Whilst Olympus is one of the founders of the xD Picture format, with Fujifilm as the other party, it is not so obvious for Olympus to actually support this medium. The market segment of the xD is not what both parties would have expected it to be and the storage capacity (maximum of 2GB) stays behind compared to the competition. The SD format may be called standard nowadays, in any case for compact cameras, and it offers a maximum storage capacity of 32 GB. The fact Olympus is not supporting SD may have to do with their relationship with the xD card. Anyway, besides the xD slot we also find a CompactFlash card slot on the Olympus E-520, so not to worry about storage capacity.
Olympus E-520 supports CompactFlash & xD Picture cards
CompactFlash is available in many types with as main differences, speed and storage capacity. We chose an Extreme III of SanDisk as a minimum storage medium, to ensure optimal speed and image reproduction in the camera. The Olympus E520 delivers 10 Megapixel files. The format the camera stores in is JPEG or RAW. The latter can be converted with the standard included Olympus Master software, although you can also process the RAW pictures with the latest version of Adobe Camera RAW. In order to work fluently without encountering capacity problems, a 2GB memory card is the minimum capacity you should use.
Considering 2GB of storage capacity:
RAW - 3648x2736 - 11MB - 182 pictures
JPEG - Superfine - 3648x2736 - 1/2.7 - 6.8MB - 294 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 3648x2736 - 1/4 - 4.7MB - 422 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 3648x2736 - 1/8 - 2.2MB - 920 pictures
JPEG - Basic - 3648x2736 - 1/12 - 1.5MB - 1374 pictures
JPEG - Superfine - 3200 x 2400 - 1/2.7 - 5.3MB - 374 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 3200 x 2400 - 1/4 - 3.7MB - 534 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 3200 x 2400 - 1/8 - 1.7MB - 1194 pictures
JPEG - Basic - 3200 x 2400 - 1/12 - 1.1MB - 1776 pictures
JPEG - Superfine - 2560 x 1920 - 1/2.7 - 3.6MB - 560 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 2560 x 1920 - 1/4 - 2.2MB - 932 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 2560 x 1920 - 1/8 - 1.1MB - 1854 pictures
JPEG - Basic - 2560 x 1920 - 1/12 - 0.7MB - 2722 pictures
JPEG - Superfine - 1600 x 1200 - 1/2.7 - 1.3MB - 1598 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 1600 x 1200 - 1/4 - 0.8MB - 2326 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 1600 x 1200 - 1/8 - 0.5MB - 4568 pictures
JPEG - Basic - 1600 x 1200 - 1/12 - 0.3MB - 6396 pictures
JPEG - Superfine - 1280 x 960 - 1/2.7 - 0.8MB - 2460 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 1280 x 960 - 1/4 - 0.5MB - 3552 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 1280 x 960 - 1/8 - 0.3MB - 6732 pictures
JPEG - Basic - 1280 x 960 - 1/12 - 0.2MB - 9840 pictures
JPEG - Superfine - 1024 x 768 - 1/2.7 - 0.5MB - 3762 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 1024 x 768 - 1/4 - 0.4MB - 5330 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 1024 x 768 - 1/8 - 0.2MB - 9840 pictures
JPEG - Basic - 1024 x 768 - 1/12 - 0.1MB - 14214 pictures
JPEG - Superfine - 640 x 480 - 1/2.7 - 0.2MB - 9138 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 640 x 480 - 1/4 - 0.2MB - 12792 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 640 x 480 - 1/8 - 0.1MB - 21322 pictures
JPEG - Basic - 640 x 480 - 1/12 – 0.1MB - 25586 pictures
Fast SanDisk Extreme III memory card advisable
Using a faster memory card, in combination with a large storage capacity is advisable. The Olympus E-520 benefits from the processing speed of the memory card. xD Pictures as well as CompactFlash offer these faster cards. I left the xD Picture card for what it is, and turned to the Extreme III of SanDisk which offers a superb performance. High resolution RAW and JPEG pictures are written onto the card extremely fast, and using a fast card reader, USB 2.0 Hi-Speed or FireWire, the pictures are transferred to a desk top or lap top in no-time.
Olympus E-520 supports USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection
SD / SDHC format memory cards are available in various speeds. The advantage of a faster memory card is rapid data transfer providing the computer and the device reading the card are equipped with a fast USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection. This should be no problem with the latest generation of notebooks and computers. The Olympus E-520 digital SLR camera features this fast interface. Or you can choose to purchase a card reader. This handy device needs to be connected to the USB port and is capable of reading a card and writing to it rapidly. The computer will recognize the device as an external hard drive. Additionally you will also save energy.
E-520 battery can be switched over with other Olympus cameras
The battery of the Olympus E520 remained untouched, and that is pleasant for all those photographers switching over from an Olympus E-1, E-500 or C8080 Zoom camera. If a manufacturer repeatedly changes their batteries, exchangeability fails and it is rather maddening when you have to purchase a new type of battery all the time. Thankfully, the Olympus E-520 is true to this battery. It is a pity, however, that Olympus do not include a faster battery charger with the camera. It is a downer for every photographer having to wait for 5 hours before the battery is fully charged and photographing is enabled. Live View lets you make a considerable amount of pictures, according to CIPA approximately 650 pictures. However, if you use the Live View functionality fully, you have to count with a lesser amount, some 300-350 pictures. That is to say; in the situation we used the camera in practice, and the amount varies due to temperature differences of the environment in which photographing takes place. Since Olympus did not reveal CIPA data on the energy consumption with Live View activated, we can only consider our own situation in which pictures were taken.