Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-500

  • Four Thirds
  • 10 megapixels
  • Four Thirds
  • 39
    Overall
  • 11
    Imaging
  • 31
    Features
  • 73
    Size
  • 1
    Price
  • Four Thirds
  • 8 megapixels
  • Four Thirds
  • 34
    Overall
  • 4
    Imaging
  • 13
    Features
  • 74
    Size
  • 100
    Price

Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-500: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

In this overview, we are going to take a look at two different camera models that fall into different categories: the first model we are about to review, Olympus E-520 is a camera from Entry-Level DSLR category. It features CMOS sensor with a resolution of 10.0 MP. The second model we are looking at, Olympus E-500, falls into a Semi-Pro DSLR category and it is equipped with CCD sensor that has a resolution of 8.0 MP.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-500.

Olympus E-520 Key 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-500 Key Features:

  • 8.0 MP Four Thirds CCD sensor
  • ISO 100 - 400 (Expands to 1600)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 3.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 130 x 95 x 66 mm
  • Weight: 479 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced by Olympus E-510. Compare
  • Also known as Olympus EVOLT E-500

Being a newer model, Olympus E-520 substituted Olympus E-510. Be sure to check out some of our other comparisons that may also interest you:
Olympus E-520 vs. E-510
Olympus E-510 vs. Olympus E-500

Why is Olympus E-520 a better choice than Olympus E-500

Sensor Resolution 10.0 MP vs 8.0 MP 20% more pixels
Image Stabilization Yes vs No All lenses are stabilized
Continuous Shooting 4 fps vs 3 fps 1 fps faster
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes vs No Very handy for portraits
Screen Size 2.7″ vs 2.5″ 0.2" larger screen
Screen Resolution 230k dots vs 215k dots 6.5% higher resolution screen
Viewfinder Magnification 0.46 vs 0.45 0.01 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Olympus E-500 over Olympus E-520

Flash Range 13 vs 12 1 better flash range
Weight 479 g vs 552 g 73 g lighter
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) vs Optical (pentamirror) Better framing and control

Key PROs of Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-500

Viewfinder Optical (pentamirror) | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Built-In Flash Yes | Yes External flash available
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync

Key CONs of Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-500

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Size 2.7″ | 2.5″ Not suitable for flash photography
Screen Resolution 230k dots | 215k dots Small screen resolution
Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
Sensor Resolution 10.0 MP | 8.0 MP Small sensor resolution
Timelapse Recording No | No No timelapse recording
Bracketing No | No No AE bracketing
Continuous Shooting 4.0 fps | 3.0 fps Low continuous shooting
Environmental Sealing No | No No environmental sealing

Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-500: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-500 from the front view.

Olympus E-520
Olympus E-500
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Olympus E-520
Olympus E-500
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Olympus E-500 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 73g less than the Olympus E-520. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-500 by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-500 any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Olympus E-520 features a 10.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor . Olympus E-500, in its turn, comes with a 8.0 MP Four Thirds sized CCD sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-500 by the size of their sensors.

Olympus E-520
Olympus E-500
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Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-500 are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-500 Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-500 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Olympus E-520 Olympus E-500
Portrait Photography
59%
4%
Street Photography
84%
58%
Sports Photography
71%
45%
Daily Photography
94%
97%
Landscape Photography
49%
48%

Olympus E-520 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Olympus E-500 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

No Significant Advantages

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • No Image Stabilization

Olympus E-520 for Street 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-500 for Street Photography

Advantages:

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

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (130 x 95 x 66 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (3)

Olympus E-520 for Sports 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-500 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

No Significant Advantages

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (3.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (3)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (400)

Olympus E-520 for Daily 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-500 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (479 g)
  • Big size (130 x 95 x 66 mm)
  • Video is not available

Olympus E-520 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-500 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (8 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Max Native ISO (400)

Comparison of Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-500: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Olympus E-520 or Olympus E-500, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-500 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Olympus E-520 deserves a higher Total Score than the Olympus E-500. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-500 Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Olympus E-520 Olympus E-500
General
Brand Olympus Olympus
Model E-520 E-500
Announced Aug 20, 2008 Oct 21, 2005
Body Type Compact SLR Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CCD
Sensor Size Four Thirds Four Thirds
Sensor Dimensions 17.3 x 13 mm 17.3 x 13 mm
Sensor Area 224.90 mm2 224.90 mm2
Sensor Resolution 10.0 MP 8.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 3648 x 2736 3264 x 2448
Max Native ISO 1,600 400
Max Boosted ISO n/a 1,600
Min Native ISO 100 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Four Thirds Four Thirds
Number of Lenses 45 45
Focal Length Multiplier 2x 2x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking No No
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center No No
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes No
AF Face Detection Yes No
AF Contrast Detection Yes No
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 3 3
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 2.7″ 2.5″
Screen Resolution 230k dots 215k dots
Live View Yes No
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentamirror) Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 95% 95%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.46 0.45
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 60 s 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/4000 s
Continuous Shooting 4.0 fps 3.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Yes No
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
Flash Range 12 13
Flash Modes Auto, Auto FP, Manual, Red-Eye Auto, Auto FP, Manual, Red-Eye
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing No No
WB Bracketing No No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes No
Average No No
Spot Yes No
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes No
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a n/a
Max Video Resolution
Video Formats n/a n/a
Microphone Port No No
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No No
HDMI No No
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No No
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 552 g 479 g
Physical Dimensions 136 x 92 x 68 mm 130 x 95 x 66 mm
Battery Life 650 shots n/a
Battery Type Battery Pack n/a
Battery Model n/a n/a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording No No
GPS
Storage Type Compact Flash (Type I or II), xD Picture Card Compact Flash (Type I or II), xD Picture Card
Storage Slots 1 1

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