As long as you don't mind the 4/3 sensor (which has a 2x "crop factor") and
the lack of 3rd party lenses, it looks like a very interesting and reasonably
priced camera which may tempt a lot of digicam users to move up to a DSLR.
Here is a copy of the press Release:
Melville, New York, September 26, 2005 – Olympus proudly
introduces the new EVOLT E-500, the most full-featured digital SLR camera in its
class of sub-$1000.00 SLR cameras. Designed to be used by all photographers of
any skill level, the E-500's compact and durable body is packed with Olym pus
innovations like the exclusive Dust Reduction System for spot-free photos, 8
million pixels of detail for bright and colorful images, a TruePic TURBO Image
Processor for fast response time, and an oversized, easy-to-view 2.5-inch
HyperCrystal LCD. Compatible with a wide range of Olympus Zuiko Digital Specific
Lenses™, the E-500 delivers the versatility and power that are the
hallmarks of a performance SLR, but at an affordable price.
Exclusive Dust Free Technology for Spot-Free Photos
Dust is all around us, and when swapping out a lens on a digital single-lens
reflex camera there's a chance that a camera's electro-statically charged image
sensor will attract micro dust that can ruin photos. Since the main advantage of
using an SLR camera is the ability to change lenses for better imaging effects,
Olympus has developed a way for photographers to enjoy the freedom of using all
the lenses of the Olympus E-System in the most challenging, dusty environments
without compromising image quality.
Olympus' Dust Reduction System produces spot-free photos with the exclusive
Supersonic Wave Filter™, a patented ultrasonic technology that shakes at
35,000 vibrations a second to remove dust from in front of the camera sensor
every time you turn the camera on. These spot-free photos liberate users from
hours spent retouching photographs at the computer. The new EVOLT E-500, like all
Olympus digital SLR cameras, is equipped with this exclusive user-friendly
technology, and only Olympus has a solution to provide spot-free photography in a
Detailed, Bright and Colorful Photos with 8-Megapixel Image Sensor
The E-500 is loaded with an impressive 8 million pixels of detail, for bright
colorful photos. The 8-megapixel sensor gives photographers the flexibility to
blow up their prints to the large sizes supported by many of today's printers, or
crop into an image to print only part of the image that is important to them.
Moreover, the image sensor in the EVOLT E-500 is a high-performance Full Frame
Transfer KODAK KAF-8300CE CCD™ that delivers improved dynamic range, low
noise to capture fine image details in the highlight and shadow areas, as well as
excellent color fidelity for brilliant colors. Additionally the anti-blooming
technology on each pixel and the exclusive Olympus TruePic TURBO Image Processor
helps to eliminate undesirable “artifacts”, “stepping” or
“jaggies”, “purple fringing” or
“moiré” in an image.
TruePic TURBO™ for Clarity and Speed
Olympus' TruePic TURBO Image Processor provides fast camera response, operation
and processing speed for more responsive camera operation. This is done by
closely integrating the image processor and hardware elements to eliminate
unnecessary processing tasks, accelerating camera operations. For faster burst
rates, the TruePic TURBO processor addresses the dedicated 64MB image buffer for
up to 4 TIFF or RAW images at 2.5 frames-per-second, and unlimited burst mode
with HQ JPEG images and extreme speed Compact Flash cards.
Along with the speed advantages, TruePic TURBO also produces crystal clear
photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide you with the
best digital images possible for every photo.
Large Easy-to-View 2.5-Inch HyperCyrstal™ LCD Monitor
Big and bright with 215,250 pixels, the E-500 has a 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 sharing, the E-500 LCD features a wide, 160°
viewing angle on the vertical and horizontal axis, ensuring excellent visibility
and beautiful image quality even when everyone huddles around the camera to see
what you've created. The larger LCD also means the icons and text on the camera's
menu display are enlarged for easier viewing.
The World's Largest Selection of Digital Specific Lenses™
The versatility of the Olympus E-System comes from delivering the largest
selection of “Designed-for-Digital” lenses –more than any other
manufacturer to date. Olympus' Zuiko Digital Specific Lenses™ come in a
wide range of focal lengths for achieving the best image result, and impress with
their spectacular clarity and edge-to-edge sharpness.
Most other digital SLR cameras still use many traditional 35mm film lenses on
digital bodies. But since those lenses are based on designs for film and not for
pixels, they deliver insufficient light at the edges of a digital camera's image
sensor. This can result in reduced sharpness and color definition, particularly
when shooting with large apertures and wide-angle lenses . The E-500 does not
have this problem, because it accommodates the full line of interchangeable Zuiko
Digital Lenses. These digital specific lenses are designed for digital capture
with smart technology that allows the lenses to communicate with the camera to
ensure the best possible image quality.
