|Hand-fit and housing of the Olympus E-520
The hand-fit of the camera is perfect; thanks to the short and somewhat thick handgrip that makes the Olympus E520 rest nicely in your hand. The handgrip is covered with a kind of soft rubber for a pleasant anti-slip feeling. The remaining plastic of the housing is a bit smoother. If we detach the 14-42 mm lens, we find a metal bayonet mount. The mirror in the housing is strikingly small. A larger mirror is not required while the image sensor of a FourThirds system camera is not that large, which proves one of the space-saving advantages of the system.
Buttons on the Olympus E-520 SLR
The top side of the Olympus E-520 has not changed compared to its predecessor. On top of the prism house, a standard hot shoe is placed offering support to the series of Olympus flash units. Handy is the built-in flash that the E-520 fortunately doesn’t lack. On the right, we find the dial sticking out, with on it the main exposure programs, and below the dial, the main switch. The shutter release button is placed on the front of the handgrip and has a pleasant pressure point. The control dial turns smoothly with sufficient resistance. We also find the tiny lamp in front of the setting dial, which indicates when the integrated dust reduction is active on the E-520.
2.7" LCD monitor with Live View function
The back of the Olympus E-520 is similar to that of the E-510 with the exception of the larger LCD monitor. The 2.7 inch LCD monitor offers a wide viewing angle, so that a perfect reproduction is ensured from all angles, high, low, left or right. In addition, the monitor offers the Live View function. This is quite convenient when taking landscape pictures or, for example, for product shots, although it is a tad too slow to capture action moments.
|There is also a possibility to reproduce the result of face detection and Shadow Adjustment technology live on the monitor. The additional functionality of the monitor adds to the value of a DSLR camera and it looks like this is only just the beginning. On top of the monitor, we find the optical viewfinder that is easy to work with in practice. The viewfinder may not be as large as those of some of its competitors, yet it suffices and offers a clear and bright view.
Operation of the LCD display
The row of buttons on the left of the monitor serve for various functions such as viewing and deleting pictures and activating the menu. Extra information such as a histogram or extended information is possible afterwards and during capturing pictures. On the right of the monitor, a circle of the most frequently used buttons is placed, with the OK-button located in its centre. These buttons offer access to the main settings and functions, such as ISO and white balance and also focus and light metering. The remaining buttons are found just a tad higher on the back of the camera. Very convenient is the function button that allows you to dedicate, activate or change a setting in an extremely simple yet fast way.
Memory compartment of the Olympus E520
The handgrip of the camera contains the memory compartment which is covered neatly by a solid lid. Olympus support xD Picture as well as the CompactFlash memory card. It will not surprise me in the slightest if the next generation Olympus DSLR cameras support the SD format, however, since xD is starting to become a rather exotic article. The bottom of the Olympus E-520 contains a universal metal tripod mount, positioned in a way that allows you to change the battery when the camera is mounted to a tripod. The battery is a PS-BLM1 Lithium-Ion battery with 7.2V 1500mAh of power.