Olympus E-510 Comparison Review
The Olympus E-510 is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was announced in March 2007 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 10 megapixel.
Is the Olympus E-510 a good camera? The E-510 has a Camera Elo of 1152. This rating puts the E-510 below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the E-510 also ranks below average. – Well, the Olympus E-510 is more than 14 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2007.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Four Thirds lenses|
|10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 1 600|
|2.5 LCD, 215k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second|
|750 shots per battery charge|
|136 x 92 x 68 mm, 538 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The physical dimensions of the Olympus E-510 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Olympus E-510 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Olympus E-510||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||538 g||750||n||Mar 2007||799|
|2.||Olympus E-P3||122 mm||69 mm||34 mm||369 g||330||n||Jun 2011||799|
|3.||Olympus E-600||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||535 g||500||n||Aug 2009||449|
|4.||Olympus E-620||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||521 g||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||121 mm||70 mm||36 mm||355 g||300||n||Jun 2009||799|
|6.||Olympus E-30||142 mm||108 mm||75 mm||701 g||750||n||Nov 2008||1,299|
|7.||Olympus E-520||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||535 g||750||n||May 2008||699|
|8.||Olympus E-410||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|9.||Olympus E-400||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Sep 2006||699|
|10.||Olympus E-500||130 mm||95 mm||66 mm||479 g||750||n||Sep 2005||599|
|11.||Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Olympus E-510 was launched in the US market at a price of $799. 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 with a 35mm slide
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Olympus E-510 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Olympus E-510 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of alternative cameras.
|1.||Olympus E-510||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.2||10.0||442||52|
|2.||Olympus E-P3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51|
|3.||Olympus E-600||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.5||10.3||541||55|
|4.||Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55|
|6.||Olympus E-30||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.4||530||55|
|7.||Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|8.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|9.||Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||..||..||..||..|
|10.||Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the E-510 does not provide the possibility to capture videos.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-510 has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.46x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus E-510 and comparable cameras.
|1.||Olympus E-510||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Olympus E-P3||optional||n||3.0 / 614||fixed||Y||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Olympus E-600||optical||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||Y|
|4.||Olympus E-620||optical||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||Y|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||Y|
|6.||Olympus E-30||optical||Y||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Olympus E-520||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||Y|
|8.||Olympus E-410||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|9.||Olympus E-400||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|10.||Olympus E-500||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|11.||Panasonic L10||optical||n||2.5 / 207||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
One convenient feature of the E-510 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 E-510 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Olympus E-510||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Olympus E-P3||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Olympus E-600||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Olympus E-620||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Olympus E-30||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Olympus E-520||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Olympus E-410||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Olympus E-400||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Olympus E-500||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic L10||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
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 handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-510. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Olympus E-510||..||89/100||..||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799|
|2.||Olympus E-P3||..||83/100||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||799|
|3.||Olympus E-600||..||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Aug 2009||449|
|4.||Olympus E-620||3/5||88/100||..||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||..||+||..||66/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2009||799|
|6.||Olympus E-30||..||..||..||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2008||1,299|
|7.||Olympus E-520||..||87/100||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699|
|8.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|9.||Olympus E-400||..||85/100||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2006||699|
|10.||Olympus E-500||..||76/100||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2005||599|
|11.||Panasonic L10||..||85/100||..||+||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Olympus E-510 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the E-510.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the E-510 based on?
The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Olympus equipped the E-510 with the TruePic III image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the E-510?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Olympus E-510?
Olympus does not publish a shutter rating for the E-510. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my E-510?
Olympus embeds the number of shutter actuations in hidden menus. You can check the number of shots that your E-510 has taken up to now by carefully following the steps described on the Olympus E-510 shutter count page.
Does the Olympus E-510 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The E-510's flash sync speed is 1/180 sec.
Which battery does the E-510 use?
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, 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.
- Canon 1Ds Mark II vs Olympus E-510
- Canon D30 vs Olympus E-510
- Canon D60 vs Olympus E-510
- Canon XC10 vs Olympus E-510
- Leica S Typ 006 vs Olympus E-510
- Nikon B600 vs Olympus E-510
- Nikon D5 vs Olympus E-510
- Olympus E-3 vs Olympus E-510
- Olympus E-510 vs Olympus PEN-F
- Olympus E-510 vs Panasonic G5
- Olympus E-510 vs Pentax K-5
- Olympus E-510 vs Sony H300
|Camera Model||Olympus E-510|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2007|
|Launch Price||USD 799|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||225 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3 648 x 2 736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.74 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.44 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1 600 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic III|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||52|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||442|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||2.5 inch|
|LCD Resolution||215k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|V-logging Friendliness||No front-flip|
|Touch Input||No touchscreen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||BLM-1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge|
136 x 92 x 68 mm
(5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
|Camera Weight||538 g (19.0 oz)|
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