updated 08:20 am EDT, Mon August 31, 2009
Olympus this morning took the wraps from a new entry-level digital SLR that should help it fight rivals like the Nikon D3000. The E-600 is very similar to the 12-megapixel E-620 but makes key choices to drop the price: it removes the backlighting from the buttons and scales back a handful of software features, including the aspect mask control, a double-shot exposure mode. Half the art filters have also been removed and limit the E-600 to three of the live visual effects.
Outside of these changes, the Four Thirds camera is virtually identical to the more expensive model and has a swiveling 2.7-inch LCD, 7-point autofocusing, ISO sensitivity between 100 and 3,200 and continuous shooting of 4 frames per second. Image stabilization is built into the body, and photographers can load either CompactFlash or xD cards for storage.
The E-600 should cost just $600 in a kit with a 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 lens, or about $100 less than an E-620 with the same optics. Shipments don't start until November.