Olympus E-510 review


New Technologies

Cast an eye down the respective spec sheets of the E-500 and E-510 and it’s immediately clear that the newer model features a number of Olympus technologies not found on the older one.

For a start, the E-510 employs a 10-million-pixel LiveMOS sensor and a new processing engine, dubbed Truepic III that boosts the continuous shooting rate to eight Raw frames or unlimited High Quality (HQ) JPEGs at a rate of three frames per second. In addition, the E-510 now uses a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection.

Image Stabilisation

However, the main thing that marks the E-510 apart from its smaller sibling is the inclusion of in-camera Image Stabilisation. This is achieved through the inclusion of a ‘mobile’ sensor that moves to counter the effect of camera-shake. This has the effect of turning any Four Thirds lens into an image-stabilised one. Two stabilisation modes are available in this instance – one that works to counter both horizontal and vertical shake and a second that counters only vertical shake, so if you’re panning with your subject (at a motor sport event, for example) the camera doesn’t try to correct for this deliberate movement.

Exposure Metering

The E-510 also provides one of the most comprehensive exposure metering systems on any digital SLR, comprising 49-zone ESP metering, centreweighted and spot patterns, with the obligatory highlight and shadow spot options that only Olympus uses.

Shooting Modes

The E-510 features the standard PASM range of shooting modes, along with 18 Scene modes and fully automatic. In Auto ISO it will be restricted to ISO 100-400, whereas more adventurous types can manually set the ISO between 100 and 1600 in precise 1/3EV increments. The camera can shoot in Raw or JPEG (or both), with dual media slots for xD and CompactFlash cards. 

Matt Golowczynski

Matt writes reviews and technical features for What Digital Camera. He recently swapped his trusty Canon EOS 40D for an EOS 5D MkII, with which he is deliriously happy. He writes about a variety of technical issues and demystifies some of the digital photography world's most impenetrable jargon.

Price as reviewed



Design 18/20
Image Quality 18/20
Performance 17/20
Value 18/20
Features 19/20
Overall Score 90%

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