Olympus adds the E-600 to its beginner-friendly DSLR lineup this morning. With a 2.7 inch swiveling LCD, three in-camera art filters, and a 12.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor, there's a lot here that a first-time DSLR user would like - including the $600 price tag. Olympus brings their current generation TruePic III+ image processor and a host of other features to keep the E-600 competitive in the ever-crowding entry-level DSLR market.
The E-600 occupies the same camera body as the E-620, but Olympus brings the E-600 in just below the 620 in terms of advanced features and price. The $700 E-620 offers six art filters to the E-600's three, which include pop art, soft focus and pin hole. The extra cost of the E-620 also means it has illuminated buttons and the ability to change aspect ratio of images where the E-600 doesn't.
Both the E-600 and E-620 feature a 2.7 inch LCD with a 230k dot resolution and 270 degrees of rotation for lining up tricky shots. An optical viewfinder sits atop the camera body, and continuous shooting is available with a top speed of 4 fps.
The Olympus E-600 will offer in-body image stabilization. Smaller and lower-priced SLRs in the Olympus lineup aren't equipped with an advanced image stabilization system, so Olympus is calling the E-600 their smallest model will a built-in stabilization mechanism.
A helpful feature that Olympus has included in the E-600 (and existing cameras like the E-P1) is the live thumbnail preview function. Users can take a look at the effects of different settings of a live scene by previewing four thumbnails on the LCD. For example, this function will display a preview of four different white balance settings and allow the user to choose the best one before capturing a shot.
The E-600 will record images to either an xD picture card or CompactFlash cards Type I and II and is UDMA compatible.
Overall, the E-600 sacrifices a couple of features you could pay more for in the E-620, but it offers a nice alternative at a very attractive price point.
Pricing and availability
The E-600 will be available for the holiday shopping season and is set to hit store shelves in early November. A kit with ED 14-42mm f/3.5 lens will retail for $599.99.