Sep 26, 2005

Olympus EVOLT E-500 User Report

Surprise!! Olympus has just introduced their new EVOLT E-500 digital SLR. Looks lhe E-500 has many of the same features as the E-300 but it has as more traditional (YAY!) body, a larger LCD display, new noise reduction software, and much more. The EVOLT E-500 is their third camera in their Four-thirds system, this camera could be their finest offering yet.

The Imaging Resource already have an Olympus EVOLT E-500 User Report available. Here's what they say about the E-500.
"I really like the Olympus E-500. It's comfortable to hold, handsome, and seems to work quite well. It has almost all the features I'd look for in a digital SLR, including a high enough resolution to stave off any feeling of obsolescence for the next year or so, and a number of modes to assist and enhance a user's photography as they learn (or re-learn) the craft. No other manufacturer offers a sensor that cleans itself every time you power it on, and few digital SLR currently on the market have a screen this big and beautiful.

While it was bold, the physical design of the original EVOLT E-300 didn't do justice to the legitimate technology that lay inside. The Olympus E-500 brings the company back to basics, with a time-tested design whose familiarity should attract more users. Here's hoping that the shipping version exceeds the abilities of the E-300 as is expected, because everything else about the camera just seems right."

Olympus EVOLT E-500

EVOLT E-500 Features:
Model Olympus E-500

Type Interchangeable digital SLR camera.

Compatible lens ZUIKO Digital, FourThirds System lens.

Lens mount FourThirds mount.

Body Engineering plastics.

Media CompactFlash card (Type I and II), Microdrive, xD picture card. (Dual slot)

Effective pixel number 8 million pixels.

Image size 17.3mm x 13.0mm.

Image sensor

Type 4/3 type Full Frame Transfer CCD solid-state image sensor.
Total pixel number 8.15 million pixels.
Aspect ratio 4:3.
Filter array Primary colour filter (RGB).


LPF Fixed type.
IR cut filter Hybrid type.
Dust protect filter Supersonic Wave Filter.


Type Eye-level TTL Dach mirror type optical view finder.
Field of view Approx. 95%.
Magnification Approx. 0.9x with a 50mm lens set to infinity at -1 dioptres.
Eye point Approx. 10 mm at -1 dioptres.
Diopter adjustment Built-in type -3.0 to +1.0 dioptres.
Focusing screen Fixed type.
Mirror Quick return mirror.
Viewfinder information AF frame (super impose), AE lock, AF confirmation mark, Metering mode, Exposure mode, Shutter speed, Aperture
value, White balance, Exposure compensation value indicator , Flash, Battery check , Record mode, Number of storable still pictures.
Depth of field preview Yes (customised One-touch WB button).
Eye cup Interchangeable type EP-5/6, EP-5 supplied.
Eye piece shutter Eye piece cap EP-4 supplied.


Type TTL phase difference detection system.
Focus modes Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual focus, Single AF + MF, and Continuous AF + MF .
Detection range EV 0 to 19 (ISO 100).
Focus areas 3 points.
Focus area selection Automatic and manual selection.
AF assist lamp Built-in flash, optional Olympus dedicated flashes.
AF lock Locked by first position of shutter release button, AE/AF lock button (customised)
Focus tracking Available in continuous AF mode.
Focus aid Available.
Manual focus Available by rotating focus ring, available for setting manual focus operation in AF mode (customised).

Exposure control

Light metering system TTL open aperture light metering with 49-zones multi-pattern sensing system.
Light metering modes Digital ESP, Centre-weighted average and Spot (about 2% of entire frame).
Detection range Digital ESP, centre-weighted average:
EV 1 to 20 (50mm f2, ISO 100).
EV 3 to 17 (50mm f2, ISO 100).
Exposure modes Auto, Programme with programme shift, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual.
Scene programmes Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Night Scene & Portrait.
Scene select Portrait, Landscape, Landscape & Portrait, Night Scene, Night Scene & Portrait, Firework, Sunset, Macro, Sports, High Key, Low key,
Document, Beach & Snow, Candle, Children.
Exposure compensation Up to +/- 5 EV in each 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps.
AE lock Locked by first position of shutter release or AE/AF lock button (customised).
Exposure bracketing 3 frames in +/- 1, 2/3 , 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps (selectable).


Auto ISO 100 to 400.
Manual ISO 100 to 400. Expandable to 1600 (in each 1/3 EV steps possible ).


