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Olympus EVOLT E-500

By: Shawn Barnett and Dave Etchells

8.0 megapixels, ZUIKO DIGITAL lens mount, digital SLR design, and loads of features!

<<Intro and Highlights :(Previous) | (Next): User Report>>

Page 2:Comparison with Olympus E-300

Review First Posted: 09/25/2005, Updated: 12/05/2005

Comparison to the E-300

To help readers compare the EVOLT E-500 to its sibling the E-300, as well as the current entry-level competitors from other manufacturers, we've combined an in-depth comparison table:

SLR Camera Comparison
Manufacturer
Canon
Canon
Konica Minolta
Nikon
Olympus
Olympus
Pentax
Model
EOS 300D Digital Rebel
EOS 350D Digital Rebel XT
Maxxum 5D
D50
EVOLT E-300
EVOLT E-500
*ist DL
Imaging

System
Sensor Manufacturer Canon Canon Sony Sony Kodak Kodak Sony
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS CCD CCD CCD CCD CCD
Color Filter Array RGB RGB RGB RGB RGB RGB RGB
Total Megapixels
6.5
8.2
6.3
6.24
8.9
8.9
6.31
Effective Megapixels 6.3 8.0 6.1 6.1 8.15 8.15 6.1
Effective Sensor Size (mm)
22.7 x 15.1
22.2 x 14.8
23.7 x 15.6
23.7 x 15.6
17.3 x 13.0
17.3 x 13.0
23.5 x 15.7
Focal Length Multiplier (approx.)
1.6x
1.6x
1.5x
1.5x
2.0x
2.0x
1.5x
Image Processor
SLR-DIGIC
DIGIC II
CxProcess III
Not stated
TruePic TURBO
TruePic TURBO
Not stated
Viewfinder
Type
Eye-level pentamirror
Eye-level pentamirror
Eye-level pentaprism
Eye-level pentamirror
Eye-level Porro Mirror system
Eye level Dach Penta Mirror
Eye-level pentaprism
Coverage
95%
95%
95%
95%
94%
95%
96%
Magnification (-1 diopter with 50mm lens at infinity)
0.8x
0.8x
0.83x
0.75x
1.0x
0.9x
0.85x
Eyepoint (mm)
21
21
20
18
20
10
Unknown
Dioptric Adjustment Range (diopters)
-3.0 to +1.0
-3.0 to +1.0
-2.5 to +1.0
-1.6 to +0.5
-3.0 to +1.0
-3.0 to +1.0
-2.5 to +1.5
Focusing Screen
Fixed, all-matte screen
Fixed, precision matte screen
Spherical Acute Matte
B-type BriteView clear matte Mark V, with superimposed focus brackets
Fixed (Matte with AF/Metering marks)
Fixed
Natural-Bright-Matte II focusing screen
Viewfinder

Info Display
AF information (AF points, focus confirmation light), exposure information (shutter speed, aperture value, manual exposure, AE lock, exposure level), flash information (flash ready, red-eye reduction lamp on, high-speed sync, FE lock), shots remaining, CF card information
AF information (AF points, focus confirmation light), exposure information (shutter speed, aperture value, manual exposure, AE lock, exposure level, AEB in progress, exposure warning), flash information (flash ready, red-eye reduction lamp on, high-speed sync, FE lock, flash exposure compensation), maximum burst, CF card information
Wide focus frame, spot AF area, local focus areas, spot metering area, active focus point, flash compensation indicator, flash signal, high-speed sync indicator, wireless / remote flash indicator, AE lock indicator, focus signal, shutter-speed display, aperture display, EV scale, frames-remaining counter, camera-shake warning, anti-shake scale
AF information (AF points, focus confirmation, AF area mode, AE/AF lock indicator), exposure information (shutter speed, aperture value, manual exposure, AE/AF lock indicator, exposure level, flash exposure, exposure compensation indicator, pre-set white balance recording indicator), flash-ready indicator, shots remaining, battery level, PC mode indicator
AF information (AF frame, focus confirmation), aperture value, shutter speed, exposure compensation amount, flash indicator, AE lock, white balance, metering mode, battery check, exposure mode, number of "storable sequential pictures" (not seen on prototype)
AF frame, Shutter speed, Aperture value, AF confirmation mark, Flash, White balance, AE lock, Number of storable still pictures, Exposure compensation value indication, Metering mode, Battery check, Exposure mode, Record mode
(1) Flash information; (2) Picture mode (Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Action, Night scene portrait); (3) In-focus; (4) Shutter speed; (5) Aperture value; (6) Exposure compensation factor; (7) Manual white balance; (8) Manual focus; (9) Sensitivity warning;(10) Auto exposure lock signal; (11) AF.C (AF-continuous
Depth of Field Preview
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Not available
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Enabled with depth-of-field preview position on power switch
Recording

