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Olympus E-620 vs E-PL2

The Olympus E-620 and the Olympus PEN E-PL2 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2009 and January 2011. The E-620 is a DSLR, while the E-PL2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12.2 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-620
versus
Olympus E-PL2
Olympus E-620   Olympus E-PL2
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
12.2 MP – Four Thirds sensor 12.2 MP – Four Thirds sensor
no Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 200-6,400
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.7" LCD – 230k dots 2.7" LCD – 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
500 shots per battery charge280 shots per battery charge
130 x 94 x 60 mm, 521 g 114 x 72 x 42 mm, 362 g
Olympus E-620:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-PL2:
Check Ebay offers

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus E-620 and the Olympus PEN E-PL2? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Olympus E-620 and the Olympus E-PL2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-PL2 can be obtained in four different colors (black, silver, red, white), while the E-620 is only available in black.

Size Olympus E-620 vs Olympus E-PL2
Compare E-620 versus E-PL2 top
Comparison E-620 or E-PL2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PL2 is considerably smaller (33 percent) than the Olympus E-620. Moreover, the E-PL2 is markedly lighter (31 percent) than the E-620. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-620 nor the E-PL2 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. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-620) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-PL2). Mirrorless cameras, such as the E-PL2, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the E-620 gets 500 shots out of its BLS-1 battery, while the E-PL2 can take 280 images on a single charge of its BLS-5 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699i
2.
 
Olympus E-PL2 114 mm 72 mm 42 mm 362 g 280 n Jan 2011 599i
3.
 
Olympus E-P3 122 mm 69 mm 34 mm 369 g 330 n Jun 2011 799i
4.
 
Olympus E-PL3 110 mm 64 mm 37 mm 313 g 300 n Jun 2011 599i
5.
 
Olympus E-PL1 115 mm 72 mm 42 mm 334 g 290 n Feb 2010 599i
6.
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499i
7.
 
Olympus E-600 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 535 g 500 n Aug 2009 449i
8.
 
Olympus E-P1 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Jun 2009 799i
9.
 
Olympus E-P2 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Nov 2009 799i
10.
 
Olympus E-30 142 mm 108 mm 75 mm 701 g 750 n Nov 2008 1,299i
11.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599i
12.
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699i
13.
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699i
14.
 
Olympus E-510 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 538 g 750 n Mar 2007 799i
15.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The E-PL2 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the E-620, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to 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.

Technology-wise, the E-PL2 uses a more advanced image processing engine (Truepic V) than the E-620 (TruePic III+), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Olympus E-620 and Olympus E-PL2 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 12.2 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the E-620 and the E-PL2 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the E-PL2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the E-620, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Olympus E-620 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-PL2 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

E-620 versus E-PL2 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.353655
2.
 
Olympus E-PL2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.257355
3.
 
Olympus E-P3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.810.153651
4.
 
Olympus E-PL3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952
5.
 
Olympus E-PL1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.148754
6.
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.551256
7.
 
Olympus E-600 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.510.354155
8.
 
Olympus E-P1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.453655
9.
 
Olympus E-P2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.450556
10.
 
Olympus E-30 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.453055
11.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
12.
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
13.
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
14.
 
Olympus E-510 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.210.044252
15.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The E-PL2 indeed provides for movie recording, while the E-620 does not. The highest resolution format that the E-PL2 can use is 720/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-620 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-PL2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the E-PL2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-620 and Olympus E-PL2 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Olympus E-620optical n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Olympus E-PL2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Olympus E-P3optional n3.0 / 614 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.0/s Y Y
4.
 
Olympus E-PL3optional n3.0 / 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5/s n Y
5.
 
Olympus E-PL1optional n2.7 / 230 fixed n 1/2000s 3.0/s Y Y
6.
 
Olympus E-450optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
7.
 
Olympus E-600optical n2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Olympus E-P1none n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s n Y
9.
 
Olympus E-P2optional n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s n Y
10.
 
Olympus E-30optical Y2.7 / 230 swivel n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Olympus E-420optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
12.
 
Olympus E-520optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y Y
13.
 
Olympus E-410optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Olympus E-510optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y Y
15.
 
Panasonic G10202 n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.
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-PL2 does not have a selfie-screen.

The E-620 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards, while the E-PL2 uses SDHC cards. The E-620 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the E-PL2 only has one slot.

Connectivity comparison

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 PEN E-PL2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Olympus E-620Y- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-PL2Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
3.
 
Olympus E-P3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
4.
 
Olympus E-PL3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
5.
 
Olympus E-PL1Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
6.
 
Olympus E-450Y- / ----2.0---
7.
 
Olympus E-600Y- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Olympus E-P1Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
9.
 
Olympus E-P2Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
10.
 
Olympus E-30Y- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Olympus E-420Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Olympus E-520Y- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-410Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-510Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono / ---mini2.0---

Both the E-620 and the E-PL2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-620 was replaced by the Olympus E-600, while the E-PL2 was followed by the Olympus E-PL3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-620 or the Olympus E-PL2 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Olympus E-620:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a 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 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 280) on a single battery charge.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2009).


Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL2:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (Truepic V vs TruePic III+).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (114x72mm vs 130x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 159g or 31 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 10 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-PL2 emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

E-620 07:09 E-PL2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-620 and the Olympus E-PL2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the E-620 and the E-PL2 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

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-6203/588/100..72/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2009 699i
2.
 
Olympus E-PL23/583/100..71/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599i
3.
 
Olympus E-P3..83/100..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2011 799i
4.
 
Olympus E-PL33/5+ +..72/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599i
5.
 
Olympus E-PL1..86/100..69/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599i
6.
 
Olympus E-450........4/54/5 Mar 2009 499i
7.
 
Olympus E-600..........4.5/5 Aug 2009 449i
8.
 
Olympus E-P1..+..66/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2009 799i
9.
 
Olympus E-P23/5+..69/1004/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799i
10.
 
Olympus E-30......71/1004.5/54/5 Nov 2008 1,299i
11.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
12.
 
Olympus E-520..87/100..+ +4.5/54.5/5 May 2008 699i
13.
 
Olympus E-410..86/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
14.
 
Olympus E-510..89/100..+ +3.5/54.5/5 Mar 2007 799i
15.
 
Panasonic G103/5....70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Olympus E-620:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-PL2:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. 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-PL2

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Olympus E-620 Olympus E-PL2
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date February 2009 January 2011
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-620 Olympus E-PL2
    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
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4032 x 3024 pixels 4032 x 3024 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.29 μm 4.29 μm
    Pixel Density 5.42 MP/cm2 5.42 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 200 - 6,400 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic III+ Truepic V
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.3 21.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.3 10.2
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 536 573
    Screen Specs Olympus E-620 Olympus E-PL2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.48x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-620 Olympus E-PL2
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 4 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF or XD cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Olympus E-620 Olympus E-PL2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Olympus E-620 Olympus E-PL2
    Battery Type BLS-1 BLS-5
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge280 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 94 x 60 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 2.4 in)
    114 x 72 x 42 mm
    (4.5 x 2.8 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 521 g (18.4 oz) 362 g (12.8 oz)
    Olympus E-620:
    Check Ebay offers
    Olympus E-PL2:
    Check Ebay offers

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