Olympus E-620 Review

 
Camera Reviews / Olympus Cameras i Initial Test

Olympus E-620 Performance


Timing and Performance

The E-620's timing performance ranged from a bit slow to reasonably fast, depending on the task.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
1.3 seconds
Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.
Shutdown
~0.3 second
How long it takes to turn off.
(Buffer Clearing Timings with SanDisk Extreme IV CF Card)
Buffer clearing time
Large Super Fine JPEG
2 seconds
(after 5 LSF JPEGs)
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't shut down until the buffer is cleared. (*See note about memory card speeds at bottom of cycle time table below.)
Buffer clearing time
RAW
3 seconds
(after 5 RAW frames)
Buffer clearing time
RAW + LSF JPEG
7 seconds
(after 4 RAW + LSF JPEG frames)

Startup time was a bit slow for an SLR, due in part to the ultrasonic sensor cleaning that takes place during each power-up. Shutdown was very fast, hard to measure. Buffer clearing time depends on the image size and quality, burst length and the speed of memory card used.

 

Mode Switching
Play to Record,
first shot
~0.6 second
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to Play
2.3 seconds
Time to display a large/super fine file immediately after capture.
Display
recorded image
~0.2 second
Time to display a large/super fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching is fast, except for Record to Play, which is much slower than average.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Optical Viewfinder
Full Autofocus
Single-Area
Wide-Angle
0.298 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture using optical viewfinder, with Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens at wide-angle.
Full Autofocus
Single-Area
Telephoto
0.298 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture using optical viewfinder, with Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens at full telephoto.
Full Autofocus,
Flash enabled

Wide-Angle
0.314 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture using optical viewfinder, with flash enabled.
Prefocused
0.073 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Continuous AF
0.324 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual focus
0.290 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".
Live View Mode
Full Autofocus
Live View
Imager AF
2.713 seconds
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, using Live View mode and Imager AF (contrast-detect) mode. There was about 2% variation in this mode. All Live View timing with Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens at wide-angle.
Full Autofocus
Live View
AF Sensor
0.554 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, using Live View mode and AF Sensor (phase-detect) mode. There was about 6% variation in this mode.
Full Autofocus
Live View
Hybrid Mode
1.210 seconds
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, using Live View mode and Hybrid AF mode.
Prefocused
Live View
0.328 second
Time to capture from fully pressing shutter, using Live View mode. Prefocused with AF button. There was quite a bit of variation between trials in this mode, about 7%.

In terms of the E-620's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times, its speed is below average for a recent consumer SLR when using the optical viewfinder. The E-620 measured 0.298s in single-area AF mode at both wide-angle and telephoto. Continuous autofocus mode lag time was a bit slower at 0.324 second, and manual focus was slightly faster at about 0.290 second. When prefocused, shutter lag dropped to a very fast 0.073 second.

As expected, autofocus performance drops considerably in Live View mode. Full AF shutter lag in the default "Imager AF" (contrast-detect) mode is 2.7 seconds, much longer than even the slowest point & shoot digicam these days. Switching to "AF Sensor" (phase-detect) mode and holding down the AEL/AFL button while fully depressing the shutter release improved lag to 0.55 second, which is good for an SLR in Live View mode. Lag with "Hybrid AF" mode, which uses a combination of contrast-detect and phase-detect AF was 1.21 seconds, still very slow. Even prefocused, Live View shutter lag is a relatively pokey 0.33 second, independent of mode.

