Olympus E-510 EVOLT Review

Just before PMA in March 2007 Olympus introduced two new Four-Thirds system compact digital SLRs, the E-410 and this model, the E-510 (which is essentially a replacement for the well regarded E-500). Although the E-510 has much in common with its little brother, including an all-new (Matsushita) Live MOS Image Sensor that can provide Full Time Live-View on the LCD monitor and an updated TruePic image processor, it is a considerably more sophisticated tool with some important extra features. Key amongst these is a sensor-shift image stabilization system and more sophisticated external controls, though are also numerous minor feature differences too. Note that some of the text in this review (when describing identical functions) is repeated from the E-410 review.

Compared to E410 - key differences

Once you start to look under the hood there are actually a surprising number of differences between the E-410 and the E-510, even putting aside the obvious; the latter's CCD-shift image stabilization system and bulkier design (the E-510 has a true 'grip', something the E-410 does without). This is obviously a camera aimed far more squarely at the 'enthusiast' market than its kid brother, and it offers a far more sophisticated level of control and customization. Below is a far from exhaustive list of the key differences:

  • Larger and heavier
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • Dedicated buttons for WB, ISO, Metering and AF mode
  • Dedicated AF area button
  • Customizable Fn button
  • Two 'MyMode' custom modes
  • Finer, customizable EV steps (1/3, 1/2 and 1 EV)
  • Wider range of custom settings and minor extra features (e.g. file naming options, customizable HQ mode, Auto ISO limit etc)
  • Very slightly different continuous shooting / buffering (6 raw frames vs 7 on the E-410)
  • Optional wireless remote control