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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!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

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

8.0-megapixel resolution for 3,264 x 2,448 images.
Interchangeable lens mount fits full range of ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses.
Larger 2.5-inch LCD monitor.
Full range of manual and automatic exposure control.
* Accommodates both CompactFlash and xD-Picture Cards.
Expanded exposure options for more flexibility.


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Manufacturer Overview

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The Olympus EVOLT E-500 is the latest entry in a line of digital SLRs based on the "Four Thirds" standard developed jointly by Olympus and Kodak, first announced in fall of 2002. The first Four Thirds camera was the Olympus E-1 SLR, aimed at the professional market, and was followed up by the E-300, which brought the Four Thirds system down to a price range accessible to amateur and "enthusiast" shooters. The E-300 used the same lenses and sensor format as the original E-1, but offered an impressive eight-megapixel resolution, and shipped with a new ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-45mm lens.

Now, the EVOLT E-500 improves on its predecessor, offering the same eight-megapixel CCD, but expanding its exposure options to include more advanced bracketing and metering modes, a larger 2.5-inch LCD monitor, the ability to accept xD-Picture Cards, and a longer maximum exposure time. Many functions and features are the same as on the E-1 and E-300, including the unique "Supersonic Wave" filter that literally shakes dust off of the sensor's front filter, addressing a common problem with digital SLRs and the wide range of automatic and manual exposure modes. The new E-500 also comes in a dual lens kit package, featuring the ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-45mm and 40-150mm lenses. Read on for a full description of the Olympus E-500's features, operating modes, and a detailed analysis of its performance.


High Points

  • 8.0-megapixel (effective) CCD with Supersonic Wave Filter delivering image resolutions as high as 3,264 x 2,448 pixels.
  • Digital SLR design and true optical viewfinder.
  • 2.5-inch, color, Hyper crystal LCD display for image review.
  • Lens mount accommodates full range of Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses.
  • Manual and automatic focus modes, with adjustable AF area and Single-Shot and Continuous settings, and manual focus bracketing.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/4,000 to 60 seconds, with a Bulb setting (eight-minute limit).
  • Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes, plus 15 Scene modes.
  • Center-Weighted and Digital ESP metering systems, plus three Spot metering options.
  • Auto Bracketing and Sequential Shooting capture modes.
  • Adjustable White Balance with 10 settings, including a manual adjustment, Kelvin temperature range, and a bracketing option.
  • Variable ISO setting, with ISO equivalents from 100 to 1,600 (800 and 1,600 available when enabled in menu).
  • Sharpness, Color, Monochrome, and Graduation image adjustments.
  • Adobe RGB and sRGB color space options.
  • Built-in pop-up flash with six operating modes, intensity adjustment, and bracketing mode.
  • Hot Shoe for attaching external flash units, compatible with Olympus' own line of dedicated flash units for better-integrated exposure control.
  • JPEG, uncompressed TIFF, and RAW file formats.
  • Images saved on CompactFlash cards, xD-Picture cards, and Microdrives (no card included).
  • USB cable for fast connection to a computer. (USB auto-connect for driverless connection to Windows Me, XP and 2000, and Mac OS 8.6 or greater.)
  • Video cable for connection to a television set.
  • Optional remote control.
  • Power from rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack (battery and charger included).
  • Software CD with Olympus' Camedia Master utility software (includes QuickTime and USB drivers).
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)/PictBridge compatibility and print settings.


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