Olympus E-620 vs Pentax Q
The Olympus E-620 and the Pentax Q are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2009 and June 2011. The E-620 is a DSLR, while the Pentax Q is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (E-620) and a 1/2.3-inch (Pentax Q) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 12 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Olympus E-620||Pentax Q|
|Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Four Thirds lenses||Pentax Q mount lenses|
|12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-3200||ISO 125-6400|
|Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|2.7" LCD, 230k dots||3.0" LCD, 460k dots|
|Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|4 shutter flaps per second||1.5 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|500 shots per battery charge||230 shots per battery charge|
|130 x 94 x 60 mm, 521 g||98 x 57 x 31 mm, 180 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus E-620 and the Pentax Q? 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: Olympus E-620 vs Pentax Q
The physical size and weight of the Olympus E-620 and the Pentax Q 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The Pentax Q can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the E-620 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax Q is considerably smaller (54 percent) than the Olympus E-620. Moreover, the Pentax Q is substantially lighter (65 percent) than the E-620. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-620 nor the Pentax Q 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Olympus E-620»||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Pentax Q«||3.9 in||2.2 in||1.2 in||6.3 oz||230||n||Jun 2011||649||-||Pentax Q|
|Olympus XZ-2« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||12.2 oz||340||n||Sep 2012||599||-||Olympus XZ-2|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||12.8 oz||280||n||Jan 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jun 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||11.8 oz||290||n||Feb 2010||599||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-450« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-600« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.9 oz||500||n||Aug 2009||449||-||Olympus E-600|
|Olympus E-P1« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Jun 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.4 in||12.5 oz||300||n||Nov 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-30« »||5.6 in||4.3 in||3.0 in||24.7 oz||750||n||Nov 2008||1,299||-||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2008||599||-||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Mar 2007||699||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||19.0 oz||750||n||Mar 2007||799||-||Olympus E-510|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 Pentax Q was somewhat cheaper (by 7 percent) than the E-620 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 Pentax Q
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-620 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Pentax Q a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the Pentax Q is 88 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
With 12.2MP, the E-620 offers a slightly higher resolution than the Pentax Q (12MP), but the E-620 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.29μm versus 1.53μm for the Pentax Q) due to its larger sensor. However, the Pentax Q is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 3 months) than the E-620, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The Olympus E-620 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax Q are ISO 125 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the E-620 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the Pentax Q (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 1.1 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Olympus E-620»||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.3||10.3||536||55||Olympus E-620|
|Pentax Q«||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/30p||20.2||11.1||189||47||Pentax Q|
|Olympus XZ-2« »||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.4||11.3||216||49||Olympus XZ-2|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-450« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.5||512||56||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-600« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.5||10.3||541||55||Olympus E-600|
|Olympus E-P1« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.4||505||56||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-30« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.3||10.4||530||55||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.4||527||56||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.4||10.4||548||55||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.1||10.0||494||51||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.2||10.0||442||52||Olympus E-510|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The Pentax Q indeed provides for movie recording, while the E-620 does not. The highest resolution format that the Pentax Q can use is 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Olympus E-620 vs Pentax Q
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 Pentax Q relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the Pentax Q can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the O-VF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus E-620, the Pentax Q, and comparable cameras.
|Olympus E-620»||optical||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-620|
|Pentax Q«||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.5||Y||Y||Pentax Q|
|Olympus XZ-2« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||1/2000s||5.0||Y||Y||Olympus XZ-2|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||Y||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||-||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-450« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-600« »||optical||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-600|
|Olympus E-P1« »||-||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||Y||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||-||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||Y||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-30« »||optical||Y||2.7||230||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||Y||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-510|
The Pentax Q has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The E-620 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards, while the Pentax Q uses SDXC cards. The E-620 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the Pentax Q only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Olympus E-620 vs Pentax Q
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 Pentax Q and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Olympus E-620»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-620|
|Pentax Q«||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Pentax Q|
|Olympus XZ-2« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus XZ-2|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-450« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-600« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-600|
|Olympus E-P1« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-30« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-510|
Both the E-620 and the Pentax Q have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-620 was replaced by the Olympus E-600, while the Pentax Q was followed by the Pentax Q10. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus and Pentax websites.
Review summary: Olympus E-620 vs Pentax Q
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-620 or the Pentax Q – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-620:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.1 bits more color depth).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- 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 shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 230) 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 available for much longer (launched in February 2009).
Arguments in favor of the Pentax Q:
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p 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).
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (98x57mm vs 130x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 341g or 65 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 3 months of technical progress since the E-620 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-620 emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 9 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-620 and the Pentax Q 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 Pentax Q in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
Expert reviews: Olympus E-620 vs Pentax Q
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
|Olympus E-620»||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||o||5/5||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Pentax Q«||-||-||4/5||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jun 2011||649||-||Pentax Q|
|Olympus XZ-2« »||+||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599||-||Olympus XZ-2|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||-||4/5||Jun 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||86/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Olympus E-450« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-600« »||-||-||-||-||4.5/5||Aug 2009||449||-||Olympus E-600|
|Olympus E-P1« »||+||66/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P1|
|Olympus E-P2« »||+||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2009||799||-||Olympus E-P2|
|Olympus E-30« »||-||71/100||4.5/5||-||4/5||Nov 2008||1,299||-||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||85/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599||-||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||87/100||+ +||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||86/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||89/100||+ +||3.5/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799||-||Olympus E-510|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Olympus E-620 vs Pentax Q
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 Model||Olympus E-620||Pentax Q|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||Pentax Q mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2009||June 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 649|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus E-620||Pentax Q|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4032 x 3024 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.29 μm||1.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.42 MP/cm2||42.74 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-3200 ISO||125-6400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||55||47|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.3||20.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.3||11.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||536||189|
|Screen Specs||Olympus E-620||Pentax Q|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.7 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus E-620||Pentax Q|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||1.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or XD cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus E-620||Pentax Q|
|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||Pentax Q|
|Battery Type||BLS-1 power pack||D-LI68 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||230 shots per charge|
130 x 94 x 60 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 2.4 in)
98 x 57 x 31 mm
(3.9 x 2.2 x 1.2 in)
|Camera Weight||521 g (18.4 oz)||180 g (6.3 oz)|
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