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Olympus' E-520 digital SLR. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Olympus announces E-520 digital SLR
(Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 00:01 EDT)

Some fourteen months after it launched its four thirds-format EVOLT E-510 digital SLR, Japan's Olympus Corp. has taken the wraps off its successor - the Olympus

The Olympus E-520 is very closely related to its predecessor the E-510 - the only signs beyond the model number that suggest you're looking at the E520 rather than the '510 are a larger LCD display, a change to the color of some icons, and a slight restyling of the control dials. Most of the changes made are under the skin, and they're almost all the same as those made in the earlier 4xx-series upgrade, although the Olympus E-520 does boast one new feature that could prove a lifesaver on some types of shooting.

As with its predecessor, the Olympus EVOLT E-520 digital SLR has a sensor resolution of ten megapixels, is capable of burst shooting at 3.5 frames-per-second, a Live View mode which frees users from having to have their eye to the viewfinder. Images are stored on either Type-I or Type-II CompactFlash cards (including Microdrives) or the less common xD-Picture Card format. The Olympus E-520's power comes from a proprietary Lithium Ion battery.

The Olympus E-520 DSLR ships in the North American market from July 2008, priced at US$600 or thereabouts body-only. A kit with bundled ED 14–42mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens will have a $100 premium for a street pricetag of around US$700. For more detailed information take a look over our Olympus E-520 preview. For specifications and the official press release, read on below.

Olympus E-520
Olympus' E-520 digital SLR. Copyright © 2008, Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeSLR
Model NumberE-520
Dimensions5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7"
136.0 x 91.0 x 68.0mm
Weight475.0 g
16.6 oz
Planned Price$699.99
Planned Availability 2008
Image Capture
Sensor TypeFour Thirds N-MOS
11.80 megapixels (total)
10.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Focal Length Multiplier2.00
Aspect Ratio4:3
Image Dimensions3648 x 2736 (10.0 megapixels)
3200 x 2400 (7.7 megapixels)
2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
1024 x 768 (0.8 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality4 levels
Image Preview / Review
ViewfinderYes, SLR type; fixed eye-level pentamirror, 95% coverage, 0.92x mag., 14mm eyepoint, -3.0 to +1.0 diopt.
LCD2.7", 230,000 pixels
Playback Zoom14.0x max
Lens TypeInterchangeable Lens
3x optical zoom
58mm lens thread
Lens MountFour Thirds mount
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length14.0 - 42.0mm (actual)
28 - 84mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/3.5 - f/22 (W), f/5.6 - ?? (T)
Focusing System3-point TTL Phase Difference Detection, 11-point Contrast Detect in Live View mode with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Focusing RangeNormal: 10" - infinity (25 cm - infinity)
ISO Sensitivity100 - 1600 (1/3EV steps)
Shutter Speed60 - 1/4000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes49-zone Digital ESP, Center Weighted Average, Spot / Highlight Spot / Shadow Spot (Spot Approx. 2%)
Exposure Compensation+/- 5.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Lamp, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Flash, Custom, One-Touch, Manual
Internal FlashGuide Number: 12
Modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction slow sync., Slow sync at 1st curtain, Slow sync at 2nd curtain, Fill-in, Manual (1/4, 1/16, 1/64), Off.
Range: Depends on lens aperture
Flash Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Scene ModesPortrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Children, Sport, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Fireworks, Documents, Panorama* (* Available with the Olympus xD-Picture Card), Beach & Snow, Underwater Wide, Underwater Macro
Self TimerYes, 2 or 12 seconds
Recording MediumCompactFlash Type 1, CompactFlash Type 2, Microdrive, xD Picture Card
File SystemFAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatCCD-RAW, 12-bit RAW (.ORF), JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherDedicated multi-connector (Video: NTSC/PAL, Optional Remote cable RM-UC1 is available
Battery TypeLithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary BLM-1
Product Bundle
S ftwareOLYMPUS Master Software CD-ROM
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary BLM-1 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory0.0MB
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlYes, RM-UC1 cable or RM-1 IR
Operating System CompatibilityWindows, Mac OS
More Photos
Olympus' E-520 digital SLR. Copyright © 2008, Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' E-520 digital SLR. Copyright © 2008, Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' E-520 digital SLR. Copyright © 2008, Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' E-520 digital SLR. Copyright © 2008, Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' E-520 digital SLR. Copyright © 2008, Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' E-520 digital SLR, cutaway showing the image stabilization mechanism. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.

