Olympus SP-620UZ review

Budget priced 21x superzoom suitable for beginners and the broke

TODO alt text

Olympus sp 620uz

In summation, the Olympus SP-620UZ is a simple to use value for money superzoom with modest aspirations but a decent performance. In some respects it betters more ambitions models - we were able to achieve sharp results handheld at extreme tele setting, for example - something we struggled to do with the likes of Fuji's premium X-S1.

The likes of Magic Filters, 3D mode (if you own a compatible 3D TV to replay the MPO files) and simple but effective panorama mode make things a bit more interesting than your regular bridge camera, too.

The lack of manual features, the fact that the optical zoom can't be used for video if you want to simultaneously capture sound, its plasticky build, lack of viewfinder, omission of hotshoe and potentially useful dedicated controls for more experienced photographers betray its budget status.

But for the price, which is bound to settle at around £150 in the UK market and $160 or so in the US, it's hard to ask for a great deal more.

We liked

The Olympus SP-620UZ's broader than average zoom range and an interesting smattering of extras such as 3D mode, Magic Filters and even 14fps sequential shooting belie the asking price.

It's easy to use and its stripped-down appearance and layout won't scare anyone off.

We disliked

It's poor that the optical zoom can't be used and sound recorded at the same time, since the zoom is the chief selling point here, and HD video is a feature that everyone now expects on even a budget camera.

We also had frustrations with aspects of the build, such as the overly sensitive scroll wheel plus stiff and plasticky battery compartment cover.

Final verdict

The Olympus SP-620UZ is an entry-level superzoom with modest ambition, but fortunately a low(ish) price that suggests anyone purchasing won't feel they are taking a big risk. The all-encompassing lens reach may not match pricier cameras, but it remains at a level with which it is practical to shoot handheld and still get sharp results.

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