Olympus Stylus Digital 500 Review

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Olympus Stylus Digital 500


Review Posted 2/16/2005


Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Olympus Stylus Digital 500
Click on the Stylus 500 to take a QuickTime VR tour


The Stylus 500 is the third generation of Olympus' series of premium point-and-shoot digital cameras. The Stylus 500 features an impressive 2.5-inch HyperCrystal™ LCD that is as bright as it is big, 5.0-megapixels of image resolution, and a compact, durable, all-weather body, the Stylus 500 demonstrates that power and elegance can co-exist in a stylish package that delivers brilliant images.

The bright, clear 2.5-inch HyperCrystal™ LCD with 215,000 pixels of high resolution puts the Stylus 500 in a class of its own. Because it is a HyperCrystal™ LCD, it delivers a high contrast image and 160° wide-view radius. So gather your friends around - your photos are viewable from above, from the side, and from below. And while conventional LCD screens appear dim against bright light, the HyperCrystal™ LCD provides excellent visibility in any light condition - on the beach or on the slopes.

The Stylus 500 Digital combines a 5.0-megapixel CCD sensor with Olympus' exclusive image processor, TruePic TURBO™, which significantly enhances image quality and delivers faster overall processing speeds for rapid startup, shutter release and playback. TruePic TURBO allows the Stylus 500 to capture information from all 5.0 million pixels with pixel "micro-smoothing" that delivers clearer and more color-accurate photos, even at lower resolutions. The fast startup of less than one second and nearly instant shutter release time ensures high-speed response so you are always ready to take great pictures.

The compact, all-weather Stylus 500 can go virtually anywhere you can. The body is constructed of durable, lightweight metal with rubber gaskets throughout the interior to ensure that rain, sleet, snow or sand won't get in the way of great photos. In addition to the durable, all-weather construction that made the Stylus famous, the Stylus 500 boasts a new flat-surface body design that takes the series in a new direction. The circular lens barrier tucks away inside the camera body with a snap when powered on, and protects the lens with an impenetrable seal when closed, leaving the camera face smooth and flat. The back of the camera features a simple, functional design that emphasizes the large 2.5-inch LCD.

The Stylus 500 offers advanced features with point-and-shoot simplicity for taking flawless pictures. Designed to perform during a variety of occasions, 23 easy-to-use shooting modes can be accessed through the camera's menu, providing fully automatic exposure adjustments for shooting Portraits, Landscapes, Fireworks, and more. The camera's shooting modes now include two new underwater shooting modes and two Shoot & Select modes, which enable users to shoot rapid sequences of frames then select the best shot from the series and delete the rest.

The Stylus 500 also features an all-weather speaker and microphone, enabling users to narrate images with personalized audio captions. With its QuickTime Movie Mode, the Stylus 500 can record movies of any length, limited only by the size of the memory card in the camera. Connecting the Stylus 500 to a computer is easy with the USB Auto Connect feature, which connects directly via USB cable and requires no software. Or, If you prefer, forget the computer altogether. The power of PictBridge technology enables photos to be printed directly from the Stylus 500 to any PictBridge-enabled printer.


Stylus 500 Features at a Glance:

  • 5-megapixel effective CCD and 3x optical zoom lens
  • Durable all-metal (all-weather) body lets you shoot in almost any weather condition
  • Program (Auto), Movie, and Scene program modes for various shooting situations
  • 2.5-inch HyperCrystal LCD with 215,000 pixel resolution and 160° viewing angle
  • Movies at 320x240 or 160x120 with audio, length limited only by memory
  • Add voice memos to still pictures
  • Shutter speeds from 1/1000 to 1/2 second (up to 4 secs in night mode)
  • Built-in flash with auto, fill and red-eye reduction modes
  • ISO sensitivity; Automatic (64 - 400 equivalent)
  • Built-in all-weather speaker and microphone
  • xD-Picture Card media, 32MB card included
  • Auto-Connect USB for quick and easy image transfer to computer
  • Direct printing to any PictBridge compatible printer
  • Lithium rechargeable battery and charger included


The Stylus Digital 500 is available now with an estimated street price of $399.99 (U.S.). It includes: 32MB xD-Picture Card, Wrist Strap, USB Cable, Audio/Video cable, Li-12B Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery and Charger, Quick Start Guide, Basic Instruction Manual, Warranty Card, CD-ROM with OLYMPUS Master Software, and reference manual.






Physical Views

Olympus Stylus Digital 500

Olympus Stylus Digital 500

Olympus Stylus Digital 500 Olympus Stylus Digital 500

Olympus Stylus Digital 500

Olympus Stylus Digital 500





Olympus Stylus Digital 500

The Stylus 500 compared in size to a standard CD.