System
Recording Media / Quantity / Slot Type
Type I or II CF card / Microdrive
Type I or II CF card / Microdrive
Type I or II CF card / Microdrive
Secure Digital card
Type I or II CF card / Microdrive
Type I or II CF card / Microdrive, xd-Picture Card
Secure Digital card
Compatible File System
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
Unknown
Recording Formats
RAW (CRW), JPEG
RAW (CR2), JPEG
RAW (MRW), JPEG
RAW (NEF), JPEG
RAW (ORF), JPEG, TIFF
RAW (ORF), JPEG, TIFF
RAW, JPEG, TIFF
Maximum Resolution
3072 x 2048
3456 x 2304
3008 x 2000
3008 x 2000
3,264 x 2,448
3,264 x 2,448
3008 x 2008
Reduced Resolutions (JPEG only)
2048 x 1360; 1356 x 1024
2496 x 1664; 1728 x 1152
2256 x 1496; 1504 x 1000
2256 x 1496; 1504 x 1000
3,200 x 2,400; 2,560 x 1,920; 1,600 x 1,200; 1,280 x 960; 1,024 x 768; 640 x 480
3,200 x 2,400; 2,560 x 1,920; 1,600 x 1,200; 1,280 x 960; 1,024 x 768; 640 x 480
2400 x 1600; 1536 x 1024
RAW + JPEG Recording
Yes, Middle Fine JPEG only, embedded in RAW
Yes, any resolution
Yes, selectable JPEG resolution (fine compression only)
Yes, basic JPEG only
Yes, Selectable JPEG resolution / compression
RAW + JPEG
No
Color Space &

White Balance
User-Selectable Color Space
Yes

sRGB + Adobe RGB
Yes

sRGB + Adobe RGB
Yes

sRGB (eight variants) + Adobe RGB (two variants)
Yes

sRGB (two variants) + Adobe RGB
Yes

sRGB + Adobe RGB
Yes

sRGB + Adobe RGB
Unknown
Processing Parameters

(Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Color Tone) / # of Increments
5

(Same as 10D, but new is default sets: one mimics 10D settings and one boosts contrast, saturation, and sharpening for snappier prints. This is the factory default setting)
5

(Same as original Digital Rebel, but with the addition of a Black and White mode that includes tone and contrast adjustments.)

8
6 options each for sharpness and contrast, 3 options for saturation. 7-step hue adjustment. Digital vari-programs preset various processing parameters as well, and color space III boosts saturation somewhat, particularly in greens.
5 options each for sharpness, saturation, and contrast. Normal/Low/High-key Gradation adjustment
5 options each for sharpness, saturation, and contrast. Normal/Low/High-key Gradation adjustment
Unknown
Preset WB settings
6 (Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash)
6 (Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash)
6 (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash)
6 (Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash)
14 (Auto, Custom, plus 12 Kelvin Temperature settings correlated with common light sources, such as incandescent, various types of fluorescent, etc.)
9 (Auto, Custom, plus 7 Kelvin Temperature settings correlated with common light sources, such as incandescent, various types of fluorescent, etc.)
10 (Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy,Tungsten Light, Fluorescent Light [White, Daylight, Neutral], Flash, Manual)
Manual Color Temperature Setting Range
None
None
2500 ~ 9900K in 100K increments
(No Kelvin option, but very broad Preset WB range)
2,000 ~ 10,000K (16 settings, varying increments)
3,000 - 7,000K
None
WB Adjustment Range
±3 steps in 1-step increments

5 mireds per step
±9 steps in 1-step increments

5 mireds per step
±3 steps in 1-step increments

Arbitrary step size (approx. 10 mireds per step in most modes)
Not available
±7 steps in 1-step increments, unknown step size
±7 steps in 1-step increments, 2 mireds per step
Not available
Autofocus

