Olympus E520 Review
by Leo Dawson
(Germantown, MD, USA)
This is a review for the DSLR Olympus E520 digital camera. I have had the camera for two years, and was upgrading from a Fuji F30, which we still own and use. We upgraded to the Olympus (from Amazon) because of the higher quality of the DSLR pictures, and the quality of the dustbuster on the sensor.
Our F30 got sand in it during a wedding on the beach, requiring a $40 cleaning. The Olympus E520 DSLR has not gotten any visible dust on the sensor in the time we have owned it while switching between two lenses.
It produces excellent quality shots with great bokeh when I use the tele lens (80-300 equiv, f3.5-4.5) as a pseudo portrait lens. Olympus has outstanding JPEG quality, great colors (greens and blues look great), and is very easy to adjust settings on the fly.
This allows me to go beyond the "auto" mode into aperture or shutter priority and have much more control over how I take my pictures. I have purchased an external flash by Metz, which helps tremendously for indoor shots to avoid motion blur.
The antishake feature on the Olympus E520 also gives me an extra stop or two. The biggest drawback to the Olympus system is the relative lack of prime lenses.
The "midlevel" or HG zoom lenses for Olympus (14-54, 12-60, 50-200) are all great, with exceptional quality and bright for cheaper than Nikon or Canon equivalent.
However, there are no inexpensive or moderately priced primes which are 50, 85, 100 mm equiv, like there are for Pentax, Canon, or Nikon. We can go with a Sigma 30 or 50, however my older e520 camera does not have focus adjust (like the newer e620 or e30 does) and there are many stories of front/back focusing, and very, very few physical stores which carry sigma with Olympus mounts.
Overall the Olympus E520 was a great purchase at $500 for camera + lens, and $200 more for the tele lens and flash, and works fantastic outdoors and great indoors.