Aspect Ratios

As well as 4:3, you can choose to shoot in 3:2.16:9 and 6:6 aspect ratios

The past year or so has seen the Four Z£d Thirds system go through something of a renaissance. First, the announcement of the Micro Four Thirds format hammered the original Four Thirds concept that little bit deeper, shortly followed by the arrival of its first contender, the Panasonic G1. Not content with this, the company's GH-1 model soon arrived with HD video capture, signalling that this particular system - at least for the time being - had Panasonic in the driving seat.

Olympus may have been a little slower getting off the Micro Four Thirds mark, with just a prototype announced to date, but the arrival of three new Four Thirds models in as many months at least dispelled any fears it would abandon the original system. Crucially it had plugged the mid-range market with the E-30, providing a bridge between its entry-level and professional models, while the introduction of the E-450 refreshed the former series. It was, however, the E-620 which has caused considerable interest, with its feature set seemingly blending the best of both ends of the spectrum. But in such a challenging climate, and with the Micro Four Thirds system promising much, does the E-620's introduction have any relevance?

JPEG options. The sensor is fronted by a Supersonic Wave Filter, part of Olympus's dust reduction technology, and is complemented by an image-stabilisation system that claims to offer up to four extra EV stops of usable shutter speeds past what's usually possible.

As with the recent E-450, the E-620 hosts an upgraded version of Olympus's TruePic III processing engine. The TruePic III+ processor provides images with 'natural colour, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal expression, while lowering noise at higher ISOs'. Its other responsibilities concern the live view system, and a 4fps burst rate, which is maintained for up to five Raw images.

In line with the more expensive E-30, the camera's sensitivity now encompasses a range of ISO 100-3200, which, while hardly class-leading, should be capable in most conditions. Another trait the two models share is the 2.7in LCD screen, which may be pulled away from the body and adjusted around an angle of 270°, though the E-620 does feature a different type of HyperCrystal Technology from the E-30. In any case, this LCD is one of the camera's headline features, and will no doubt be a huge draw for those wishing for the flexibility of an articulated LCD screen, but not wanting to stretch to the E-30.

Unfortunately, this similarity doesn't extend to the E-30's 11-point AF system, although the E-620's system is still a radical improvement on those in Olympus's previous models. The system sees five cross-type points along the horizontal joined by a point each above and below these, making a total of seven. Autofocusing is also supported in live view by a trio of options: Hybrid AF, Sensor AF and Imager AF (explained in more detail on p77).

Impressively, the camera goes on to offer a number of features usually reserved for professionally-oriented bodies. AF calibration »

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