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Olympus Evolt E510 review roundup and sample images
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news posted on August 13, 2007

 
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Olympus Evolt E510 reviewsIt’s about forethought, professional specifications and the seamless integration of cutting-edge technology: The Olympus E-510 delivers nothing short of impeccable performance. This successor to the E-500 gives photographers a better way to frame compositions since – unlike most D-SLRs – it boasts Live Preview capability on its 2.5”/6.4cm HyperCrystal LCD. Olympus proves itself once again as a technology leader with this camera’s built-in image stabiliser. As it is incorporated directly into the body, there’s no need for the costly inclusion of a stabiliser in each lens. Experience dramatically improved shooting results with a new image processing engine that offers excellent noise performance – thus bringing picture quality to a whole new level.

Digital Camera Info reviewed Olympus E-510 and wrote:
"The E-510 is very similar to its competition in many ways, but it really distinguishes itself with the live-view LCD screen. This feature attracts consumers who are used to shooting with the live-view LCD on compact digital cameras and miss that feature on most DSLRs. Few DSLRs have it and Olympus was the first to introduce it on the E-330. The Olympus E-510’s live-view LCD is still flawed, though. The view blacks out so the mirror box can flip and allow the auto focus system to work: this all adds a second or two to the total time it takes to snap a picture. It really is faster to snap a picture on most live view compact digital cameras than on the E-510, so why even have a DSLR?"
Read whole review here
Sample images

Imaging Resource reviewed Olympus E-510 and wrote:
"It's the E-510's special features that push it over the top. Live View mode, while easily misunderstood, is actually quite useful so long as you know its limitations. Shoot with it all the time, and you'll find you miss a lot of important shots due to increased and unpredictable shutter lag; but use it properly, and you'll get a lot of shots you'd have otherwise missed. The same holds true for the E-510's sensor-shift image stabilization. Learn where and when it works, and take several backup shots, and you'll get pretty good results; certainly better than you would without it. Add the ability to manually focus on a 10x zoomed area via Live View, and the E-510 is clearly a great solution for the experienced photographer wanting a closer look at what he's about to capture. Despite its foibles, the Olympus E-510 is a very good digital SLR, one I'd recommend to photographers who want to travel light, anyone with a need for Live View on occasion, and anyone wanting to learn more about photography with a digital SLR. Add it all up, and the Olympus E-510 is worthy of a Dave's Pick."
Read whole review here
Sample images

DC Resource reviewed Olympus E-510 and wrote:
"Probably the biggest selling point for the E-510 is its live view feature. While an improvement over the E-330, the technology still has a long way to go. Those of you moving up from a point-and-shoot camera should not expect the same live view quality as you have on your old camera. It's not as crisp, bright, or fluid, and it can be difficult to see what's on the screen both outdoors and in low light. Live view isn't really for action shots either, as the autofocus is disabled when the feature is active. You can manually focus the lens (the AF can be activated for a little help), or you can just fully press the shutter release button and wait an additional second for the autofocusing process to take place. Therefore, I rarely found myself using live view when out and about. However, I did find live view useful when I was taking photos on a tripod. I could compose my photos the way I wanted, preview the white balance, and even digitally zoom in to make sure everything's in focus (when in manual focus mode)."
Read whole review here
Sample images

Photography Blog reviewed Olympus E-510 and wrote:
"So, the question is, is the Olympus E-510 worth the extra money over the E-410, which offers many of the same features including an identical 10 megapixel resolution? In terms of ergonomics, the E-510 feels slightly more comfortable to handle due to that nicely rounded grip, but then the trade off is a slight larger physical bulk than the E-410. The other advantage with the E-510 is built-in image stabilization, which ensures that any attached lens becomes immediately stabilised. While I didn't notice a problem with camera shake when using the Olympus E-410, if you were to go for the double zoom kit option and thus get a 40-150mm optic (80-300mm In 35mm terms) it would conceivably be an advantage at the telephoto end of the lens' range in low light. But then the Four Thirds lenses have the bonus of being physically smaller than their film equivalents anyway. At the end of the day you get slightly more flexibility of operation and capture plus better ergonomics with the Olympus E-510, but there's not a dramatic difference as regards the quality of output, with the same sensor and processor as found on the E-410 doing the lion's share of the work. So if portability is your prime concern and you're buying a DSLR mainly for travel and holidays, go for the E-410. If however a greater range of photographic control appeals, then the Olympus E-510 will suit you better, and for the last reason alone it gets individual scores slightly higher than its pared-down but still impressive sibling."
Read whole review here
Sample images