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Super Fine JPEG
0.82 second
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 2 seconds to clear. Cycle time varied quite a bit (29.7%) between iterations.
Single Shot mode
RAW
0.92 second
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 3 seconds to clear. Cycle time varied quite a bit (17.9%) between iterations.
Single Shot mode
RAW + LSF JPEG
1.97 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 5 seconds to clear. Cycle time varied quite a bit (34.6%) between iterations.
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.
Continuous High
Large Super Fine JPEG
0.26 second
(3.92 frames/sec);
5 frames total;
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 5 shots. Then slows to about 0.35 second per frame or 2.89 fps.
Continuous High
RAW
0.26 second
(3.92 frames/sec);
5 frames total;
3 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 5 shots. Then slows to about 0.75 second or 1.34 fps.
Continuous High
RAW+ LSF JPEG
0.25 seconds
(3.95 frames/sec);
4 frames total;
7 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 4 shots. Then slows to about 1.38 seconds or 0.73 fps.
Flash recycling
4.5 seconds
Flash at maximum output.
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme IV 16GB CompactFlash card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. Settings such as ISO sensitivity can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing JPEG cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Single-shot cycle time performance is below average for an SLR, at about 0.8 second between shots in best JPEG quality mode, 0.9 second in RAW and almost 2 seconds in RAW + JPEG mode. Continuous mode is about average for an enthusiast model at about 3.92 frames per second in for JPEG and RAW modes, and 3.95 frames per second for RAW + JPEG mode. Buffer depths were quite shallow though, at only 5 frames for JPEGs or RAW, and 4 frames for JPEG + RAW. Flash recycling after a full power shot is 4.5 seconds, which is a bit on the slow side for an SLR, especially one with a weak flash.

 

Download Speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
7,201 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
More than 770=USB 2.0 High

Download speeds were quite fast, fast enough that you probably won't feel the need for a separate card reader.


Bottom line, the Olympus E-620 is a bit slower than the average enthusiast's model, but still able to handle average family shots as well as some faster action.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery

Slightly below average battery life when using the optical viewfinder.

Test Conditions
Number of Shots
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery,
(CIPA standard)
500
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery,
Live View
unknown

The Olympus E-620 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and charger. The rated 500 shots per charge using the optical viewfinder is slightly below average for an SLR. Olympus doesn't publish battery life for Live View mode, but you can expect it to be a lot lower, so we recommend getting a second battery.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of on fully-charged battery, based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Olympus E-620 stores its photos on Compact Flash and/or xD memory cards, and no card is included with the camera. The table below shows average file size and capacity figures, as well as approximate compression ratios.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
1GB Memory Card
Super Fine Fine Normal Basic RAW RAW + LSF JPEG
4032 x 3024
Images
(Avg size)
109
9.4 MB
157
6.5 MB
337
3.0 MB
502
2.0 MB
58
17.7 MB
35
29.3 MB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 6:1 12:1 18:1 1:1 -
3200 x 2400
Images
(Avg size)
168
6.1 MB
269
3.8 MB
531
1.9 MB
787
1.3 MB
- -
Approx.
Compression
4:1 6:1 12:1 18:1 - -
2560 x 1920
Images
(Avg size)
283
3.6 MB
419
2.4 MB
828
1.2 MB
1,226
835 KB
- -
Approx.
Compression
4:1 6:1 12:1 18:1 - -
1600 x 1200
Images
(Avg size)
716
1.4 MB
1,045
980 KB
1,992
514 KB
2,898
353 KB
- -
Approx.
Compression
4:1 6:1 11:1 16:1 - -
1280 x 960
Images
(Avg size)
1,099
932 KB
1,594
642 KB
3,036
337 KB
4,250
241 KB
- -
Approx.
Compression
4:1 6:1 11:1 15:1 - -
1024 x 768
Images
(Avg size)
1,677
611 KB
2,452
418 KB
4,554
225 KB
6,376
161 KB
- -
Approx.
Compression
4:1 6:1 11:1 15:1 - -
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
3,985
257 KB
5,313
193 KB
9,108
112 KB
12,154
84 KB
- -
Approx.
Compression
4:1 5:1
8:1
11:1 - -

The Olympus E-620's images are pretty large. We strongly recommend buying a large capacity Compact Flash or xD-Picture card, at least a 2GB one, preferably a 4 or 8GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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