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Compared to...

At the time of writing, the E-520 is one of the most recently launched DSLRs and hence its price has not settled down from its rather high-seeming Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Based on the precedent set by the E-510, we're confident it will settle down to be one of the more competitively-priced DSLRs on the market.

As a result, we think its peers are likely to be the Nikon D60, Canon 450D, Sony A350 and Pentax K200D. This is probably the most diverse and competitive sector of the market at present, with each manufacturer putting forward very capable offerings. Consumers can pick any of these cameras, based on the features they need or the design they find most ergonomic and be certain to end up with a very competent camera for a very reasonable amount of money.

Olympus E-520 advantages

  • Highly customizable behavior
  • User controllable ISO noise reduction
  • Flexible RAW+JPEG modes
  • Customizable Mirror lock-up (1 - 30 seconds)
  • Spot metering (Center and highlight/shadow)
 
Olympus E-520

Canon EOS 450D

Sony A350

Pentax K200D

Price (Body only)
(With kit lens)

$575/£450
$660/£490 [check]
$640/£430
$700/£450 [check]
$700/£400
$800/£450 [check]
$560/£400
$630/£450 [check]
Construction • Plastic • Plastic
• Plastic • Plastic
Dust removal • Supersonic Wave Filter
• Anti-static coating
• Sensor-shift shake
• Anti-static coating
• Sensor-shift shake
• Anti-static coating
• Sensor-shift shake
• Anti-static coating
Image stabilization • Sensor shift
• Horizontal and Vertical panning modes
• Kit lens • Sensor shift • Sensor shift
Sensor type • LiveMOS CMOS CCD CCD
Sensor size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm 23.5 x 15.7 mm
Pixel density (MP/cm²) 4.0 3.7 4.0 2.8
Effective pixels 10.0 million 12.2 million 14.2 million 10.0 million
Aspect ratio 4:3 3:2 3:2 3:2
FOV crop 2x 1.6x 1.5x 1.5x
Image size 3648 x 2736 4272 x 2848 4592 x 3056 3872 x 2592
Live View • Yes
• Up to 10x magnify
• Contrast or Phase AF
• Different modes
• Yes
• Up to 10x magnify
• Contrast or Phase AF
• Different modes
• Yes
• No view zoom
• AF without mirror flip
• No
Lens support • All Four Thirds lenses • Canon EF/EF-S • Sony Alpha
• Minolta A-type
• KAF2
• KAF3
• KAF
• KA
File formats • JPEG
• RAW (ORF)
• JPEG
• RAW (CR2)

• JPEG
• RAW (ARW)

• JPEG
• RAW (PEF)
• RAW (DNG)
Auto focus • 3 point
• 1 cross-type
• 0 to 19 EV
• 9 point
• 1 cross-type
• -0.5 to 18 EV
• 9 point
• 1 cross-type
• 0 to 18 EV
• Eye-start AF option
• 11 point
• 9 cross-type
• -1 to 18 EV
AF illuminator Flash strobe
Flash strobe Flash strobe Flash strobe
AF adjustment No No No No
Metering sensor 49 zone sensor 35 zone 40 segment 16 segment
Metering range 1 - 20 EV 1 to 20 EV 2 to 20 EV 0 - 21 EV
Metering modes • Digital ESP
• Center-weighted average
• Spot
• Highlight based spot
• Shadow based spot

• Evaluative
• Partial
• Spot
• CWA

• Evaluative
• Spot
• CWA
• Multi-segment
• Spot
• CWA
Exp. comp. +/- 5.0 EV +/- 2.0 EV +/- 2.0 EV +/- 2.0 EV
Exp. comp. EV steps 0.3, 0.5 or 1 EV 0.3 or 0.5 EV 0.3 or 0.5 EV 0.3 or 0.5 EV
Manual EV steps 0.3, 0.5 or 1 EV 0.3 or 0.5 EV 0.3 or 0.5 EV 0.3 or 0.5 EV
Sensitivity range (boost setting) 100 - 1600 100 - 1600 100 - 3200 100 - 1600
Auto ISO adjust Yes Yes Yes Yes
Shutter speed 60 - 1/4000 sec 30 - 1/4000 sec 30 - 1/4000 sec 30 - 1/4000 sec
Continuous rate (high) • 3.5 fps
• Unlimited JPEG/HQ frames
• 8 RAW frames
• 3.5 fps
• 53 JPEG/Fine frames
• 6 RAW frames
• 2.5 fps
• Unlimited JPEG/Fine
• 4 RAW frames
• 2.8 fps
• 4 frames JPEG/Fine
• 4 RAW frames
White balance • 8 presets (with adj)
• Manual preset
• Kelvin temperature
• 6 presets (with adj)
• Color temp (K)
• Manual
• 6 presets (with adj)
• Color temp (K)
• Manual
• 8 presets (with adj)
• Manual preset
• Kelvin temperature
Image parameters • 5 presets
• 1 User defined
• Saturation +/- 2
• Contrast +/- 2
• Sharpness +/- 2
• Gradation 4 settings

• 6 presets
• 3 User defined
• Sharpness 0-7
• Contrast +/- 4
• Saturation +/- 4
• Color tone +/- 4

• 8 presets
• Saturation +/- 3
• Contrast +/- 3
• Sharpness +/- 3
• 6 presets
• Saturation +/- 4
• Hue +/- 4
• Contrast +/- 4
• Sharpness/Fine +/- 4
Noise reduction control 4 levels 1 additional level 3 levels 4 levels
DR extension mode Auto Gradation Highlight Tone Priority DRO (2 modes) DRng
Built-in flash • Electronic pop-up
• Guide no. 12 (ISO 100)
• Electronic pop-up
• Guide no. 13 (ISO 100)
• Electronic pop-up
• Guide no. 12 (ISO 100)
• Electronic pop-up
• Guide no. 13 (ISO 100)
External flash • Hot-shoe
• Wireless flash
• Hot-shoe • Hot-shoe
• Wireless flash
• Hot-shoe
• Wireless flash
Flash sync speed 1/180 sec 1/200 sec 1/160 sec 1/180 sec
Delete in record review No Yes Yes Yes
Storage • Compact Flash card
• xD Picture card
• SD (Inc SDHC) • CF (inc. UDMA) SD/SDHC card
Viewfinder • Pentamirror
• 95% coverage
• 0.92x magnification
• Pentamirror
• 95% coverage
• 0.87x magnification
• Pentamirror
• 95% coverage
• 0.74 x magnification
• Pentamirror
• 96% coverage
• 0.85 x magnification
LCD monitor • 2.7 " TFT LCD
• 230,000 dots
• 3.0" TFT LCD
• 230,000 dots
• 2.7" TFT LCD
• 230,000 dots
• 2.7 " TFT LCD
• 230,000 dots
LCD articulation No No Yes, 45° down, 90° up No
Top panel LCD No No No Yes
Vertical grip No Yes, BG-E5 Yes, VG-B30AM Yes, D-BG3
Dimensions 136 x 92 x 68 mm
(5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
129 x 98 x 62 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
132 x 99 x 75 mm
(5.2 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
134 x 95 x 74 mm
(5.3 x 3.7 x 2.9 in)
Weight (inc batt) 490 g (1.1 lb) 522 g (1.2 lb) 664 g (1.5 lb) 690 g (1.5 lb)
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