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Olympus Evolt E-500

alaTest has collected and analyzed 1798 reviews from magazines and websites. People really like the performance and portability. The usability and lens also get good feedback. Comments are divided on the focus, while many are critical about the finish and control panel.

value for money, lens, usability, portability, performance

viewfinder, shutter, control panel, finish

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital SLR Cameras the Olympus Evolt E-500 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 90/100 = Excellent quality.

See all Olympus Digital SLR Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 1798 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 486 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 486 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (467)

Expert review by:

Evolt E-500


Impressive Digital SLR Camera

Comfortable. Fast shot-to-shot times. Excellent lens quality. Accurate flesh tones ; Slightly small viewfinder. Memory card not included. Sequential shooting speed could be faster

Slightly small viewfinder. Memory card not included. Sequential shooting speed could be faster

If you haven't accumulated a bunch of lenses that dictate buying another brand, the E-500 has all the features you'll ever need, plus some that its competitors don't have. The E-500 is a quality camera.

Expert review by:



The Olympus EVOLT E-500 is Olympus's entry-level 4:3-formatted digital SLR. The 8-megapixel body alone sells online for $550 (its retail price hovers at $799). With the standard 14-45mm kit lens, it's still less than $600, giving many super-zoom...

Beautiful LCD ; Body is rugged ; Easy to hold securely ; Flexible white balance tuning ; Good owner's manual

Noisy images, poor resolution ; Only one control dial ; Confusing, long menus ; Poor autofocus ; Cheap lens

The Olympus EVOLT E-500 is a contender among entry-level DSLRs. Its price, its LCD, and some aspects of its imaging performance put it in the running. Like the less-expensive cameras, it has drawbacks - it's slow, like nearly all of them. It comes with...

Expert review by:

Olympus Evolt E-500 (Body Only)


Compact design; strong autofocus performance even in low-light situations; intuitive and easy-to-navigate menu system; wide range of automated and manual features to appeal to both serious hobbyists and curious SLR newcomers.

Unreliable automatic white balance in some conditions; slow start-up time when dust reduction is enabled; compatible Zuiko lenses don't indicate focal distance.

The Olympus Evolt E-500 is a compact, easy-to-use digital SLR camera with a broad feature set for its class and very nice photo quality overall.


Expert review by:

Olympus E-500 DSLR reviewed


What do you get when you mix one part old school Japanese optics manufacturing, one part ugs 80s-lookin' body design, and one part high-end lowish-priced DSLR? The Olympus E-500, of course, which DC Views took a good look at and decided they really...

Expert review by:

Olympus Evolt E-500


Megapixels: 8, Maximum Resolution: 3264 x 2448 pixels, Media Format: xD-Picture Card, Type: D-SLR

Large, clear 2.5-inch LCD. Supports a variety of shooting formats, even multiple formats simultaneously.

Controls could be better organized. Image quality could be better. Weak burst mode.

The Olympus Evolt E-500 is a very good entry-level D-SLR that falls just shy of greatness.

Expert review by:

Olympus Evolt E-500 SLR Digital Camera Camera


This well-equipped and reasonably priced entry-level digital SLR produces high-quality images. The 8-megapixel camera comes with a wide array of features that establish it as a legitimate challenger to Canon's popular, similarly priced Digital Rebel...

The price and quality of the E-500's kits are hard to beat. But old-school photographers who like shooting in manual mode might find this camera a bit too slow to respond, and if you expect to shoot using high ISO settings, the Digital Rebel XT may be...

Expert review by:

Olympus Evolt E-500


Photograph: Marc Simon

Extensive menus ; Large LCD

Response to control wheel is sluggish ; Manual focus isn't precise

A large LCD, extensive menus, and a nice price make this camera compelling, but it has a few usability issues.

Highly Recommended!

Expert review by:

olympus E-500


The E-500 EVOLT was announced on 26th September 2005, almost exactly a year after the E-300 which was the first affordable Four Thirds System digital SLR. The E-500 features an eight megapixel Kodak 4/3 Type CCD sensor, a Four Thirds System lens mount...

Good resolution, very little difference to the EOS 350D (although not as 'crisp'), Good color, contrasty images with out-of-the-camera appeal (selectable Picture Modes), Low noise levels up to ISO 400, usable ISO 800 (image much softer at ISO 1600),...