Original Source Press Release:


In-Body Image Stabilization Steadies Any Lens; Take-Anywhere Portable Design Means You’ll Capture It All

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., May 13, 2008 – The new Olympus E-520 digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera delivers brilliant images thanks to advanced technologies that help take the blur out. Industry leading Image Stabilization built into the portable camera body compensates for movement so that images are sharp and blur-free with any lens and even at slow shutter speeds. Autofocus Live View brings subjects into sharp focus on the camera’s HyperCrystal™ II LCD. Together, these technologies produce amazing results, along with the following features that further expand the DSLR experience:

  • In-Body Image Stabilization with Supersonic Wave DriveTM technology provides blur-free images when using any of the more than 30 digital-specific lenses;
  • Face Detection Technology targets and locks on faces to ensure they are in focus and blur-free for amazing portraits;
  • Shadow Adjustment Technology opens up detail in the shadows that other cameras would render too dark or underexposed while maintaining detail in the highlights; and
  • Perfect Shot Preview enables photographers to view and select White Balance and Exposure Compensation effects right on the LCD, and see how the image will look before they even capture it.

“Beyond a successor, the Olympus E-520 features an array of new technologies that help photo hobbyists and serious digital photographers take remarkable images,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager – DSLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Its image stabilization system now lets photographers pan while holding the portable camera vertically – perfect for capturing everything from a sprinter breaking from the pack to the bride and groom walking down the aisle.”

Enhanced In-Body Image Stabilization
For the first time, in-body Mechanical Image Stabilization has three modes for increased versatility. IS-1 mode for general shooting adjusts the sensor on both the X and Y axes to compensate for movement by the photographer so images stay sharp even at slow shutter speeds. To capture the motion of athletes and animals, and other moving subjects, the E-520 offers two specialized modes. IS-2 mode is ideal for capturing a racecar flying down the track, preserving the sense of motion while panning with the moving subject and holding the camera horizontally to dramatically portray the car’s high speed. For sharp images of moving subjects like a basketball player charging up the court, the IS-3 mode allows a photographer to hold the camera vertically while panning. The artistic effects of panning enhance the shot and render the player in sharp detail with blurred background.

The Live View Experience
The portable E-520’s advanced autofocus Live View enables photographers to compose their images and bring them into sharp focus on the HyperCrystal II LCD – just like a point-and-shoot camera. By simply pressing the shutter button halfway, subjects come into focus on the LCD, so when the perfect moment occurs it is easy to compose, focus and capture sharp images while viewing on the LCD. Live View makes it possible to shoot upward from a low angle for dramatic composition, in close for detailed macro photos of an exotic insect, or over a crowd of people at a tennis tournament.

New and Improved HyperCrystal™ II LCD
The E-520’s viewable HyperCrystal II LCD is the key to its Live View capabilities. While some LCD screens force photographers to squint to preview images in bright sunlight or a dimly lit room, the E-520 features a large, bright 2.7-inch LCD display that incorporates new technology. It also offers twice the contrast for better viewing in extreme light conditions, a larger color gamut that displays a greater range of color detail, and a 176-degree viewing angle.

Always Find a Face in the Crowd
The E-520’s Face Detection reduces the chance of blurred subjects in photography by distinguishing between people’s faces and the background. It tracks up to eight faces within the image area even if people are moving and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures.

In Sunshine or the Shadows, Never Miss a Detail
Shooting scenes with shadows can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark and bright areas. The E-520 addresses this challenge with Shadow Adjustment Technology that compensates for extreme contrast and maintains visible detail in both the shadow and highlight areas of the scene. Now users can preview and capture images showing the shadow detail they saw. This feature is also available in the Edit menu after the shot has been taken.

