Olympus E-500 EVOLT Review
Top of camera controls
The controls on the top of the camera are the same as the E-300 apart from the addition of an exposure compensation button just behind the shutter release button. The biggest change is that the exposure mode / power dial has been moved further over to the left leaving the main dial more separated and accessible. After flicking the switch to the ON position the camera takes approximately 2.7 seconds before it is ready to shoot. On the rear there are three controls 'under your thumb'; on the left the AEL/AFL button, then on the right the new multi-function customizable button and the AF point selection button.
Some settings usch as exposure compensation are changed by holding a button and turning the main dial, my annoyance with this control was that you have to turn it quite slowly otherwise the camera can't 'keep up' with exactly how many clicks you have dialed in.
• -5.0 EV to +5.0 EV
• 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps
|Auto Exposure / Auto Focus Lock
The AEL/AFL button can be programmed in a variety of different ways for different focus modes (Single AF, Continuous AF and Manual Focus). It can be programmed to be momentary AE Lock or Memo/Cancel AE Lock, it can also be programmed to perform and lock Auto Focus at the same time. These modes are described later in this preview.
|One-touch WB / multi function button
By default this button can be used to set the custom white balance, hold and press the shutter release. This button can be customized to perform any one of four functions:
• One-touch White Balance
• Test Picture (hold to take a shot without saving)
• My Mode (hold to use recorded 'My Mode' settings)
• Preview (depth of field preview)
|Auto focus point
After pressing this button turn the main dial to select between the four different AF points / modes:
• Automatic selection from three points
• Left point
• Center point
• Right point
Exposure Mode Dial
|AUTO||Fully Automatic Mode
In Auto mode the camera is essentially 'point and shoot' with automatic pop-up of the flash and Auto default settings. Interestingly however you can still access the same range of settings as in the 'creative modes'.
Programmed Auto (Flexible)
Aperture Priority Auto
Shutter Priority Auto
Full Manual Exposure
Selects large apertures (low F numbers) to provide narrow depth of field, this creates the out of focus 'blurred' background effect which enhances portrait photographs.
Image parameters: Sharpness -1.
Selects smaller apertures (high F numbers) to provide larger depth of field (foreground and background appear in focus). This mode also appears to adjust color balance to optimize blues and greens.
WB: Daylight, Image parameters: Sharpness +1, Contrast +1.
Selects an aperture above F4.0 to improve sharpness from the lens, also enables the continuous manual focus mode (S-AF + MF).
Selects large apertures (small F numbers) to achieve the fastest possible shutter speed to try and freeze fast action and avoid blurring. Enables continuous AF (C-AF).
|Scene: Night Scene and Portrait
Enables noise reduction and configures the camera for optimum night exposures (although for some reason the camera picks Daylight WB, this won't work in a city night shot environment). Also enables Slow Sync flash.
WB: Daylight, Image parameters: Sharpness -1, Contrast -2. Flash: Slow Sync
Allows you to select one of the fourteen built-in scene modes (each is shown on the LCD monitor with an image sample and short description):
• Landscape & Portrait
• Night Scene
• Night Scene & Portrait
• High Key
• Low key
• Beach & Snow
Minimum shutter speeds
Note that the minimum shutter speed varies in P and A mode depending on sensitivity.
|ISO 100||ISO 200||ISO 400||ISO 800||ISO 1600|
|P||15 sec||8 sec||4 sec||2 sec||1 sec|
|A||30 sec||15 sec||8 sec||4 sec||2 sec|
|M||60 sec + Bulb|
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