Previous page Next page

Olympus E-500 EVOLT Review

October 2005 | By Phil Askey


Review based on a production E-500, Firmware 1.0

The E-500 EVOLT was announced on 26th September 2005, almost exactly a year after the E-300 which was the first affordable Four Thirds System digital SLR. The E-500 features an eight megapixel Kodak 4/3 Type CCD sensor, a Four Thirds System lens mount and a more traditional pentaprism viewfinder. Appearance wise the E-500 looks more like a traditional film SLR than the long and flat E-300 with its sideways swinging mirror and viewfinder setup. Improvements over the E-300 include an all new metering system, a larger 2.5" LCD monitor, better control layout and other firmware delivered improvements.

Compared to the E-300 EVOLT feature and specification differences

 
Olympus E-500 EVOLT

Olympus E-300 EVOLT
Sensor • Kodak 4/3 Type CCD
• 8.0 million effective pixels
• Modified Hot Mirror (InfraRed filter)
• Kodak 4/3 Type CCD
• 8.0 million effective pixels
Metering sensor New 49 area (7 x 7 matrix) Unspecified
Metering modes • Digital ESP
• Center-Weighted Average
• Spot
• Highlight based spot
• Shadow based spot
• Digital ESP
• Center-Weighted Average
• Spot
ISO sensitivities • Auto (ISO 100 - 400)
• ISO 100
• ISO 125
• ISO 160
• ISO 200
• ISO 250
• ISO 320
• ISO 400
• ISO 500 *
• ISO 640 *
• ISO 800 *
• ISO 1000 *
• ISO 1250 *
• ISO 1600 *
* With ISO Boost set to On
• Auto (ISO 100 - 400)
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800 *
• ISO 1600 *
* With ISO Boost set to On
Noise filter • New High ISO noise filter
• Optionally enabled
Unspecified
HQ compression options • 1/4
• 1/8
• 1/12
• 1/4
• 1/8
Focus modes • S-AF
• C-AF
• MF
• S-AF & MF
• C-AF & MF
• S-AF
• C-AF
• MF
• S-AF & MF
MF bracketing Yes No
Continuous • 2.5 fps
• RAW: 4 frames
• JPEG: Unlimited with high speed card
• 2.5 fps
• RAW: 4 frames
• JPEG: 4 frames
My Mode Yes No
B&W Mode Selectable filters Fixed monochrome filter
Custom WB 1 memory 3 memories
Kelvin WB 2000 - 14000 K 2000 - 10000 K
Flash • Electronic release pop-up
• 53 mm above lens when raised
• Guide no. 13
• Manual release pop-up
• 40 mm above lens when raised
• Guide no. 11
Flash bracketing Yes No
Info. display • Two levels
• Color selectable
One level
Record review Any of the seven play display modes Single image, no histogram
Play display modes • No overlaid information
• Basic overlay
• More detailed overlay
• Thumbnail, AF point, 4 way histogram
• Large histogram overlay
• Blinking highlights
• Blinking shadows
• No overlaid information
• Basic overlay
• More detailed overlay
• Large histogram overlay
• Blinking highlights
• Thumbnail, AF point, info
Play magnify Up to 14x Up to 10x
Play index 4, 9, 16, 25 frames, Calendar 4, 9, 16 frames
Play marking Yes, batch erase and copy No
Red-eye fix Yes, play mode 'Edit' No
Storage • Compact Flash
• xD-Picture Card
Compact Flash
Viewfinder • Top mounted pentaprism
• 95% field of view
• 0.9x magnification
• Clip-fit eyecup
• Side mounted Porro Finder
• 94% field of view
• 1.0x magnification
• Fixed eyecup
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD monitor
• 215,250 pixels
• Wide viewing angle
• 1.8" TFT LCD monitor
• 134,000 pixels
Portrait grip Not available Optional HLD-3
Dimensions 130 x 95 x 66 mm (5.1 x 3.7 x 2.6 in) 147 x 85 x 64 mm (5.8 x 3.4 x 2.5 in)
Weight • No battery: 435 g (1.0 lb)
• With battery: 479 g (1.1 lb)
• No battery: 580 g (1.3 lb)
• With battery: 624 g (1.4 lb)

Two new ZUIKO Zoom Digital lenses

In conjunction with their announcement of the E-500 Olympus also announced two more ZUIKO Zoom lenses. The EZ 14 - 45 mm zoom used as the E-300 Kit lens is destined to be one of the E-500 Kit's lenses, however there will be a second (slightly lower priced) kit which will included the new 17.5 - 45 mm zoom lens. In addition Olympus has introduced the ten times optical zoom 18 - 180 mm lens which will provide a 36 - 360 mm equivelant field of view.

ZUIKO Digital 17.5 - 45 mm F3.5 - F5.6
(35 - 90 mm equiv. FOV, 2.6x zoom)
(Only available with E-500 SE Kit)
ZUIKO Digital 18 - 180 mm F3.5 - F6.3
(36 - 360 mm equiv. FOV, 10.0x zoom)
US$ 499


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2005 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

Previous page Next page
88
I own it
1
I want it
93
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments