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Olympus E500 | Digital Camera Review | Camera
Contrary to the E-300, the Olympus E-500 once again eyes as a true D-SLR. It comes equipped with a regular prism viewfinder. This should definitely be seen as a good thing, since the deviating design of the E-300 seems to repel rather than attract users. The camera's housing has been skilfully designed. The camera is small yet everything has been logically positioned and is easy to operate. In addition, the Olympus E500 lies pleasantly in your hand. It is clear that Olympus are more than experienced when it comes to designing compact SLRs.
Olympus E500 | Digital Camera Olympus E500 | Digital Camera
Olympus E-500 SLR metalen bajonetvatting
Let's take a closer look at the camera. On the front side we see a metal bayonet mount. This is entirely in accordance to the principle of the FourThirds system, which ensures that even lenses from unknown brands will fit effortlessly on the E-500 reflex. We can also see the small mirror. This time Olympus have opted for one that can be regularly folded upwards, whereas with the E-300 the user had to employ all the tricks in the book to send the light to the viewfinder. On the left upper side a led has been located, indicating when working with the self-timer, as well as being used for the camera's infrared operation. The prism viewfinder again eyes pleasantly square, just as was the case with the OM-series, something that should without doubt be seen as a compliment. The unlock button for the Zuiko Digital lens is located right of the bayonet.

Olympus E500 SLR camera - LCD monitor and Optical viewfinder
As in the case with all D-SLR's, most happens on the back of the camera, with the large 2.5 inch monitor in the centre. The monitor is of good quality. Above the monitor we find the optical viewfinder. It has to be said it is tiny, which I have to admit comes as a pity. The lens can be closed with the cover of the flash shoe; yet another clever feature! The dioptre setting can be found left of the lens. Right below it we find a row of buttons, the menu button and an information button. The symbols on the buttons are coloured, which decreases their visibility in the dark. To the right side of the viewfinder we find the exposure and focus lock. At the thumb grip a quick button for the manual white balance and the selection button for the focus areas is located. A little lower we find a button to copy images or to send the photos to the printer via Pictbridge. In the recording mode it is this button that handles the image speed. The control centre consists of four buttons placed in a circle, with the OK-button in its centre. These four buttons enable you to quickly access the white balance, the focus, the sensitivity and the light metering. Lastly, we find a led at the bottom, which indicates when a card action is in progress.
Olympus E500 - USB en Memory compartment
On the right side of the camera we find the USB connection behind a rubber, situated right next to the eyelet for a camera strap. Unfortunately it is only a USB 2.0 of the slow version (USB Full Speed). The other side of the Olympus E-500 is entirely taken by the door for the memory cards. Behind this door both CompactFlash and xD Picture memory cards can be placed. The latter makes perfect sense when you realise that Olympus is one of the founders of the xD card. Upon opening the door, the camera immediately ceases to write the images onto the card. A certain amount of caution is thus required; you run the risk of losing several image still stored in the buffer without noticing.

Olympus E-500 SLR camera - Flash and Command dial
On top of the prism we find the flash shoe for an external flash. The Olympus E500 is also equipped with a built-in flash, which folds up to a very good height. Naturally, the shutter release button is located on the handgrip, with the exposure correction right above it. A handy location as it is easily accessible with your index finger. Next to the viewfinder we find a small lamp which indicates when the SSWF is active. Above it the mode dial for the various shooting programs is located. The main switch can be found around the mode dial. Close to the thumb grip the command dial is located, with which you select an array of available settings. When turning the camera upside down, we see a lid for the Lithium Ion battery and -of course- a tripod mount. The Olympus E-500 is a camera that feels solid and well-built. Everything has been neatly finished and closes just as it should. You will most certainly not have the impression of working with a cheap camera.
Olympus E500 Olympus E500
   
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