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Olympus E-500 / EVOLT E-500 review with Zuiko Digital 14-45mm f3.5~5.6 Gordon Laing, February 2006


 



 




The following images were taken with the Olympus E-500, all using the Zuiko Digital 14-45mm f3.5~5.6 lens. The recording mode was set to SHQ, configured to capture the full 8 Mpixel resolution with the lowest compression ratio of 1/2.7. The Picture Mode (tone / colour / sharpness) was set to Natural. Unless otherwise stated, the pictures were taken in Program mode with the default settings. The individual file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset. The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.


City: 5.44MB, Program, 1/60, f7.1, ISO 100, 14-45mm at 36mm (equivalent to 72mm)

Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 36mm   Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 36mm left crop   This shot of The London Eye was taken on a bright Winter's day with deep blue sky.

The E-500 in Program mode at 100 ISO has selected a relatively slow shutter speed considering the brightness of the scene and the slightly zoomed-in focal length, but there's no camera shake to worry about.

The crops are all clean and detailed as you'd expect at 100 ISO.
     
  Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 36mm top middle crop  
     
  Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 36mm lower right crop  


City: 5.07MB, Program, 1/160, f7.1, ISO 100, 14-45mm at 45mm (equivalent to 90mm)

Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 45mm   This photo across the River Thames looking toward Charing Cross Station was taken on a bright Winter's day.

With a bright sky in this direction, the E-500's metering system in Program mode had a compromise to make, and chose to slightly blow out the highlights.

The result remains a well-balanced exposure though and there's plenty of detail in the crops.

 

Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 45mm lower left crop   Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 45mm lower middle crop   Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 45mm upper right crop  


City: 5.04MB, Program, 1/60, f5, ISO 100, 14-45mm at 16mm (equivalent to 32mm)

Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 16mm   Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 16mm top left crop   This photo under the Hungerford Footbridge by the River Thames presented a challenge to the metering system, with both bright highlights and dark shadow areas.

The E-500's done a fine job in Program mode though, delivering a pleasing balance.

The crops also reveal a high level of sharp detail, even in the corners.
     
  Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 16mm middle crop  
     
  Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 16mm right crop  


Market: 5.41MB, Program, 1/60, f4.5, ISO 400, 14-45mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 28mm   Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 28mm top left crop   This photo of a market stall was taken under dim lighting conditions, so we increased the ISO to 400 to achieve a reasonable shutter speed and aperture

The crops are sharp and detailed, while an aperture of f4.5 at 14mm has ensured the depth of field is sufficient to cover the range of the composition.

Viewed at 100%, the crops reveal noise creeping in, although you're unlikely to notice in a print.
     
  Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 28mm middle crop  
     
  Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 28mm lower right crop  


Portrait: 4.73MB, Aperture Priority, 1/400, f5.6, ISO 100, 14-45mm at 45mm (equivalent to 90mm)

Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 45mm   For this portrait shot we zoomed-into 45mm and set the aperture wide open in Aperture Priority mode to minimise the depth of field.

With the subject at relatively close range, the background has been thrown out of focus as desired, although the effect is quite modest.

For portraits, the longer reach and smaller depth of field of the 40-150mm is more appropriate.
Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 45mm lower left crop   Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 45mm middle crop   Olympus E500 with 14-45mm lens at 45mm top right crop  


All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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