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Olympus E-520 Gordon Laing, June 2008

Olympus E-520 gallery

The following images were taken with the Olympus E-520 fitted with the Zuiko Digital 14-42mm kit zoom lens. The E-520 was set to Large Fine JPEG quality, Auto White Balance, ESP metering and the Natural Picture Mode with Normal Graduation; Noise Reduction and the Noise Filter were set to their ON and STD settings respectively.

The individual exposure mode, 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.

Landscape: 4.40MB, Program, 1/320, f7.1, ISO 100, 14-42mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  This first shot was taken under bright Sunlight at the E-520's lowest sensitivity, so represents ideal conditions. The 14-42mm was zoomed-out to its widest angle - and equivalent of 28mm.

The crops contain lots of detail and there's no coloured fringing on the yacht's high-contrast deck to complain about.

The default image processing settings are natural-looking, although fans of punchier images may prefer to boost the sharpening a notch.


Landscape: 4.45MB, Program, 1/200, f8, ISO 100, 14-42mm at 42mm (equivalent to 84mm)

  Our second shot was again taken at the lowest 100 ISO sensitivity under bright conditions, although this time with the kit lens zoomed-into its longest equivalent of 84mm.

Again there's lots of detail in the crops, although again a slight softness which some may prefer to sharpen a little.

The bright hull of the boat has saturated the highlights and any detail there has become irretrievable, but to be fair the same would happen with most other DSLRs using similar exposures.

Landscape: 4.24MB, Program, 1/400, f11, ISO 200, 14-42mm at 39mm (equivalent to 78mm)

    Our next shot was taken with the E-520 increased to 200 ISO and the kit lens zoomed almost all the way in. The steamship was taking its annual break, so we don't have a shot in motion for you.

The bright white hull dominates the frame and in bright conditions has caused the E-520 to underexpose a little, although at least there's no blown highlights.

The increase in sensitivity also hasn't had a detrimental impact on image quality.


Portrait: 4.20MB, Aperture Priority, 1/640, f5.6, ISO 200, 14-42mm at 42mm (equivalent to 84mm)

  For this portrait shot we zoomed the kit lens to it maximum focal length, opened the aperture wide and set the E-520 to Face Detection in Live View. Note by directly activating Face Detection, SAT wasn't enabled for this shot, and we also decided not to fire the flash.

Face Detection easily locked-onto the subject and has resulted in a sharp image with detailed crops.

The kit lens isn't able to achieve a very small depth of field even zoomed-in and with its widest aperture, but we did manage to blur the background a little.

Macro: 4.13MB, Program, 1/320, f10, ISO 400, 14-42mm at 42mm (equivalent to 84mm)

  For this macro shot we zoomed the kit lens into its longest focal length and positioned the E-520 as close as it would focus. The sensitivity was also increased here to 400 ISO.

The subject matter here can often be quite forgiving on higher sensitivities, but even so, the results here are very respectable.

Again like the others so far, sharp, detailed and without any noise to worry about.


Indoor: 4.36MB, Program, 1/40, f3.5, ISO 400, 14-42mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our first indoor low light shot was also taken at 400 ISO, this time with the lens zoomed-out to its widest angle. The picture was taken with available light and no flash.

Some cameras underexpose this image, but the E-520 has coped well with the conditions.

The crops are a little less crisp then those at 100 and 200 ISO, but there's no noise artefacts to complain about. A very usable result at 400 ISO.

Indoor: 4.92MB, Program, 1/6, f3.5, ISO 800, 14-42mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  For this second indoor shot we increased the sensitivity to 800 ISO. Many cameras underexpose this shot and the E-520 was no different, so we applied +2/3EV of exposure compensation.

This coupled with the dim conditions resulted in a slow shutter speed of 1/6, which would be a challenge to handhold even with the lens zoomed-out. The E-520's built-in Image Stabilisation has however ensured any wobbles have been ironed-out.

There's a fall in quality at 800 ISO, but it's still a very usable result.


Indoor: 4.57MB, Program, 1/15, f8, ISO 1600, 14-42mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our final shot was taken with the E-520's sensitivity increased to its maximum 1600 ISO. This time there's a significant increase in noise levels and processing artefacts ruling it out for pixel peepers, but it still looks fine printed at smaller sizes.

This kind of composition can also benefit from the E-520's Shadow Adjustment Technology, SAT. See a before and after comparison on our Features page.

Overall the E-520 performs well across its ISO range, and its images can easily handle a little extra sharpening at lower sensitivities if desired.

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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