Micro 4/3 Olympus e-620 or Pentax k-x or k-r or k20d


Jul 2, 2011
Hi. I have narrowed down my search to 3 cameras that I think will fit my budget. Just as an aside I do not mind getting somewhat "older" model cameras. This is a new hobby for me and will basically be an add-on or continuation of other hobbies I have such as hiking, birding, nature, etc. I will use the camera for casual nature photography of birds, nature and maybe eventually some macro. I know that you usually need giant telephoto for bird photography but I am doing this for fun and probably won't have the budget for some of the expensive telezooms. I am not a professional, just someone who enjoys taking pictures. Out of these 3 cameras what are the advantages/disadvantages for each for the type of photography I will be doing:

1. Olympus E-620. (like the 2x multiplier for lenses)
2. Pentax k-x or k-r with 55-300 lens. (like the quality I have seen on some sites from this lens and size of these cameras).
3. Pentax k20d with 55-300 lens (like the weather sealing).

I tried using an E-PL1 in the past and while I liked it for other things I had trouble with the autofocus being a little slow for wildlife/nature. Any input welcome. Thanks!



Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
The 55-300 does not have weather sealing, and because its a big zoom there will always be a risk of water/dust getting in via suction. If you plan buy the K20D to go to dusty or wet environments, you need a DA* lens or the WR lenses. I bought the 18-55 and 50-200WRs for those days when I really *must* take photos and its raining.


Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
My daughter has the Olympus E-620 and is very happy with it, though her photographs are of people - and usually people on the move, though sometimes they're still.

I wish I could tell you more about the E-620. I believe I know someone who can, and I'll send them a private message to ask for some input here for you - Armando are you listening?

As for the Pentax, perhaps our friend Mark AKA Stillshunter can add some input too?


Jul 2, 2011
I forgot to mention that I would sometimes be using the camera in a boat where water could get splashed on it although I am not sure how often that would be. That was why I had thought about weather sealing. Of course, as mentioned, if the lens isn't sealed I guess it doesn't make a lot of difference if the body isn't!:)
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Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
Houston, Texas
Welcome to the forum Buffy. And thanks for the PM BB!

I used to have an E620, and it's a nice little camera. It's not weatherproof though. But the construction is still pretty sturdy and it can take a small beating. Olympus makes many high quality lenses that are weatherproof. Some are actually pretty affordable (relatively speaking). For birding use, Olympus has a 70-300/4-5.6 lens (~$400 new). The AF can be a bit slow though. To capture birds in flight, you would likely have to pre-focus. Also, it's a slow lens. So you will also likely have to use higher ISO's in order to keep the shutter speed high enough to capture birds on the move.

Oly makes a very very good 50-200/2.8-3.5. Some would say that it's not long enough for birding though. The second version of the 50-200 has the supersonic wave motor. So the AF is very fast. It's also a weatherproof lens. Unfortunately, the price is steep. I saw an used one retail for $850 at KEH.com.

I have no experience with any of the Pentax cameras you mentioned.

Hope this helps!


Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
Hi Karen,

Welcome to the Forum. A great place this and one where you'll get frank and earnest advice from unpretentious folks.

I've meandered through many a camera body and platform before settling on Pentax as my favoured dSLR. Nikon I found pretty vanilla flavoured, but I take solace in the fact that you didn't mention them anyway....though the new D3100 and D5100 are more interesting propositions than my old D70s. Olympus is very nice, but the available glass is a little limiting. My first Pentax was a K20D. Top notch build quality and feel....but she didn't earn the name of the big clunker for nothing :wink: Other than size, the IQ at any ISO higher than 800 is questionable. I recently 'downgraded' to the K-r. Now she is a beauty!!! Compact, reliable and very confident (words I only wish I could add to my moniker :wink:)....also a cracking frame-speed rate of 7 fps and great high ISO performance. But as you say, from your list, only the K20D is weather-sealed (WS). I've never found that much of an issue with the Kr...though having said that you'll need to pair it up with a WS lens....and this is not cheap! As Kyte highlighted the DA55-300 is not weather-sealed. But having said that I think you picked the best of the budget lot. I've got my eye on a DA55-300 myself in the coming months. I started with the Sigma 135-400 (sounds great on paper but the ZOOM CREEP)...please please please make sure that you do the research and not buy a lens that creeps....it will send you balmy!), next I went the Sigma 100-300/4. A monster lens with a monster price tag....some nice photos but the weight killed me....the DA55-300 seems a great compromise on paper and the sample shots I've seen compare favourably against the other budget 70-300 and 100-300 offerings.

But also remember the power of Pentax is it's retrospective appeal. Not talking its stylings here but its ability to use 30+ year old lenses...so your options are HUGE and it's all thanks to that miraculous little green button :wink:

Hope that monologue helps.


Jul 2, 2011
Thanks. All of your input has helped a lot. I am leaning heavily towards the Pentax k-r or k-x. I don't think the weather sealing will be that much of an issue for me.

One more question. The only other camera I had considered was the micro 4/3 Panasonic G2 since the prices are going down. It offers the 100-300 lens which equals 200-600 so that appeals to me. I keep hearing that you can't do the wildlife/nature-type photography with the micro-4/3 because they are too slow. What are your opinions on that? I think basically it is between the Pentax k-r/k-x and the Panasonic G2 or possibly G3 with 100-300. Thanks again!


Jul 2, 2011
Ha! :) I'm not sure!

Seriously though I have been told the focus and shutter speed is too slow. I have no idea since I haven't tried one. I am certainly open to them as an option if they will work for me.


Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
I can't comment on the M4/3...but there are many folks on here who certainly can.

But having moved from the K20d to the Kr is like moving from a billy cart to a Monaro (or lets say Camaro for our US folks) in terms of focus speed. Keeping things inexpensive you could achieve similar focal lengths with a DA55-300 and 1.4x TC (teleconverter) - e.g, Kenko....please avoid the 2x at the start. I honestly cannot see the 1 stop loss affecting the Kr much....if so you'll have to pump up the ISO. And this is an important factor, so I'd be also asking the M4/3 folks the ISO tolerance of the G-series in comparison. Having long lenses is nice, but on a budget - and for economies of scale (you'd know what I mean if you've ever toted even a 300/2.8 around for a day) - your aperture is going to be pretty narrow - and most stretched to 300mm will be at the f5.6 mark. So to freeze any action you will need to stretch the exposure triangle on one side....the aperture side is slow, so if you still want better than 1/125 shutter speed to avoid shake or to freeze action, then you'll need to have better flexibility on the ISO side.

Just the thoughts of a once frustrated long lens user.


Sep 11, 2010
I used to have Pentax K-m, which in terms of ergonomics is quite similar to the K-x and even K-r. I can say that when you put a long lens on, the grip becames uncomfortable because it is too small (I had the M 75-150/f4 Pentax lens which has metal body and is far from being feather weight). For wildlife photography I would go for used K-7 with a battery grip - which I thing will be the same price. I believe it will be much more comfortable to hold all day long with long and heavy lens in front. It is also weather sealed and smaller than the K-20. 55-300 is a slow but very good lens. You can add the 16-45/f4 Pentax zoom (which has very good optics) and you system is ready.
In my opinion a good option for you would be the Panasonic G2 with 14-42 and 50-200. Maybe it will not be more expensive than the mentioned Pentax, it is lighter but I think the mentioned Pentax 16-45 and 55-300 are better than the Panasonic 14-42 and 50-200 lenses. I hope that helps :)

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