At a hands-on briefing today in Sydney, Olympus announced its latest digital SLR camera, the E-620. The camera incorporates technology from the Olympus E-30 and the Olympus E-520. It is designed to appeal to users who don't want a bulky D-SLR camera but who want all the benefits that a D-SLR offers.
According to Olympus' Ray Okubo, the company conducted extensive customer research and found that users wanted high-end features but in a body more similar in size to a compact camera than a classic D-SLR.
The Olympus E-620 is a little bigger than the company's smallest D-SLR, the E-420, but it offers built-in image stabilisation, a 7-point auto focus system with double cross-shaped focus points for quickness, a swivel screen, and an option for a hand-grip. The built-in Art modes are another selling point. They let you apply filters to your photos, such as film grain, softness and vignetting.
Olympus has included a 12.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor in the E-620, which is the same sensor that is found in the E-30. The camera also has a TruePic III+ image processor. There are two memory slots in the hand-grip, which accept CompactFlash and XD Picture Card formats, and the camera also includes dust-reduction technology.
A Live Crystal III 2.7in LCD screen will support Live View. Unlike the screens on the E-420 and E-520, the screen on the Olympus E-620 swivels for self portraits and angled shots.
Illuminated function buttons on the body of the camera allow you to use it in a dark environment without having to fumble for the right button. Other features of the Olympus E-620 include face detection, a 49-zone metering system, an optical viewfinder with a 95 per cent field of view, aperture and shutter priority modes, as well as a built-in flash and off-camera flash synchronisation.
The Olympus E-620 uses the Four Thirds lens mounting system and will be available in late April; no price has been announced.