Olympus EVOLT E-500By: Shawn Barnett and Dave Etchells
8.0 megapixels, ZUIKO DIGITAL lens mount, digital SLR design, and loads of features!
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Page 13:Video, Power, SoftwareReview First Posted: 09/25/2005, Updated: 12/05/2005
The Olympus E-500 has a Video Out port for reviewing previously captured images and movies, or running slide shows from the camera. Through the Setup menu, you can set the Video Out signal to NTSC or PAL.
The Olympus E-500 is powered by a rechargeable BLM-1 battery pack, and a battery and charger come with the camera. Because it doesn't have a standard external power connector, we weren't able to conduct our usual power consumption tests on it. Like most digital SLRs though, the E-500 boasts excellent battery life, because it isn't dependent on the sensor and LCD for framing shots. Olympus rates the E-500's battery life at about 500 shots per charge in typical usage. If you plan to do a lot of "chimping" (looking at your photos on the LCD screen in playback mode) or expect to shoot more than 500 shots in a single outing, you'll want to get a second battery along with the camera, but for most day to day usage, a single battery should be sufficient.
The E-500 comes with a nice complement of software on the supplied CD. Direct camera control and image downloading are provided by Olympus' Master software package for both Mac and Windows platforms (Macintosh OS 8.6-9.2/OS X, Windows 98/98SE/Me/2000 Pro/XP). USB drivers for both platforms and an Apple QuickTime reader are also included.
Olympus Master lets you download and organize images, as well as perform minor image correction and enhancement functions (such as adjusting contrast, sharpness, and color balance). It also offers utilities for printing, backing up images to hard drive or CD/DVD, and emailing, making slide shows, computer "wallpaper," albums, and for stitching shots together horizontally or vertically to make panoramas. Olympus Master's editing functions also permit you to manipulate exposure, color balance, contrast, sharpness, and saturation on images saved in the E-500's ORF "raw" file format.
Olympus also offers an optional software package, Olympus Studio, intended to be more of a professional workflow tool. Olympus Studio apparently offers more sophisticated processing of raw-format files, with a better ability to suppress color moire patterns, a sophisticated noise-reduction algorithm, and more control over image parameters than offered by Olympus Master. Studio also provides a batch processing option, to automate your workflow for raw-formatted images. Olympus Studio is an added-cost option, with a list price of $199 in the US, translating into typical "street" prices in the vicinity of $150.
In the Box
The Olympus E-500 EVOLT ships with the following items in the box:
- E-500 camera body.
- BLM-1 lithium-ion battery pack and charger.
- USB cable.
- Video cable.
- Camedia Master software CD-ROM.
- Neck strap.
- User manuals and registration card.
- 14-45mm ZUIKO DIGITAL lens (if part of kit)
- 40-150mm ZUIKO DIGITAL lens (if part of kit)
- Camera case
- Additional battery
- BIG Compact Flash memory card (512 MB or larger recommended)