Olympus E-520 Viewfinder

Like all SLRs, the Olympus E-520 has an optical viewfinder, although it's quite tight and a little dim compared to most others. Olympus says coverage is 95% (and our test results agree), with a magnification of 0.92x. While these are good numbers, you must remember that the sensor in a Four-Thirds SLR like the E-520 is smaller than most other digital SLRs, and only half the size of 35mm film. Eyepoint is only 14mm from the cover glass, which is quite low. A diopter adjustment to the right of the eyepiece allows correction between -3.0 and +1.0 diopter. The focusing screen is a fixed, Neo Lumi-Micro Mat type screen. Though Olympus doesn't specifically say, we're pretty sure the Olympus E-520 uses a pentamirror arrangement, rather than a pentaprism (a pentaprism transmits more light, resulting in a brighter viewfinder image).

Though the viewfinder is quite small, you get something better than Live View mode on the LCD: a true live view of what you're about to shoot, with no electronic delay. Three autofocus points are arrayed across the center of the screen. At the right of the screen, the Olympus E-520 keeps you posted about its settings and status, including Aperture, Shutter Speed, Focus Confirmation, Flash Status, Exposure Compensation, Metering Mode, Battery Status, Exposure Mode, and Image Stabilization. The viewfinder display is unchanged from the Olympus E-510. See the complete list below (diagram courtesy of Olympus America).

AF Frame
AE Lock
Aperture Value
Exposure Compensation Value
Shutter Speed
Metering Mode
AF Confirmation Mark
Battery Status
Exposure Mode
White Balance
Image Stabilization


Viewfinder Test Results

Good accuracy with both the optical viewfinder and LCD monitor's Live View mode.

14mm, Optical
42mm, Optical
14mm, LCD
42mm, LCD

The Olympus E-520's optical viewfinder proved fairly accurate, at just over 95% at both wide angle and telephoto (with the 14-42mm kit lens), though it's slightly tilted and not quite centered with respect to the image sensor. The camera's Live View LCD mode was very accurate, with about 100% accuracy at both wide angle, and telephoto.


Buy the Olympus E-520

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Olympus E-520

Editor's Picks