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Olympus E-510
Olympus E-510

Hey! You should know that Olympus has released a newer version of this product: the Olympus E-520.

Olympus E-510

We've given the E-510 a grade of C+.

Editor's Review

Olympus adds another Live View digital SLR to their roster, with the stylish, compact Olympus E-510. A slightly embellished version of the E-410, the E-510 is similar to that camera in almost every way, except the E-510 has a very appealing sensor-shift image stabilizer. The E-510 continues the Olympus tradition of appealing to novice or developing photographers with simple, easy-to-use high-end cameras.


  • 10 megapixels
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • TruePic III image processor
  • RAW and JPEG file formats
  • 4/3 standard lens mount
  • Auto and manual focus
  • Auto and manual exposure
  • ISO 100-1600
  • 2.5-inch LCD
  • Compact Flash and xD-Picture Card Digital card storage
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Part Number: 262070
  • UPC: 050332160446
  • Release Date: Mar 07, 2007

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Olympus E-510 Reviews

Olympus E-510 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 4.0 out of 5
all features is better about this price range (syed shaukat iqbal — 03/23/2009)

e510 is a better digital slr camera and i sugges all profesional's buy the e510
he is a low coast camera and result gives to the high cost camera's.
God bless u

  • 4.0 out of 5
Reflections on upgrading Olympus E500 to E510 (chessnut — 03/14/2008)

I own the E500 before finally upgrading to the newer E510. The colors of the E500 are a tad richer and more vibrant than those of the E510 but thats because the E500 uses the famous Kodak CCD sensor which is well known for color reproduction while the E510 uses the Panasonic NMOS sensor.

Apart from that, the E510 is better in the other aspects. For one, it has significantly lower noise from ISO 800 onwards. It also has live view which is useful for capturing images when the camera is placed at angles which makes it difficult to peep through the viewfinder.

The E510's stabilization has been proven to be effective in reducing camera shake. I was able to take sharp pictures handheld, with exposure time of up to 1 second! This is an impossible feat for me on the E500.

E510 also has more customisable options. You are now able to set more degrees of noise filtering as compared to the E500 which only had 3 options (including turning noise filter off).

As pointed out by many, the E510's noise filter is a little harsh and works best when set to low or totally turned off as well as tweaking the sharpness values.

The viewfinder of the E510 is also bigger and brighter than the E500 making it much easier to compose the picture through the viewfinder.

On the whole, I am very satisfied with my E510 and have since retired my E500. It is isn't a top-of-the-line camera but its multiple useful features that works makes it a good all rounder & value-for-money camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Useful Information (Shinji Konno — 01/09/2008)

After months of looking at different cameras and internet camera reviews, I finally bought E510. At the time I purchased, I didn't know that the camera and the lenses are made in China even though Olympus Corp. is a Japanese company. I also found out that both Canon Rebel XTI and Nikon D40X are not made in Japan anymore. I remember carrying Canon F-1 and Nikon F-2 and having a sore shoulder when I was younger. Those of you who can remember those days, E510 is just right for you. It is amazingly light and even my wife wants to carry around. If you also have smaller hands, this camera is for you. This camera has a really good shutter sound. It sounds a lot better than my old Nikon FA that I used so much. Go to a store and try out this camera, then you'll agree with me. Don't listen to professionals talking about functions that you'll never use.

  • 2.0 out of 5
lots of defective e510 (konoimo — 01/03/2008)

I played with the e510 a lot before i returned it. I matched it setting for setting, same lenses to compare it with my e500. I had problems with mine because I bought it early. Apparently, there lots of defective units sold on first shipments. I'm still solid on the e500, I have 2 of them.

Also bought the E3. Now thats a camera!!! E510 doesn't even compare to Olympus E3. Image stabilization of E3 gives 5 stops of compensation apparently. Flip out LCD, Live view, 5 FPS burst mode, solid steel body, weather proofing... I can go on an on about the E3.

If you want a solid pro model dSLR, go E3. If you want consumer grade, go E500 or risk buying an E510 that may be defective. Hold on to your receipt. I'm glad I did... I wasn't happy at all with the underexposure of the E510, the blown out highlights, and smudged details of noise reduction...

  • 5.0 out of 5
Evolt 510 (Orie Perry — 10/21/2007)

I replaced a Canon 5D which had an incompatable Sigma Lens, for the Evolt 510. The evolt is easy to use with automatic functions which are user friendly. Th internal shake free function has stabalized movement which have blurred other shots with my canon. The camera came with two lens which perform wel and provide crisp pictures. My canon had its place however the evolt 510 has made me a follower with olympus: there is a scene menue which sets the camera to auto configure for over 12 settings( snow, fireworks, night....)My wife was so impressed, I hade to purchase one for her own.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Camera with lots of Features (Groggerz — 08/17/2007)

I own and E500 and purchase the E510 because of Live View and IS. Neither have not disappointed me.

