Olympus has unwrapped a new 12.3-million-pixel Four Thirds standard digital SLR which is due to go on sale in the UK at the end of April.

Billed as the world’s ‘smallest and lightest’ DSLR with built-in image stabilisation, the E-620 boasts professional-level ‘sophistication’ and is positioned in the middle of Olympus’s now five-strong DSLR family.

The camera weighs 475g (body only) and measures 130x94x60mm (excluding protrusions), slightly larger than the entry-level E-420.

Pitched just below the enthusiast-level E-30 – yet still aimed at the ‘hobbyist’ – the camera was designed in response to ‘strong market demand’ for image stabilisation in an E-420-style body.

It features a new ‘compact Image Stabilisation unit’, according to Olympus.

Olympus says it wanted to combine the portability of the E-420 with the Art Filter functions and ‘swivel’ Live View monitor featured on its E-30, a camera announced last year.

The camera’s AF system is based on the twin-cross AF sensor that was developed for the E-30 and professional E-3 model.

The E-620 features seven AF [phase detection] points (five cross points), four more AF points than the 10MP E-520 model which it sits just above in the range, but four AF points less than the E-30.

A UK price has yet to be announced. However, we understand that in the US the E-620 is expected to cost $699.99, body only.

The E-620 deploys a 12.3MP Live MOS sensor and Live View AF.

It sports a 2.7in variable-angle LCD screen – a ‘high contrast HyperCrystal III LCD monitor

Armoury also includes Olympus’s Supersonic Wave Filter dust protection system and TruePic III+ image processor.

The E-620 will be compatible with Olympus’s new optional HDL-5 battery pack which is equipped with a separate shutter release for vertical format shooting (pictured).

And the photographer can use the camera to control up to three groups of wireless flash units, according to Olympus.

Photographers will also have the option to use the PT-E06 underwater housing, available separately and claimed to allow shooting down to depths of 130ft.

The image stabilisation system uses a gyro sensor to detect the direction of camera shake and then compensate by shifting the camera’s image sensor accordingly.

The E-620 will be available in the UK as a kit with an ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko zoom ($799.99 in the US).

It will also be available in a Double Zoom kit with a 14-42mm lens and a 40-150mm f/4-5.6 zoom; as well as in a kit that includes a 25mm f/2.8 ‘pancake’ lens.

Full details, plus initial impressions from Amateur Photographer‘s technical team, will appear in the printed magazine shortly.

Olympus E-620 camera