The Olympus E-520 is a refreshed version of Olympus's upper-entry-level camera, the E-510. As such it's a slightly bulked-up E-420 with image stabilization, which makes it one of the most feature-packed and customizable cameras available for under £500/$800. It loses some of its sibling's compact chic but offers a bigger, longer-lasting battery and a more familiar grip shape to those people familiar with contemporary DSLRs.

Its Four-Thirds sensor (2.43cm2) offers 10 million pixel output and a Live view system that has become commonplace since Olympus pioneered the idea a few years back. It's clearly a camera that comes from a company with a strong heritage of making products for photographers, with useful features such as highlight and shadow spot metering modes sitting alongside a plethora of beginner-friendly point-and-shoot modes.

The whole market has become a much more competitive place since the E-510 first hit the market in March 2007, so has the newest version done enough to stand out against the increasingly slick APS-C offerings?

New features (compared to the E-510)

  • Larger, 2.7" LCD display (versus 2.5" on the E-510)
  • Contrast detect autofocus (with select lenses)
  • Face detection in live view mode
  • Auto Gradation (Dynamic Range enhancement)
  • Faster continuous shooting speeds (3.5 vs 3.0 fps)
  • Wireless flash control (Up to three groups)
  • Additional Image Stabilization mode for panning

Note that some of the material in this review comes from the Olympus E-420, with which this camera has much in common.

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.

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.

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