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oman321 May 28, 2009 3:20 PM

Olympus E620 or Sony A300/330
I have been looking at different entry level DSLR's and had pretty much narrowed it down to the Sony 300 or the new Sony 330. I was pretty much just waiting for the 330 to be released so I could check it out in person. However, I have recently come accross the Olympus E620 which seems to be a very comparable unit which offers many of the same features that I like about the Sony and then a little extra.

E620 has a swiveling LCD screen vs. a tilting screen on the Sony's.
E620 also has 12.3MP vs. 10.2MP on the Sony's
E620 does 4FPS vs 3FPS for the 300 and 2.5FPS for the 330.
The E620 also retains the AEL button which sony appears to be losing on their new unit.

They both have IS built into the body (which I really like), both offer ISO up to 3200. Both are suppossed to be nice cameras for newbies (like me:rolleyes:).

The other thing I have noticed from some research is that the lens' from the 2 lens kit from Olympus are supposed to be pretty nice where as the A300 kit lens or 2 lens kit are pretty mediocre. From early reports the new kit lens' from the Sony 330 are supposed to be nicer but no one can really say for sure just yet.

What to do, what to do. I tried looking at the Olympus part of the forum and didn't really find anything on the E620 (does that tell me everything right there?) What does everyone say?

mtclimber May 28, 2009 3:44 PM

If "Live View" is a real priority for you, then the Sony A-300/A-330 is robably the better choice. However, if "Live View" is not a high priority, then the E-620 is a good choice.

Keep in mind that Olympus on 06/16 will introduce their Micro4/3 camera which will compete with the Panasonic G-1/GH-1 cameras.

Sarah Joyce

oman321 May 28, 2009 4:47 PM

Well Live View is a feature that I desire in which ever model I go with, to me it will add that much more functionality and why the E620 is a contender. From the description it seems that the E620 has a pretty nice and versatile Live View system.

Description from Amazon:
"Swivel Live View LCD: Freedom to Move You
The new camera’s 100 percent accurate 270 degree swivel 2.7-inch Live View HyperCrystal III LCD can be rotated freely so photographers can compose at any angle, including overhead and down low, without getting bent out of shape. This enables an E-620 photographer to compose a subject in the Live View LCD and see the results of the various creative features--live as they’re happening.

When viewing the LCD in Live View, settings like white balance and exposure can also be selected, and their impact is seen instantly on the display. Real-time monitoring offers amazing versatility and creative control. The LCD displays 230,000 pixels in vivid color and includes HyperCrystal technology, which offers many times the contrast of conventional LCD monitors for easier viewing in both preview and playback. It also provides a wide viewing angle of 176 degrees, which ensures images can be composed from even the most obscure angles."

I know that the Sony uses a mirror tilt system which makes the live view activate quicker and can use Auto Focus vs. Contrast Focus of most other live view systems if my recollection serves me right. Is this why you say that the Sony has the advantage in the live view area.

I appreciate your input Sarah, thanks.

zig-123 May 28, 2009 5:25 PM

a couple of suggestions

For reasons I can't explain, there aren't a lot of Olympus dslr users that have upgraded to the E-620 at Steve's. There are quite a number of people over at DPreview who , in fact, have the E-620 and regularly post there. Here is a link:

Also, looks like you're located in Massachusetts. Hunt's Photo is supposed to be stocking the E-620 in a number of their locations. They have stores in Boston, Melrose, Cambridge and Hadley, MA (BTW, I don't have any affiliation with Hunt's- I just live in Massachusetts as well)

My suggestion would be go and try out both the E-620 and the Sony 300/330dslrs. Bring along a couple of memory cards with you and try the cameras out, see how each feels in the hand, where are the controls, is the user interface intuitive, play with the live view. Is the viewfinder large enough for you to comfortably see the subject . I would also take a bunch of photos and bring the cards home to evaluate on your PC.

Frankly, I think most all of the entry level cameras today have more than enough features and provide good image quality for the average person starting out. But, I would also suggest you sit down and think through what it is that you want to photograph. Landscape, sunsets, waterscenes, friends and family? Or do you plan on photographing a lot of sports, low light stuff, macro, wildlife.

Evaluating what it is your shooting will help to steer you in the right direction.

Hope this helps.

oman321 May 28, 2009 6:12 PM

Definately zig-123,

Thanks for the input. I will try and do what you suggest. As far as what I would like to shoot I would say that it ranges from family vacations & events, kids sports, landscapes, sunsets/sky, and nightsky. My brother is getting into carshows so I wanna be able to get some nice shots of his vehicles also. Looking foward to developing my skills with this renewed interest, just need to get the right piece of equipment to start off with. Thanks again.

BTW I'm in the South Shore off the RT. 24 area.

zig-123 May 28, 2009 7:11 PM

so far the different types of photography sounds pretty normal and pretty much covers what most of us would like to be able to capture. The E-620 has a frame rate of 4fps and has a much improved 7point AF system that should be able to let you take action shots of the kids playing their favorite sports. As far as carshows, boat shows, etc. the built in flash should help you get sharper images when it's used as a fill flash-but if that's not possible, the E620 does appear to perform better in low light and high ISO situations.

I live on the Cape and the one thing that's frustrating is that there aren't a lot of stores carrying the Olympus dslr product line. That's why the Hunt's Photo suggestion as they are advertising that they have the camera in stock. Another camera shop to look at is Zeff Photo Supply, located in Belmont on the Cambridge line. I bought my first Olympus dslr there.

I can't over emphasize the importance of your physically handling the cameras you're interested in-especially if it's your first DSLR. Everyone has a different idea of what feels comfortable in their hands. The user interface, button layout, and viewfinder are also important. It won't matter how good a camera you have , if you don't like to use it because it's too big or small, or it's too confusing-you'll be unhappy.

good luck on your hunt and whichever system you finally decide to purchase, read the manual, take lots of pictures, and have loads of fun!!

BTW, Hunt's also has a store in Providence RI. Probably closest to you.

mtclimber May 28, 2009 8:44 PM

It is just my opinion, but I honestly believe that the Sony A-300/A-330 will serve you better, based on your reliance on "Live View."

Sarah Joyce

Photo 5 May 28, 2009 8:49 PM

Tested the A350 this past week and the line view is useless in the sun or bright conditions as you can't see the image on the screen. I had to be inside in a non well lite area to make it work (be able to clearly see the images). Even cupping the LCD screen/view finder with my free hand didn't help much. The A350 certainly isn't anti-glare. Did not get to test the A300.


mtngal May 28, 2009 10:26 PM

Best thing to do is actually try the cameras. The smaller sensor on the Oly will mean that it will be harder to get a really wide angle lens, and that's something you will find useful for car shows, especially if it's one where the cars are parked close to each other or its crowded. That would give an advantage to the Sony. However, the smaller viewfinder on the A300/A350 would drive me nuts - I'd prefer the A200 if I were to go with the Sony line (I don't own either of these cameras - I shoot Pentax).

TCav May 29, 2009 4:03 AM

What do you want to shoot?

Sony has a better autofocus system that the Olympus and has better high ISO performance. True, the current kit lens isn't very good, but Sony has a better selection of lenses than Olympus, and while some of Sony's lenses can be pretty expensive, except for Olympus' two kit lenses, all of Olympus' lenses are pretty expensive. Also, the Sony can use all those older Minolta A-Mount lenses that are available on the used market. The Olympus has nothing like that resource for you to draw upon.

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