Olympus Evolt E-510 digital camera resource
Last update: Feb. 2nd, 2012
Feb. 2nd: Lenses section updated
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specific to the Olympus E510 which isn't yet available here, or if
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data and reference manuals
Reviews and previews
- Imaging resource have a detailed
review of the Olympus E510 with test results and full-size samples.
- Dcresource published their full
review of the Olympus E510. Detailed review with full-size sample
- digitalcamerainfo.com have a detailed
review of the Olympus E510 with full-size sample images.
- PhotographyBlog have published a detailed
review of the Olympus E-510 with test results and full size samples.
- dpreview have reviewed the E510.
Very detailed review with sample images.
- Cameralabs published their review of
the Olympus E510. It's a detailed review, but has no full-size
- Andrzej Wrotniak has a detailed
technical review of the Olympus E510 on this wrotniak.net site.
- digicamreview.com have an interesting review
of the Olympus E-510, without full size samples, but still with
very useful information.
- TrustedReviews have a review
of the Olympus E510 with several sections and crops of high
resolution originals, but no full-size samples.
- fourthirds-user.com have an interesting analisys
of the benefits of the in-built camera IS of the Olympus E510.
- The Nature, Wildlife and Pet photograhy forum has a field
review of the Olympus E510. Not many details or quantitative
analysis, but some discussion on the camera and some wildlife and
nature photos taken with the E510.
- Letsgodigital has a short, not so interesting one-page review of
the Olympus 510.
- PhotoReview have a short
review of the Olympus E510 with some Imatest test charts.
- digitalcamerareview.com have a review
of the Olympus E-510, which actually is more of a camera
description, as there are no test results, just a description of the
- Gary Ayton has a page
dedicated to the Olympus E510. There are links, a description of
the camera, a personal review with pros and cons.
- Here is a user review by David Strickland:
impressions are very favourable. The IS gains about 2-3 stops, I really
do not know how to measure this other than trying it out. I use the
50-200 Olympus lens and the Sigma 50-500 a lot and often need to hand
hold. The Sigma will produce good results with IS on. I took a couple
of photos in deliberately poor conditions and have attached them. In
one you will see a chaffinch approaching a feeder. The Sigma 50-500 was
used at about 400 handheld with the photo taken through double glazing!
The other was hand held of a bee with the Olympus 50-200 at 200 as
close to the camera as possible, about 3 feet and hand held. In both of
these the sky was overcast. These photos will not win prizes for
composition or anything else but they do give an idea of the
understand that the remote issue with the E-500 is now resolved as the
E-510 will use the same cable as the E-410 the RM-UC1. This I have
ordered but not received or tried. This is another piece of essential
kit for me, in fact I made up my own remote for the E-500 so that I
could trigger it from the back from some distance.
controls have been moved and I prefer the layout. The camera body has
been slightly changed as compared with the E-500 and I find I prefer
it. To all those Nikon and Canon fans all I can say is that this is a
great camera with superb lenses and I much prefer its weight, size,
capability and performance. Olympus has a real winner here, it is just
that 80% of digital SLR users have no idea of what they are missing!!
battery charger supplied is the BCM-2 which is disappointing as it
charges the standard BLM-1 battery in about 4 hours, so keep your older
BCM-1 as this does it in about 2 Hours.
RAW file format
- Olympus has released a codec
for Windows Vista.
The codec is a piece of software running under Windows Vista with which
Vista can import and display RAW images of all Olympus DSLRs.
Photoshop CS3 is capable of converting E510 RAW files. You will need the Camera
RAW 4.2 plugin (earlier versions do not support E510 RAW files).
But you can also buy the cheaper Adobe Elements 5,
which also supports the plugin. Adobe
Photoshop CS2 and older versions cannot directly convert E510 RAW
files. You will first have to convert E510 RAW files to DNG.