Type Electronically controlled focal plane shutter.
Shutter speed Auto, P, Ps, A mode: 1/4000 – 60 sec. (depend on conditions)
S mode: 1/4000 – 60 sec.
M mode: 1/4000 – 60 sec. and bulb (up to 8 min.) Scene mode: 1/4000 – 2 sec .
X-sync speed X = 1/180 sec.
Super FP up to 1/4000 sec.
Shutter release Soft-touch electromagnetic release.
Self-timer 12 or 2 sec (possible to cancel).
Remote control Yes (including bulb function), with RM-1 (option).

Drive system

Drive modes Single and sequential shooting.
Sequential shooting speed Approx. 2.5 fps.
Max. frame number on sequential shooting RAW / TIFF 4 frames, JPEG (HQ, SQ) up to card capacity with high speed media (SunDisk Extreme III) .

White balance system

Auto WB system Advanced detection system with CCD imager.
Preset WB 8 type (3000K – 7500K). Lamp 1 (3000K), Fluorescent 1 (4000K), Fluorescent 2 (4500K), Fluorescent 3 (6600K), Daylight (5300K),
Cloudy (6000K), Shade (7500K)
Custom WB 1 custom setting (in Kelvin).
WB compensation R – B / G – M, up to +/-7 steps in each 2 mired for both auto and preset settings.
On touch white balance 1 one touch setting
WB bracketing 3 frames with +/- 4/8/12 mired steps.


Image processing TruePic TURBO.
Colour space sRGB / Adobe RGB.
Picture mode Vivid, Natural, Muted, Black & White, Sepia.
Colour saturation 5 levels in each Vivid, Natural, Muted mode.
Sharpness 5 levels in each Picture mode.
Contrast 5 levels in each Picture mode.
Filter Yellow, Orange, Red, Green in Black & White mode.
Toning Sepia, Blue, Red, Green in Black & White mode.
Gradation 3 levels (high key, normal, low key).

Built-in flash

Type Auto pop-up type, TTL auto or manual.
Synchronisation modes Auto, Manual , Red-eye reduction, Slow syncro, 2nd curtain slow syncro , Fill-in.
Synchronisation timing 1 st /2 nd curtain selectable.
Guide number Approx. 13.
Intensity control Up to +/- 2EV in each 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps.
External flash control
Type TTL auto FP / TTL auto for Olympus dedicated flash, auto or manual. (TTL auto with FL-20, FL-36, FL-50)
Synchronisation modes Auto, Manual, Red-eye reduction, Slow syncro, 2nd curtain slow syncro , Fill-in for exclusive flash.
Synchronisation timing 1 st /2 nd curtain selectable.
Intensity control Up to +/- 2EV in each 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps.
Control panel
Control panel information Metering mode, Exposure mode, Aperture value, Shutter speed, Exposure level indicator, Exposure compensation
value, Exposure compensation indicator, AE bracket, ISO, Colour space, Picture mode, Gradation, Colour saturation compensation value, Sharpness compensation value, Contrast compensation value, White balance, White balance compensation value, Noise reduction mode, AE lock,
Flash mode, Flash compensation value, Focus mode, AF frame, Drive mode, Record mode, Number of storable still pictures, Selected memory card, Battery check.

Playback monitor

Type Hyper crystal LCD panel.
Size 2.5 inch / 6.4cm.
Pixel number 215.250 pixels.
Field of view Approx. 100%.
Brightness control +/- 7 steps.

Playback functions

Display mode Single, Zoom (2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 14x), Index (4, 9, 16, 25 frames), Slide show, Calendar view, Rotation, Light box view .
Information Exposure mode, Metering mode, Shutter speed, f-stop, Compensation level, ISO, Colour space, White balance mode, White balance
compensation level, Focal length, Focus area, File type, Picture mode, Contrast level, Sharpness level .
Exposure level view Histogram (R, G, B available) , High light point warning, Shadow point warning,

Erase / protect function

Erase modes Single, All, Selected .
Image protect mode Single

Recording system

Type of recording format DCF, DPOF compatible, EXIF2.2 compatible, PRINT Image
Matching II compatible .
Type of file format JPEG, TIFF (RGB 8 bit), RAW (12bit).
RAW+JPEG recording Yes.
File size RAW: 3264 x 2448 uncompressed Approx. 13.6 MB
TIFF: 3264 x 2448 uncompressed Approx. 24.5 MB
SHQ: 3264 x 2448 1/2.7 Approx. 6.4 MB
HQ: 3264 x 2448 1/4 Approx. 4.5 MB
1/8 Approx. 2.5 MB
1/12 Approx. 1.8 MB
SQ: 3200 x 2400 1/2.7 Approx. 6.2 MB
1/4 Approx. 4.4 MB
1/8 Approx. 2.4 MB
1/12 Approx. 1.8 MB
2560 x 1920 1/2.7 Approx. 3.7 MB
1/4 Approx. 2.5 MB
1/8 Approx. 1.3 MB
1/12 Approx. 0.8 MB
1600 x 1200 1/2.7 Approx. 1.5 MB
1/4 Approx. 1.0 MB
1/8 Approx. 0.5 MB
1/12 Approx. 0.4 MB
1280 x 960 1/2.7 Approx. 0.9 MB
1/4 Approx. 0.6 MB
1/8 Approx. 0.3 MB
1/12 Approx. 0.2 MB
1024 x 768 1/2.7 Approx. 0.6 MB
1/4 Approx. 0.4 MB
1/8 Approx. 0.2 MB
1/12 Approx. 0.2 MB
640 x 480 1/2.7 Approx. 0.3 MB
1/4 Approx. 0.2 MB
1/8 Approx. 0.1 MB
1/12 Approx. 0.1 MB

