Olympus E-510 SLR Review

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Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

Review posted 8/02/2007

Click on the E-510 to take a QuickTime VR tour

The Olympus EVOLT E-510 is a full-featured, 10-megapixel digital SLR camera that was designed to accommodate photographers of any skill level. The E-510 features a "Live View" LCD that allows you to compose your shots using either the LCD or the optical viewfinder. The E-510's bright 2.5-inch display, with approximately 230,000 pixels, uses "HyperCrystal" LCD technology offering many times the contrast of conventional LCD monitors. Images are displayed in vivid color - both in preview and playback. The HyperCrystal LCD also provides a wide viewing angle, which ensures images can be composed from even the most obscure angles.

The E-510 employs Mechanical Image Stabilization, which compensates for camera movement. This new technology complements Digital Image Stabilization, which compensates for a moving subject. Combined, Mechanical Image Stabilization and Digital Image Stabilization provide a powerful solution, ensuring blur-free photos even in active shooting situations where photographers may encounter camera shake or a moving subject. This powerful combination resides within the camera's body, translating to blur-free images taken with any of the more than 30 digital-specific lenses.

Olympus' Dust Reduction System produces spot-free photos with the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter. The patented ultrasonic technology vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor, and captures the debris on a special adhesive membrane every time you turn on the camera. These spot-free photos liberate users from hours spent retouching photographs at the computer or sending their cameras back to the manufacturer to remove dust trapped inside.

All E-Series cameras support the "Four Thirds Standard" whereby Olympus and various other manufacturers produce high-quality Four Thirds-compliant lenses and accessories that are specifically designed for digital SLR image capture. Because the E-510 is part of the Olympus E-System, it is compatible with a large and growing range of Olympus E-System accessories to further enhance personal shooting styles and applications. This includes the full line-up of Zuiko Digital Specific lenses and flashes. The EVOLT system I reviewed is a Two Lens Outfit that included both 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 and 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 Zuiko lenses. Both lenses are exceptionally compact and lightweight.

Olympus' TruePic III Image Processor produces crystal clear photos with accurate color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal representation in between. TruePic III also lowers noise in images shot at higher ISO settings, enabling better results in low-light situations.

The Olympus P-11 Digital Photo Printer is a perfect match for the E-510. Simply select the images displayed on the camera's LCD, press a button and the finished print is in your hand in under a minute.

EVOLT E-510 Features

  • Single-lens reflex Live View digital camera with interchangeable lens
  • Supports CompactFlash Type I/II, Microdrive, xD-Picture Card (Dual-Slot) memory cards
  • Four-Thirds System lens mount for Zuiko Digital Specific lenses
  • 10 million pixel image capture
  • DCF, DPOF compatible/Exif, PRINT Image Matching III recording formats
  • Eye-level single-lens reflex viewfinder, 95% field of view
  • Live View MOS Sensor
  • Phase-difference detection system Auto Focus
  • 2.5" HyperCrystal LCD monitor with 160° viewing angle
  • Retractable flash (auto pop-up type), GN=12 (ISO 100.m
  • Hot shoe for E System TTL flash units (FL20, FL36, FL50)
  • Single-frame shooting, Sequential shooting, Self-timer, Remote control
  • Compact size - 5.35 in.(W) x 3.6 in. (W) x 2.67in. (D) / 136 mm (W) x 91.5 mm (H) x 68 mm (D) (excluding protrusions) weight 16.6 oz. (body only)
  • Histogram (independent luminance/RGB available), Highlight/Shadow point warning, AF frame, Shooting information
  • EV 1 - 20 (Digital ESP metering, Center weighted average metering, Spot metering)
  • AUTO / ISO 100 - 1600 (AUTO: Automatic control is available in AUTO, Program, A, Scene program, Scene select, Flash be fired. Up to ISO 800)
  • JPEG editing in camera - Black & white, Sepia, Redeye fix, Saturation (color depth), Resize (producing another file)
  • Supersonic Wave Filter (dust reduction system for image sensor)
  • File format - RAW (12-bit), JPEG, RAW+JPEG
  • USB 2.0 High Speed for storage and camera control (MTP mode is available), PictBridge direct-print compatible
  • BLM-1 Li-ion battery

The Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR box includes E-510 body, 14-42mm lens (kit contents), Li-ion battery BLM-1, Li-ion battery charger BCM-2, USB cable, Video cable, Shoulder strap, OLYMPUS Master CD-ROM, Instruction manual, Warranty card. The estimated street price is $799.99 USD.

