Olympus E-500 Review

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Olympus E-500
From 7 reviews
100.0% of users recommend this
  • Image Quality

  • Battery Life

  • Features

  • Ease of Use

  • Value For Money

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cdaven's review of Olympus E-500

“My first SLR camera was a Pentax K100, which was...”


written by cdaven on 14/04/2006

Good Points
Feels good.
Takes excellent photos in virtually pitch black darkness.

Bad Points
No macro on supplied lenses.

General Comments
My first SLR camera was a Pentax K100, which was fabulous for its time, if a little heavy and bulky. I used that for about 10 years until the viewfinder packed in, and the body rusted up after much use in Central America. I guess the high humidity there finally got to it. Since then, I went digital with a Pentax followed by an Olympus (non-SLR) camera, but I concentrated mainly on video filming. Non-SLR cameras, starting at 2mps and going up to 6mps, gave mixed results. OK for snapshots but nothing to excite the serious photographer.

It was about time I got back to my roots and went for an SLR. The trouble was, the cost was prohibitive with 4mps body only SLRs being around the £800 mark.

Then came the Olympus E-500. I bought it online from Dixons UK at an excellent cost of £549, which includes the two lens kit, a 1Gb CF card, an Olympus p100 photo printer, and to top it all off, a pretty naff camera bag. The only thing it didn't come with was a rechargeable Li-ion battery or charger. These, however, were bought as extras online for about £24.00 unlike the £129 quoted by Olympus.

The camera far exceeds my expectations. It feels good, and it is not heavy like some reviewers have mentioned. It does feel slightly overbalanced with the extra zoom lens fitted, but generally it feels like a good camera should.

The photographs are of excellent quality all round, and it has a laser probe to measure light levels on AF mode, which means near perfect pictures in almost pitch black surroundings. Very impressive! The amount of features on this camera is truly amazing. Some have already been mentioned in reviews and I haven't yet had a chance to try them all out, but the Auto-Focus and Portrait settings are truly excellent. The default picture type is HQ and set Vivid. I found the Natural setting to be better for photos which need to be enlarged. So far I have got up to A3 size pictures with brilliant clarity.

The only gripe (and it is only me being picky) is that, while the camera is excellent from medium to long zoom ranges, there is no macro setting, which was a feature on my old Pentax K1000. Olympus do provide a very good range of Zuiko lenses which includes macro, but these appear to be almost as much as I paid for the whole camera package.

All in all, it is an excellent, well-priced SLR camera which I unhesitatingly recommend to beginners and high-expectation users.

  • Value For Money

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