System
Type
TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor

(TTL secondary image registration, phase detection)
TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor

(TTL secondary image registration, phase detection)
TTL phase detection with CCD line sensors
TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM900 autofocus module
TTL phase detection
TTL phase detection
TTL phase-matching by SAFOX VIII
# of Focusing Points (Focusing Point Type)
7 points (1 cross-type, 2 horizontal-type, 4 vertical-type)
7 points (1 cross-type, 2 horizontal-type, 4 vertical-type)
9 points, 8 lines with center cross-hair sensor
5 points
3 points
3 points
11 points
Superimposed Focus Point Display Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
AF Working Range
EV 0.5 ~ 18 (ISO 100)
EV 0.5 ~ 18
EV-1 ~ EV18 (ISO 100)
EV -1 ~ 19 (ISO 100)
EV 0 ~ 19
EV 0 ~ 19 (ISO 100)
EV1 to EV19 (ISO 200)
AF-assist Beam
Yes, stroboscopic flash (Range: Approx. 4.0m / 13.1ft. at center, approx. 3.5m/11.5ft. off-center) Note: Only available when flash is enabled.
Yes, stroboscopic flash (Range: Approx. 4.0m / 13.1ft. at center, approx. 3.5m/11.5ft. off-center)
Yes, stroboscopic flash
Bright incandescent lamp, (Range approx. 3.0 m, 9.8 ft, depending on lens.) Not dependent on flash setting.
With built-in flash unit, and on dedicated Olympus external flash units. Note: Only available when flash is enabled.
With built-in flash unit, and on dedicated Olympus external flash units. Note: Only available when flash is enabled.
Unknown
Exposure

Control
Shooting Modes
12 - Program AE (Full Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Flash Off, Program), shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, depth-of-field AE, manual exposure, ETTL autoflash
12 - Program AE (Full Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Flash Off, Program), shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, depth-of-field AE, manual exposure, ETTL autoflash
8 - Full Auto, Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, manual, Portrait, Sports Action, Landscape, Sunset, Night Portrait
11 - Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, Manual, Auto, Portrait, Landcape, Close up, Sports, Child, Night Portrait.
9 - Program, aperture-priority AE, shutter-priority AE, Manual, Portrait, Landcape, Close up, Sports, Night Landscape, plus:

14 Scene modes (Landscape, Landscape+Portrait, Night Scene, Night+Portrait, Fireworks, Sunset, Portrait, High Key, Macro, Documents, Museum, Sport, Beach & Snow, and Candle)

7 - Auto, Program, aperture-priority AE, shutter-priority AE, Manual, Scene Program, Scene Select.

15 Scene modes (Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Night Scene, Night Scene + Portrait, Fireworks, Sunset, Macro, Sports, High-Key, Low-Key, Documents, Beach & Snow, Candle, and Children)

6 - Auto, Programmed AE, Shutter-Priority AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Metered Manual, Bulb
Metering Zones
35
35
14
420
Not stated
49
16
Metering Modes
Evaluative (linked to any AF point), center weighted average (set automatically in manual mode), 9% partial
Evaluative (linked to any AF point), center weighted average, 9% partial
14-segment honeycomb-pattern metering, Center-weighted, Spot
1) 3D color matrix metering with 420-segment RGB sensor. (2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8mm dia. circle in center of frame. (3) Spot: Meters 2.3 mm dia. circle (about one percent of frame) centered on active focus area.
Digital ESP (evaluative), center-weighted, spot
Digital ESP (evaluative), center-weighted, 2% spot, highlight spot, shadow spot
Multi, Center-Weighted, and Spot
Metering System Working Range
EV 1 ~ 20
EV 1 ~ 20
1) EV 1 ~ 20 (14-segment honeycomb-pattern or center-weighted metering)

2) EV 4 ~ 20 (spot metering)

(ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens)
1) EV 0 ~ 20 (3D color matrix or center-weighted metering)

2) EV 2 ~ 20 (spot metering)

(ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)
1) Digital ESP / Center Weighted Average; EV 1 ~ 20

2) Spot; EV 3 ~ 17 (50mm F2, ISO 100)
1) Digital ESP / Center Weighted Average; EV 1 ~ 20