NEO Camera reviewed Olympus E-510 and wrote:
"The final recommendation is a difficult one. This is an excellent camera which can be seriously considered for those with an existing investment in Olympus lenses. However, there are great alternatives among the competition with better image quality at high-ISO and larger more comfortable viewfinders. The size advantage of the Four-Thirds system has not been realized with the E-510 since there are smaller DSLR offerings including the stabilized Pentax K100D and the non-stablized Canon Digital Rebel XTi. In terms of features, the closest match for the E-510 is the Sony Alpha A100. For a truly smaller DSLR, the Olympus E-410 can be considered instead, although it does not feature builtin stabilization and is not as easy to hold as the E-510."
Read whole review here

MAC World reviewed Olympus E-510 and wrote:
"Features wouldn’t be worth much if the E-510’s pictures weren’t of high quality, and Olympus didn’t disappoint here either. Color fidelity and saturation were very good, and the E-510 was able to handle most shooting conditions easily. At lower ISO ranges, there is very little noise in E-510’s images; as you go to ISO 800 and above, color noise starts to show up, although it’s really not any worse than other cameras in this price range."
Read whole review here

Trusted Reviews reviewed Olympus E-510 and wrote:
"The Olympus E-series continues to get better and better. The E-510 is a superb photographer’s camera, offering superb handling, outstanding performance, a huge degree of control and first rate picture quality, in a compact and robust package and at a price which comfortably beats most of the competition. It is without question one of the best semi-pro DSLRs currently available, and a genuine pleasure to use."
Read whole review here
Sample images

Press release:

The Olympus E-510

It’s about forethought, professional specifications and the seamless integration of cutting-edge technology: The Olympus E-510 delivers nothing short of impeccable performance. This successor to the E-500 gives photographers a better way to frame compositions since – unlike most D-SLRs – it boasts Live Preview capability on its 2.5”/6.4cm HyperCrystal LCD. Olympus proves itself once again as a technology leader with this camera’s built-in image stabiliser. As it is incorporated directly into the body, there’s no need for the costly inclusion of a stabiliser in each lens. Experience dramatically improved shooting results with a new image processing engine that offers excellent noise performance – thus bringing picture quality to a whole new level. And as with all of its E-System cameras, Olympus eliminates the threat of dust: The patented Supersonic Wave Filter was the first of its kind in 2003 and continues to promote dust-free photography in the E-510. What’s more, the addition of a new Live MOS sensor in this Four Thirds- based camera delivers 10 Megapixels of high-quality detailed photography.

Olympus Evolt E510
Olympus Evolt E510

Advanced technology for superior photography
Settle for nothing less than the latest in imaging technology. Living up to its reputation as one of the world leaders in digital photography, Olympus has equipped the body of the E-510 with an image stabiliser – so there’s no need to have it in every lens, like with other D-SLRs. Enjoy protection against blur caused by camera shake when working with long exposure times or high magnifications: Don’t risk blurring a shot in high action situations, or when there’s no tripod at hand. All that you need to protect images against blur is built right into the body of this powerful addition to the E-System. And enjoy true-to-life colour reproduction along with exceptional noise performance thanks to the new image processing engine.

The incorporation of Live Preview takes D-SLR photography in a new and exciting direction. Ensure picture sharpness with unprecedented accuracy: The ability to view images on the 2.5”/6.4cm HyperCrystal LCD at magnifications of 6x or 10x in manual focus mode guarantees that pictures always come out sharp. Auto-focusing is as easy as a push of the AEL button: A quick flip up and then down of the mirror allows the AF measurement to be made – and shooting can begin. Furthermore, with superb image processing speeds of 3fps with a seven image RAW buffer in burst mode, there’s no need to worry about missing a great shot.

Olympus Evolt E510
Olympus Evolt E510

Comfort and control
Indulge in the simple convenience of smart design. With both exposure and WB compensation available for viewing directly on the LCD, it’s a cinch to adjust to the perfect light and colour settings. There’s even a histogram function to allow for exceptionally accurate exposure control. The E-510 is one-of-a-kind: Not only does it have the power to satisfy the seasoned professional with an array of manual settings – but there are also 18 easy-to-use scene programmes like Macro and xD Panorama, allowing virtually anyone to get in on the action. The incorporation of colour modes plus Black&White filters add another dimension of creative possibility to this D-SLR’s enticing list of features.

There’s a choice of data storage options in the E-510 with slots for both the xD-Picture Card and CompactFlash cards – so users upgrading from Olympus compact cameras can continue using their existing cards, which even enable the use of this camera’s xD Panorama scene programme. Ten different languages on board plus a further 15 for download ensure that the E-510 remains accessible to everyone – no matter what their native tongue – while the incorporation of Hi-Speed USB guarantees the extra-speedy transfer of pictures to a computer or photo printer. And rest assured that great shots are possible in even the most uncertain of situations: With its bracketing function, the E-510 takes a sequence of three shots in WB and Exposure mode and five shots in Focus mode. What’s left is a choice of photos, from which the best may be chosen. This increases the chance of great shots by potentially compensating for the uncertainty of the moment.

