Olympus E-510 SLR Review

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Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR




Features & Controls



Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

The eye level viewfinder is equipped with an eyecup (AS-EP5 W) that shows 95% of the field of view and includes dioptric compensation (-3 / +1). This 14mm eye point viewfinder allows for easy composition, even when wearing eyeglasses.


Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

Inside the viewfinder is a fixed focusing screen with Auto Focus/Metering marks. Viewfinder information available includes Aperture value, Shutter speed, Recording mode, AF confirmation mark, Flash, WB, AE lock, Number of storable still images, Exposure compensation value, Metering mode, Battery warning, and Exposure mode.



Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

The optional ME-1 eyecup with magnifying lenses can be attached to the E-510 in place of the bundled standard eyecup. The ME-1 magnifies the original view field in the finder by 1.2x (approximately 20%), making it easier to check focus and framing. The ME-1 is $39.99 US.



Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

The big knob on the right, top panel is the Mode Dial with positions for Manual, Shutter-speed priority, Aperture priority, Program AE, Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Night + Portrait and Scene Mode. You know of course that scene modes are presets you can use to make the best photos in common shooting situations. There are 18 Scene Modes available: (Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Night Scene, Night Scene + Portrait, Fireworks, Sunset, Macro, Sports, High-Key, Low-Key, Documents, Beach & Snow, Candle, Children, Nature Macro, Panorama, DIS Shake Reduction).

The Power on/off switch is located around the Mode Dial. The unmarked dial below is the Control Dial which has various functions depending on the menu you are using. Next to the Mode Dial is a blue LED labeled "SSWF" that blinks each time the camera is powered up - this indicates the SuperSonic Wave Filter is operating. In between the Mode Dial and shutter release is a +/- Exposure Compensation button.

On the top, left you'll find the Flash button that pops up the flash and selects flash modes. Next to the Flash button is a multi-function control that is used to set Sequential shooting, the Self Timer and Remote control options. You can also see the flash Hot Shoe for using external flash units.





Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

The EVOLT E-510 has a bright, high-resolution, 2.5" "HyperCrysta" LCD screen (230,000 pixels). As you change setting on the Mode Dial the LCD display will change to show the options within that mode. Many photographers report the HyperCrystal LCD appears brighter outdoors in sunlight than other LCDs. A major advantage of the E-510 is the Live Preview available on the LCD. Live Preview allows you to use the LCD to focus instead of the viewfinder. This might not seem like a big deal but it is not a common feature on SLR cameras.

The largest control on the back is a set of multifunction buttons arranged in a circle called the Arrow Pad. In the center of this array is an OK button. Around the OK button are 4 arrow buttons, called the Arrow Pad, used to navigate menus and previews. Each of these arrows also has an additional function when pressed alone. Starting directly above the OK button is the White Balance compensation selector, then to the right is the Auto Focus mode, below is the ISO selection control and finally to the left is the Metering mode selector. Olympus calls these "Direct Buttons" and pressing any of them brings up a menu up on the LCD.

There are a lot of other Direct Buttons on the back of the E-510. Next to the Eyecup is an Exposure Lock button. The IS button is used to set the Image Stabilizer function. Next in line is the Live Preview button. Using Live Preview you can use the LCD as a viewfinder and preview the exposure and white balance settings. Once again, pressing any one of these Direct Buttons calls up the associated menu on the LCD panel.

Directly below the Control Dial you'll find an Auto Focus frame button you can use to fine tune the AF setting. The Function button is like a bookmark you set from the main menu to call up your choice of white balance, Test Picture or depth of field preview.



Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

Topmost to the right of the LCD is the Playback button. Pressing it brings up your last shot and you use those arrow keys I just told you about to navigate through your shots. Remember the Control Dial, the unmarked knob on the top of the camera? The Control Dial in Playback mode allows you to zoom in to your stored photos on the LCD.

Below the Playback button is the Delete button.


Next we find the Menu button which calls up the camera's basic setup menus.

And finally we have the info button which makes the LCD display various information about the camera including a histogram.





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