Olympus SP-620UZ review

Budget priced 21x superzoom suitable for beginners and the broke

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Olympus sp 620uz review

The Olympus SP-620UZ is an autofocus, auto everything camera, deploying contrast detection AF (as opposed to phase detection), plus face detection and AF tracking.

Ease of use extends to a built-in help manual accessed via a '?' button on the backplate, and, in theory a command pad-come-scroll wheel that should enable faster function access and implementation. In use its sensitivity to the slightest touch made it extremely fiddly to use. Often we'd jump two or three settings at a time, and had to toggle back and forth to magically alight on what we wanted.

Olympus sp 620uz review

The Olympus SP-620UZ is reasonably swift to power up from cold - it's ready for action in two seconds or so with a press of the top-mounted power button.

Located at the top of the handgrip, the positioning of this button also caused handling problems, since it can accidentally fall under your fingers as you're trying to slide open the cover for the battery and SD card compartment at the base using a thumb.

Olympus sp 620uz review

The result is that we found the camera activating at the very time we were trying to remove the (optional) media card.

With the expected ability to capture HD video clips, albeit here at the lesser 1280 x 720 pixels, there is dedicated thumb-activated record button provided.

Olympus sp 620uz review

Sound is mono rather than the stereo of pricier rivals, though, and if you want to use the optical zoom and capture audio at the same time, you can't. It's one or the other, which is disappointing. The only fallback option is a digital zoom for video with sound.

In terms of build quality, the Olympus SP-620UZ feels plasticky yet tough enough to withstand the odd knock. We did have an issue with the cover for the batteries needing to be pressed down quite hard to shut it, because the batteries tend to stand proud of their holding tubes. With prolonged use we can see the catch here weakened.

Olympus sp 620uz review

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedAA
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilySP
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedEye-Fi Card, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Optical Zoom21x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesLive View, Self-timer, Pet Detection, Face Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)435 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height74.3 mm
Width109.7 mm
Depth73.7 mm
Product SeriesSP
Focal Length4.50 mm to 94.50 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
External FlashNo
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelSP-620UZ
Product NameSP-620UZ Compact Camera
Exposure Control

Program Automatic

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV103040BE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

More than ten years ago, with its first SP Ultra Zoom (UZ) camera, Olympus laid down a marker for first-class specifications, versatility and sheer telephoto performance. On the evidence of the latest editions to the Traveller family, in this specialist segment they remain the cameras to beat. The powerful optics are all the more impressive given the modest dimensions. In fact, they take up most of the camera, especially on the SP-620UZ, which is incredibly slender and light for a camera of this zoom potential. It comes equipped with a 21x wide-angle optical zoom lens (25-525mm). In addition to close-quarter wide angles, expansive panoramas and nose-to-nose close-ups, this lens gives you the flexibility to experiment with intermediate zoom settings - from portraits to still lifes and holiday movies in 720p HD. Image quality is excellent on this camera, thanks in part to the 16-Megapixel CCD and Dual Image Stabilisation. You can look forward to radiant colours, low noise and razor-sharp edges. Blur is conspicuous only by its absence.

Package Contents
  • SP-620UZ Compact Camera
  • 4 x AA Batteries
  • Lens Cap
  • Hand Strap
  • CB-USB6 USB Cable
  • CB-AVC3 Audio/Video Cable
  • Instruction Manual
  • World Wide Warranty Card
  • Software Media
Limited Warranty2 Year