Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:00 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Olympus e520 Review
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:00 pm 
I recently purchased the e520 w/ lens, I got a great price on it from B and H, $559 instead of the $700 its listed at now.

I'm very happy with this camera. I bought it because of the low price, image stabilization, good battery life, and reasonably small size.

I've read other reviews that criticize the menu layout, some say that a lack of dedicated buttons make switching settings difficult. Generally I found this to be not true. It takes a little time, like with every camera, to figure out how to adjust things. I tend not to use the live view, preferring to have the LCD display all the current camera settings. Doing this makes it very easy to change all manual functions.

That being said, Live view is great. When I do use it, it is because I want to be able to see the live histogram and the effects of exposure compensation on the LCD.

Compared to other models in the higher end beginner range, the d60 rebel xsi, and others, I found that the olympus offered a lot of high end features for a lower end price. While other camera lines may offer more choices of lenses, and their names may have more cache, the olympus represents high quality at a good value. I definitely recommend checking it out.

As I mentioned, olympus doesn't have a ton of lenses to choose from, but they have enough. The optics are all extremely high quality. One of the reasons I went with the e520 was because the kit lens, probably the lowest end lens in the entire olympus line of lenses, is actually pretty decent. It is lightweight and because of that it is not a throwaway lens.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:44 pm 
To be honest with you, if you would have dedicated buttons and a top LCD you would think going back to using ONLY the main LCD is a total mess.
Personally, I think its better when have to press few buttons and in a second you have the desired settings, while YOU have to go through all the menus, if you ask me, it can be a reason for a few missed shots, but that's just me.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:55 pm 
I totally agree with you - I've got dedicated buttons for IS, ISO, AF, WB, metering, and depending on the mode I'm in a wheel for changing shutter, aperture... Two wheels would be nice, but this is a $500 camera we're talking about.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:10 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:50 am
Posts: 425
Location: Sydney Australia
artlove wrote:
To be honest with you, if you would have dedicated buttons and a top LCD you would think going back to using ONLY the main LCD is a total mess.
Personally, I think its better when have to press few buttons and in a second you have the desired settings, while YOU have to go through all the menus, if you ask me, it can be a reason for a few missed shots, but that's just me.


Not entirely true. I used to use a 40D while I was in University, and never once did I ever use the top LCD unless it was really sunny. Its only personal prefference.

As for "quick menu settings" Olympus has all 4 of the biggest used settings on buttons. plus shooting modes/timer, flash, a custom function button, an exposure compensation button (that you can set as default without pushing a button, jsut turning the wheel) and for a cheap camera, at least they give you a wheel, as opposed to a camera I used to have that had an up and down button (the brand escapes me, but I think it was nikon or something)

When it comes down to it, a few missed shots in my opinion is not keeping your camera pointed and looking through the viewfinder. Looking at the top LCD in my experience has made me miss shots, becuase I had to move the camera out of the shooting position. With an LCD (and the internal numbers in the viewfinder,) you only have to move your head back and the camera is still pointed.

Also keep in mind, the Olympus system has a dedicated Live view button, the 40 does not have this, you gotta set it up in the menu, but then I had problems of always hitting the SET button when I was using the wheel, because the button was so acessable. In terms of dedicated manual controls, the 510 and 520 have all the major buttons there..... unless you want another dial, or something to adjust sharpness or colour, or saturation, gradation, contrast.... (all of which are accessible via the quick LCD menu (something that a lot of pro cameras dont let you do, OR force you to dig deep into the menu system) with the olympus, its still all there, its just 3 more extra button pushes to get it to work... and for a small camera, I think people ask too much from it.

Leo

_________________
1) Olympus OM1 [Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8]
2) Pentax MZ-60 [Sigma 28-90 & 100-300]
3) Canon 7D [EF-S 15-85 & 70-200mm f/4 IS & 50mm f1.4]
4) Leica M [50mm Summicron Pre-aspherical - Silver]

http://www.poetproductions.net


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:06 am 
Leo, dont see how going through menus is faster than pushing a button and turning the wheel.
+
All the info that is displayed on the top LCD is displayed on the screen right in the bottom of the viewfinder, so if you dont really need to, you dont have to look on the top.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:00 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:50 am
Posts: 425
Location: Sydney Australia
artlove wrote:
Leo, dont see how going through menus is faster than pushing a button and turning the wheel.


My point exactly. The 500 series has a lot of dedicated buttons. I dont see the points in the argument above about how you gotta use the menu system. Alot of the semi pro cameras have almost similar button system. Im saying, alot of the harder to reach controls (like contrast, sharpness, etc) are there in the first menu, where some cameras force you to dig deep in the menu system.

I never said menus were faster. I said that the Olympus 500 system is not a system where it doenst have the same dedicated buttons as other brands, and does the extra step of having faster access to less used controlls on the main lcd, rather than going through 2-3 sets of menus to change something.

As for the comment about turning a wheel... did you read my post? cause I ever said anything of the like.

artlove wrote:
All the info that is displayed on the top LCD is displayed on the screen right in the bottom of the viewfinder, so if you dont really need to, you dont have to look on the top.


Exactly my point... whats the point then? Is it something that makes you pro? I personally dont think so.

Leo

_________________
1) Olympus OM1 [Zuiko Auto-S 50mm f/1.8]
2) Pentax MZ-60 [Sigma 28-90 & 100-300]
3) Canon 7D [EF-S 15-85 & 70-200mm f/4 IS & 50mm f1.4]
4) Leica M [50mm Summicron Pre-aspherical - Silver]

http://www.poetproductions.net


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: dedicated buttons
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:10 pm 
I have found that the e5xx series have all the buttons I need. Additionally, the buttons and the wheel are laid out ergonomically so it is pretty easy to change settings while shooting.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:27 pm 
I to have zero problem with the button menu layout on the E520. Consider the way the display works; press the ok button, toggle over the setting you want to change, and turn the dial to the desired setting and shoot. It is very fast, and intuitive once you get used to it.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:47 pm 
About menus and buttons is alright, every scheme has its pros and cons.

