Olympus E-520 Review
Considering the E-520 is a pretty inexpensive DSLR, it offers an impressive amount of customizable functions. The menu structure and many of the options have been taken over from Olympus' flagship DSLR - the E3; and just like on the E3 you'll find seemingly endless pages of menus and sub-menus.
The disadvantage of having so many options is that the menus are complex to the point of near-incomprehensibility, a situation not helped by the rather runic titles and icons each menu is given. Even equipped with a map, compass and user manual, it's quite a quest to find how to engage the 'Super Fine' quality JPEG option, if you really want compressed files 2/3 as big as shooting RAW, but with less data in them.
It is worth learning your way around, since there are some useful options in here. And, thankfully, the Super Control Panel means that it's unusual for you to have to delve into the main menus.
Custom Menu 1
This menu is enormous and offers nine pages ('A' to 'I') of options grouped into fairly logical sections covering everything from autofocus to image quality settings and button behavior. The menus are navigated using the up and down buttons, with the right arrow opening menus and the left arrow taking you back one level.
Actually this isn't always the case; there are some levels you cannot exit by pressing the left arrow (you have to press 'Menu' instead), which is not only inconsistent but also pretty annoying. In this case the shutter button doesn't cancel the menu either.
|AF Illuminat.|| • Off
|Uses the internal flash to assist auto focusing in low light.|
|Focus ring|| • Counter clockwise
|Defines the direction in which the manual focus ring operates.|
|Reset lens|| • Off
|Refocuses to infinity when the camera shuts down.|
|Bulb focusing|| • Off
|Defines whether focus can be altered during exposure in bulb mode.|
|Live View AF Mode|| • AF Sensor
• Hybrid AF
• Imager AF
|Selects the AF mode in Live View|
|Dial Function|| • P
|Allows functions to be assigned to the control dial in different shooting modes.|
|Dial Direction|| • Counter clockwise
|Defines the direction in which the control dial operates.|
|AEL/AFL|| • S-AF AEL/AFL
• C-AF AEL/AFL
• MF AEL/AFL
|Allows the selection of modes that dictate the behavior of exposure and focus at shutter-button half press, full press and AEL/AFL button held.|
|AEL/AFL MEMO|| • Off
|Toggles whether AEL/AFL button needs to be held to retain AEL.|
|Fn button|| • Face Detect
• Preview (DOF)
• One touch WB
• Preview B (DOF in Live View)
• Test Picture
|Assigns a function to the left arrow button.|
|Sequential shooting button|| • Remote/Timer/Cont.
• AF Area
• AF Mode
|Normal includes the area around the AF point for focusing.|
|My mode|| • My mode 1
• My mode 2
|Button timer|| • 3 Sec
• 5 Sec
• 8 Sec
|Dictates how long a function remains active afer a button press.|
|AEL/AFL<>Fn|| • Off
|Swaps the behaviors of the AEL/AFL and Fn buttons.|
|Lock|| • Off
|Locks the four-way controller to prevent unintended operation.|
C: Release priority mode
|Rls Priority S|| • Off
|Will the camera shoot without achieving focus in AF-S mode?|
|Rls Priority C|| • Off
|Will the camera shoot without achieving focus in AF-C mode?|
|Beep|| • Off
|Decides whether the camera beeps upon obtaining focus lock|
|Sleep|| • Off
• 1 Min
• 2 Min
• 3 Min
• 5 Min
• 10 Min
|Sets the period of inactivity before sleep mode is engaged.|
|Backlit LCD|| • 8 Sec
• 30 Sec
• 1 Min
|Selects the period for which the LCD remains lit after a button press.|
|4 h Timer|| • Off
• 4 h
|Turns the camera off after 4 hours of inactivity.|
|USB Mode|| • Auto
• Print Easy
• Print Custom
|Defines the behavior of the camera when connected by USB. Auto brings up a selection menu each time a connection is made.|
|Live View boost|| • Off
|On brightens screen in low light, Off mimics brightness of exposure.|
|Face Detect|| • Off
|Enables Face Detection in Live View|
|Frame assist|| • Off
• Golden section
|Chooses the composition guides that can be shown in live view mode.|
