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Olympus Camedia D-510 Zoom

Olympus updates its popular 2.1 megapixel D-490 model with a new user interface and improved features.

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Page 3:Design

Review First Posted: 6/18/2001

The Camedia D-510 Zoom features a very compact and durable body, with a sliding clamshell lens cover, telescoping zoom lens, and a built-in, pop-up flash. It weighs about 9.4 ounces (240 grams) without the batteries, and measures 4.75 x 2 x 2.5 inches (121 x 51 x 64 mm) with the lens retracted. (When turned on in Record mode, the lens telescopes out an additional 0.5 inch.) The camera's small size and light weight make it very portable, easily fitting into any pocket or purse. The metallic silver front panel has a smooth, brushed aluminum appearance, accented by bright silver detailing, a black lens barrel, and a matte gray back panel. The accompanying wrist strap and recessed hand grip design help to provide a secure hold.

Olympus’ sliding lens cover doubles as the main power mechanism. When the cover slides open, the lens extends into its full operating position, and the flash unit pops open. To shut the camera off, you must partially close the cover and wait for the lens to retract before sliding it completely closed. While this design may provide good protection for the lens, the pause required to let the lens retract is slightly annoying. When opened, the lens cover also obstructs access to the memory card compartment door, so you must turn off the camera completely before switching out SmartMedia cards. (This is probably a useful precaution -- preventing damage to the memory card if you try to remove it while the camera is still writing an image file.) In addition to the sliding lens cover and memory compartment door on the right side, the camera’s front panel also houses the pop-up flash, viewfinder window, and a red Self-Timer countdown lamp.

The Shutter button and Zoom control are the only controls located on top of the camera. The bright silver shutter button and zoom lever just barely protrude above the camera's surface.

The right side of the D-510 is quite plain, with only the covered compartment for the SmartMedia card. (While the majority of the card compartment hatch appears on the front of the camera, you actually access the card slot from the side.)

The Video Out, DC In, and USB Computer connectors are all located on the bottom left side of the camera, with the video and USB jacks protected by a flexible rubber cover that snaps into place. The DC In jack is kept in the open for easy access.

The majority of the camera controls are on the back panel, along with the optical viewfinder, LCD monitor, Arrow Pad, and a recessed thumb grip on the right side. The round Arrow Pad next to the LCD monitor helps navigate through Record and Playback menu options, and scrolls through captured images when the camera is in Playback mode. For reasons of economy, Olympus has also assigned the arrow buttons special functions -- keeping them out of the menu for quicker access, but without cluttering the camera body with a lot of extra buttons and dials. The up arrow button controls Focus settings (Normal, Macro, and Infinity) in Record mode and Image Lock in Playback mode. The right arrow button cycles through Flash settings, which include Auto-Flash, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In Flash, No Flash, Night Scenes, and Night Scenes with Red-Eye Reduction. The down arrow button serves as the Drive button, enabling you to choose Single frame capture, Sequence shooting, Self-Timer, and Movie modes. Below the Arrow pad is the Menu / OK button, used to access Shooting and Playback menus and to confirm menu selections. The last button in the row is the Monitor power button, which turns the LCD image display on and off.

The bottom panel is taken up primarily by the battery compartment cover. One small problem we noticed here is that the tripod mount is on the far left side of the camera body. This placement causes the mass of the camera to hang off the edge of the tripod's mounting platform, and places extra stress on the camera's tripod threads, resulting in a less rigid attachment.

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