Olympus E-500/EVOLT E-500 8mp digital SLR
Anti-dust vs anti-shake
A thumbwheel is used for most adjustments, either by itself, or while holding a button down, such as for exposure compensation. Annoyingly though it's possible to spin the dial and not have every step registered by the system - so if you're in Shutter or Aperture priority for instance and spin the wheel quickly to rapidly change the setting, you may find only a few steps actually take place. This can be quite infuriating if you're used to a camera which responds to every click of a wheel.
Again following Canon's layout, four buttons to the right of the monitor allow you to adjust the White Balance, Auto Focus, ISO and Metering modes. This can be quite a laborious process though since you can only move left and right between the options, and not use the up and down buttons to jump around more quickly - this makes switching from, say, 100 to 1600 ISO slower than it could be.
In one final nod to the Canon control layout are five buttons which run down the left side of the screen: four have the same menu and playback functions as the 350D/Digital Rebel XT, although the top one pops up the built-in flash. Flash modes include the choice of Auto, red-eye reduction, slow syncro with red-eye reduction, slow syncro, rear curtain slow syncro, fill-in and off. Flash compensation settings of +/2EV are available.
On the left side of the body is a single connector which doubles-up for both USB and video-output, depending on which of the supplied cables are plugged-in.
The E-500's powered by a single Lithium Ion battery pack, rated at 7.2V 1500mAh, and the camera's supplied with a mains recharger. The remaining charge is shown as a three segment indicator on the main screen.
The most common lens bundled with the E-500 is the Zuiko Digital 14-45mm f3.5~5.6. This delivers a 3x optical range equivalent to 28-90mm on a 35mm or full-frame body. It is our policy to test budget digital SLRs with these bundled lens options, as they are normally the ones many owners end up using the most, at least initially.
14-45mm at 14mm, f8 (28mm equivalent)
14-45mm at 45mm, f8 (90mm equivalent)
Sponsored: VersaStack at-a-glance brochure