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Olympus E-620 vs E-520

The Olympus E-620 and the Olympus E-520 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2009 and May 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The E-620 has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the E-520 provides 10 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.


Headline Specifications
Olympus E-620   Olympus E-520
Olympus E-620 Olympus E-520
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Four Thirds lenses Four Thirds lenses
12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-3200 ISO 100-1600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.7" LCD, 230k dots 2.7" LCD, 215k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
500 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
130 x 94 x 60 mm, 521 g 136 x 92 x 68 mm, 535 g

Body comparison: Olympus E-620 vs E-520

The physical size and weight of the Olympus E-620 and the Olympus E-520 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the E-620 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Olympus E-620 and Olympus E-520
Compare E-620 versus E-520 top
Compare E-620 or E-520 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-520 is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Olympus E-620. Moreover, the E-520 is slightly heavier (3 percent) than the E-620. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-620 nor the E-520 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the E-620 gets 500 shots out of its BLS-1 battery, while the E-520 can take 750 images on a single charge of its BLM-1 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Olympus E-620» 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.4 in 18.4 oz 500 n Feb 2009 699- i Olympus E-620
Olympus E-520« 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 18.9 oz 750 n May 2008 699- i Olympus E-520
Olympus E-PL1« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 11.8 oz 290 n Feb 2010 599- i Olympus E-PL1
Olympus E-450« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450
Olympus E-600« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.4 in 18.9 oz 500 n Aug 2009 449- i Olympus E-600
Olympus E-P1« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 12.5 oz 300 n Jun 2009 799- i Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« » 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 12.5 oz 300 n Nov 2009 799- i Olympus E-P2
Olympus E-30« » 5.6 in 4.3 in 3.0 in 24.7 oz 750 n Nov 2008 1,299- i Olympus E-30
Olympus E-420« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2008 599- i Olympus E-420
Olympus E-410« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
Olympus E-510« » 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 19.0 oz 750 n Mar 2007 799- i Olympus E-510

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Olympus E-620 vs E-520

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

In terms of chip-set technology, the E-620 uses a more advanced image processing engine (TruePic III+) than the E-520 (TruePic III), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Olympus E-620 and Olympus E-520 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-620 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the E-520. This megapixels advantage translates into a 11 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the E-620 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.29μm versus 4.74μm for the E-520). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the E-620 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the E-520, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The Olympus E-620 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-520 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).

E-620 versus E-520 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Olympus E-620» Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.353655Olympus E-620
Olympus E-520« Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.410.454855Olympus E-520
Olympus E-PL1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.148754Olympus E-PL1
Olympus E-450« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.551256Olympus E-450
Olympus E-600« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.510.354155Olympus E-600
Olympus E-P1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.453655Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.450556Olympus E-P2
Olympus E-30« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.453055Olympus E-30
Olympus E-420« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.452756Olympus E-420
Olympus E-410« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.110.049451Olympus E-410
Olympus E-510« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.210.044252Olympus E-510
Both the E-620 and the E-520 offer Live View, so that they make it possible to use the rear screen for framing. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Olympus E-620 vs E-520

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The E-620 and the E-520 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus E-620 and Olympus E-520 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Olympus E-620»optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y Y Olympus E-620
Olympus E-520«optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y Y Olympus E-520
Olympus E-PL1« »- n 2.7 230 fixed n 2000 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-PL1
Olympus E-450« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Olympus E-450
Olympus E-600« »optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y Y Olympus E-600
Olympus E-P1« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 n Y Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 n Y Olympus E-P2
Olympus E-30« »optical Y 2.7 230 swivel n 8000 5.0 Y Y Olympus E-30
Olympus E-420« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n Olympus E-420
Olympus E-410« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Olympus E-410
Olympus E-510« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y Y Olympus E-510
The E-620 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the E-520 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the E-620 and the E-520 write their files to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

Connectivity comparison: Olympus E-620 vs E-520

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Olympus E-620 and Olympus E-520 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Olympus E-620»Y-----2.0---Olympus E-620
Olympus E-520«Y-----2.0---Olympus E-520
Olympus E-PL1« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL1
Olympus E-450« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-450
Olympus E-600« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-600
Olympus E-P1« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-P2
Olympus E-30« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-30
Olympus E-420« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-420
Olympus E-410« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-410
Olympus E-510« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-510

Both the E-620 and the E-520 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-620 was replaced by the Olympus E-600, while the E-520 does not have a direct successor.


Review summary: Olympus E-620 vs E-520

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Olympus E-620 better than the Olympus E-520 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-620:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 10MP) with a 11% higher linear resolution.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (TruePic III+ vs TruePic III).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 9 months after the E-520).


Advantages of the Olympus E-520:

  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2008).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-620 is the clear winner of the match-up (6 : 2 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

E-620 06:02 E-520

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the E-620 and the E-520 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Olympus E-620 vs E-520

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Olympus E-620»88/10072/1004.5/5rev5/5 Feb 2009 699- i Olympus E-620
Olympus E-520«87/100HiRec4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699- i Olympus E-520
Olympus E-PL1« »86/10069/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599- i Olympus E-PL1
Olympus E-450« »--4/5-4/5 Mar 2009 499- i Olympus E-450
Olympus E-600« »----4.5/5 Aug 2009 449- i Olympus E-600
Olympus E-P1« »Rec66/1004/54/54.5/5 Jun 2009 799- i Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« »Rec69/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799- i Olympus E-P2
Olympus E-30« »-71/1004.5/5-4/5 Nov 2008 1,299- i Olympus E-30
Olympus E-420« »85/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2008 599- i Olympus E-420
Olympus E-410« »86/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
Olympus E-510« »89/100HiRec3.5/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2007 799- i Olympus E-510

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Olympus E-620 vs Olympus E-520

    Camera and Lens Specs
    Camera Model Olympus E-620 Olympus E-520
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Four Thirds lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date February 2009 May 2008
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 699
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    MP Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4032 x 3024 pixels 3648 x 2736 pixels
    Pixel Size 4.29 μm 4.74 μm
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-3200 ISO 100-1600 ISO
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Rear LCD Size 2.7 inch 2.7 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 4 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF or XD cards CF or XD cards
    Connectivity Specs
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BLS-1 power pack BLM-1 power pack
    Battery Life500 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 94 x 60 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 2.4 in)
    136 x 92 x 68 mm
    (5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
    Camera Weight 521 g (18.4 oz) 535 g (18.9 oz)

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