- Another good RAW converter is Olympus
- dcraw by Dave
Coffin is an open source software used by several RAW converters, which
can convert E510 RAW files. It's available as source code, command line
executable or within a large number of image editing softwares. See
Dave Coffin's page for an exhaustive list.
- Even Irfanview can
decode E510 RAW files, thanks to the dcraw code.
- The E510 takes both CF and xD cards.
- Generally speaking there is no reason to use xD cards, since CF
cards are cheaper.
- February 08: firmware
- Enabled use of the Image Stabilization function
with non-Four Thirds System interchangeable lenses by inputting a
specific focal length.
- November 07: firmware
v1.2 for the E510 released.
- Improved the focusing accuracy when
using the EC-20 Teleconverter.
- Improved image stabilization
when shooting at slow shutter speeds.
- March 30th: Olympus releases firmware
1.1 for the Olympus E510.
- Here are the changes: Improved reliability of writing to
high-speed Compact Flash card
aberrations / Purple fringing
- To remove chromatic aberrations you can process the RAW image
with the Adobe Photohop RAW plugin.
- To remove chromatic aberrations with
an image editor (desaturation of the magentas):
- It is very simple to remove chromatic
aberrations from an image. Simply use a photo editor and set the
level of magenta (also green where this makes sense) to the minimum. In
some images you might have to set the saturation level of red to the
It might also make sense to limit the processing to the affected area
select the affected image area and only process that).
filter and other filters
- A polariser filter helps to obtain deep
blue skies and to remove unwanted reflections. Consider the following
(both images taken with the polariser filter):
Perhentian island image
Same image with polariser rotated
by 90 degrees
- See the difference ? In the picture
to the right, the polariser filter substantially reduced the amount of
light reflected by the water surface making the sea ground more visible
and made the sky more dark.
- Polariser filters are also useful when
the lower part of the image is dark and the top (the sky) too bright.
- Have a look at Darwin
Wigget's page on filters for further information on polariser,
blue-yellow polariser, graduated neutral density and other filters
- See also Jeremy
McCreary's page on filters
How good is image stabilisation on the E510?
- Andrzej Wrotniak performed a test, shooting 60 images with IS on
and 60 with IS off, at 1/15s and 150mm (=300mm equiv.) focal length,
handheld. With IS on, 32 out of 60 frames were sharp and none obviously
bad. With IS off, only 2 out of 60 frames were sharp and 47 obviously
- Dcresource also performed an IS test, obtaining a sharp image
with IS on at 1/6s exposure time.
- Cameralabs performed a test
showing reasonably sharp handheld images at 1/2s exposure time. They
also tested the E510
with the Leica 14-50 IS lens. Their conclusion is that having both
optical and body stabilisation on does nor produce better results.
BLM-1 battery and cheaper 3rd party alternatives
- According to Federico del Vall 3rd party BLM-1 batteries fail in
Been recently to Ushuaia -
(Patagonia, Argentina) and found Oly's BLM-1's made sense.
I have three different
compatible batteries and tree Olympus, two for each cam.
BLM-1's are rated at -10 °C worst case, so I made no worries. But at this temperature, quite
common around Ushuaia these days, while a BLM-1 would last one to two
of my photoshooting days at 20°C, lasted no more than an hour or so. Compatibles failed after no more
than 10 minutes.
So set to the task of
heating the batteries to ~30° for half an hour, and found the BLM-1
could still be used once more for one hour, and the compatibles too,
but for other 10 minutes or so. But then none.
At these temperatures (-10-0 °C) Oly's BLM-1's are worth their price. On the other hand, in Salta,
(north Argentina) where temperature is nice troughout the year, both
types endured quite the same.
- Warthog did his own comparison test of original
Olympus BLM-1 batteries and 3rd party ones (page is in Finnish!):
- I tested this
original Olympus batteries (3 pieces, two of them 2,5 years, one is 9
months old) and two replacement batteries (2 years old). I used 15 Ohm
resistor, pictures taken every minute with my E-300 and Canon TC-80N3
timer remote controller. I tried QuickTime to record my measurements,
but that timer is more practical.
