View Full Version : Bodies / Media Olympus Evolt E-510 Digital Slr Offers Mechanical Image Stabilization For Sharp, Blur

03-17-2007, 10:51 AM
Full press release here. (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showpost.php?p=76520&postcount=1)
Tech spec's here. (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showpost.php?p=76523&postcount=2)
More pictures here. (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showpost.php?p=76529&postcount=3)
Community thoughts here. (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=10756)
John Isaac's Review (http://www.nwpphotoforum.com/ubbthreads/information/php/2007_Reviews/Isaac/Oly510Review.php) - A review that I trust.
Camera Labs (http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/OlympusE510/index.shtml)
Zone 10 review (http://zone-10.com/cmsm/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=60&limit=1&limitstart=0) - Very complete
dcresource (http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/olympus/e510-review/index.shtml)
Popular Photography (http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/4359/editors-choice-2007-advanced-dslrs.html) -Editor's choice
Photography Blog (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews_olympus_e510.php)
Megapixel.net review (http://www.megapixel.net/reviews/oly-e510/e510-gen.php)
Mac World's Review (http://www.macworld.com/2007/08/reviews/olympusevolte510/index.php)
Support this site by ordering below:
<iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=fourthirdspho-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B000NVVDKC&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe>
Olympus Manual (http://www.olympusamerica.com/files/E-510%20Instruction%20Manual_English.pdf)

Michael Meissner
06-03-2007, 05:20 PM
I was lucky to get one of the first E-510's that were shipped in the USA on June 1st. Evidently the store (Hunts Photo and Video in Melrose, MA) had 3 pre-orders, but the initial shipment only had 1 dual lens kit, and I got it. Why I was so lucky, I dunno, and my apologies to the other two folks with pre-orders if they happen to read this list.