2) Spot; EV 3 ~ 17 (50mm F2, ISO 100)
EV 1 ~ 21.5
ISO Range / Extended
100 ~ 1600 / --
100 ~ 1600 / --
100 ~ 3200
200 ~ 1600 / --
100 ~ 400 / 1600
100 ~ 400 / 1600
200 ~ 1600 / 3200
Exposure Compensation
+/- 2EV in 1/3EV increments
+/- 2EV in 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
+/- 2EV in 1/3EV increments
+/- 5EV in 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
+/- 5EV in 1, 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
+/- 5EV in 1, 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
±2 EV in 1/2EV or 1/3EV increments
Automatic Exposure Bracketing
+/- 2EV in 1/3EV increments
+/- 2EV in 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
3 shots, 1/3, or 2/3EV increments
3 shots, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV steps
3 shots in +/- 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps
3 or 5 shots in +/- 1, 2/3, 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps
3 shots in +/- 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps
Shutter Speeds,

Frame Rate, Shutter Lag
Shutter Type
Mechanical, all speeds electronically controlled
Mechanical, all speeds electronically controlled
Mechanical
Combined mechanical and CCD electronic shutter
Mechanical Focal Plane, electronically controlled
Mechanical Focal Plane, electronically controlled
Mechanical Focal Plane, electronically controlled
Shutter Speed Range
1/4000 ~ 30 sec. (1/3EV increments) and bulb
1/4000 ~ 30 sec. (1/2 or 1/3EV increments) and bulb
1/4000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3EV, bulb
1/4000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, bulb
1/4000 ~ 30 sec., 1/3, 1/2, 1EV step selectable, bulb
1/4000 ~ 60 sec., bulb
1/4000 ~ 30 sec. and bulb
Maximum Frames Per Second / Buffer depth
2.5 fps / 4 frames
3 fps / 14 frames
3fps / 5 RAW frames
2.47 fps / 16 frames
2.58 fps / 4 frames
2.58 fps / 4 frames
2.8 fps (manufacturer spec)
Flash
Built-in Flash / Guide Number at ISO 100.
Yes (13 meters / 43 feet)
Yes (13 meters / 43 feet)
Yes (12 meters / 39 feet)
Yes (11 meters / 36 feet)
Yes (13 meters / 43 feet)
Yes (13 meters / 43 feet)
Yes (15.6 meters / 51 feet) @ ISO 200
Max flash x-sync speed. (sec.)
1/200
1/200
1/160 (anti-shake off) / 1/125 (anti-shake on)
1/500 (!)
1/180
1/180
1/180
Flash Exposure Compensation
No
+/- 2EV in 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
+/- 2EV in 1/3EV increments
-3 to +1 EV, 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
+/- 2 EV in each 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps
+/- 2 EV in each 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps
-2 to +1 EV (1/2 EV steps)
Slow-sync flash
1st curtain only
1st or 2nd curtain
1st or 2nd curtain
1st or 2nd curtain
1st or 2nd curtain
1st or 2nd curtain
Unknown
PC Sync Terminal
Hot shoe only
Hot shoe only
Hot shoe only
Hot shoe only
Hot shoe only
Hot shoe only
Hot shoe only
Playback

