posted on Dec 31, 2009 at 7:23AM
Head-2-Head Digital Camera Review: Olympus E-P1 vs. Olympus E-620
ConclusionBy Emily Raymond & Alex Burack
15-RD HEAD-2-HEAD BOUT: EDITOR'S SCORECARD | USER SCORECARD
The two digital cameras may share an image sensor, but they don’t share the same style or philosophy. The Olympus E-P1 goes for a more retro look and feel that is not only sexy but very convenient. The Olympus E-620 has a more traditionally styled body; it’s a DSLR that looks like a DSLR.
The E-P1 is a new category of camera – an interchangeable lens camera – that shares more in common with compact cameras than SLRs. Sure, they can both switch out lenses and they both pack plenty of manual controls, but the E-P1 offers peppier (and less accurate) colors that are more typical of compact models. The E-P1 also offers features like a constant LCD live view and extras like musical slide shows that are trademarks of compact cameras.
The Olympus E-620 keeps close to traditional DSLR styling. It has an optical viewfinder and a Four Thirds standard lens mount. It doesn’t have very many bells or whistles; its fanciest feature is its folding LCD monitor that allows photographers to shoot from all angles and still have a nice live view.
It’s hard to pick a clear winner between these two cameras. The E-P1 has better resolution, more dynamic range, and less noise. But the E-620 has a faster burst mode and more accurate colors.
The E-P1 costs a hundred dollars more than the $699 E-620, but does not include some of the accessories that make the camera stellar – my favorite being the pancake lens. That cute, tiny lens will put you back another $299. The E-P1’s Micro Four Thirds standard makes the camera very portable, but also means that it isn’t compatible with very many lenses because the standard is so new. You can purchase an adapter to attach Four Thirds lenses, but they make for really bulky handling and you lose the convenience of having a portable camera.
If you already have a collection of Olympus lenses, the E-620 is the safest choice between the two. But if you are looking for a compact camera with excellent performance and have a lot of money to spend on it, then the E-P1 can satisfy your glam cam craving.