Table of contents:

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

The Olympus E500 SLR camera has been on the market for over 10 years. The model has become a serious work on the mistakes of the previous generation E300. Many users, and especially professionals, were initially skeptical of the device due to the limited choice of lenses. But about six months after the presentation, new and very smart canopies began to appear, which changed the situation for the better and allowed the brand to secure the mirrored Olympus E500 on the first lines of sales.

With rare exceptions, the model can be found on free sale, but on specialized resources dedicated to photo gadgets, there is a pretty good selection of both new and used models. The price tags are so extreme 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 the acquisition and some shortcomings, which we will discuss below, the Olympus E500 camera is enviably popular among admirers of the gadgets of the eminent company, as well asquality technology. So let the seeker find it, and we will try to take a closer look at the model.

olympus e500 looks

So, we present to your attention a review of the Olympus E500 - a compact SLR camera from a venerable brand. Let's designate 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.


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

olympus e500 kit

Scope of delivery:

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

The set is quite rich, but, alas, it is impossible to fully use the device “out of the box”. The fact is that, fighting for a more affordable cost, the manufacturer did not put at least some kind of charger, so you have to buy it separately. Decent options start from one and a half thousand rubles, so it would be useful to focus on this before buying.

Judging by the reviews of the Olympus E500, many users were pleased with the excellent lens included in the kit. ZUIKO Digital 17, 5-45mm 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 the traditional and recognizable exterior of the brand's SLR cameras - a pentaprism or pentamirror. A similar design is found in almost all budget Olympus models. Judging by the reviews, users consider the Olympus E500 to be at least cute and ergonomic.

dimensions olympus e500

When picking up the device, you feel that in front of you is not some kind of junk "soap box", but a serious device. There are no complaints about the assembly: nothing plays, does not creak or crunch. The brand has never been known for being casual about the budget sector and the Olympus E500 is no exception.


Users in their reviews leave entirely positive feedback regarding controls and usability in general. The buttons are well-placed and they have all the necessary functionality with tools: white balance, ISO, exposure metering, autofocus and exposure compensation.

control olympus e500

You quickly get used to the controls and there are no problems during operation, especially if you switched from some furious Canons or Fujitsu. Users in their feedback especially thanked the manufacturer for the ability to remap the tool set of buttons and wheels, which made the model even more versatile.

Shooting modes

The model is literally filled to the brim with all sorts of "chips", and not just for show, but reallyuseful. This is far from being found in every budget camera. In addition to the usual things like full manual control over the entire shooting process, there are various types of bracketing (flash output, exposure, white balance, etc.), manual flash settings, vignetting compensation, test modes, mirror adjustment, and many what else.

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

olympus e500 design

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 so). To publish your creations on Instagram or VK, auto-tuning is enough. Well, in other cases, you will have to experiment with the functionality and tools.

Fast shooting speed does not exceed 2.5 frames per second. A 14x zoom allows you to properly examine 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 are quite satisfied with the available modes.


The device supports several focus modes: single, manual, tracking and fine-tuning. All modes work as they should, there are no questions to them. Focus is fast and there is very little shutter lag.

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


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

In all other levels we have a solid average. By the way, the standard sharpness parameters of the camera are clearly too high, so it would be useful to immediately conjure in the settings and reduce the figure by at least 25 percent.


Decent for a camera size 2.5-inch display allows you to work with due comfort and not squint at every occasion. The output image is balanced, true-to-life and has near-perfect color reproduction.

olympus e500 display

The default display itself is very informative, 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 two slots for external memory cards at once. The interface supports both the 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.

Summing up

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

Despite its venerable age, the camera is still relevant and can easily outdo brand new and inexpensive Chinese upstarts. The latter, although they have extensive functionality, are implemented for the most part for show and are comparable to the capabilities of advanced smartphones. And with the E-500, we have a complete and high-quality toolkit for performing complex and specific tasks.

Popular topic