The Olympus E-520 is the successor to the popular Olympus E-510. The new DSLR follows the recent announcement of the Olympus E-420, which served as the successor to the E-410. The new E-520 carries on the Four Thirds lens mount, which means a 2x crop factor for all lenses.
- Sensor-based mage stabiliation
- Sensitivity range of ISO 100-1600
- Autofocus Live View
- Dust reduction system
- Face Detection and Shadow Adjustment Technology
- 2.7″ HyperCrystal II LCD
- 3.5fps with up to 8 images in RAW buffer
- Built-in flash and wireless flash control
- Optional underwater case available
- One-touch white balance
- Perfect shot preview
- 100% field of view via LCD
- Detailed playback info screen with histogram
Olympus E-520 Reviews
The E-520 faces stiff competition in the increasingly-ubiquitous sub-$700 digital SLR category, and although it possesses a number of enticing elements, it lacks key differentiators to elevate it significantly above its rivals.
While the marriage of simplicity and complexity in the E-520 may not be an entirely smooth one, it’s one that makes the snapper a very attractive camera for the transitional photographer who wants to leave point-and-shoot land behind but not lose sight of its shores entirely.
Combine the E-520’s minimal size and built-in image stabilization and you’ve got what I believe is one of the best backpacking cameras available.
This is a good transitional camera for anyone wanting to progress to DSLR for the first time although it does have some minor limitations that should be considered and, I imagine in many cases, overlooked.
The level of customizability is astonishing for the price, both in terms of the function of external buttons and the ability to fine-tune the output of the camera to perfectly suit your subject, shooting style and personal preferences.
There’s one of the best Live View modes on the market (with auto focus), a good image stabilization system that’s built into the body, comprehensive presets and a high degree of customizability and control. However, the test results for noise levels, white balance and dynamic range were so poor that they dragged down an otherwise good camera.
On the surface, the new Olympus E-520 looks very similar to the 1-year old E-510 model that it replaces. The E520 retains some key features from its predecessor; the same 10 megapixel LiveMOS sensor, Supersonic Wave Filter, and body-integrated image stabilisation are all present and correct. What have Olympus added then to tempt you to part with £500 / $750 of your hard-earned cash? There’s a bigger 2.7 inch LCD screen, 3.5fps continuous shooting speed, the introduction of Shadow Adjustment Technology, Face Detection and more convenient auto-focus options in Live View, and wireless TTL flash control. Zoltan Arva-Toth finds out if the evolutionary Olympus E-520 has enough new features to survive in the cut-throat world of the entry-level DSLR market.
The image quality of the Olympus E-520 is solid as a rock, leaving no other option than to go to the closest dealer and make your acquaintance with this camera. How that will work out, is up to you, we have been convinced already!
Indeed while the competition now offers some key features you should carefully weigh-up, we can still confidently award the E-520 the Highly Recommended rating of its predecessor. If you’re shopping for a new DSLR at this price-point, it should be on your shortlist.
In terms of overall approach, the E-520 may well be the most flexible consumer DSLR we’ve reviewed this year: whereas the Nikon D60 proved to be an excellent first SLR, and new models from Canon and Pentax have aimed to appeal to a slightly more advanced audience, the E-520 does both at once.
The improvements, particularly the new image stabilisation mode and autofocus accuracy of Live Modes show that these important technologies are still being perfected, and the latest versions on the E-520 are pretty much as good as they get at the moment.
Where to Buy