Olympus E-510 digital reflex camera
Unlike the E-400, we had to await the successor of the E-500 for awhile. This is not so bad in itself, because the Olympus E-500 is a fine camera. Olympus has managed to combine the advantages of the E-500 with the E-410 in the new Olympus E-510, which has made it a very interesting camera. An advantage of course is that the newest Olympus now has 10 Megapixels, so that you can make nice enlargements, but this is not the most important improvement.
Olympus E510 digital SLR - Viewfinder
The most important improvement has been made in the optical viewfinder. It is much better; it is really nice to work with. For a camera in the FourThirds System, it is pretty big and clear. Additionally, the viewfinder offers a lot of information such as the status and the battery life. This is not even offered in some of its competitors’ top models!
Olympus E-510 SLR - Live View monitor
Another important improvement is the Live View. It is clear that we will see this in new cameras more and more often. It definitely has its advantages. You can easily take photographs from an awkward angle, and you can see what you are doing more easily, especially because the viewfinder of the Olympus E-510 only partially shows what is actually being photographed. Live View shows you the whole frame. It is very pleasant that the autofocus keeps working when you want to capture the moment. During Live View focusing does not occur, it only starts to focus when you push the shutter release button all the way. Another advantage of Live View is the live histogram, which allows you to assess the lighting of the photograph immediately. The disadvantage of this is that it uses a lot of power, although the Olympus E-510 performs fairly well in that respect.
Olympus Evolt E-510 D-SLR - Ergonomics
The Olympus E-510 resembles the E-410 a lot more in terms of appearance and user friendliness, which is not bad at all. The cosmetic changes have improved the camera, and the ease of use has increased. I especially appreciate the information displayed on the back of the camera and the ease with which you can adjust the settings there. This is how I like a camera, no more searching through menus, but clear organization which can be seen at a glance. One shortcoming is the amount of focus points. There are only three and they are concentrated too much in the centre.
Olympus E510 DSLR - Image Quality & Noise
The image quality of the Olympus E-510 is very good. It is clearly a lot better than that of the E-410, as far as I am concerned. Noise is not a big problem, although it is visible, but only at high ISO rates, such as 1600 and 800. At other rates it is fine. You do have to adjust the settings according to your own needs, though, which is luckily very easy to do with the Olympus E-510. Everyone has their own tastes, after all, and this is not up for discussion.
Olympus Evolt E-510 - Very good D-SLR camera
All in all, the Olympus E-510 is a very good D-SLR camera. It has a nice and solid build, good image quality and it is easy to use. In addition, the camera is fairly compact, it features Live View, and is part of the FourThirds System so that you can mount a large number of lenses. One of these is the ultra wide-angle zoom lens that was included in our test. This Zuiko Digital 7-14mm performs better than we ever could have expected from such a wide-angle zoom lens. You do have to shell out quite a bit for it, but in return you get a gem of a lens.
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Olympus E510 - JPEG & RAW files
With ten Megapixels the E-510 delivers large files. A RAW file, simply named an ORF or Olympus RAW File, is easily 11MBs. If you make it an 8 bits TIFF file, than it can be around 29MB. That is why it is easy to understand that Olympus has dropped this format as a processed file. You can, of course, save space by photographing in JPEG format, but then you will miss the extensive settings possible in the RAW format. To convert the RAW files, Olympus includes the Olympus Master 2 software in the package. You can also edit the Olympus E-510’s photos in the newest version of the Adobe Camera RAW. I find that this software is a bit more intuitive to operate. In order to be able to photograph continuously with the Olympus E-510, you need quite a large memory card, especially if you want to work with RAW and JPEG simultaneously. I would recommend a 2GB card. In the following table you can see how many images will fit onto a 1GB card.
Considering a storage capacity of 1GB:
RAW - 3648x2736 - 11MB - pictures
JPEG - SHQ - 3648 x 2736 - 1/2.7 - 6.8MB - pictures
JPEG - HQ - 3648 x 2736 - 1/4 - 4.7MB - pictures
JPEG - HQ - 3648 x 2736 - 1/8 - 2.2MB - pictures
JPEG - HQ - 3648 x 2736 - 1/12 - 1.5MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 3200 x 2400 - 1/2.7 – 5.3MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 3200 x 2400 - 1/4 - 3.7MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 3200 x 2400 - 1/8 - 1.7MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 3200 x 2400 - 1/12 - 1.1MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 2560 x 1920 - 1/2.7 - 3.6MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 2560 x 1920 - 1/4 - 2.2MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 2560 x 1920 - 1/8 - 1.1MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 2560 x 1920 - 1/12 - 0.7MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1600 x 1200 - 1/2.7 - 1.3MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1600 x 1200 - 1/4 - 0.8MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1600 x 1200 - 1/8 - 0.5MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1600 x 1200 - 1/12 - 0.3MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1280 x 960 - 1/2.7 - 0.8MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1280 x 960 - 1/4 - 0.5MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1280 x 960 - 1/8 - 0.3MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1280 x 960 - 1/12 - 0.2MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1024 x 768 - 1/2.7 - 0.5MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1024 x 768 - 1/4 - 0.4MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1024 x 768 - 1/8 - 0.2MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 1024 x 768 - 1/12 - 0.1MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 640 x 480 - 1/2.7 - 0.2MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 640 x 480 - 1/4 - 0.2MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 640 x 480 - 1/8 - 0.1MB - pictures
JPEG - SQ - 640 x 480 - 1/12 - 0.1MB - pictures