Olympus E-520 Review

Overall 39
Imaging 11
Features 31
Size 73
Price 1

Main Features

  • 10.0 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 1600
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 2.7″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 4.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 136 x 92 x 68 mm
  • Weight: 552 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Olympus E-510. Compare

Olympus E-520 Summary

This review is devoted to E-520 that Olympus has first introduced to the public in Aug 20, 2008. This model is a Entry-Level DSLR camera with a resolution of 10.0 MP and a Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

This is an upgraded model that Olympus released to replace their older product E-510. To learn more about the specs and difference between these two models, check our complete comparison by following this link:
Olympus E-520 vs. E-510

In Entry-Level DSLR cameras (Top 10 DSLR Cameras) this model has taken rank #135 out of 200. Its Overall Score has reached 39/100 and it takes a rank of #971 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Olympus E-520 Compared to other DSLR Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Olympus E-520 review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Built-In Flash: Yes
  • Weight: 552 g
  • Battery Life: 650 shots

CONs

  • Screen Type: Fixed Type
  • Dxo Dynamic Range: 10.4
  • Dxo Low Light Iso: 548
  • Number Of Focus Points: 3
  • Af Tracking: No

Popular comparisons of Olympus E-520

Complete Comparison of Olympus E-520 With Other Cameras in Entry-Level DSLR Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Olympus E-520. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Entry-Level DSLR cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Olympus E-520

Olympus E-520 has the following external dimensions 136 x 136 x 68 mm (53.54 x 36.22 x 26.77″) with the weight of 552 g.

The typical weight for average Entry-Level DSLR type cameras is 539g. If we compare the average indicator to the weight of Olympus E-520, we can conclude that this model is heavier than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Olympus E-520 is thinner than other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 68mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Olympus E-520 with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

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If you want to have a better idea of how big the Olympus E-520 is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

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Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Olympus E-520 compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Olympus E-520 — 650 shots
Min: 230 shots
Average: 588 shots
Max: 1900 shots

Thickness

Olympus E-520 — 68 mm
Min: 53 mm
Average: 73 mm
Max: 86 mm

Weight

Olympus E-520 — 552 g
Min: 365 g
Average: 539 g
Max: 690 g

Unfortunately, Olympus E-520 comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Olympus E-520 comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Olympus E-520 Photo and Sensor Features

Olympus E-520 boasts of a resolution of 10.0 MP and is equipped with a Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

The base of Olympus E-520 has the following ISO range 100 - 1600 .

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

Olympus E-520 features a 10.0 MP Four Thirds sensor, which is not a good pick for high-quality and detailed pictures. However, we have an alternative option for you if you were looking for higher resolution.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Olympus E-520, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 55 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Olympus E-520’s sensor.

Anti-Aliasing Filter

Olympus E-520 is known for the lack of anti-alias (Low-pass) filter. It is one of its essential features of the sensor built in this model. The absence of this filter contributes to a higher level of details and sharpness in the pictures you take. Yet, the lack of an anti-alias filter also enhances the possibility of more occurring in certain conditions.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of Four Thirds sensor featured in Olympus E-520 with other standard sensor sizes.

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Other Characteristics And Features of Olympus E-520

LCD and ViewFinder

Olympus E-520 is equipped with a Fixed Type 2.7" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 230k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in Optical (pentamirror) ViewFinder.

The ViewFinder in E-520 has quite nice characteristic. Its magnification ratio is 0.46x and it also provides a coverage of 95%.

Some of the main reasons why the OVF presented in this model is a handy tool are that it allows you to see a scene without any time lag or resolution limits. Besides, it also ensures the highest level of clarity that can be elaborated by the lens and the human eye. Who can benefit from this feature? The OVF is especially handy when shooting sports events. This smart system will allow photographers to see action instantly and figure out what is the right timing for capturing a specific moment.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Olympus E-520 are its 4.0 fps max speed and 1/4000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Flash

E-520 features both an embedded flash and a flash shoe, which means that you can use both built-in and external flashes depending on your needs.

Focusing

One more highlight that makes Olympus E-520 stand out is the fact that it features two smart AutoFocusing systems. One of these systems is called Phase Detection and the other one is Contrast Detection. Both features stand for higher accuracy and focus speed in different situations. With the smart AutoFocus system presented in this model, photographers can choose from 3 points.

In addition, E-520 has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.

Olympus E-520 is not equipped with any ports that would allow you to connect external headphones and microphones to it.

Connectivity and Storage

You can connect E-520 to compatible devices via USB 2.0 port.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Olympus E-520 provides a shooting life of 650, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 588 shots.

Compared to all models in the Entry-Level DSLR category, Olympus E-520 offers the highest battery life that reaches 650 shots.

How Good is Olympus E-520 for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Olympus E-520’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Olympus E-520’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the E-520 to the average DSLR camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Olympus E-520 for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus E-520 performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 59. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus E-520 can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Olympus E-520 for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus E-520 performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 84. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus E-520 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Four Thirds(17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (136 x 92 x 68 mm)
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (3)

Olympus E-520 for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus E-520 performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 71. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus E-520 can be called a 71 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Big size (136 x 92 x 68 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (4.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (3)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (548)
  • Small battery life (650 shots)

Olympus E-520 for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus E-520 performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 94. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus E-520 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (552 g)
  • Big size (136 x 92 x 68 mm)
  • Video is not available

Olympus E-520 for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus E-520 performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 49. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus E-520 can be called a 49 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (10 MP)
  • Bad Dynamic Range (10.4)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (548)

Olympus E-520 Detailed Specs

General
Brand Olympus
Model E-520
Announced Aug 20, 2008
Body Type Compact SLR
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Four Thirds
Number of Lenses 45
Focal Length Multiplier 2x
Macro Focus Range
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 2.7″
Screen Resolution 230k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentamirror)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 95%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.46
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s
Continuous Shooting 4.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
Flash Range 12
Flash Modes Auto, Auto FP, Manual, Red-Eye
External Flash Yes
AE Bracketing No
WB Bracketing No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average No
Spot Yes
Partial No
AF-Area No
Center Weighted Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 55
DxO Color Depth 21.4
DxO Dynamic Range 10.4
DxO Low Light ISO 548
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size Four Thirds
Sensor Dimensions 17.3 x 13 mm
Sensor Area 224.90 mm2
Sensor Resolution 10.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 3648 x 2736
Max Native ISO 1,600
Max Boosted ISO n/a
Min Native ISO 100
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch No
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking No
AF Selective Yes
AF Center No
AF Multi Area Yes
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes
Number of Focus Points 3
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a
Max Video Resolution
Video Formats n/a
Microphone Port No
Headphone Port No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No
HDMI No
USB USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 552 g
Physical Dimensions 136 x 92 x 68 mm
Battery Life 650 shots
Battery Type 650 shots
Battery Model n/a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording No
GPS
Storage Type Compact Flash (Type I or II), xD Picture Card
Storage Slots 1

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