Image editing

RAW development Yes.
JPEG/TIFF editing Yes (Black & White, Sepia, Red eye reduction, Colour saturation , Resize, ).
PictBridge Yes.


Category Shooting menu 1, Shooting menu 2, Playback menu, Custom menu, Setup menu.
Languages Default 4 languages (English, German, Spanish, French), Optionally, one language can be downloaded via internet.


PC interface USB 2.0 (Full speed) mini B (storage, camera control) .
Video signal output NTSC or PAL selectable.
Synchro socket Hot shoe.

Power supply

Battery Rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack BLM-1, 3x CR123A with LBH-1 .
Size / weight
Dimensions 129.5 x 94.5 x 66mm .
Weight Approx. 435g (without batteries and CF card).
Battery check Automatic check.
Sleep mode Yes (Off, 1, 3, 5, 10 min. selectable).
Power off mode Yes (Off, 4hours selectable).


Temperature Operating range: 0°C to 40°C. Storage range: -20°C to 60°C.
Humidity Operating range: 30 to 90%. Storage range: 10% to 90%.
Box contents E-300 body, USB cable, video cable, Li-Ion battery pack (BLM-1) or CR123A battery holder (LHD-1), Li-Ion battery charger (BCM-
2) or not, shoulder strap, Olympus Master CD-ROM, instruction manuals, warranty card.

More indepth marketing information :

The Olympus E-500 digital SLR for reliably clean photography:

As digital photography has gained popularity and become affordable for just about everyone, increasing numbers of photographers are demanding the higher quality and flexibility that only an SLR camera can offer, with the availability of interchangeable lenses, external flash systems and other accessories. Now, with the Olympus E-500, the promise of creative digital SLR photography is within everyone’s reach.

High reliability:

For all ardent photographers, image quality has the highest priority, and the Olympus E-500 does everything to ensure perfect photos in every situation. By incorporating the Supersonic Wave Filter, the problem of dust entering the camera body and landing on the CCD while changing lenses – a phenomenon until now virtually impossible to prevent – is finally solved. As a piece of dust can cover several thousand pixels on the CCD, even the tiniest particles can potentially cause serious damage to photos. The patented technology ensures worry-free lens changing anywhere and anytime, enabling users to really experience the brilliance of dust-free pictures. Developed by Olympus, the Supersonic Wave Filter generates ultra-high-speed vibrations that shake off dust and other particles, which are then captured on a special adhesive membrane. This function is invoked at each start-up of the camera but may also be manually effected. This ingenious solution also spares users the otherwise necessary time and expense of cleaning dusty image sensors.

High image quality:

With 8.0 million pixels, the Olympus E-500 ensures subjects are always recorded in brilliant detail. Furthermore, rather than using an ordinary Interline Transfer CCD, this model incorporates a Full Frame Transfer CCD (FFT CCD). This type of CCD has a larger pixel area, because there is no dedicated transfer channel, instead the photodiode itself is used for this purpose. As a result, the FFT CCD captures more electrons, to deliver a higher signal/noise ratio and a wider dynamic range. The photos therefore benefit from greater exposure latitude, more detail and less noise. High mobility

Featuring a penta type design, the Olympus E-500 has the authentic professional look and feel of a classic SLR. Yet with its smaller size, it is also one of the most compact D-SLRs on the market. Active users will welcome a camera that they can take and use almost anywhere – from hikes in the country to busy city visits. Professionals will also appreciate the lightweight load, which makes the E-500 an ideal back-up camera, particularly useful for photo-journalism assignments in the field. The professional style and very user-friendly layout of controls make intuitive operation of the camera possible in next to no time.