Olympus dedicated digital optics coupled with the EVOLT E-500 render sharpness
and contrast more consistently at any given f-stop. The lenses are matched to the
Four Thirds System standard image sensor for the optimal balance between image
quality, camera and lens size, and expandability. With a wide array of digital
specific lenses to choose from, it's easy to select the ideal lens to bring along
when you don't want to lug a lot of heavy, bulky gear.
The E-500 outfit includes a compact, Zuiko Digital 14
– 45mm f3.5 – f5.6 Lens (equivalent to 28mm – 90mm in 35mm
photography) that perfectly matches the imager so light strikes the sensor
directly to ensure rich, accurate colors and edge-to-edge sharpness. Its 3.2x
zoom covers the range most frequently used in ordinary photography and weighs
just 10 ounces (285 grams) offering users an extremely dynamic, portable
everyday-use zoom. Close-ups as near as 15 inches (38cm) are possible throughout
the zoom range.
Easy-to-Use, Easy-to-Handle Light and Ergonomic Design
Creating an affordable digital SLR that most anyone can pick up and start to use
is about making it easier to operate. That means menus that make sense and
buttons on the body that are easy to understand and operate; adding automatic
settings for every imaginable situation; making the LCD big and bright enough so
you can review a shot without squinting; and making it less of a chore to get
images out of the camera and into your computer or printer. Moreover, at just
5.09 inches (W) x 3.72 inches (H) x 2.59 inches (D) and only 15.3 ounces, the
EVOLT E-500 is light and compact enough to comfortably shoot with all day.
You don't need a degree in photography to shoot like a pro with the E-500.
Just take it home, charge the Li-ion battery with the included charger, and begin
taking photos. Instead of working to find the right settings for the subject,
select from one of the camera's 25 Exposure Modes (Easy, Basic and Creative) that
make it easy to get the results you want, whenever and wherever you want
To access the Easy Modes, simply turn the mode dial on the top of the camera
to “Scene” and choose from a range of 15 pre-programmed Scene Select
modes to achieve the optimal results for: Night Scenes, Fireworks, Sunsets, Beach
and Snow, Children, Landscape, and more.
Every Scene Select mode on the EVOLT E-500 provides a sample image and a
description of what is happening to achieve the desired result. For example,
choosing the Landscape setting reveals a sample of a landscape photo, and a text
description of what the mode is displayed on the large, easy-to-read 2.5-inch
To access Basic shooting modes that allow some user over-rides, just select
one of the 5 icons on the mode dial (Landscape; Portrait; Night Scene-Portrait;
Macro; and Action/Sports Modes).
The Creative Modes on the mode dial allow users to take control of the E-500
for the ultimate in artistic expression. For example, Aperture Priority, Shutter
Priority and Manual Modes allow users to tweak all of the camera's settings just
the way they want for any situation at hand.
Direct Button operation enables EVOLT E-500 users to get to the settings they
want without wading through endless menus or pushing arrow buttons excessively.
Instead, most custom settings can be set by pressing one of the cameras 8 direct
key buttons for White Balance, Exposure Compensation, ISO, Flash Mode, Metering
Mode, Auto Focus Mode, Auto Focus Frame and Recording Mode, and then turning a
dial by thumb to customize the setting as desired. All settings are viewable at
once on the camera's “Super Control Panel” displayed on the LCD.
Transferring images to the computer has never been easier with the
Auto-Connect USB that does not require software drivers (for most
computers/operating systems) for hassle-free image downloads. Images may also be
viewed on a television using the video cable.
When it comes time to print images, the E-500 connects via the included USB
cable for fast and easy PC-free printing, to any PictBridge-enabled printer via
USB, like the new Olympus P-11 Digital Photo Printer. Simply select the images
displayed on the camera's LCD that you wish and print.
The Flexibility of the Most Feature Rich Camera in its Class
Once one feature is mastered, there are a seemingly endless number of other
features just waiting to be explored. Because the E-500 is designed for the
ultimate user-friendly experience, you can choose to let the camera make all the
decisions, or take control for a new level of customization and performance.
5 Metering Modes: A new 49 Point Digital ESP Light Meter enables
digital electro selective pattern metering for accurate exposures under the
largest number of conditions. The Digital ESP can also be linked to the AF (auto
focus) selection or independent of the AF selection for even more versatility.
Olympus' widely acclaimed proprietary Digital ESP metering calculates the best
light values under complex lighting conditions. Center-weighted metering is
biased to the center of the viewfinder (cross) area. Spot Meter (2%) enables the
most accurate metering for tough lighting conditions like backlit or spot lit.
