Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
 
  Latest camera reviews

Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Nikon COOLPIX A
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
 
 
   
 
  Best Buys: our top models
   
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories
   
 



Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
   
 
  DSLR Tips



 
Support me by shopping at B&H!
Olympus E-510 Gordon Laing, June 2007

More Features : Lenses and viewfinder / Screen and menus / Sensor and processing / Anti dust / Anti shake

Olympus E-510 sensor and files

The Olympus E-510 is equipped with the same 10 Megapixel N-MOS sensor deployed in the E-410. Developed by Matsushita and conforming to the Four Thirds standard, this sensor measures 17.3x13mm, delivers 4:3 aspect ratio images and effectively reduces the field-of-view of all lenses by two times; so the optionally-bundled Zuiko Digital 14-42mm ED lens delivers coverage equivalent to 28-84mm.

Olympus E-510 - ISO screen Olympus E-510 - noise filter

Support this site by shopping at Amazon

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Sporting the same sensor as the E-410, the new E-510 unsurprisingly inherits the same settings and options. Sensitivity for example is offered from 100 to 1600 ISO in the same single EV steps, unlike the finer one-third increments of the E-500. Perhaps Olympus sees this as a higher-end option reserved for its forthcoming pro model. It’s strangely basic though considering the E-510 allows you to choose single, half or one-third EV steps for compensation, aperture and shutter variations. On the upside it does at least allow quick jumps between different sensitivities.

The E-510 also offers the same noise reduction options as the E-410: a Noise Filter can be set to Off, Low, Standard or High, while Noise Reduction using dark-frame subtraction can be enabled or disabled. By default the E-510 is set to its Standard Noise Filter and with Noise Reduction On, so these are the settings we’ve used for our Coverage, Gallery and Outdoor Resolution tests. We’ve included examples with all four Noise Filter settings on our Outdoor Noise results page though and as you’ll see by turning the filter down or even off, you can retain a higher degree of detail. This reduction in the noise filter is best combined with a reduction in sharpness.

Olympus E-510 image quality settings

Olympus E-510 - quality screen
 

The E-510’s resolution and quality settings are also identical to the E-410: the maximum image size measures 3648x2736 pixels which at 300 dpi is good for reproduction at around 12x9in. Set to the highest resolution, you have the choice of two different JPEG compression ratios, along with an option to record a RAW file in the Olympus ORF format with or without an accompanying JPEG. At the time of writing, neither the E-510 nor E-410’s RAW files were supported by Adobe Camera RAW, but Olympus supplies a copy of its Master software for conversions.

Like other Olympus cameras, the best quality SHQ JPEG mode employs a very mild compression ratio of just 1 / 2.7 which essentially eliminates any compression artefacts, albeit with fairly hefty files sizes as a result – like the E-410, you’re looking at around 5.5-7.5MB for each SHQ JPEG, although with today’s large memory cards we still welcome this option. RAW files are relatively manageable though, and again like the E-410, weigh-in at around 10MB each.

Olympus E-510 - RAW delete

If you’re shooting in RAW plus JPEG mode, a handy option on the E-510 allows you to choose whether both files are erased when you press delete, or whether it only deletes one and leaves the other; you can also choose whether the unlucky format to be erased is the JPEG or the RAW version. This option is not available on the E-410.


Olympus E-510 colour and white balance

Olympus E-510 - white balance


The E-510 employs the same main image processing options as the E-410, but with subtle extras and variations in defaults. White Balance settings consist of Auto, Custom, One Touch and seven presets including daylight, shade, cloudy, incandescent and three fluorescent options. You can also fine-tune the Red and Green levels of each preset with a Live Preview if desired.

   
Olympus E-510 - picture mode Olympus E-510 - contrast screen
   


As with the E-410, contrast, sharpness and saturation are applied using a choice of three Picture Modes, along with an additional Monotone option. In the Vivid, Natural and Muted colour Picture Modes, contrast, sharpness and saturation can all be adjusted on a scale of -2 to +2. In the Monotone mode you can apply colour effects including a sepia tone, or simulate the use of colour filters including yellow, orange, red and green.

Reflecting the nature of their target audiences, the default Picture Modes for the E-510 and E-410 are Natural and Vivid respectively. As you’d expect, the Natural Picture Mode is more refrained than the Vivid mode and better-suited to subsequent enhancement in software. If you intend to use JPEGs straight from the camera though, the Vivid mode delivers punchier output without going over the top. To illustrate the four different Picture Modes in practice we shot the same scene with each and presented them below.

Olympus E-510
Natural Mode
 
Olympus E-510
Vivid Mode
 
Olympus E-510
Muted Mode
 
Olympus E-510
Monotone Mode
             
Olympus E-510 natural mode   Olympus E-510 vivid mode   Olympus E-510 muted mode   Olympus E-510 monotone mode
Whole image shrunk to fit
Whole image shrunk to fit
Whole image shrunk to fit
Whole image shrunk to fit
             
Olympus E-510 natural mode crop   Olympus E-510 vivid mode crop   Olympus E-510 muted mode crop   Olympus E-510 monotone mode crop
100% crop
100% crop
100% crop
100% crop


Like the E-410, the E-510 also offers a choice of Graduation options: along with the default Normal there’s High Key and Low Key settings which extend tonal graduations for subjects which are mostly highlighted or in shadow respectively. Finally, a feature inherited from the earlier E-500 and a number of other Olympus bodies, but not present on the E-410, is Shading Compensation, which digitally counteracts darkening in the corners of the frame caused by lens vignetting.

Olympus E-510 continuous shooting and handling

Olympus E-510 - drive mode

Olympus claims a continuous shooting rate of 3fps with up to eight frames in RAW mode. To put this to the test we fitted the E-510 with a 1GB SanDisk Ultra II Compact Flash memory card, set the shutter speed to 1/1000 and selected the continuous drive mode.

We fired-off 12 SHQ JPEGs in four seconds before the camera momentarily paused for breath then continued at a much slower rate. Switching to RAW mode, we managed eight frames in 2.6 seconds, again before the camera paused. Both confirm Olympus’ claims for continuous shooting speed and RAW buffer.

Like the E-410, the new E-510 performs a compulsory anti-dust process every time you power it up – this means the E-510 is ready for action about one second after first switching it on. This sounds much slower than the typical 0.2 second startup times of rival DSLRs when written down, but in practice it doesn’t feel particularly slow and wouldn’t affect many people.

While we like cameras which are ready for action quickly, we’d sooner sacrifice half a second or so at startup if it saves us minutes (or even hours) retouching dust from images later. It’s also of course possible to leave the camera switched-on and experience a faster wakeup from power-save by pressing the shutter release. To find out how the E-510 performs in terms of anti-dust, see our next Features page.


Olympus E-510 features continued...

Lenses and viewfinder / Screen and menus / Sensor and processing / Anti dust / Anti shake

If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs