Olympus E-500 vs E-5
The Olympus Evolt E-500 and the Olympus E-5 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2005 and September 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The E-500 has a resolution of 8 megapixels, whereas the E-5 provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Olympus E-500||Olympus E-5|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Four Thirds lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|no Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO 100-400 (100-1600)||ISO 100-6400|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.5" LCD, 215k dots||3.0" LCD, 920k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|750 shots per battery charge||750 shots per battery charge|
|130 x 95 x 66 mm, 479 g||142 x 117 x 75 mm, 873 g|
Body comparison: Olympus E-500 vs E-5
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-500 and the Olympus E-5. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-5 is notably larger (35 percent) than the Olympus E-500. Moreover, the E-5 is substantially heavier (82 percent) than the E-500. It is noteworthy in this context that the E-5 is splash and dust-proof, while the E-500 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Olympus E-500»||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.6 in||16.9 oz||750||n||Sep 2005||599||-||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-5«||5.6 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||30.8 oz||750||Y||Sep 2010||1,699||-||Olympus E-5|
|Olympus E-450« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-30« »||5.6 in||4.3 in||3.0 in||24.7 oz||750||n||Nov 2008||1,299||-||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2008||599||-||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-3« »||5.6 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||30.9 oz||750||Y||Oct 2007||1,699||-||Olympus E-3|
|Olympus E-410« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Mar 2007||699||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||19.0 oz||750||n||Mar 2007||799||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||5.5 in||3.4 in||2.8 in||22.5 oz||750||n||Jan 2006||999||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Sep 2006||699||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||5.8 in||3.3 in||2.5 in||22.0 oz||750||n||Sep 2004||799||-||Olympus E-300|
|Olympus E-1« »||5.6 in||4.1 in||3.2 in||26.0 oz||750||Y||Jun 2003||1,699||-||Olympus E-1|
|Panasonic L10« »||5.3 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||450||n||Aug 2007||599||-||Panasonic L10|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The E-500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 65 percent) than the E-5, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Olympus E-500 vs E-5
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Technology-wise, the E-5 uses a more advanced image processing engine (TruePic V+) than the E-500 (TruePic), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-5 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 8 MP of the E-500. This megapixels advantage translates into a 24 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the E-5 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.29μm versus 5.30μm for the E-500). However, it should be noted that the E-5 is much more recent (by 4 years and 11 months) than the E-500, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The Olympus Evolt E-500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 400, which can be extended to ISO 100-1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-5 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Olympus E-500»||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-5«||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.6||10.5||519||56||Olympus E-5|
|Olympus E-450« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.5||512||56||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.3||10.3||536||55||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-30« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.3||10.4||530||55||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.4||527||56||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.4||10.4||548||55||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-3« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.6||10.5||571||56||Olympus E-3|
|Olympus E-410« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.1||10.0||494||51||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.2||10.0||442||52||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-300|
|Olympus E-1« »||Four Thirds||4.9||2560||1920||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-1|
|Panasonic L10« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.3||10.8||429||55||Panasonic L10|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The E-5 indeed provides for movie recording, while the E-500 does not. The highest resolution format that the E-5 can use is 720/30p.
Feature comparison: Olympus E-500 vs E-5
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The E-500 and the E-5 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the E-5 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the E-500 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the E-5 has a higher magnification (0.575x vs 0.45x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-500 and Olympus E-5 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Olympus E-500»||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-5«||optical||Y||3.0||920||swivel||n||8000||5.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-5|
|Olympus E-450« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||optical||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||4000||4.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-30« »||optical||Y||2.7||230||swivel||n||8000||5.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||Y||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-3« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||swivel||n||8000||5.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-3|
|Olympus E-410« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||optical||n||2.5||215||tilting||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||optical||n||1.8||134||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-300|
|Olympus E-1« »||optical||Y||1.8||134||fixed||n||4000||3.0||n||n||Olympus E-1|
|Panasonic L10« »||optical||n||2.5||207||swivel||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic L10|
One feature that differentiates the E-5 and the E-500 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-5 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the E-500 has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.The E-5 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the E-500 does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the E-500 and the E-5 write their files to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.
Connectivity comparison: Olympus E-500 vs E-5
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Olympus Evolt E-500 and Olympus E-5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Olympus E-500»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-5«||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-5|
|Olympus E-450« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-30« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-3« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-3|
|Olympus E-410« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-300|
|Olympus E-1« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-1|
|Panasonic L10« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic L10|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Olympus E-5 (unlike the E-500) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the E-500 and the E-5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-500 was replaced by the Olympus E-510, while the E-5 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the Olympus website.
Review summary: Olympus E-500 vs E-5
So what is the bottom line? Is the Olympus E-500 better than the Olympus E-5 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Olympus Evolt E-500:
- More compact: Is smaller (130x95mm vs 142x117mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 394g or 45 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (65 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2005).
Arguments in favor of the Olympus E-5:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 24%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (TruePic V+ vs TruePic).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.575x vs 0.45x).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 215k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 11 months of technical progress since the E-500 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-5 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-500 or the E-5. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Expert reviews: Olympus E-500 vs E-5
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Olympus E-500»||76/100||++||-||-||-||Sep 2005||599||-||Olympus E-500|
|Olympus E-5«||-||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2010||1,699||-||Olympus E-5|
|Olympus E-450« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||o||5/5||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-30« »||-||71/100||4.5/5||-||4/5||Nov 2008||1,299||-||Olympus E-30|
|Olympus E-420« »||85/100||++||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599||-||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-520« »||87/100||++||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-3« »||88/100||++||o||o||4/5||Oct 2007||1,699||-||Olympus E-3|
|Olympus E-410« »||86/100||++||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||89/100||++||3.5/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-330« »||-||+||o||3.5/5||-||Jan 2006||999||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-400« »||85/100||-||4/5||-||4/5||Sep 2006||699||-||Olympus E-400|
|Olympus E-300« »||-||+||o||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799||-||Olympus E-300|
|Olympus E-1« »||-||+||o||o||-||Jun 2003||1,699||-||Olympus E-1|
|Panasonic L10« »||85/100||+||3.5/5||o||4/5||Aug 2007||599||-||Panasonic L10|
|Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
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Specifications: Olympus E-500 vs Olympus E-5
|Camera Model||Olympus E-500||Olympus E-5|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2005||September 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 1699|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus E-500||Olympus E-5|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3264 x 2448 pixels||4032 x 3024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.30 μm||4.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.55 MP/cm2||5.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-400 ISO||100-6400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-1600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||TruePic||TruePic V+|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||56|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||519|
|Screen Specs||Olympus E-500||Olympus E-5|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||215k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus E-500||Olympus E-5|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or XD cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus E-500||Olympus E-5|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Olympus E-500||Olympus E-5|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||BLM-1 power pack||BLM-5 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
130 x 95 x 66 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 2.6 in)
142 x 117 x 75 mm
(5.6 x 4.6 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||479 g (16.9 oz)||873 g (30.8 oz)|
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