I find it odd that two people can post a negative review here having only played with the camera for a day or two. It does take some fine tuning but it is a great camera.

The E500 was easy to take great pictures with by just shooting in P mode with the default settings. The E510 on the other hand is definitely a little more temperamental out of the box. You have to turn down the noise filter and sharpening if not shooting raw and learn it's metering tendencies. Once you do this it will reward you with fantastic pictures. I shoot Manual a lot and haven't experienced the negatives reported by others.

Live view is more useful than I thought it would be. While not good for action shooting it is GREAT for Tripod and Macro work. I find myself using it all the time. The IS is giving me consistently about a 2 stop advantage as well.

This camera is not a point and shoot - you have to learn it's tendencies and when you do it is GREAT!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Impressed with the E-510...finally (Sopers — 07/27/2007)

I made a large jump from an old P&S Olympus 3040 zoom to the E-510. I was going to go with the 410 but I wanted the IS.

At first I wondered what I had got myself into since the results were less than I expected. The 3040 simply takes great 3 meg shots right out of the box.
Anyway, I worked with a friend to adjust the settings and now I see what this camera can do. I just took 1000 shots at the US MotoGP races and there are some pictures that are easily magazine quality. I also purchased the Olympus 50-200 lens for about $800 and it's amazing.
I'm sure once I spend a few more weeks with this, I'll have many more fantastic photos.

Hey Konoimo, if you decide to dump that Olympus gear, let me know!

  • 2.0 out of 5
E-500 vs E-510 (mike anker — 07/26/2007)

I have had the exact same result as the last review. I tested the 500 & 510 on a tripod with the same lenses at many different settings & found the E-510 colors to be flat, dull & inaccurate especially skin colors. Not even close to the E500. My wife is Thai & her olive skin color was way better with the old 500. I tried vivid, natural, red & green up & down all to no avail. I wish I could return it but that is not possible as my brother brought it to us in Bangkok. He will send it back to the Olympus factory for me but I suspect I an screwed. At least I only bought the body. Now I must decide to stay with the E-500 or buy the Rebel XTI or the new Nikon D-40X. HELP !

  • 5.0 out of 5
EXCELLENCE AT ANY PRICE (Sergio — 07/22/2007)

I just took the leap from the 500 to the 510 after not even a year but had to have the image stabilization. I do event photography and it's in pretty tough lighting situations so I thought that before my vacation I'd get one and give it a run through. Image stabilization is only engaged when taking the picture and it works beautifully. I dislike using flash and prefer to get the natural lighting. The IS allowed me to handhold the camera in some pretty dark locations that I know full well would produce some blurry shots. This time I didn't have to toss out many images due to camera shake. Most of the time the blurry photos were due to my excitement at such incredible IS that I didn't use my tripod even late at night when I should have. Instead I was able to handhold in almost all situations. Not always a smart choice but I was on the go and had to run to catch some trains. It was a great way to test out the e-510. I even have late night images that came out beautifully. THANK YOU OLY!!! You're going to make my work easier with this one.

I like punchier colors and this model is factory set to natural so I am playing with the vivid setting (the e-410 is factory set to vivid) However I have found the colors are very true to life and I tend to want to remember it a bit more colorful. ;-) The detail was unreal. I don't know if it was the jump from 8 to 10 megapixels or the new live-mos sensor but I have been amazed by how much better my images look and how much more information is in each and every photo. This sensor definitely has less noise in lower lighting situations and like any other camera gets more the higher you go in ISO. No maker or camera is exempt and the 510 is in the hunt on noise with cameras that cost much more.

I'm not trying to be a cheerleader but this is a true step-up from the e-500. I made my choice about trying out Oly a while back and am now being rewarded with this model. For a while there I started wondering and looking at other brands but gave this last model a chance before jumping ship and now I'm hooked.

The options and settings are just pouring out of this menu. You can set your personal preferences in image quality in so many ways to suit your personal prefs. Whether you want it to be supersharp or less noisy etc. the choices are yours to make. Being a photographer and selecting a camera tends to be a real compromise but this body allows each person to make their choices and change their minds anytime they wish.

There are things I'd change ie. the menu doesn't have multiple colors. I'm not a fan of the menu color but I think I'll survive. The lcd screen is not articulated ( a feature I'm sure is being held for the pro body ) Those are pretty silly complaints when it's one of the few with LiveView and one is not as good while the other is about five times the price.