Olympus Evolt E510
Olympus Evolt E510

A choice of accessories
The E-510, with a long-life rechargeable battery, is a bona fide E-System D-SLR – meaning that it’s compatible with almost the entire range of E-System accessories. Based on the Four Thirds Standard, this exemplary range of parts features near-telecentric lenses – which are optimised for the specific needs of digital photography in order to provide edge-to-edge colour, sharpness and brightness. Revel in the superiority of this flexible and comprehensive system of lenses, flashes and other accessories.

The Olympus E-510 is the latest example of Olympus’ commitment to imaging excellence and precision. With Live Preview, a built-in image stabiliser for even sharper shots in shaky conditions and a new engine to guarantee exceptional noise performance and overall improved results, it’s clear that this D-SLR is ready to deliver nothing less than the ultimate in professional-grade photography. This awe-inspiring addition to the E-System will become available in July 2007.


The Olympus E-510 digital SLR – main features:

    * D-SLR with built-in image stabiliser
    * 10 Megapixel Live MOS sensor
    * Live Preview
    * New image processing engine
    * Hi-Speed USB 2.0
    * 2.5”/6.4cm HyperCrystal LCD
    * Supersonic Wave Filter for dust protection
    * 28 shooting modes (incl. 5 exposure, 5 creative & 18 scene modes)
    * Built-in pop-up flash (GN 10)
    * 3fps with up to seven images in RAW buffer
    * AF-lock functionality
    * Depth of field preview function
    * Bracketing function (Exposure, White Balance, Focus)
    * Detailed playback info screen with histogram
    * Based on Four Thirds Standard, making it compatible with almost the entire range of system accessories

Olympus E-System lens line-up*:

Top Pro lens range

    * ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm (14-28mm) 1:4.0
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 35-100mm (70-200mm) 1:2.0
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 90-250mm (180-500mm) 1:2.8
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150mm (300mm) 1:2.0
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm (600mm) 1:2.8


Pro lens range

    * ZUIKO DIGITAL 11-22mm (22-44mm) 1:2.8-3.5
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-54mm (28-108mm) 1:2.8-3.5
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50-200mm (100-400mm) 1:2.8-3.5
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm (16mm) 1:3.5 Fisheye
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50mm (100mm) 1:2.0 Macro


Standard lens range

    * ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm (28-84mm) 1:3.5-5.6
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-45mm (28-90mm) 1:3.5-5.6
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 18-180mm (36-360mm) 1:3.5-6.3
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL 40-150mm (80-300mm) 1:3.5-4.5
    * Extra compact ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm (80-300mm) 1:4.0-5.6
    * ZUIKO DIGITAL 35mm Macro (70mm) 1:3.5


* Figures in brackets show 35mm camera equivalents

Four Thirds System
This is the first and currently only open standard for digital SLRs. As the name suggests, Four Thirds systems use a 4/3-type image sensor, the size of which allows the development of tailor-made interchangeable lenses. These are not only smaller and lighter, but also offer a greater
light-gathering power than lenses based on the 35mm film format. Besides Olympus, current members of the Four Thirds consortium include Kodak, Fuji, Sanyo, Sigma, Panasonic and Leica.

Live Preview
Provides an alternative to framing shots through the viewfinder on a digital SLR camera. The image sent through the lens to the image sensor is displayed directly on the camera’s LCD. Whereas most compact digital cameras have been equipped with Live Preview functionality for many years, this feature has only recently become available on D-SLRs. The world’s first D-SLR to feature continuous Live Previews was the Olympus E-330.

Supersonic Wave Filter
Dust entering digital SLRs, for example during lens changes, can cause damage to photos – unless it is removed. With the Supersonic Wave Filter, the potential for dust to ruin photos is eliminated. A transparent filter is located between the camera’s shutter and CCD. It makes sure no dust is able to land on the CCD. Instead, the particles settle on the filter and are then shaken off by a series of ultrasonic vibrations generated by the filter when activated. Olympus was the first manufacturer to incorporate dust protection in D-SLRs.

HyperCrystal LCD
A semi-transmissive technology used in LCDs, which employs an additional layer at the bottom of the LCD to reflect light from external light sources. This enhances the brightness of the LCD, so even in direct sunlight images are displayed sharply and with three times the contrast of conventional displays. Also, it provides for viewing angles of up to 170° without glare or shadow, so images can be framed from a variety of angles and viewed by several people at once.

Image stabiliser
An electromechanical system that works to prevent blur caused by camera shake, which is particularly useful at long focal distances. Gyro sensors in the camera register camera shake, and then supersonic wave drive the image sensor to compensate for unintentional camera movements. As the image stabiliser is situated in the camera, it works with each and every lens attached to the body.

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