|EV Step|| • 1/3 EV
• 1/2 EV
• 1 EV
|Sets the size of steps used for exposure and exposure compensation.|
|ISO-Auto set|| • High limit
ISO 100 - 1600
|Sets the upper limit used by Auto ISO mode.|
|ISO-Auto|| • P/A/S
|Selects which modes ISO-Auto is active in. All includes Manual mode.|
|AEL Metering|| • Auto
• Center weighted
• Spot (Highlights)
• Spot (Shadows)
|Selects the metering mode used when the AEL button is pressed. Auto meters using the mode currently selected.|
|Bulb timer|| • 1 Min
• 2 Min
• 4 Min
• 8 Min
• 15 Min
• 20 Min
• 25 Min
• 30 Min
|Sets maximum exposure in bulb mode.|
|Flash x-sync|| • 1/180
|Sets the sync speed used with an external flash that does not report its sync speed.|
|Flash slow limit|| • 1/180
|Sets the minimum shutter speed that will be used with flash.|
|Ev comp + Flash comp|| • Off
|When enabled flash comp is added to Ev comp|
|Auto Pop Up|| • Off
G: Record mode/Color/WB
|All WB comp|| • All Set
Amber (15 steps)
Green (15 steps)
• All Reset
|Applies a correction to all WB presets. Or resets that correction.|
|Color space|| • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
|Sets the color space used in JPEGs.|
|Shading comp.|| • Off
|Sets the color space used in JPEGs.|
|Compression set|| • JPEG size/quality 1 set
• JPEG size/quality 2 set
• JPEG size/quality 3 set
• JPEG size/quality 4 set
|Selects the image size (Large/Middle/Small) and compression settings (SuperFine/Fine/Normal/Basic), that the camera uses for shooting JPEGS.|
|Pixel count|| • Middle
3200 x 2400
2560 x 1920
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
1024 x 768
640 x 480
|Defines the sizes of 'Middle' and 'Small' JPEGs.|
|Quick erase|| • Off
|Dictates whether the delete button offers a confirmation screen|
|RAW + JPEG erase|| • JPEG
• RAW + JPEG
|Dictates which components of a RAW + JPEG shot are deleted when deleting images individually.|
|Filename|| • Auto
|Auto continues numbering onto new cards Reset starts again.|
|Priority set|| • Off
|Dictates whether the default delete/format option is Yes or No|
|dpi settings|| • Auto
|Applies print resolution based on image size or a chosen output res.|
|Cleaning Mode||Raises the mirror for cleaning|
| • Dial
|Swaps underwater scene modes onto the mode dial.|
AEL/AFL modes (S-AF & MF)
|Shutter full-press||AEL/AFL button|
|mode 1||AEL & AFL||Exposure||AEL|
|mode 2||AFL||AEL & Exposure||AEL|
AEL/AFL modes (C-AF)
|Shutter full-press||AEL/AFL button|
|mode 1||AEL & AF Start||AFL & Exposure||AEL|
|mode 2||AF Start||AEL & AFL & Exposure||AEL|
|mode 3||AEL||AFL & Exposure||AF Start|
|mode 4||None||AEL & AFL & Exposure||AF Start|
Custom Menu 2
Custom menu 2 is what we'd normally see referred to as the 'setup' menu; here you'll find menus for a range of camera (rather than shooting) options, including basics such as date/time and video output format. Why Olympus chose to lump so many options into menu 1 that could be here is inexplicable (how often do you change the print dpi, USB mode or backlight timer, for example?).
|Date/Time|| • Date Format
|CF/xD|| • CF
|Select which media to store images (if two cards inserted)|
• Prefix 1
|Allows you to select up to two alphanumeric characters as a filename prefix. (Underscore, then one character in AdobeRGB mode)|
|LCD Brightness||• -7 to +7|
|Language|| • English
|Video Out|| • NTSC
|Record View|| • Off
• 1 - 20 sec
• Auto Play
|Amount of time record review is displayed.|
|Pixel Mapping||• Start|
|Firmware||• Show||Displays current firmware|
- 18 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 19 Photographic tests (DR)
- 20 Photographic tests
- 21 Compared to
- 22 Compared to (JPEG)
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (JPEG)
- 25 Compared to (JPEG)
- 26 Compared to (RAW)
- 27 Compared to (RAW)
- 28 Compared to (RAW)
- 29 Compared to (RAW)
- 30 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 31 Compared to (Resolution)
- 32 Conclusion
- 33 Samples
Aug 20, 2008
May 13, 2008
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