Preview a Multitude of Possibilities
Perfect Shot Preview enables users to preview and select from a variety of thumbnail previews of the photographic effects of white balance and exposure compensation adjustments live on the LCD before taking the photograph. It is an ideal way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques, visually, without having to scroll through menu options. With 20 preset scene-select modes for every imaginable shooting scenario from underwater photography to fireworks, and program, automatic modes and full manual controls, the E-520 offers a world of possibilities to photographers.

Experience Life under the Sea
Olympus will offer the PT-E05 optional underwater housing for the E-520 to allow photographers to document the richness of life in the depths. Capable of reaching depths of 130 feet underwater, the housing will ensure that divers will not miss an image during their journeys to the abyss. Special underwater scene modes on the E-520 will assure that the camera is set up correctly for underwater use.

Wireless Flash Capability
Sometimes wireless flashes can help photographers cast the best light on their subjects and capture great images. For this reason, the E-520 is compatible with the Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R wireless electronic flashes that are designed exclusively for digital photography. When these flashes are used in combination with the E-520, wireless multi-flash photography is possible. The E-520 can control up to three wireless flash groups independently, with multiple flash units in each group.

TruePic III for Image Clarity & Speed
The 10.1 megapixel E-520’s TruePic III Image Processor produces crystal-clear photos using all of the pixel information for each image to provide the best digital images possible for every photo with accurate color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal representation in between. TruePic III also lowers image noise by one step to reduce graininess in images shot at higher ISO settings, enabling great results in low-light situations.

Dust Reduction System for Spot-Free Images
Life moves too fast to spend time worrying about dust ruining the perfect image. Olympus’ proven Dust Reduction System produces spot-free photos with the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter™. The patented ultrasonic technology vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor and captures it on a special adhesive membrane every time the camera is turned on. These spot-free photos liberate users from hours spent retouching photographs at the computer or sending their cameras back to the manufacturer to remove dust trapped inside.

Easy to Handle, Easy to Operate
The E-520 is extremely portable, measuring 5.35 inches (width) by 3.6 inches (height) and 2.68 inches (depth), excluding protrusions, and weighing 16.75 ounces (body only). The new camera has a classic penta-mirror design that is light and compact enough to shoot with all day. It features a comfortable ergonomic grip to ensure that the camera fits snugly in the hand. Beyond its portable size, the E-520 has an expanded menu for greater control and buttons on the body for quick and easy direct access to the most common settings. Accepting both CompactFlash Type I & II, Microdrives and xD-Picture Cards, the camera provides a choice of data-storage options for enhanced flexibility, and it is possible to transfer image files from one card to the other right inside the camera.

100% Digital-Specific Lens for Sharpness and Rich Colors
The E-520 outfit includes a compact, Zuiko Digital 28-84mm equivalent (ED 14–42 mm Four Thirds) f3.5–f5.6 lens that perfectly matches the imager so light strikes the sensor directly to ensure rich, accurate colors and edge-to-edge sharpness. Its 3x ED Glass zoom lens covers the range most frequently used in photography and weighs just 7.5 ounces, offering users an extremely dynamic, portable, everyday-use zoom. Close-ups as near as 9.84 inches (0.25 m) are possible throughout the zoom range. This lens is part of Olympus’ expanding line of 100 percent digital lenses – designed specifically for digital photography. Unlike other camera companies, Olympus does not rely on old film lenses, which often result in images with soft edges or other imperfections.

The Olympus E-520 Digital SLR will be available in July 2008. It includes: E-520 Body, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack (BLM-1), Li-Ion Battery Charger (BCM-2), Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS Master Software CD-ROM, Manuals and Warranty Card.

U.S. Pricing/Product Configurations
E-520 body Estimated Street Price: $599.99
E-520 with ED 14–42mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens Estimated Street Price: $699.99

Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances people’s lives every day. These include:

  • Digital Cameras as well as related Underwater Products and Accessories
  • Professional Digital SLR Imaging Systems as well as related Underwater Products and Accessories
  • Digital and Microcassette Recorders
  • Digital Media
  • Binoculars

Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com.

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