posted on Dec 31, 2009 at 7:23AM
Head-2-Head Digital Camera Review: Olympus E-P1 vs. Olympus E-620
Exposure Modes and OptionsBy Emily Raymond & Alex Burack
The two digital cameras have a great selection of exposure modes; both offer Manual, Priority, Program, and Auto modes along with a few scene modes and art filters.
The cameras have the same shutter speed range from 60 seconds to 1/4000th of a second, and a bulb option up to 30 minutes. Both cameras also have the same five metering options: digital ESP (multi), center-weighted, spot, spot (highlight), and spot (shadow).
The Olympuses differ in their ISO ranges. Both flaunt their amazing low light performance, but the E-P1 is the winner when it comes to having the highest ISO. Its range reaches 6400, while the E-620 stops at 3200. Both have their lowest ISO at 100.
Both cameras have a host of art filters available from the mode dial: Grainy Film, Pop Art, Pale, Light Color, Soft Focus, and Pin Hole. These are fun to play with as a replacement to playing with pictures in editing software. If you want crazy effects straight out of the camera, these will conveniently satisfy that urge. Below is an image shot with the E-P1’s Grainy Film filter:
Indeed, these filters are more for fun than anything else; the resolution certainly suffers in images like these (although you can shoot RAW + JPEG and manipulate the RAW file in software later).
There is also a multiple exposure mode available on both cameras, but it isn’t as easy to find as the art filters: it’s in the menu system. The mode can combine two images into one file instantly (with a little wait time, of course), or it can combine up to three shots in the playback mode.
Of note is the Olympus E-P1’s ability to record HD video. Its Motion JPEG files record 1280 x 720 pixels for up to 2GB at a time. That translates to about seven minutes on an SD card, so this isn’t made for recording entire ballet recitals (although it’d be great because of the low light performance). The E-P1 also records stereo audio files, so it can act as a voice recording device.
All in all, the two cameras have the same manual and scene modes and art filters. The E-P1 differs in that it has an extra ISO setting and HD video capability, so we’re giving it the prize in this section.