Olympus E500: description, specifications, operation features, image quality, owner reviews

The Olympus E500 SLR camera appeared on the market more than 10 years ago. The model has become serious work on the mistakes of the previous generation E300. Many users, and especially professionals, at first met the device rather skeptically due to the limited choice of lenses. But about six months after the presentation, new and very sensible canopies began to appear, which changed the situation for the better and allowed the brand to fix the Olympus E500 mirror on the first lines of sales.

The model, with rare exceptions, can be found in free sale, but on specialized resources dedicated to photo gadgets, there is a pretty good selection of both new models and used ones. The price tags are so thrown to extremes that it is very difficult to name specific numbers, because there are offers for 5, 10, and 30 thousand rubles. Despite all the difficulties of acquiring and some shortcomings, which we will discuss below, the Olympus E500 camera is enviable among admirers of gadgets of the eminent company, as well as high-quality equipment. So the seeker will come to terms, and we will try to examine the model closer.

Olympus E500 appearance

So, we present to your attention a review of the Olympus E500 - a compact reflex camera from a reputable brand. We outline the main characteristics of the device, as well as its advantages and disadvantages, taking into account the opinions of experts in this field and consumer reviews.


The Olympus E500 comes in a small box of cardboard. On the front part the device itself is depicted, and behind it is a brief specification. Labels, barcodes and other dealer tinsel are usually located at the ends.

grade Olympus E500

Contents of delivery:

  • Olympus E500 itself;
  • ZUIKO lens;
  • eyepiece cap;
  • neck strap;
  • battery case LBH-1;
  • 3 batteries CR123A;
  • USB cable
  • tulip cable (RCA);
  • documentation;
  • disks with software and electronic version of the manual.

The kit is quite rich, but it’s impossible to use the device out of the box fully. The fact is that, fighting for a more affordable price, the manufacturer did not put at least some charger, so you have to buy it separately. Worthy options start at one and a half thousand rubles, so before buying it will be useful to focus on this.

Judging by the reviews of the Olympus E500, many users were pleased with the excellent lens included in the kit. ZUIKO Digital 17.5-45 mm F / 3.5-5.6 almost completely reveals the capabilities of the device and it is quite enough to perform ordinary tasks.


Here we have a traditional and recognizable exterior of the brand’s SLR cameras - a pentaprism or a pentamirror. A similar design is found in almost all budget Olympus models. Judging by the reviews, users find the Olympus E500 at least pretty and ergonomic.

Olympus E500 sizes

When you take the device in your hands, it feels that in front of you is not some kind of waste “soap box”, but a serious device. There are no complaints about the assembly: it doesn’t play anything, it does not creak or crack. The brand has never been negligent in the budget sector and the Olympus E500 was no exception.


Users in their reviews leave completely positive reviews regarding management and usability in general. The buttons are correctly located and all the necessary functionality with the tools has been taken out: white balance, ISO, metering, autofocus and exposure compensation.

olympus control e500

You quickly get used to the management and there are no problems during operation, especially if you switched from some crushing “Canon” or “Fujitsu”. Users in their reviews especially thanked the manufacturer for the opportunity to reassign the set of button and wheel tools, which made the model even more universal.

Shooting modes

The model is literally filled to the brim with all sorts of "chips", and not just like that, for show's sake, but really useful. This is far from every budget camera can be found. In addition to the usual things like full manual control over the entire shooting process, there are various types of bracketing (by flash power, by exposure, by white balance, etc.), manual setting of flash parameters, vignetting compensation, test modes, mirror adjustment, and many what else.

If you are going to take up photography professionally, you will have to study a far from small manual for the ideal “for yourself” settings. The camera fully supports the specific RAW format, and the resulting images can be edited directly in the work area.

design olympus e500

If you are new to this business, then you can completely trust the camera. Competent automation will do everything in the best possible way (well, or almost that). To publish your creations on Instagram or in VK, auto-tuning is enough. Well, in other cases, you have to experiment with functionality and tools.

Fast shooting speed does not exceed 2.5 frames per second. A 14x zoom allows you to properly view the resulting image and estimate the histogram for the main RGB channels. There is also a comparison mode - before and after. Judging by the reviews, ordinary, but pretentious users, the available modes are quite satisfied.


The device supports several focusing modes: single, manual, tracking, and debugging. All modes work as they should, there are no questions to them. The focus is fast and the shutter lag is quite small.

There are only three focus points, although other competing DSLRs have noticeably more. But judging by the reviews, some photographers even use only one - the central one, and then rearrange the frame.


All noise levels are comparable to other digital devices up to the ISO-800 mark. But at high ISO, our respondent loses to the same similar “Canon”. So if you plan to often shoot in the twilight and without a flash, then the E-500 is not the best option.

In all other levels, we have a solid middle peasant. By the way, the standard sharpness parameters of the camera are clearly overestimated, so it’s useful to immediately conjure up the settings and reduce the figure by at least 25 percent.


Decent size for the camera 2.5-inch display allows you to work with the proper comfort and not squint at every occasion. The output image is balanced, realistic and has almost perfect color reproduction.

display olympus e500

The display itself is very informative by default, but if the abundance of professional surroundings prevents you from concentrating, then extra indicators can be easily turned off through the menu.


The device received immediately two slots for external memory cards. The interface supports both a specific Compact Flash format and the more common SD. The functionality allows you to copy data from one card to another directly in the menu, which in some cases is very convenient.


In general, the device turned out to be very good. For beginner photographers, this is the best option for mastering this profession or hobby. Everything a digital SLR should handle, a gadget can and can. So the camera entirely fulfills the money invested in it and is not phyllitic.

Despite its venerable age, the camera is still relevant and can calmly plug new and inexpensive Chinese upstarts into the belt. The latter, although they have extensive functionality, but it is implemented for the most part for show and is comparable with the capabilities of advanced smartphones. And with the E-500 we have complete and high-quality tools for performing complex and specific tasks.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/A1352/

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