Olympus E-520: Update to a Top Sellerby Wesley Fink on August 26, 2008 3:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Digital Camera
New Features and Improvements
As the E-510 was an E-410 with a more robust grip and the addition of in-camera IS, so the E-520 is an E-420 with a bigger hand grip and added IS. This keeps the E-520 body small and the weight is 475g (16.8oz) compared to the 380g (13.4oz) of the E-420. The E-520, like the E-420, also introduces significant changes in Live View and AF that include the addition of Contrast-Detect AF.
The Live-MOS sensor in the E-420 and now the E-520 provides AF on the LCD screen with a push of the shutter-release halfway - without the LCD blackout that is necessary when a mirror-flip is required. The new sensor also provides 11-point multiple AF with the contrast detection system. The Focusing specifications provide a clearer picture of the significant changes to the AF capabilities in Live View mode.
|Olympus E-520 Autofocus|
|AF system||TTL phase difference detection system, contrast detection system (with 25mm f2.8, 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, 40-150mm f4.0-5.6)|
|Focus mode||Single AF (S-AF) / Continuous AF (C-AF)* / Manual Focus (MF) / S-AF + MF / C-AF + MF. C-AF mode is not available with the contrast detection system|
|Focusing point||3-point multiple AF with the phase difference detection system (Auto, selectable in option)
11-point multiple AF with the contrast detection system (Auto, selectable in option)
Not long ago, Olympus surprised users with firmware updates to their 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, 40-150mm f4-5.6, and new 25mm f2.8 pancake lens that supported Contrast-Detect AF on the Panasonic Lumix L10. That seemed a strange firmware update at the time, but now that the new E-420 and E-520 feature the same Contrast-Detect AF as the L10 it is now making some sense. The new 11-point Contrast-Detect AF combined with Face Detect On the E-520, E-420, and Panasonic L10 is a real joy to use. It is not as fast or seamless as the Sony A350 Live View, but the LCD screen is virtually a 100% view with fewer compromises. Significantly, the E-420/E-520/L10 Live View also supports 7X/10X magnification in Live view mode to assist in precise focusing. That is a feature not available on the competing Sony A350/A300. Live View also supports the MF/S-AF mode, which allows manual touch up in AF on the LCD after AF.
Perhaps Olympus did not want to emphasize the fact that their E-520 and E-420 featured the same Dual Live View system as the Panasonic L10, as you really have to dig a bit to figure out the systems appear to be the same, which should come as no surprise since Panasonic currently manufactures sensors for both Olympus and Panasonic cameras. However, the L10 has been well received for its features, if not its cost, and Olympus users will be happy to know 11-point Contrast-Detect AF is available in Live View even if the Phase-Detect system remains 3-pont.
The HyperCrystal II LCD display grows to 2.7 inches in the E-520, matching the new E-420. The Olympus trademark Supersonic Wave Filter auto-sensor cleaning system has appeared on every Olympus DSLR since the E-1 and it is continued on the new E-520. Sensor Resolution remains 10MP (megapixels) derived from 11.8 million effective pixels. While the resolution is the same as the E-510 it appears the sensor for the E-520 and E-420 are upgraded from the earlier models.