The new Olympus E-520 boasts advanced technologies that the company says helps take the blur out. There is image stabilization built into the camera body to compensate for movement – so that images are sharp and blur-free with any lens and even at slow shutter speeds, according to Olympus.
The in-body Mechanical Image Stabilization has three modes for increased versatility. IS-1 mode for general shooting adjusts the sensor on both the X and Y axes to compensate for movement by the photographer so images stay sharp even at slow shutter speeds. To capture the motion of athletes and animals, and other moving subjects, the E-520 offers two specialized modes.
Olympus says that the IS-2 mode is ideal for capturing a racecar flying down the track, preserving the sense of motion while panning with the moving subject and holding the camera horizontally to dramatically portray the car’s high speed. For sharp images of moving subjects like a basketball player charging up the court, the IS-3 mode allows a photographer to hold the camera vertically while panning. The artistic effects of panning enhance the shot and render the player in sharp detail with blurred background.
The portable E-520’s advanced autofocus Live View enables photographers to compose their images and bring them into sharp focus on the HyperCrystal II LCD – just like a point-and-shoot camera. By pressing the shutter button halfway, subjects come into focus on the LCD, so when the perfect moment occurs it is easy to compose, focus and capture sharp images while viewing on the LCD. Live View makes it possible to shoot upward from a low angle for dramatic composition, in close for detailed macro photos of an exotic insect, or over a crowd of people at a tennis tournament.
The E-520’s viewable HyperCrystal II LCD is the key to its Live View capabilities. The E-520 features a large, bright 2.7-inch LCD display that incorporates new technology. It also offers high contrast for better viewing in extreme light conditions, a larger color gamut that displays a greater range of colour detail, and a 176-degree viewing angle.
The E-520’s Face Detection reduces the chance of blurred subjects in photography by distinguishing between people’s faces and the background. It tracks up to eight faces within the image area even if people are moving and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure for portrait pictures.
Shooting scenes with shadows can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark and bright areas. The E-520 addresses this challenge with Shadow Adjustment Technology that compensates for extreme contrast and maintains visible detail in both the shadow and highlight areas of the scene. Now users can preview and capture images showing the shadow detail they saw. This feature is also available in the Edit menu after the shot has been taken.
Perfect Shot Preview enables users to preview and select from a variety of thumbnail previews of the photographic effects of white balance and exposure compensation adjustments live on the LCD before taking the photograph. Olympus says that this is an ideal way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques, visually, without having to scroll through menu options. There atr 20 preset scene-select modes for different shooting scenarios from underwater photography to fireworks, and program, automatic modes and full manual controls.
Olympus says that the 10.1 megapixel E-520’s TruePic III Image Processor produces crystal-clear photos using all of the pixel information for each image to provide the best digital images possible for every photo with accurate color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal representation in between. TruePic III also lowers image noise by one step to reduce graininess in images shot at higher ISO settings, enabling great results in low-light situations.
The Dust Reduction System produces spot-free photos by using the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter, according to Olympus. The patented ultrasonic technology vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor and captures it on a special adhesive membrane every time the camera is turned on. These spot-free photos liberate users from hours spent retouching photographs at the computer or sending their cameras back to the manufacturer to remove dust trapped inside.
The E-520 measures 5.35-x-3.6-x-2.68 inches, excluding protrusions, and weighs 16.75 ounces. The new camera has a classic penta-mirror design that Olympus says is light and compact enough to shoot with all day. It features a comfortable ergonomic grip to ensure that the camera fits snugly in the hand.
The E-520 costs US$599.99 (£309) for the body only, or $699.99 (£360) with a Zuiko Digital 28-84mm equivalent (ED 14–42 mm Four Thirds) f3.5–f5.6 lens.