System
LCD Size / Pixel Count
1.8 in. LCD / 118,000 pixels
1.8 in. LCD / 115,000 pixels
2.5 in LCD / 115,000 pixels
2.0 in LCD / 130,000 pixels
1.8 in LCD / 134,000 pixels
2.5 in LCD / 215,250 pixels
2.5 in. LCD / 210,000 pixels
Enlarged Playback / Scroll
1.5~10x in 15 steps / Yes
1.5~10x in 15 steps / Yes
4.7x max / Yes
1.1 - 4.7x in 10 steps / Yes
2, 3, 4, 10x / Yes
2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 14x / Yes
Unknown
LCD Monitor Brightness Adjustment Range
5 steps
5 steps
11 steps
5 steps
7 steps
+ / - 7 steps
Unknown
Automatic Rotation for Vertical Shots
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Unknown
Other Features
Computer Connection
Yes, PTP-compliant, USB v 1.1
Yes, USB 2.0, PTP-compliant
Yes, USB 1.1 (PTP compliant)
Yes, PTP-compliant (v2.0 standard, v2.0 speed)
Yes, PTP-compliant (v2.0 standard, v1.1 max speed)
Yes, PTP-compliant (v2.0 standard, v1.1 max speed)
USB 2.0 High Speed (PTP compliance unknown)
Direct Printing (PictBridge compliant printers)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Unknown
Menu Languages
12 (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese.)
15 (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Traditional Chinese, Korean,and Japanese.)
11 (Japanese, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean)
13 (Japanese, German, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Italian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Dutch, Swedish)
4 (English, German, Spanish, French). Add additional languages through Web
7 (English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean)
Unknown
Camera Default Reset
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Unknown
Custom Functions (Quantity / Settings)
No
Yes (9 / 24)
Yes (12 / 26)
Yes (6 / 20)
No
No
Unknown
Remote Control
Optional, Compatible with Remote Switch RS-60E3, Remote Controller RC-5 / RC-1
Compatible with Remote Switch RS-60E3, Remote Controller RC-5 / RC-1
Optional, compatible with RC-1000S or RC-1000L
Optional IR
Optional IR
Optional RM-1
Yes, details unknown
Info LCD Panel / Illumination
Yes / Yes (dedicated button)
Yes / Yes (dedicated button)
No / n/a
Yes / No
No / n/a
No / n/a
Unknown
Ultrasonic CCD dust-removal function
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
Body Structure
Body Cover / Chassis
Largely Plastic, aluminum frame
Largely plastic, aluminum frame
Glass Fiber Plastic
Largely Plastic
Metal Alloy
Plastic
Largely plastic / Stainless Steel frame
Power System
Battery Compatibility
Main: BP-511 / BP-512

Backup: CR2016
Main: NB-2LH

Backup: CR2016
NP-400
EN-EL3

CR2 pack is an added-cost accessory
BLM-1
BLM-1
2 x CR-V3 or 4 x AA
Rated Shooting Capacity at 20C/68F
100% AE: 600

50% Flash: 400
100% AE: 600

50% Flash: 400
CIPA standard: 550; Konica Minolta standard: 700
100% AE: 2000

50% Flash: 400
CIPA standard:
400
CIPA standard:
400
Unknown
Dimensions & Weight
Dimensions (WxHxD, mm)
142 x 99 x 72.9
126.5 x 94 x 64
130.5 x 92.5 x 66.5
133 x 102 x 76
146 x 85 x 64
129 x 94.5 x 66
125 x 92.5 x 66
Weight (body only)
560 g
485 g
590 g
540 g
580g
437g
470 g
Operational

Environment
Operating Temperature Range
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C
Operating Humidity Range
85% max.
85% max.
Not Stated
85% max.
30 - 90%
30 - 90%
Not stated
Kit Lens
Focal length / aperture
-
-
18-70mm

f/3.5-5.6 AF
18-55mm

f/3.5-4.5G
14 – 45mm

f3.5 – f5.6
14 – 45mm

f3.5 – f5.6
18-55mm

f3.5 - f5.6
Lens Compatibility
Lens Mount / Compatibility
EF / All EOS lenses, plus EF-S lenses
EF / All EOS lenses, plus EF-S lenses
A-type / All A-type lenses except MD and MC series manual focus lenses. AF Macro 3x - 1x f/1.7-2.8 lens cannot be used with Anti-Shake, nor does Anti-Shake work with any lens with a macro release.
  1. DX Nikkor: All functions supported;
  2. Type G- or D-AF Nikkor: All functions supported;
  3. Micro Nikkor 85mm F2.8D: All functions supported except some exposure modes;
  4. Other AF Nikkor (excluding lenses for F3AF): All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR;
  5. AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering, i-TTL balanced Fill-Flash for digital SLR and autofocus;
  6. Non-CPU: Can be used in exposure mode M, but exposure meter does not function; electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster.
  7. IX Nikkor Lenses cannot be used.
Zuiko Digital, Four Thirds System Lens
Zuiko Digital, Four Thirds System Lens
KAF / compatible with PENTAX KAF2-, KAF- and KA-mount lenses.

Power zoom function not available.

K-mount lenses usable with restrictions.

S-mount lenses usable with adapter and restrictions.

67/645 lenses usable adapter and restrictions.

 

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