Original batteries are
expensive, but very good. Replacement batteries are cheap and good....
results of replacement batteries
results of Olympus batteries & evaluation of both batteries
- See this
which contains an overview of currently available BLM-1 battery clones:
Olympus BLM-1 (original), PS-BLM1 (7DayShop.com), WT-BLM1
(SterlingTek.com), Energizer OM-1, Hahnel HL-M1, UNiROSS VB104295,
WinTop PS-BLM1 and e-Film (Delkin) BLM1. The author rates the batteries
according to construction, capacity, (low voltage) protection and cost.
It appears that not all 3rd party alternatives are created equal.
- Test added which shows
capacity the original Olympus BLM-1 battery and cheap 3rd party
alternatives have. With the batteries I had (one original and two 3rd
party ones) I measured the following:
- Original Olympus battery: 1299 mAh
- 3rd party battery 1: 1077
- 3rd party battery 2: 744
- This is OK, since
the Olympus original BLM-1 battery costs 17 times more than the 3rd party
alternatives I bought.
- The complete test results
are available here.
- The original BLM-1 battery from Olympus is rated at 7.2 Volt and
1500 mAh. The alternatives have voltages of 7.2 or 7.4 Volt and
capacities of 1300 or 1500 mAh.
- The voltage difference is no problem:
- The 7.2 Volt which Olympus officially quotes varies in reality
between 6.7 Volt (discharged battery) and 7.7 Volt (fully charged
battery). These are voltages measured under a pretty heavy load of over
1 Ampere (battery loaded with a 6.8 Ohm resistor).
- With no load the measured voltages become 7.37 Volt in a
discharged state (emtpy battery screen showing) and 8.2 Volt (battery
=> In other words, it's highly
irrelevant if the battery is rated at 7.2 or 7.4 Volt - the camera can
withstand 7.7 Volts without problems.
- The capacity difference is also something not to worry about.
There is no big difference between 1500 and 1300 mAh (we are talking of
a 10% difference), but the 3rd party battery costs a fraction of the
- Personally I bought two 3rd party BLM-1 batteries in August 2004
from a Hong Kong eBay seller.
- Price per battery was
US $ 5.49 and the total cost including
shipping was US $17.
- The batteries arrived
in 10 days to my home in Germany.
- I tested one of
these cheap "counterfeit" batteries. It lasted
for over 600 shots (SHQ, all with the LCD on, about 10% with flash) and
still had juice left when I got tired and interrupted the test. It just
fast battery charger (this has been reported by Rod in the Olympus E510
My results are the
Oly charger took around 5 hours to get to a
full charge and the Vidpro about half that (which is what they
advertise). BUT, it could be the second battery I charged on the Vidpro
didn't need that much charging - what I did wasn't under very
controlled conditions re residual charge before recharging.
The Vidpro (US $30)
charger base is a little larger than the
Oly, and also has an AC to DC module (a little smaller than the Oly
unit itself) that plugs into the AC wall socket whereas the Oly unit
accepts AC directly with the supplied AC cord. Both the Oly &
Vidpro accept 100v-240v, but the big difference I like is that the
Vidpro has a 12v DC (vehicle, etc.) adapter allowing the batteries to
be charged in the field.
photography with the Olympus E510
- The site Infrared
photography with your digital camera contains interesting
about infrared photography with Olympus cameras and an overview of
filters with their spectral characteristics.
- These sites contain useful information about infrared photography
with digital cameras:
Digital infrared photography - site devoted to digital infrared
photography with image galleries, information about filters and
equipment and links.
Infrared Photography page
- excellent information resource devoted to infrared photography with
Olympus cameras. Information about infrared filters, exposure settings,
focus, post-processing, sample images and links.
