Olympus Evolt E520 10MP Digital SLR Camera with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 and 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 ED Zuiko Lenses
- Box Contents – E-520 body, Li-ion battery BLM-1, Li-ion battery charger BCM-2, USB cable, Video cable, OLYMPUS Master 2 CD-ROM, Instruction manual
- Up to 3648×2736 resolution – RAW (12-bit), JPEG, and RAW+JPEG File Formats
- CompactFlash Type I/II, Microdrive, xD-Picture Card (Dual-Slot) Memory Card Slot
- 3.5 frames per seconds sequential shooting speed, up to 8 frames in RAW mode
- Dimensions – Width 5.35 x Height 3.60 x Depth 2.68 (136×91.5×68mm) excluding protrusions
I shopped and I compared before buying. While the E-520 is not my first SLR–I have owned and shot with Nikons and Canons for many years–it is my first Digital SLR. I am very comfortable with it. It is sturdy, good looking, flexible and efficient.
The main complaint I see regarding the E-520 is its ability to focus. That is a valid complaint. However…
First, every lens that Oly makes is different in its auto-focus characteristics. Yes, you will have to become familiar with each lens separately, but this is true of all SLR cameras and lenses.
Second, some lenses are better than others at AF. Most of the complaints I see come from birders, and they are probably using the 40-150 kit lens, or the 70-300 lens. These lenses do take some getting used to.
I was shocked when I received the 70-300. It’s a monster! But I have been able to focus on a wire 100 feet away, then move the camera and focus 200 yards beyond that within a split second; same with the 40-150 kit lens after a little practice.
In low light, I recommend that one ALWAYS focus manually.
As far as the quality of the image produced by the E-520 (once you master the focusing aspect), it is spectacular. I have spent hours comparing images from the E-520 to those from Nikons and Canons. There is virtually no difference. (Check out the review and compare images at: [...]
If you’re willing and able to spend $8000 for the top Nikon body (and another $10,000 or so for lenses), you will get that little bit of extra resolution and snappy auto-focus. But you didn’t spend $18,000 for the Olympus E-520.
Is it fair to buy a $25,000 Pontiac Solstice and expect it to perform like a $160,000 Ferrari?
The E-520 is an amazing camera. Period. Full stop. It’s even more amazing when you consider that you can buy it with two kit lenses and add the 50mm “Pro” lens and still have spent under $1000.
my first slr and i love it,great picture quality and easy to use!but i still have to learn more about this camera.For the beginning to mid range photographer this is a great deal. The body is around $500, the lenses can be $100 each.
The camera is real good in manual. However I have a lot of trouble with the scene or auto modes. The flash comes up and it is confusing why it won’t take the shot sometimes. Long story short, the auto metering system is too stupid for its own good.
In manual there can be a little noise at expected setting but noise filter, reduction, shock, and Image stabilization leave you with no excuse for that to become a problem. The shutter can do 1/4000 to 60″/Bulb; overall a good range. Aperture is all in the body (the lenses don’t have manual aperture.) Focusing is excellent and many options are offered in that regard. There are good on board effects, sharpness, contrast, saturation, greyscale with tint balance, and many more.
The dust feature is priceless. The lenses come with respective hoods. CARD SOLD SEPARATELY (that one got had me biking up to Walmart 8 in the morning. Warning- the software for downloading is kinda sucky. I would just copy from removable disk.
Overall I say it’s a great camera for the hobbies, student, or superstar on the way up! I am of the opinion that this is one fully loaded, serious piece of equipment at the top it its class. The E-520 is my very first DSLR and I have had it now since April ‘09 (the Easter Bunny brought it and I can’t say enough good things about this camera or this combo.
The camera body is lightweight enough to carry all day without getting tired but sturdy enough to not feel “cheap”. The two kit lenses cover most of the distances the average user will want or need, and again neither one is a back-breaker. I use the 40-150mm when I am going to spend a day at the zoo to bring the animals closer to me (since they won’t let me get closer to them .
One really nifty feature that the camera offers is the ability to use Live View Boost to focus and frame pictures with an infrared filter in place on the front of the lens and to actually see what the camera will record. Pretty cool.
The controls are easy to use and I think the only challenge I have encountered where they are concerned is not in using them but in remembering what to use when and to remember what menu it is under. Fortunately, most of the things you will need most often (wb, AF, Flash, ISO, etc.) also have dedicated buttons easy to find right there on the camera body. You can also set your own custom profile combos to allow you to quickly switch from one set up to another without having to remember what you did the last time that you liked.
The 20 scene modes make life very easy especially when you are just starting out or if you don’t want to think and just want to shoot. And the ability (with the optional waterproof housing and light) to shoot underwater would be a really cool thing to do.
Color is great, clarity is great, the ability to remotely control the FL-36R or FL-50R flash units without having to have them attached to the camera by wires of any kind is great too.
A word about the proprietary XD card (the camera supports three different recording formats, CF, XD and Microdrive (But who uses those really?)) you can have the card in the camera in addition to the CF card and I would recommend having one just for the panoramic assist option which is only available if you use the XD card. The panoramic assist supports horizontal and vertical pans and the stitching software is built into the Olympus Master software that comes standard with the camera.
The only down side to having this camera is that you may find it difficult to find all the different lenses available at your local camera store (but there is always Amazon) as Nikon and Cannon have much better marketing. Oh, and one more word about lenses, you can get adapters which will allow you to use not only Olympus OM mount lenses from your SLR but also Pentax, Minolta, Nikon, Cannon, Miyama, and all the rest. Olympus only makes the OM mount adapter but you can find all the others aftermarket. You will need to be able to manually focus and set the f-stop on the lens itself as those features won’t be supported through the adapters but it sure opens up options. One of the best cameras I have ever owned. No trouble so far and the quality of the photo’s is very good. On the downside it can be a little slow to focus at times. Perhaps I just need more practice using it.
Price: $599.99 Buy This Camera