I decided to put down some observations about the E-510 to help others that are interested in the camera. At this point, it isn't a review, but more things I noticed in playing with the camera, and it is based on how I use the camera.
Shutter noise -- the shutter is definately louder than the E-1, but it doesn't strike as really loud as the Pentax K10D I tried in the store.
Image stabalization is off by default in the camera as shipped, which strikes me as a somewhat odd choice. IS1 is the stabalization mode that does both horizontal and vertical stabalization. IS2 just stabalizes in the vertical dimension, so that you can horizontally pan. I have not done tests to see how effective the IS is. When you turn off the camera and IS is on, there is a slight buzzing sound, but the manual says this is expected.
The dual lenses are really tiny. The 14-42mm is slightly shorter than my 50mm macro, and the 40-150mm is about the same size.
Image rotation -- the image rotation mostly works (I had one picture that should have been marked as having vertical orientation that wasn't). For me, I really, really wanted this feature, as manually rotating the pictures during review was getting tiresome. One thing to note if you are reviewing the pictures in the camera, the camera uses the rotation sensor during the review to orient the pictures, and may guess wrong if you aren't holding the camera square.
The 2.5" LCD is of course much bigger than the 1.8" LCD of the E-1, and I had much better luck reading the LCD in the sunlight yesterday than I do with the E-1. I think the color fidelity of the LCD is much improved. I haven't used it enough yet to see what the power draw of the LCD is compared to the E-1 in normal shooting.
I prefer the on/off button of the E-1 to the E-510, as I can hold the E-1 in my right hand, and flick the camera on as I'm raising the camera to my eye. You can do this with the E-510, but it is more awkward.
In terms of balance, the kit lenses feel real nice on the E-510. The 14-54mm and 50mm also balance nicely. The 50-200mm will take some getting used to, particularly without the equivalent of the SHLD-2.
I haven't done much manual focusing (on either camera), but the viewfinder is decent. Those of you who do manual focusing will have to chime in on how well it works. I do miss the FS-2 with its composition lines, but you can get that with live view. I do prefer the information on the bottom, but I can generally see it well on the side. Unlike the E-1, there is a little red light that shows which focus point was used, but since I always use center point focus point, it just gets in the way. Unlike the E-1, the ISO is shown in the viewfinder at all times (great!).
I thought parts of the manual were well written, particularly the shooting guides where the manual tries to give hints on how best to shoot a given scene.
Since the E-510 is a consumer camera, it has scene modes. Portrait, lanscape, macro, sports, and night scenes are on the dial, and the others are in a scene mode. In these other scene modes, you scroll down, and the camera has a little description of what the scene is, and what the camera does (for example, candle mode boosts the warmer colors). While I doubt I will use the scene modes, I thought this was a nice touch.
The USA kit for the E-510 comes with the BCM-2 battery charger. Given I am an E-1 user, I will probably use the faster BCM-1 charger that came with the E-1 to charge all of my batteries.
I find the histogram after using flash (both onboard and with the FL-36) to only fill the left hand side. I haven't played with the parameters (gradation, high key, low key, etc.) enough to see whether this can be boosted a bit, or whether you need to use flash exposure compensation. Looking at the histogram of non-flash pictures, it looks like the camera is like an E-1 in that it is highlight preserving by mild 1/3 f/stop underexposure.
I shot about 200-300 pictures yesterday on a single BLM-1, but I haven't done enough shooting to figure what the limits of a single battery is.
At first I couldn't find the sharpness, contrast, and saturation settings, but it turns out for each of the picture modes (vivid, normal, muted, and monotone), you can select these settings. The quick pixel peeping glance I did, the pictures are fairly sharp without setting any of the settings (on the E-1, I use +2 sharpening on JPEG pictures).
The arrow keys give you quick settings for metering mode, ISO, auto focus, and ISO. There are dedicated IS, AEL, focus point buttons and a function button that you can program. By default the function button is set to depth of field preview, but it can be set to DOF preview on the LCD, shooting with my modes, custom white balance, or nothing. There is not quick access to bracketing mode like there is on the E-1, and you can only have one of white balance/DOF preview. I must say, I disliked the E-1 having the S-AF/C-AF/MF button where it was easy to knock into the wrong mode, particularly without a lock. I also did not like the arrow keys doing exposure compensation, because like the focus mode button, it got knocked about, and I often times would find it got reset on the E-1.
On the E-510 in manual mode, you use the dial to set the shutter speed and you press down the exposure compensation button and move the dial to set the aperture, and you can swap these around. On P mode, the dial does program shift and you need to press down the exposure compensation button to change the EV, and you can also swap this (I may do this, since I generally don't use Ps).
With Live View, you press the AEL button to get LV to move the mirror up, auto focus, and then move the mirror back down. I tend to think MF or AF+MF is the best for Live View, though I've done straight AF shots in LV mode in what I call shoot and pray mode.
According to the manual, the E-510 does NOT meter with legacy lenses, and a real quick test showed that it appeared to be true. This is surprising, since I believe the previous bodies did support metering. However, it was a quick test, and I haven't used legacy lenses in quite some time, so it might make sense to get confirmation on this.
I bought a cheap clone of the RM-UC1 wired shutter release (JJC MR), and it seems to work well. As I have groused elsewhere, it would be nice to have a splitter cable that allowed you to use live view to a TV set, wired shutter release, and computer control all at the same time (there is a cable that splits the USB and live view, but none for the wired shutter release).
One of the attractions of the E-510 was its light weight. I have the E-510, 14-42mm lens, 40-150mm lens, 50mm lens, and FL-36 in a Lowepro Nova One pack, and it is certainly lighter than the normal E-1 kit. Sure, the 14-54mm, 11-22mm, 50-200mm provide better images and are a step faster, but at times I don't want to carry all of that weight.Well that's enough for now.:smile:

Michael Meissner
06-04-2007, 10:40 AM
I thought I would mention that it looks like it is impossible to use the pop-up flash and an external flash at the same time. I tried the FL-36, FL-50, and the FL-CB05 cable and none of them allow the flash to pop up. Obviously the E-1 does not have a pop-up flash, but you could do 2 flash support by using the pc-sync cable to fire the second flash.