The EVOLT E-510 Two Lens Outfit box contains 14-42mm f3.5 - 5.6 and 40-150mm f4.0 - 5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lenses and has an estimated street price of $899.99 USD.

Physical Views

Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLROlympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

Olympus EVOLT E-510 Digital SLR

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Olympus EVOLT E-510 Specifications

Type Interchangeable lens digital SLR camera
Body Die-cast aluminum chassis, aluminum top cover, polycarbonate
Lens Mount Four-Thirds mount
Media CompactFlash Type I/II, Microdrive, xD-Picture Card (Dual-Slot)
Image Sensor
Type Live MOS Sensor
Size .7" x .5"
Number of Pixels 10.9 Megapixels (total)
10.0 Megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Filter Array Primary color filter (RGB)
Dust Protection Supersonic Wave Filter (dust reduction system for image sensor)
Image Quality,
File Size
Recording Format JPEG (Exif 2.2), TIFF ver 6.0, RAW (12bit), RAW+JPEG
File Format DCF, DPOF compatible / Exif 2.2 compatible, PRINT Image Matching II compatible
Type Eye-level single-lens reflex viewfinder
Viewfield Coverage 95% centered horiz./vert.
Magnification Approx.0.92x (-1m-1, 50mm lens, infinity)
Eye Point Approx. 14 mm (-1m-1)
Diopter Adjustment -3.0 - +1m-1
Focusing Screen Fixed (Neo Lumi-Micro Mat screen)
Mirror Quick-return mirror
Viewfinder Information Aperture value, Shutter speed, Record mode, AF confirmation mark, Flash, WB, AE lock, Number of storable still images, Exposure compensation value, Metering mode, Battery warning, Exposure mode, AF frame (super impose). IS activating mode
Depth of Field Preview One-touch WB Button (Customizable)
Eye Cup Interchangeable type EP-5 supplied, optional EP-6, Magnifier Eyecup ME-1 is available
Type TTL phase difference detection system
Focus Modes Single AF (S-AF) / Continuous AF (C-AF) / Manual Focus (MF) / S-AF + MF / C-AF + MF
Luminance Range EV 0 to 19 (at 20, ISO 100)
Focus Area 3-point multiple AF (Auto, selectable in option)
Focus Area Selection Auto/Option selectable
AF Assist Lamp Built-in flash (external flash available.)
AF Lock Locked at first position of Shutter button in Single AF mode / AEL button (customizable)
Exposure Control
Light Metering System TTL open-aperture metering system
Metering Modes Auto, Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual Scene program, Scene select
Detection Range EV 1 - 20 (Digital ESP metering, Center weighted average metering, Spot metering)
Exposure Control Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Children, Sport, High Key, Low Key, DIS Mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Fireworks, Documents, Panorama* (* Available with the Olympus xD-Picture Card), Beach & Snow
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps selectable
Exposure Bracketing 3 frames in 0.3, 0.7, 1EV steps selectable
Auto ISO 100 - 1600
Type Computerized focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed Auto mode: 2 - 1/4000 sec.
P(Ps), S, A, M mode: 60 - 1/4000 sec.
Scene program/Scene select mode: 4 - 1/4000 sec. (depends on settings)
Bulb: up to 8 min. (with limiter)
X-Sync Speed Syncs at 1/180 sec., Super FP mode syncs up to 1/4000 sec. for fill flash
Selftimer 12 sec., 2 sec. (cancel available)
Remote Control optional RM-UC1 Remote cable
Drive System
Drive Modes Single-frame shooting, Sequential shooting, Self-timer, Remote control
Sequential Shooting Speed 3 frames/sec.
Max. Frames in Sequential
RAW mode: Max. 8 frames
