Olympus E-510 Review

August 9, 2007 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 6 Comments | |

Olympus E-510The E-510 is the second DSLR camera introduced by Olympus in 2007. Aimed at the keen enthusiast, the Olympus E-510 is bigger, more expensive and offers a few more features than the E-410 model. Principally the E510 has a built-in image stabilizer in the camera body, bigger hand-grip and is a physically larger camera. We loved the E-410 when we reviewed it a couple of weeks ago, so can the E-510 match or even surpass its sibling? Gavin Stoker finds out.

Website: Olympus E-510 Review

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#1 Zoltán

I'd been wondering if it is right to criticise a review that is provided for free but I've finally decided to point out a few apparent deficiencies in the hope that all can be corrected.

1) The review does not even mention that there are four Noise Filter settings, both in camera and in the supplied raw developer. A professional review would have to include a comparison of these, maybe in a matrix with the different sharpness settings, as the latter has an effect on the amount of visible noise in an image. I recognise that you may not have the time and / or energy for that. However, as a minimum it should be noted what Noise Filter setting was used for the noise test included. Also, it would be nice to hear about your recommended 'optimum' setting - some reviewers have suggested that the Noise Filter be turned off and the sharpening be dialled all the way down to -2, others have cast their vote in favour of a Low NF setting combined with a sharpening setting of -1. What's your take?

2) On the first page, you are saying [about Image Stabilisation], "for slower shutter speeds or low light shots it's certainly an extra worth having, but an extra worth paying £100 more for? We'll see…", but there is no test of the stabilisation anywhere in the review.

3) As regards the sample images, it would be nice to include the following info for each: contrast, sharpness, ISO sensitivity and Noise Filter settings, plus info on whether Image Stabilisation was used or not. I realise most of this can be gathered from the EXIF but for that, everybody would have to save each shot on their hard drive and open them with an EXIF reader, so providing these five pieces of information for each photograph on the thumbnails page would be most welcome.

4) I haven't found it mentioned in the review that the E-510 has five metering modes. I personally am aware of their existence and the different uses for each, but it would be useful to explain them to other readers, for whom this might well be the first review they have found about this camera.

5) Mr Andrzej Wrotniak has found that LiveView was useful for composing shots when an infrared filter is attached to the lens (a situation in which the optical finder is of no use because it does not let any visible light through), and that you needed to activate the Live View Boost option from the menu to make use of it. Can you verify his finding?

6) A test of the anti-dust mechanism would be useful, many reviewers have been doing this for some time. Unless of course you paid for the camera with your own money, in which case you could be forgiven for being reluctant to blow dust on the sensor...;-)


9:50 am - Wednesday, August 8, 2007

#2 zippy

I absolutely agree with the above comment - in fact to call this a review at all is stretching the definition to breaking point. Most of it is a re-hashing of the contents of the brochure and a few unqualified comments that imply the whole 'review' took about an hour and that the reviewer has no real experience of digital SLR systems. Where is the testing of the effectiveness of the IS system? What about the clunky AF in live view system? Noise reduction settings? Resolution? Dynamic Range? focus speed/accuracy? Metering? I expect to read superficial 'reviews' like this on gizmodo or in T3, not on a photography site... sorry :(

10:35 pm - Wednesday, August 8, 2007

#3 pablo

I like Olympus cameras. I have a point and shoot that I use on this site http://www.flickr.com/projectnine6 and it's never let me down. I'm sure this sleek, new SLR would do these pictures justice.

3:39 am - Tuesday, October 16, 2007

#4 Mike

Traded my Mamiya RB67 for an E-510 twin-lens kit last week (I'm an old OM fan as well)and am delighted with my new baby in every way. However, I'm less certain about the RAW software supplied; maybe I need to get used to it after Adobe Elements but so far it doesn't seem quite as handy; it'll probably come but some mention of the software might be helpful to future prospective purchasers.

1:53 pm - Monday, December 17, 2007

#5 Zoltán


Try downloading the trial version of Olympus Studio, and updating it to v2.11 - Olympus Studio is more flexible than Olympus Master, though you will need quite a bit of RAM for it to run at an acceptable speed (not fast). Other options include virtually any known third-party raw converter, such as Bibble, SilkyPix, Lightroom, Lightzone... you name it.

11:01 am - Tuesday, December 18, 2007

#6 Phillip Corcoran

Regarding Olympus Studio trial version -- it cannot be updated. At least that was the position when I tried it in 2006.

5:30 pm - Sunday, April 13, 2008