- Also see the Infrared
photography page of the Apogee magazine: this is an interesting
general introduction to infrared photography with digital cameras.
length in mm
(multiply by 2 to get
rectilinear ultra wide angle
| Not available, filters
cannot be screwed on
DC HSM 10-20
length in mm
(multiply by 2 to get
- Prime lenses (fixed focal
- Extension tubes,
teleconverters and adapters
Tube for double magnification
|| 1.4x teleconverter
||Adapter to connect OM lenses to
- The Olympus E510 has a standard flash hotshoe and can
- Try out the Metz flash units - cheap and reliable. Alternatively
try the FL-36 or other Olympus flash units.
- See here
for how to measure the trigger voltage of your flash.
Changing the focus screen
Controlling the Olympus E510 with a computer
- Ikelite launches the 6855
underwater housing for the E510. You will find all details and lots
of images on the Ikelite page. The housing sells around USD 1000 - not
- The site Digideep.com
is an online directory for digital underwater photography.
- Interesting forum for underwater photography: DigitalDiver.net
by Kurt Stege, is a free tool to recover deleted images from a memory
card. Recommended, alough it involves more work an e tool of
- These software tools are not free, so since Convar's software is
available for free, there is no real need to use them:
- Check this site: Digital
Christian Grau has some software
tools to fix damaged memory cards. The software used to be free, now
also has a software tool (Photorescue) for repairing damaged memory
although it's not free.
is another tool. Price is $39.95.
Comments ? Put them in the Olympus E510 user
- The picture files of the Olympus E510
contain the complete exposure information (aperture, exposure time,
leng, white balance etc.).
- To read this data you can use these
by Ryuuji Yoshimoto. Haven't tried the software myself, but it looks
Image Viewer, by Michal Kowalski. This is the one I'm using.
from his homepage:
"EXIF viewer is a simple image
viewer application for photos taken with digital cameras. It's capable
of reading EXIF information embedded in photos as well as little
Because small thumbnail is already present in most photos displaying it
is really fast.
EXIF viewer can also provide
detailed information about photos (shutter speed, aperture, etc.) and
list them for comparison purposes.
EXIF viewer also displays image
histogram. It also features copying/moving and deleting of selected
Single photograph can be displayed in separate window or in a full
by Friedemann Schmidt. I'm using this one too. It can rewrite EXIF data
to images which lost it due to processing with a software package which
doesn't support EXIF. Quoting from his site:
"Exifer is a nearly free software
(you only should send me a postcard if you're using Exifer frequently)
with which you can manage the metadata (EXIF/IPTC) of pictures taken by
digital cameras. Because many image processing software destroys this
when saving such files, the idea was to create a backup of the metadata
before editing it in any software, and then, after that to restore it
into the processed file. With Exifer you can do this very easily. "
- Below are the steps necessary to connect the E510 to a linux
||here are the
steps (I'm on Suse 9.0 ):
1. boot Suse
$ sudo tail
* use external
-> "USB" must be set to "PC" (not "PRINT")
* set playback
mode on cam
* make sure
camera is turned off
with USB cable
2. turn camera
* drive icon
appears on desktop: sda1
-> properties: device /dev/sda1 mounted at /media/sda1)
on it would mount the cam and open it in Konqueror
=> convenient thumbnail previews)
-f for USB stuff)
... or just
wait a moment
4. get the
$ mount | grep
$ mount /media/sda1
$ mount |
on /media/sda1 type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,sync,user=tobi)
$ cd /media/sda1/dcim/100olymp/
$ cp -i ./*
$ mv -i ./*
$ umount /media/sda1
$ mount |
- Brian Miller created a page about using
C-5050Zoom Digital Camera with Linux. Tons of detailed information
on how to interface a 5050 with Linux. This information probably also
holds for a E510.
- The page Using
the Olympus Camedia C-3040 Zoom Digital Camera with Linux and USB
Micheal Schubart contains a description on how to download photos from
an Olympus 3040 to a computer running Linux with USB. The procedure
there should also apply to an Olympus E510.
Comments ? Put them in the Olympus E510 user
with the Olympus E510
© Copyright 2007 Alfred Molon