It might have PMA all to itself: First the good news. Olympus's new DSLR, the E-620, is a thoughtful evolution of its popular E-x10/20 series said to incorporate many of the ramped-up performance features of the fine mid-level E-30, for a mere entry-level price. It has an articulated viewing screen, two card slots, four different aspect ratios (including square!), and, as you can perhaps see better from this shot at fourthirdsuser.com, it's an unusually handsome little bugger, basically the size of the small E-420 with bolder, more finely judged features and, reportedly, a sturdier, more de luxe build. Furthermore, it is not crippled in the manner of all Canons and all Nikons, in that it has body-integral image stabilization, which we applaud. It's a very nice compact size, and only one pound. We're all for one-pound cameras. (The Japanese website betrays its target in the home market, showing the camera in a fru-fru white-and-red half-case and being caressed by female hands.)
Banner from the Olympus Japan website.
Who is this guy 'Art' and why does he have such awful taste? And now for the bad news. In a move sure to ratchet up the demand for cameras that don't shoot JPEGs at all, the new Olympus inherits from its recently-introduced bigger sibling six horrible "Art" Filters—the name a pox on the word—for those who want their cameras to add some strange quanta called Creativity to their photos automatically and effortlessly. And thoughtlessly, and arbitrarily, and idiotically, and.... Here at TOP we question the omission of the painting-on-black-velvet filter, the LeRoy-Neiman-acrylics-with-a-palette-knife filter, and the filter that makes the eyes of juvenile humans and pets ten times too big. Oh, Olympus—seat of the gods, home of the legendary Yoshihisa Maitani, lenscrafter par excellence—how you sully yourself, in a craven grovel to Mammon. We assume users can "just not use" the "Art" Filters, but the question is, does the camera emit any unpleasant odor just on account of they're in there? We'll have to await further reports. Oh, and the E-620 has face detection too, perfect for people who cannot tell in the tiny viewfinder which parts of the view are the humans. Bah and hum and bug to proliferating feature creep, which skips along on its merry meander from disease to pandemic.
There, now I feel better. Art Filters. Harrumph. Sounds like satire I wrote fifteen years ago.
Other than that, though, looks like it might turn out to be a nice little camera.
(Illustration: Hockey action shot with LeRoy Neiman Art Filter "On")
Featured Comment by mcananeya: "I wants."