06-05-2007, 04:15 AM
Good review, that is really too bad that metering is not supported with Legacy lenses. One of the main attractions for me to the 510 was the fact that liveview would greatly assist in manual focusing. Does the 410 have this limitation as well? Is it still usable without the metering?

Michael Meissner
06-05-2007, 08:12 AM
Good review, that is really too bad that metering is not supported with Legacy lenses. One of the main attractions for me to the 510 was the fact that liveview would greatly assist in manual focusing. Does the 410 have this limitation as well? Is it still usable without the metering?

Acutally I was wrong. That's what I get for believing manuals and not doing the test properly. I just tried my Vivitar Series One 100-300mm in bright light today using A mode and ESP metering, and it metered correctly. I used both the viewfinder and Live View and it worked just fine.

The Olympus E-510 manual is definately wrong about legacy lenses not metering.

06-05-2007, 07:51 PM
Thanks for the clarification. On that basis I have placed my order for the E-510 and should be receiving it by Friday.

06-09-2007, 08:53 AM
I can't wait till this camera has shipped to Holland! They said that he comes to Holland in July ;)

07-03-2007, 10:58 AM

Really what's better than testing IS of a camera than a long lens - In this case I was shooting the 90-250 with the teleconverter on it - Which ended up being over 350mm (or 700mm in 35mm terms, a very long lens)
Down the street from me there is a fish hatchery, where many birds gather, but to shoot them you have to shoot through the chain link fence.
All these shots are Hand held, and the default sharpening is used on Jpegs straight out of the camera. (I haven't done anything to them.) Also all the pictures link to 100% photos.
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169132867-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169132867-O.jpg)
F4 at 1/500 second ISO 200 NO IS
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169133100-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169133100-O.jpg)
1/400 f4 ISO 200 IS is used
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169133310-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169133310-O.jpg)
f6.3 1/160 ISO 200 IS is used
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169133503-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169133503-O.jpg)
f9 1/100 ISO 200 IS is NOT used
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169133720-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169133720-O.jpg)
f9 1/80 ISO 200 IS mode 1 is used.
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169133908-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169133908-O.jpg)
f9 1/80 ISO 200 IS mode 2 is used.
Really I am amazed! I was no where near steady. The 90-250 is a lot of weight to handhold. I was bobbing all around, and I assumed that these would be blurry. But I was happly surprised. The ideal shutter speed would at least be 1/600 but instead I was able to get relitively sharp images at 1/80 a second. I never would have gotten this out of my old 200-400mm f4 lens in my pre 4/3 system days.

Second test - a flower with the kit lens
I know that many don't own HUGE glass and wanted to also use the 40-150mm kit lens. As a side note - In my opinion the 2 kit lenses are incredible. They are small and compact - Sharp, and great optics. Olympus really has produced a set of kit lenses, which are superior to any other kit lenses.

http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169136248-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169136248-O.jpg)
1/30 f5.6 ISO 100 No IS
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169134164-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169134164-O.jpg)
1/40 f5.6 ISO 100 IS is used
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169134416-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169134416-O.jpg)
1/50 f5.6 ISO 200 IS is used
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169134672-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169134672-O.jpg)
1/4125 f5.6 ISO 400 IS is used
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169134936-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169134936-O.jpg)
1/250 f5.6 ISO 800 IS is used
http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169135224-M.jpg (http://43photo.smugmug.com/photos/169135224-O.jpg)
1/400 f5.6 ISO 800 IS is used

Really Image Stabilization works very well even at 300mm and above. It is very welcomed part of the system. I don't have any OM lenses any more, so I couldn't try that.

There has been a lot of talk over that last few years about noise. The sensor is smaller than any other SLR - However, even on the images default setting the noise is delt with very nicely. I remember shooting a wedding with my E1 at ISO 1600 - It was a tough wedding the images were medocre but from here if I had to I could use the high ISO settings without a worry.

Both the IS of the 510 and the improved noise handleing are 2 areas where olympus has really made huge leaps in technology.

I remember a few years ago people would make the claim that the 4/3 system would never reach 10 MP - The reality is they have, and soon we will see even more than this.