I'm going to start saving up because I feel a big breeze blowing in the e-1 successor. I'm confident that this was just the teaser from Oly.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent camera--I also upgraded from an E-500 (srr — 07/15/2007)

Just as it was with the E-500, once you play around with the settings to get them how you like them, this camera will produce great pictures in the "Olympus" style, although I think the pictures I'm getting look like Olympus may be moving in the direction of a more "Cannon-like" effect—a good or bad thing, depending on your preferences. Maybe konoimo's opinion would have been different had he kept his 510 for more than a day and spent some time cruising the better Olympus forums for 510 tips. The default settings for the E-510 seem to produce noticeably different photos than the E-500 defaults, but you can get pretty close to the same place with just a bit of tweaking. For example, konoimo complained about pics being too sharp, but he also said the noise reduction is better off or set to low. If you do set it to low or off, then you need to reduce the sharpening, which by default is set a bit higher to offset the default noise reduction setting. Likewise, the default color saturation seems to be a bit lower than the E-500 (and many complained that the E-500 was set too vivid). You can tweak the color settings to get the same "pop out at you" effect that the default E-500 had.

Not sure why konoimo's 510 was underexposing—mine's not—but it might be related to the fact that the default metering is set to ESP + AF, and many (myself included) like the results better with metering set to ESP. Also,it's possible konoimo just got a lemon—it happens :-(

FYI—I have taken about 4000 photos with my E-500 and roughly 500 with my E-510. The IS seems to work well, and I like the live view, though I don't use it for a majority of my photos.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent quality, compact and a joy to use (Fritz Solms — 07/06/2007)

The E-510 has excellent image and build quality together with a very extensive set of features (IS, solid dust reduction, life preview, mirror lock-up). Its noise behavour is quite good, though not the best in low light. The kit lenses are excellent and the camera is a joy to use. Nood to play with the settings and the choice of lenses is still a little restrictive and often costly.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Superp! (kiw — 07/02/2007)

Much better than E-500 all the way around.
Do not understand the review from konoimo???
This is the way Oly should go !!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Solid perfomer (Bill Jordan — 06/27/2007)

This camera is everything I expected. The Image Stabilizer works great - my handheld street shots are tack sharp. Noise is reduced versus the earlier Oly models despite higher pixel density, and the extra two megapixels add detail. The LCD is easy to view, and the camera fits well in my hand.

Just be sure to play around with the noise and color settings if you are shooting JPEGs instead of raw, as the factory defaults are a little dull.

If you don't have the bucks for top of the line SLR, this is the ticket!

  • 4.0 out of 5
A Vast Improvement on the E500 (Skipy — 06/22/2007)

I also purchased the e510 as an upgrade to the e500 and unlike konoimo, I'm very impressed! I feared that the Image Stabiliser and Live View would be gimmicks but both have already proved very useful and really do work! The IS results in much clearer, sharper images at slower shutter speeds but let's be honest, No technology will correct a shakey hand!
The Live View allows you to focus or zoom in, on any area of the frame via the screen, which will also display settings, grid lines and even a live histogram. Under bright conditions the screen becomes more difficult to see but this is a common problem on most digitals, at least with a DSLR you can resort to the viewfinder.
I found with the e500, that once I had the menu set up correctly to produce the images and levels of sharpness, noise & colours that I expected, it gave excellent results. It's main problem for me was the unacceptable noise levels at higher ISO settings or in low light. These noise levels are far more acceptable on the e510
The e510 also offers a more comprehensive menu which I believe, when set up correctly, solves most of the problems konoimo has noted.
I never have been a great fan of in camera flashes and the e510 is no better than any other but when connected to my FL50 Flashgun, the results are very pleasing.
Needless to say, to date, I am well pleased with the e510 and have found only two minor problems. 1, Live View appears to drain the battery quicker, so be prepared to buy a couple of spares.
2. Still only three focusing points but at least it's less complicated.
My Verdict....... Add a couple of fast Prime Lenses and either the FL36 or FL50 Flashgun to your wishlist and I can't think of a better system, Enjoy

  • 1.0 out of 5
Disappointed with the e510 (konoimo — 06/14/2007)

I purchased the 510 a few days back with high expectations. was thinking it would replace my e500 as primary camera... I shoot with the e500 everyweekend at lowlight events, weddings, concerts. I was looking for a good lowlight camera...

took e510 home and slapped on my 11-22 and 14-54mm both F2.8-3.5 lenses and took some comparison shots of e500 and e510.

I was very, very disappointed at results. Color-wise, the e510 did not reproduce it as well as the e500. Colors didn't 'pop' out at you. Also, the e510 seemed to have oversharpened images. Its slightly bareable if you reduce it in the settings. Noise reduction on camera is not as great as it seems to blur some details. You will have to set it to LOW or OFF to make it bareable. Also, the images from the e510 seemed to be underexposed with or without flash. Seems dark and lacklustre. I found with flash, I'd have to turn up the flash compensation to make up for it and flash recharge time suffers.

The live view feature is nice but to me image colors take primetime. Image quality was disappointing considering the glass I put on it to test.

I returned the e510 the next day and scoured the city for another e500. They are almost all gone but was lucky to find one cheap. i bought it instead for almost half the price of a new e510... Out of the box the e500 is a way better camera. The e510 just left such a bad impression on me. Oly better do a good job with the replacement to the E-1. Otherwise, I'm selling my OLY gear and going Nikon instead.