Very small viewfinder view (difficult to see fine detail, difficult to check focus), Recommended sensitivity ISO 100 - 400, images at ISO 800 usable, ISO 1600 not really, Not instant startup (1.7 sec) even longer in its out-of-the-box configuration,...

When the E-500 was announced in September this year the reception was noticeably more positive than for the E-300.

Expert review by:

Olympus E-500 SLR


The E-500 uses a high-performance KODAK KAF-8300CE CCD imager for an impressive 8 million pixels of detail. With this amount of resolution photographers have the flexibility to make large prints with today's wide-carriage printers, or crop into an...

The E-500 has a big and bright 2.5-inch HyperCrystal LCD that offers many times the contrast of conventional LCD monitors, so captured images can be beautifully displayed in vivid color on the screen with exceptional clarity. Because photos are for...

Expert review by:

Olympus EVOLT E-500 Digital Camera Review: Intro and Highlights


Free Photo Lessons Learn how to really use full-functioned cameras like this one - Visit our free Photo Lessons area! The Olympus EVOLT E-500 is the latest entry in a line of digital SLRs based on the "Four Thirds" standard developed jointly...

Exceptional array of features for an entry-level SLR, 2-lens kit is an unusually good value, provides an excellent focal length range at a real bargain price, Very accurate optical viewfinder, Metering system is much improved over previous E-300 model,...

Image noise at high ISO is considerably higher than that of some competing models, and noise has strong chroma (color) component, making it more apparent/objectionable, In-camera sharpening is a little heavy-handed, can never be totally disabled (but...

Product Specifications

As digital photography has gained popularity and become affordable for just about everyone, increasing numbers of photographers are demanding the higher quality and flexibility that only an SLR camera can offer, with the availability of interchangeable lenses, external flash systems and other accessories. Now, with the Olympus E-500, the promise of creative digital SLR photography is within everyone's reach. With 8.0 million pixels, the Olympus E-500 ensures subjects are always recorded in brilliant detail. Furthermore, rather than using an ordinary Interline Transfer CCD, this model incorporates a Full Frame Transfer CCD (FFT CCD). This type of CCD has a larger pixel area, because there is no dedicated transfer channel, instead the photodiode itself is used for this purpose. As a result, the FFT CCD captures more electrons, to deliver a higher signal/noise ratio and a wider dynamic range. The photos therefore benefit from greater exposure latitude, more detail and less noise. In addition, the camera is equipped with a special noise filter that minimizes image noise at high ISO values. Incorporation of the TruePic TURBO image processor not only ensures images pack a punch with their life-like color, resolution and contrast, it also adds speed to the Olympus E-500. Sequential shooting at 2.5fps is possible with all image data formats. In the HQ (1/8) or SQ JPEG format, images can even be recorded up to the full memory card capacity when using high-speed media, such as SanDisk SDCFX (Extreme III). In addition, users also benefit from the two memory card slots - one for CompactFlash and another for xD-Picture Cards - which add to this model's practicality and provide extra data security. Operation is further enhanced by the camera's large 6.4cm/2.5" HyperCrystal LCD screen with 215,250 pixels for viewing shots. It conveniently allows results to be viewed in large format directly on the camera without glare, even in direct sunlight and at angles of up to 160


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Olympus BLM-1

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Pop-up flash

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:SLR
Supported Flash Memory:CompactFlash / Microdrive / xD-Picture Card / xD-Picture Card Type H / xD-Picture Card Type M

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.4cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Beach/snow / Candle / Children / Document / Fireworks / High key / Landscape / Landscape-portrait / Low key / Macro / Night scene / Night scene with portrait / Portrait mode / Sports mode / Sunset


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Olympus/Olympus EVOLT

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/3.5-5.6/F/3.5-6.3
Lens for SD:Body only/Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-45mm and 40-150mm lenses/Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-45mm lens/Olympus Zuiko Digital 18-180mm lens
Max Focal Length:180mm/45mm
Min Focal Length:14mm/18mm
Optical Zoom:10/3.2
Type:Zoom lens



Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:13.0 x 17.3mm
Optical Sensor Size (metric):13.0 x 17.3 mm
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Dust Reduction: Yes
Sensor Resolution:8Megapixel

Optical Viewfinder

Type:Eye-level penta-dach mirror

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

ISO (Max):1600
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100-1600 / ISO auto (100-400)
Special Effects:Black & White / Contrast compensation / Neutral / Saturation / Sepia / Vivid
Still Image Format:JPEG / RAW / RAW + JPEG / TIFF
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type:Optical