But what i want to know is, how good is E520 or any olympus DSLR, at high ISO. And is the dynamic range really a problem? :?:

These two points are a real tests for a budget DSLR.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:40 pm 
I don't find the layout buttonwise to be a problem. Looking at the back of my 520 I see a dedicated button for: IS, liveview, metering, wb, af, iso, ael/afl, focus point, and one assignable one. The top has flash, etc but you get my point. Sure, some of these are the arrow keys, but they still allow you to hit one button, turn a wheel, and make an adjustment. Also, the menu on the back screen is easy to use - press ok, scroll over what you want to change using the arrow keys, and use the wheel to adjust. The buttons are faster, but for most functions, I never dig into the menus at all.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Sorry to say...
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:15 am 
I'm sorry to say, but Nikon models, I'm actually thinking the D80, are better performers at higher ISOs.

I am totally happy with my olye520, it is a great camera and it gives you access to the really strong 12-60, the 7-14 and other optically fantastic lenses. But it isn't as good as a nikon in the ISO category. In reference to itself, its not bad... but it could be better....

But you don't buy an oly for iso, you buy it for durability, size, weight, and access to the aforementioned lenses. It has its niche. and its niche is right for me.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: HELP Please
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:36 pm 
Hi and please forgive me for any stupid question I may post...I have recently purchased the Olympus 520, it is my first "real" camera.

I have done my best by looking at website etc for "self" help but am stuck with two things that are really bugging me.

1: The "sequence" shooting is supposed to be 3.5 per second? When I set this option it seems a lot slower than what I have heard (from videos)
Is there somthing I need to do ?

:oops: 2: And this may be the most stupid question anyone has placed, but as I said, I am new to this.
I can "zoom" in x7 or x10 and use the IS button to stabalize the picture BUT I thought when I took the shot it would take the "zoomed" image but all I get is a "normal"photo??


Help

and thanks in advance


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Response
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:13 am 
Hi,

If you are set to shoot in Jpeg mode, you should have no problem shooting at 3.5 images/sec. However, if you are shooting in raw, you might only be able to take a few pictures before your camera needs to pause. Your camera has this built in memory called a buffer. It also has the memory card. When you shoot jpegs, your camera should be able to take the picture, write the image to the buffer, then write the picture to the memory card, while you are taking more pictures. However, when in RAW mode, because the image file size is much larger, your camera fills the buffer more quickly than it can empty it, and it needs to pause so it can clear out the buffer. You can improve performance if you have a faster memory card, I am using some Sandisk Extreme III compact flash cards.

I'm actually not sure about rapid fire shooting mode if you are writing to an XD card. XD cards are pretty slow compared to compact flash. I have an XD card that I keep in the camera all the time, but I only use it when I fill a compact flash card, but there is something cool happening that I want to photograph and I don't want to change out the compact flash. Essentially, I only use it as a backup.

Just to make sure, you can activate rapid fire shooting two different ways on olympus slr cameras. On the e520, there is a button on top of the camera and to the left of the viewfinder that you can push. It should bring up the shooting speed options. The single box is single shot, the 3 (or so, I don't remember exactly) boxes is rapid fire, then there should also be the 2 sec timer option and the 12 sec timer option. There might be another thing there for shooting with a cable release.

Alternatively, you can select the shooting speed on the menu that appears when you are not using liveview. I think one of the best things about olympus is that if you don't use liveview, you get this great menu information screen on the lcd. Just press ok, and you can either use the control wheel or the arrow buttons to move around. In practice, it is really fast. If you are in single shot mode, you should see a rectangular box as one of the icons on this menu. If you select it, you should be able to switch modes. You can also bring up this menu when you are in liveview, but then it obscures the image, so I say, "what's the point of using liveview if you are constantly obscuring the image?" Besides, it is easier to stabilize the camera if you are bracing it against your face rather than holding it out in front of you.

To address your other question, the 7x or 10x options are used for very fine focusing. The camera crops the image and enlarges it so you can see if your focus is correct. Your camera will always take the full size shot. I find that these options are useful when the camera is stabilized (on a tripod, or solidly on a table) and when perfect focusing is really important. In the video review of the e520 (on this site) Gordon demos this by pointing the camera at a computer circuit board. I think that this is probably really useful for indoor, studio like photography, and not that useful for everyday, out and about photography.

I hope I didn't talk down to you, Its hard to know the other people's knowledge, so I tried to cover lots of bases.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:53 am 
Hi,

How about the much complained part:
"Only" 3 AF points
Very small optical viewfinder
Short battery life in Live View

Do they bother in real use? I am mainly interested in shooting birds, wildlife and landscapes. How do you think this is for me?

Thanks in advance,
Jinay.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 4:07 pm 
3 Focus points is kinda lame. However for shooting landscapes it should be fine. Wildlife as well, although a faster focusing lens, such as the 50-200 SWD will help with the wildlife.

All that being said, I have the e-520 and I think that it is an excellent value. One thing - use CFcards and get them as fast as possible (IE: 30 MB/s or better). If you want to save money get smaller sizes (2 or 4GB max) which is a good idea anyway because if you have a card fail you don't want to lose 1000 pictures. Also - set you camera to RAW only. You can create JPEGs in post processing. Doing all of that should wring out top FPS performance.


Top
  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group