Highlight Spot Meter (2%) adjusts for predominantly white subject for correct
exposure with detail. Shadow Spot Meter (2%) adjusts for a black subject,
providing the correct exposure with detail.
3 Color Modes: Vivid / Natural / Muted: Vivid mode produces photos
with more highly saturated colors and higher contrast to optimize images when
vivid shots are required. This is also the recommended setting when printing
directly from the camera to an inkjet printer. The Natural mode produces
realistic color similar to those seen by the human eye and is the perfect choice
for the discerning photographer looking for the most realistic photos. The Muted
mode is ideal for those users who plan to heavily manipulate or edit their images
with the included OLYMPUS Master Software or with Adobe ®
A Choice of Two Color Space Settings: Users can choose from two color
space settings according to their needs: sRGB, which is the standard for computer
monitor viewing and inkjet printer output, and Adobe ® RGB, which is widely
used for commercial applications.
9 Black & White Modes: Red, Yellow, Orange, and Green filters can
be selected to replicate the same traditional film filters, enhancing the drama
of the image in the Black & White shooting mode. In addition to Sepia tone,
the EVOLT E-500 also offers users three tone effects: Blue, Green and Purple for
2 Red-Eye Reduction modes, on Flash and in Playback: Besides the
ability to select Red-Eye reduction mode on the flash prior to taking a shot, the
EVOLT E-500 also offers the ability to correct for Red-Eye in images that have
already been taken while the camera is in playback mode.
Dual Card Slots: Users also benefit from two memory card slots –
one for CompactFlash or Microdrive and another for xD-Picture Cards – which
add to the camera's practicality and provide extra data storage. Simply depress a
button on the back of the camera to choose which card type to capture to and copy
images back and forth from one card to the other in playback.
Support for High-Speed and High-Capacity Memory Media : The EVOLT
E-500 supports 32-bit file formatting allowing the use of 2 gigabyte and larger
CompactFlash, Microdrive, and xD media™ cards. The EVOLT E-500 also
supports high-speed CF cards for faster operation in the burst mode.
AF: The E-500 dedicated auto focus system offers 3 selectable AF
points for accurate auto focus operation. When automatic target zone selection is
active, a superimposed display confirms the relevant target zone. Focus modes are
set via a manual switch on the camera body for Single AF, Continuous AF, and
Manual Focus operation. To ensure successful focusing in the darkest
environments, the E-500 utilizes an AF illuminator built into the flash.
Simultaneous RAW and JPEG Image Recording : A choice of three image
formats is offered: RAW, TIFF, and JPEG. If desired, image data can be
simultaneously recorded in RAW and JPEG with the RAW+JPEG format.
Contrast, Sharpness and Tone Curve Controls : Contrast can be set to
any of five levels, and sharpness can be set to any of seven levels. So whether
users want pro-quality tonal fidelity or sharp vibrant colors, they can customize
each image to suit their preference.
White Balance : White balance settings from 3000K to 7000K can be set
in 12 steps using button and dial controls, with ±7-step fine-tuning
available for all settings. A one-touch white balance function allows users to
store and retrieve up to four frequently used white balance settings at the touch
of a button. By initially reading the light separately for the CCD, the camera
can see a dramatic increase in speed without loss of accuracy.
Noise Reduction : The noise reduction function uses a proprietary
Olympus algorithm to detect and eliminate the fixed noise that can appear on
High-Precision Flash Control: The flash can be turned ON and OFF
manually or with the AUTO FLASH option selected the flash will pop up
automatically when ever it is needed. A wide range of flash modes is provided,
including Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Synchro (front and rear curtain), and
RGB Histogram Information Display: The EVOLT E-500 will display an
individual histogram for each color channel (RGB) as well as the overall
luminance of the exposure. This information is valuable to the more advanced user
who may need to alter the exposure for specific output sources. A display that
identifies overexposed highlights or underexposed shadow areas is also an option
in image playback mode.
Self-timer and Remote Control: The built-in self-timer offers a choice
of 12-second or 2-second delay. An optional RM-1 remote control unit is available
and can be used with the 2-second delay setting or for immediate shutter release,
as well as to control “bulb” shutter openings for longer
The Olympus EVOLT E-500 Digital SLR will be available in October 2005. It
includes: EVOLT E-500 Body with 14-45mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens, USB
Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack (BLM-1), Li-Ion Battery Charger (BCM-2),
Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS Master Software CD-ROM, Manuals, Warranty card.
EVOLT E-500 with 14-45mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens Estimated Street Price:
EVOLT E-500 TWO Lens Outfit; 14-45mm f3.5/5.6 and 40-150mm f3.5/4.5 Zuiko
Digital Zoom Lens Estimated Street Price $899.99