Olympus Stylus Digital 500

Olympus Stylus Digital 500

5-Megapixel with 2.5" LCD: Stylus 500 and Epson L-500V



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Features & Controls



Stylus 500 Specifications

CCD Imager 5.0 megapixel effective, 5.4 megapixel gross, 1/2.5" (1.0cm) CCD
Lens 5.8 -17.4mm (35 - 105mm equivalent in 35mm photography), 5 lenses in 3 group, 3 aspherical lens
Seamless Digital Zoom Seamless to 12x (3x optical and 4x digital combined)
Aperture Range f3.1/5.2 (not adjustable)
Shutter Speeds 1/1000 sec. - 1/2 sec. (up to 4 sec. in Night Scene)
ISO Auto, 64, 100, 200, 250, and 400 (equivalent) (Indoor; ISO500)
Recording Mode(s) DCF Exif2.2, JPEG, PIM 2.5 compatible
Adjustable Resolutions 2560 x 1920 (SHQ)
2560 x 1920 (HQ)
2048 x 1536 (SQ1)
1600 x 1200 (SQ2)
1280 x 960 (SQ2)
1024 x 768 (SQ2)
640 x 480 (SQ2)
DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) Yes
Image Adjustment Modes N/A
Image Effects Still image: Black and White, Sepia, Resize, Trimming, Rotation, Soft focus, Fish eye
Movie: Frame Index
Panorama Up to 10 frames automatically stitchable with Olympus Master software when using Olympus brand xD-Picture Card
Sequence 1.5 frames per second (in SHQ mode, up to 5 frames)
Viewfinder N/A
LCD 2.5" (6.35cm) HyperCrystal LCD, approx. 215,000 pixel
Focusing System CDD Contrast
Focusing Ranges Normal mode: 19.7" - infinity (0.5m - infinity)
Macro mode: 7.9" - infinity (0.2m - infinity)
Super Macro Mode: 2.8" (7cm; 2.7cm x 2.0cm)
Exposure Control ±2 EV steps in 1/3 EV steps
Metering System Digital ESP multi-pattern, Spot metering
White Balance System iESP multi-pattern auto TTL, Pre-set Manual (Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, and Fluorescent1, Fluorescent2, Fluorescent3)
Flash Built-in
Flash Modes Auto (for low light and backlit conditions)
Red-eye Reduction
Fill-in
Off
Flash Working Range Wide: 11.8ft (3.6m), Tele: 6.6ft. (2.0m)
Removable Media Card xD-Picture Card (16, 32, 64, 128, 256 or 512MB)
Selftimer/Remote 12 seconds/2 seconds by Remote Control
Setting Memorization On/Off (Hold changes/Reset to default settings)
Outer Connectors USB Connecter & Audio/Video multi-terminal, DC input
Auto-connect USB 2.0 Full Speed
Image Playback Still image: Index display (4/9/16/25), Up to 8x enlargement, Slide Show, Rotation, Calendar, Album, Histogram
Movie: Normal, Reverse, Frame-by-frame
Operating Environment Operation: 32° - 104°F (0° - 40°C), 30 - 90% humidity
Storage: -4° - 140°F (-20° - 60°C), 10 - 90% humidity
Power Supply Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery (LI-12B), AC Adapter
Date/Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image data, Automatic up to 2099
Calendar Automatic up to 2099
Size 3.9" W x 2.2" H x 1.2" D (99mm x 55.5mm x 31mm)
Weight 5.8 oz. (165g) without battery and media card
Number of Storable Photos
  Quality Mode Resolution 32MB xD-Picture Card (included) 512MB xD-Picture Card
Still image
(w/o sound)
Unit: shots
SHQ 2560 x 1920 8 shots 142 shots
HQ 2560 x 1920 26 shots 420 shots
SQ1 2048 x 1536 40 shots 652 shots
SQ2 1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
1024 x 768
640 x 480
48 shots
76 shots
117 shots
180 shots
779 shots
1229 shots
1879 shots
2904 shots
Still image
(w/sound)
Unit: shots
SHQ 2560 x 1920 8 shots 141 shots
HQ 2560 x 1920 25 shots 409 shots
SQ1 2048 x 1536 39 shots 626 shots
SQ2 1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
1024 x 768
640 x 480
46 shots
71 shots
104 shots
153 shots
743 shots
1141 shots
1681 shots
2458 shots
Movie
(w/sound)
Unit: min.
HQ 320 x 240 approx. 83 sec. approx. 1334 sec.
SQ 160 x 120 approx. 211 sec. approx. 3395 sec.
All capacity figures are approximate.



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Features & Controls




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