The 10-megapixel Olympus E-510 replaces the E-500 with improvements to the Live View and dust removal systems.
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.
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.
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.
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.