Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by SRHEdD, Jan 25, 2012.
Found one in like-new condition with kit zoom. Not familiar with it, but for a good price...
They sell for $275-400 on ebay depending on cosmetic condition, shutter count and the len's being offered.
Excellent camera. The price is about average for what I have seen around town. I don't think I would buy one myself for that price though, only because I'm happier with the 3 PEN cameras I'm using now, and $380 is barely short of what a new E-PM1 sells for! I did regret selling my E-510 when I did, though. That was truly a good compact DSLR...
$250 seems like a more reasonable price to me. The old 10MP FT sensor wasn't great (limited dynamic range and appalling High-ISO performance). One nice thing about the E-510 is that it had a lighter AA filter than the E-520 and so was capable of marginally higher resolution in good light. Personally, I hated the cheesy Mode dial on the E-410/510 (revised on the E-420/520).
Features added to E-520 (absent on the E-510)
- Larger, 2.7" LCD display (versus 2.5" on the E-510)
- Contrast detect autofocus (with select lenses)
- Face detection in live view mode
- Auto Gradation (Dynamic Range enhancement)
- Faster continuous shooting speeds (3.5 vs 3.0 fps)
- Wireless flash control (Up to three groups)
- Additional Image Stabilization mode for panning
Personally, I would pick an E-510 over an E-520 any day of the week. The E-520 was a significant downgrade in imaging performance, even if it added a remote flash commander and IS.3 for vertical panning. The E-510 offered better image quality than my pro-grade E-3 which was released half a year later than the E-510.
Face detection I couldn't care about, and Auto Graduation is one of the worst features ever added to Olympus cameras. I would immediately turn that back to Normal if I were you...
CDAF compatibility is only useful if you use Live View, in which case it will allow focus and exposure lock without dropping the mirror and flipping it up again. When I use a DSLR though, I do so for the optical through-the-lens viewfinder which is what the entire SLR system is built around. As much as I enjoy the Live View on my mirrorless cameras, it's an irrelevant feature on DSLRs to me.
The only addition to the E-520 which would be particularly relevant to me (this may not hold true for somebody else) is the IS.3 mode for vertical panning. The Remote Flash Commander would be relevant only if I used TTL for flash, which I don't because I prefer manual control (again, this may be important to somebody else). These tiny features simply don't compensate for the sharper, finer images with deeper color you get out of the E-510. That's a feature that affects every image you take...
Especially when you're dealing with a camera this old. "Features" have been changed and added so much in recent years, that none of them are a big deal anymore. However, the quality of images taken is still a defining point of any camera, and the E-510 is a true classic.
I think that $380 sounds a bit over priced. It should be in extremely good condition for that money. If you're not familiar with the camera, I would recommend you do a bit of research of DSLRs of a similar age and price. For instance, I would recommend the Canon 450D over the E-510 any day of the week for a whole number of reasons. Having said that, I do own an E-510, still use it regularly (with the PL 14-50 f2.8-3.5 rather than the kit lens), and love it for what it does. I really like the image output from the camera, but I think it is an acquired taste. Some 4/3 aficionados will say that the E-500 is better because it had the Kodak sensor vs the Panasonic sensor in the E-510 (Kodak colours, etc). The E-510 can be quite harsh and produce the rather odd combination of quite striking colours mixed with fairly poor dynamic range. I tend to find that the margins for error on the E-510 are smaller than equivalent DSLRs, but when you're in it's zone the jpeg images that do come out of it tend to pop out on the computer screen unlike any other camera I have used. The E-520 was a sanitised version of the E-510 with softer output and what seemed like slightly enhanced DR. It had some worthwhile operational improvements over the E-510 but it also shaved off some of the sensor's hard edges that made it unique to create a more mainstream camera; kinda like dressing Dirty Harry up in a tutu.
As others have said, $380 is a bit much. More like $250-300 with kit lens.
The more important question though is whether you'd use it, given that you already have several Pens, VF2 and 14-42R. Unless you're planning on putting one of the better 4/3 lenses on the E-510 like the 14-54, I doubt it'd be worth it. The E-510 was a good camera for its time, but after 4 1/2 years, it's more than a little long in the tooth.
I sold my 510 recently - started it at 99c and got $360ish for the twin lens kit.
I don't regret it or miss it, even though I still have the 4/3rds 14-54 (mkI) and 70-300 lenses which this body was good at handling.
The limited DR was always a challenge, live view sucks, hard to see lcd, small vf image.
Apart from that it's good - better than the 620 I had for a short time IMO.
(I think, as Ned said, the auto gradation in the 620 turned me off as soon as I saw it. Just awful)
Much prefer the MFT cameras nowadays.
I agree with Luckypenguin, in that I'd be a little wary of buying into 4/3. There is not that much development right now, and for the same prices, you can be getting superior performance from another DSLR setup, from similar sized gear. The only reason to buy into it is if you are getting a great deal on a set of pro-level equipment and are willing to live with sub-EPL2 image quality from the sensors.
I loved my E-5XX series cameras. They had terrific color and were genuinely fun to shoot. That Olympus 14-54 lens is probably my favorite DSLR lens ever. That said, I'd be wary of buying into 4/3 cameras as Olympus hasn't updated them in quite a while and with the impending release of the OM-D (and the continued development of m43) you have to wonder if 4/3 has reached its end.
As far as the camera itself goes...for all it's good points (lovely color, nice IQ, great handling etc.) it has one flaw that I find difficult to overlook. It has a a very small OVF and if you like manual focus it is IMHO very difficult to live with.
Thanks All! I'll watch it. If it drops $100 or so, maybe I'll pick it up for fun. Not planning on expanding it, just using it once in awhile. Any new lens for my PENs would be money better spent from a practical point of view.
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