Photographers can choose from 21 pre-defined scene modes to suit most common situations. Alternatively, the manual options, including P/A/S/M, facilitate unrestricted creativity and allow the user’s individuality to unfold. A 49 area AE sensor and high light and shadow basis metering provide for amazing exposure control. The Olympus E-500 also features professional AE Lock functionality for camera customisation. And when there’s not enough natural light, the built-in pop-up flash is always there to shed more light on the subject.

Incorporation of the TruePic TURBO image processor not only ensures images pack a punch with their life-like colour, resolution and contrast, it also adds speed to the Olympus E-500. Sequential shooting at 2.5fps is possible with all image data formats. In the HQ (1/8) or SQ JPEG format, images can even be recorded up to the full memory card capacity when using high-speed media, such as SanDisk SDCFX (Extreme III). In addition, users also benefit from the two memory card slots – one for CompactFlash and another for xD-Picture Cards – which add to this model’s practicality and provide extra data security.

Operation is further enhanced by the camera’s large 6.4cm/2.5” HyperCrystal LCD screen with 214,000 pixels for framing and viewing shots. It conveniently allows results to be viewed in large format directly on the camera without glare, even in direct sunlight and at angles of up to 160°. Views of recorded shots can be enlarged up to 14x to facilitate easy checking. The LCD doubles as the easy-to-read status panel, giving clear, detailed information on all camera settings.

High versatility:

Of course, one of the main benefits of an SLR is its ability to extend the photographic possibilities through specialised accessories. Here the Olympus E-500 profits from the Olympus E-System line-up. Currently, the lenses on offer cover a focal range of 7-300mm (equivalent to 14-600mm on a 35mm camera). From unique, wide-angle perspectives right through to ultra-magnification power with large apertures, Olympus provides a solution for any situation. Various external flash units are available too. As well as standard types, ring and twin flash units provide for specialist applications.

Moreover, based on the FourThirds System, cross-manufacturer compatibility of accessories is also assured. Jointly developed by Olympus and Kodak especially for digital capture, it sets standards on three levels – mechanical, optical and communication – to maximise the performance of camera body, image sensor and lenses. A growing number of manufacturers are now part of the FourThirds consortium.

The eight million pixel Olympus E-500 Digital SLR combines a classic design, stunning performance and a tempting price to bring the high quality and creative freedom of digital SLR photography to ambitious hobby photographers and semi-pros alike. And thanks to the Supersonic Wave Filter, photos will never again be ruined by the harmful effects of dust on the image sensor. The camera is extremely light and compact, and offers excellent ergonomic handling. Equipped to facilitate full creative expression and sensational results, the Olympus E-500 will be offered in a choice of four kits which will be available from the end of October 2005.

Quick overview of E-500 specs:

The Olympus E-500 digital SLR – main features: 8.0 million pixels with Full Frame Transfer CCD 6.4cm/2.5” HyperCrystal LCD (214,000 pixels) Supersonic Wave Filter for dust protection Light and compact penta type design (for classic SLR look) 49 area AE sensor & high light basis, shadow light basis metering Single AF, continuous AF and manual focusing Digital ESP, centre-weighted average and spot exposure metering AE lock functionality Sequential shooting at 2.5fps in HQ (1/8) and SQ JPEG format up to the full memory card capacity when using high-speed media, such as SanDisk SDCFX (Extreme III) IR Hybrid Type Cut Filter for equalisation with human eyes 1/3 EV ISO steps TruePic TURBO image processor 21 scene programme and scene select programme modes Dual slot for CompactFlash/Microdrives and xD-Picture Cards Built-in pop-up flash User-friendly menu with detailed and simplified display modes plus full manual operation Compatible with the complete range of Olympus E-System lenses and many accessories. Refer to above for a more comprehensive specifications


(1) Camera body, BLM-1 rechargeable battery pack with BCM-2 charger.

(2) SE Kit with camera body, 17.5-45mm (35-90mm) 1:3.5-5.6, LBH-1 battery holder, 3x CR-123 batteries.

(3) Kit with camera body, 14-45mm (28-90mm) 1:3.5-5.6, BLM-1 rechargeable battery pack with BCM-2 charger.

(4) DZK Kit with camera body, 14-45mm (28-90mm) 1:3.5-5.6, 40-150mm (80-300mm) 1:3.5-4.5, BLM-1 rechargeable battery pack with BCM-2 charger.
Tamrac 5273 Expedition 3 SLR Photo Backpack (Forest Green)?
SLIK U212 DLX Heavy Duty Tripod
Olympus FL-20 Electronic Flash for SP series, C5000, C750, C770, C5060, C7070, C8080, E1, E300 & E500 Digital Cameras
Olympus FL-50 Electronic Flash for Olympus C7070, E1, E300 & E500 Digital SLR Cameras
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko ED Digital SLR Lens for E1, E300 & E500 Cameras

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