good weapon if swung on the end of the strap.
The E-620….to put it bluntly, feels cheap. Its super light, and as of yet I have not bought the battery grip so it gives the impression of being too small for my hands. It feels almost like a kid’s toy. Now, I know I’ll appreciate the light weight on those 5 and 10 mile walks, and soon I’ll get the battery grip, which will not only give a bigger area to hold on to, but double the shooting capabilities and also speed up certain camera functions like auto focus. But for now, holding the E-10 feels a whole lot better.
The camera and other goodies came late Friday morning and of course it’s pouring rain today and the same forecast for tomorrow so there isn’t much chance of going out and trying that new 40-150 zoom. It’s just the standard f-4/5.6 lens…I’ve gotten a bit spoiled with the E-10’s 9-36mm, F-2/2.4 fixed lens but I sure am happy to have interchangeable lenses again!
Another real sore spot with the E-620 for me is the camera strap. There s a very small strap loop on the camera, to small to use a strap with quick release fasteners on it…you got to loop the strap end through and secure it in a manner that just plain takes to long. You may as well forget about removing and replacing the strap on a whim…it’s more like a half hours project. I’m hoping I can find a vendor that makes some type of quick release adapter I can attach to the camera’s strap attachment, but I have not had any luck so far.
Another thing I don’t like is the through the view finder readout. It is difficult to see…Hopefully as I use the camera more that will change, but now it seems I have to strain to see the readouts on the bottom…they are kind of hidden until I move the camera slightly down from where it’s comfortable to hold.
The rain let up and even stopped for a while so I went out to see if I could find a train or two to photograph. Most of the time I was shooting near the long end of the lens (on purpose) between 100mm and 150mm with a F-stop of 5 or more…shutter speed was NEVER faster than 1/30th of a second and boy oh boy, does that image stabilization make a difference. In PhotoShop I zoomed in super tight on a small area of the photos and could not believe how sharp the pictures were, I could read many of the decals that I could not even see in the photo. The other thing that really, really jumped out at me was the Shadow Adjustment Technology…that was extremely noticeable in the area of the wheels and under carriage of the trains where they are painted black…with my old E-10 I was always having to dodge those areas in PhotoShop, but the E-620 pictures are far better right out of the camera than my best PhotoShop attempts, they needed nothing.
I only walked 3 or 4 miles, but never even noticed the weight of the camera around my neck.
As some of you might remember, I was considering the E-420, E-520 and E-620. (and the E-3, but only if I hit the lottery) I eliminated the E-420 because it did not have Image Stabilization and I decided against the E-520 because there wasn’t a battery grip available for it. As it turned out the E-620 didn’t cost much more anyway…I got a factory refurbished unit with full warranty, so I’m plenty happy.
Ya…I’m gonna love it…especially when I get Eve or some other suitable, scantly clad female in front of it.
From your posting it sounds as if you have mixed feelings about your new camera and that I think is to be expected. As far as the size that is pretty much the norm these days. Everything is getting smaller and lighter and that is not always a good thing. I am a big guy (6'2" tall, 210 lbs) and I have large hands and the cameras to today get lost in my hands. I don't even think about buying a camera unless it has a grip as an accessory and the grip for me is mandatory for the longer lenses plus it makes the camera look like less of a toy, in my opinion. My first autofocus camera was a Canon A2 and it looks huge when put side to side with the Canon EOS D40. The only cameras you are going to find that have any size to them are the pro level cameras like the Canon EOS 1D series and the Nikon equivalents. My film camera, a Canon 1N looks like a behemoth next to the 40D.

As far as the lenses it sounds like you are happy with your choices and we would like to see some images from your new purchases so please feel free to post in the appropriate Forums. I agree that IS is a valuable tool and makes a huge difference when used properly.

If you find after some time that you are unhappy with your 620 and want to stay with Olympus then think about picking up a used E-1 or an E-3. They are out there but to get a truly hefty camera (with the attendant weight penalty) you are going to have to look elsewhere than Olympus.

Hang in there and we look forward to seeing your images.
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Re: Olympus E-620 Impressions.
Old 10-23-2010, 10:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Congrats on the acquisition, Gary.
As Dave said, it's to be expected that this camera feels different, and not surprising that it doesn't feel as nice - given how long you used the E-10, it was probably like an old friend.
Happy shooting - look forward to seeing your efforts.
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Re: Olympus E-620 Impressions.
Old 10-24-2010, 06:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
From your posting it sounds as if you have mixed feelings about your new camera
I'm very disappointed in the strap hookup...and that's such a piddly thing...it just pisses me off that I got to either keep the strap on, or keep it off...no quick release possible...although eventually I WILL find a way....and as soon as I get the battery grip, that's the other problem solved. I'm actually glad it's so light, just takes some getting used to...

Quote:
As far as the lenses it sounds like you are happy with your choices
I love the 40-150, even though it's a rather slow lens, it's perfect for 95% of what I'll be shooting, although I DO recognize the need for a faster lens and already have it on my wish list...I'm thinking the 12-60 that was recommended by SamDTSguy or perhaps the 50mm f 2.0

Quote:
given how long you used the E-10, it was probably like an old friend.
That it was. If that camera could talk...well, lets just say it's good it can't. Eve wanted to know if I was going to sell it now that I got a new one...when I said no she ask if she could have it. Kind of surprised me, but she takes very good care of things and does a nice job taking pictures, so why not.

NOW...A QUESTION....Does anyone know how high I can set the ISO before I start seeing noise in my photos? I'm going to guess between 400 and 800, but from what I've been able to find reading on line, it sounds like it varies considerably between camera makes and models.
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Re: Olympus E-620 Impressions.
Old 10-24-2010, 07:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Does anyone know how high I can set the ISO before I start seeing noise in my photos?

It depends a bit on what you're shooting. I pretty much only shoot at ISO100, but I know I can see noise on my K10D at ISO400 if I shoot a gray screen. But on ordinary scenes, I don't notice noise at 400 unless I look carefully for it.

YMMV.
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Re: Olympus E-620 Impressions.
Old 10-27-2010, 12:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You will be okay around 400-600.

My E3's push 1250, but that brings in noise.
With the 620 you probably will see noise at 800.

BTW, Olympus is discontinuing the Exxx series so the only upgrade you can do from here on out is to the E5 and it's successor or go with micro 4/3rds. Midrange DSLR's on Oly are being eliminated.
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Re: Olympus E-620 Impressions.
Old 11-16-2010, 04:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I finally got the battery grip...WHAT A DIFFERENCE. With 2 batteries it does add considerably to the total weight, but it is still far lighter than the E-10.

The suggested retail price from Olympus is $199.99...it can be found at wholesalers like Camedia in NY for $139.00 plus $9.00 shipping. I bought mine on E-bay for $109.00 with free shipping FROM POLAND! I will be able to get a US warranty on it, just a few extra things to go through.

I'd defiantly, 110% recommend anyone owning a E-620 to invest in the battery grip...it's well worth the price just for how it makes the camera feel and handle.
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