Over the last few days I’ve taken my Olympus E500 with me on various walks and on a trip to Cambridge I had to make for work. In this post I’m going to publish the best of the pictures I took and give my impressions of shooting with this camera.
These pictures can be viewed full sized here.
The first thing which struck me about using the camera wasn’t really a feature of the camera at all but a feature of the lens, and that was that it wasn’t really wide enough at the widest setting. This camera is fitted with a 17.5 – 45mm zoom, and taking the crop factor into account that equates to only 35mm at the wide end. Normally I would like a 28mm or even better a 24mm focal length, but I don’t have any other 4/3 fit lens so I just had to use what was on the camera. I should say that the camera was also available at the time it was made with a 14 – 42mm option which would give that wider option.
The viewfinder of the camera is quite small and although I said in my original post that is wasn’t an issue, having used the camera some more I think I would find it quite difficult to use a viewfinder this small for long periods of time. I don’t know if the modern 4/3 cameras are similar in this respect but I would certainly want to investigate that if I was ever going to buy one.
Apart from those couple of niggling points, the E500 is capable of producing some fine results. A couple of the pictures above were taken at 800 ISO and I’m really impressed with how well the noise is controlled at high ISO, especially when you consider that the sensor is quite a bit smaller than an APS-C sensor fitted to the other DSLR cameras made by Fuji, Sony, Nikon etc.
The E500 also seemed to make a good job of the exposure and metering with every picture I took being within 1/2 a stop of the right exposure. The control layout is easy to use, the camera is quite quiet in operation and pretty light to carry about.
Just to make clear, none of the pictures above have had any noise reduction or sharpening added in Lightroom, they have just been imported as RAW files, had the exposure tweaked where necessary (which wasn’t much) and then exported as jpegs. They were all taken in Aperture Priority mode, with matrix metering and using auto white balance.