JPEG mode: Depends on compression ratio and no. of pixels (HQ mode: approx. upto card capacity with SanDisk Extreme III)
White Balance System
Auto WB System Advanced detection system with Live MOS sensor
Preset WB 7 settings (3000K - 7500K) Lamp (3000K), Fluorescent 1 (4000K), Fluorescent 2 (4500K), Fluorescent 3 (6600K), Daylight (5300K), Cloudy (6000K), Shade (7500K)
Custom Mode 1 setting can be registered at Kelvin temperature (2000K - 14000K)
WB Compensation ±7 steps in each R-B/G-M axis (in Auto WB/Preset WB mode)
WB Bracketing 3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each R-G/G-M axis
Flash Control
Type TTL Auto (TTL pre-flash mode), Auto, Manual
Built-in Flash Retractable flash (Auto pop-up type), GN=12 (ISO 100.m)
Flash Modes Auto, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction slow sync., Fill-in, Slow synchronization, Manual, Offh
X-Sync Speed X = 1/180 sec. or less, Super FP up to 1/4000 sec.
Intensity Control Up to ±2 EV in 1/3, 1/2, or 1EV steps selectable
Synchro Timing 1st curtain synchronization/2nd curtain slow synchronization (selectable)
Flash Bracketing 3 frames in 0.3, 0.7, 1 EV steps selectable
Color Matrix sRGB, Adobe RGB
Picture Mode Vivid, Natural, Muted, Monotone (default setting: Natural)
Color Saturation 5 levels in each Vivid, Natural and Flat mode
Image Adjustment Contrast, Sharpness and Saturation level available in 5 steps for Vivid, Natural or Muted Contrast and Sharpness level available in 5 steps for Monotone
Filter: Yellow, Orange, Red or Green filter available for Monotone
Toning: Sepia, Blue, Purple or Green tone available for Monotone
Gradation: 4 levels (auto, high key, normal, low key)
Control Panel Information Battery information, Exposure mode, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure compensation value, ISO sensitivity, Exposure compensation indicator, Exposure indicator, Flash intensity compensation indicator, Date, BKT warning, NR warning, WB, WB compensation value, Picture mode, Flash mode, Record mode, Image size, Card information, Drive mode, Flash intensity compensation value, Metering mode, Recordable still image number, Focusing mode, FP warning AF frame, AF illuminator, Color mode, Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation, Gradation, IS activating mode, Heat warning
LCD Monitor 2.5" HyperCrystal TFT color LCD (approx. 215,250 pixels). Viewfield coverage 100%. +/- 7 step brightness control
Playback Modes Single-frame, Index (4/9/16/25 frames), Calendar, Close-up ( 2 - 14X), Slideshow, Picture rotation (auto mode available)
Playback Information Histogram (independent luminance/RGB available), Highlight/Shadow point warning, AF frame, Shooting information
Erase/Protect Erase: Single / All / Selected
Protect: Single / Selected
Menu REC1, REC2, Play Back, Custom, Setup
Menu Languages English (default), French, Spanish, Portuguese
External Connectors Data I/O: USB 2 (MiniB)
Video Out: NTSC or PAL
Flash Sync: Hot shoe
Power Supply BLM-1 rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack and BCM-2 charger (included)
Box Contents EVOLT E-510 Body, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-ion Battery Pack (BLM-1), Li-ion Battery Charger (BCM-2), Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS Master 2 CD-ROM, Manuals, Warranty card, System chart
Operating Temperature / Humidity 32 - 104 ° F, 90% humidity
Size 5.4"w x 3.6"h x 2.7"d
Weight 1 lb. (without battery & memory card)

NOTE: These specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

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