The 410 and 510 are basically 2 bodies with the majority of functions the same. The biggest differences between the 2 is #1 body size and #2 the 510 has IS.
The bodies offer nearly unlimited HQ jpegs, So you can shoot till your heart is content.
Live view - really shows the merits of the system. I have used it a lot, and so has my wife. And well It isn't as fast as a view finder, because the mirror lifts to focus and meter, but the shutter lag of a point and shoot camera, is just as bad. IF you really want a camera to use in live view mode the Olympus E330 and Panasonic L1 are the cameras for you.
However, if you are shooting macro, or on a tripod and have time for the live view, it can be one of the great features of the system.
SSWF - Super Sonic Wave Filter - Keeps dust off your sensor. The reality is if you never change lenses this isn't a issue. However, if you do, and don't want to mess around trying to use blowers, brushes, etc, then this feature alone will win you over for the system.
Auto focus - with all the cameras of the system - we would say "It isn't that fast of a system, but its accurate" Really miss focusing is very rare with the system. In fact I trust the system for 90% of my work. (Only when shooting off a tripod will I even think about manual focus)
However, now in addition to having one of the most accurate auto focus systems, it also has a very fast auto focus. Even when shooting the kit lenses at small apertures (think f5.6-f9) I was able to find focusing very quickly.
Really the list of strong points for the new cameras by far out weighs any draw backs on the system.
-Best Quality glass of any camera system (from kit lenses to the very high end lenses)
-Live view for when you need it - e.g. over head shots - manual focus - quick snap shots
- Very nice high ISO shots
- Fast Auto focus
- Good buffer size in which you can shoot to your hearts content with jpegs
- very accurate White Balance - this area too is highly improved since the E-300. (I have had no shots in which WB was way off)
- Very accurate metering - I primarily used center weight metering - and have had no shots which were way off.
- SSWF - Keeps the sensor clean
Really I found no reason to shoot RAW with this camera the images are superb. (RAW lets you correct WB issues, some changes in the exposure too) Olympus has really improved its internal processor which makes for very nice images.
- If you insist upon shooting raw, then they have introduced some compression to help keep the files small - and this is a big plus with the system. If there was no compression than the files would probably be around 20 MB vs 10 MB each.

Really though no system is perfect -
95% viewfinder - it makes the smallest SLR viewfinder even smaller
other cons? None that come to me at this moment.

Really as a personal wish - I really like the body size of the 410 a little better than that of the 510. However, many will disagree. I like shooting film, and the 410 body is basically the same size as when I did. However, many people perfer the grip of the 510. So really this is a personal choice.
Here is my wish - They would have made the 410 - a entry level camera - with IS. Made the 510 mid level (instead of consumer) ability to add a vertical grip, and maybe even step up the FPS or focus points.
However, they didn't, so that is there call.

All in all the system is really growing into its own. It has had for years great glass, and now we are beginning to see bodies which will really show off how good the system is.

07-03-2007, 07:45 PM
I remember a few years ago people would make the claim that the 4/3 system would never reach 10 MP - The reality is they have, and soon we will see even more than this.

Very nice examples of the IS and excellent report. I only have one question about the above quote....have you been talking to Noone??? :hmm::D

07-26-2007, 08:47 AM
How does it work at night? I have a E-500 with 14-54 and 50-200 lenses. I want to improve blur at night and inside in darker conditions. I have used IS on my Canon S1 IS and it worked great. How does IS work with ISO 1600? Would it allow ISO 800 instead for night shooting?

07-27-2007, 03:24 PM
How does it work at night? I have a E-500 with 14-54 and 50-200 lenses. I want to improve blur at night and inside in darker conditions. I have used IS on my Canon S1 IS and it worked great. How does IS work with ISO 1600? Would it allow ISO 800 instead for night shooting?
From what I have had time to do it works great in low light conditions. The IS makes a big difference.

08-30-2007, 10:26 AM
Another review of the E-510 here - http://www.e-fotografija.si/templates/?a=1100&z=93

It includes comparison shots with the Canon 1D Mk III, and the Oly seems to do ISO 1600 really well.
I just hope that the E-3 does even better.