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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Olympus E-520 DSLR

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Olympus E-520 DSLR


Olympus E-520
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Category: Advanced Amateur - Prosumer

The Olympus E-520 DSLR is basically an E-420 with Sensor-shift Image Stabilization and a bigger handgrip. Otherwise, everything else is pretty much the same, give or take a couple more Underwater Scene Modes and a My Mode customization.

The E-520 provides full exposure flexibility for the advanced photographers as well as 20 Scene Modes for beginner photographers. It has dual memory card slots and accepts the xD-Picture Card and CompactFlash Type I & II (including Microdrives) cards.

Two lens kits are available for the E-520: the Zuiko Digital ED 14 - 42 mm f3.5 - f5.6 Lens (28 - 84mm, 35mm equivalent) and the Zuiko Digital ED 40 - 150 mm f4.0 - f5.6 Lens (80 - 300mm, 35mm equivalent).

Being part of the Olympus E-System, the E-520 is compatible with the large and growing range of Olympus E-System accessories, including the full line-up of Zuiko Digital Specific lenses and flashes. However, do note that not all lenses are totally compatible with the Live View system (currently only the above two lens kits use all the functionality of the Live View system, especially the Contrast-Detect AF).

The mechanical Sensor-shift Image Stabilization is built-in so it is active with all compatible lenses. Shadow Adjustment retains detail in the shadows and works automatically when using Face Detection Mode, Live View and in Scene-Select Modes. Face Detection tracks up to eight faces within the image area and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure for portrait pictures.

Olympus’ proven Dust Reduction System produces spot-free photos with the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter™. Wireless multi-flash photography is also possible with the Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R wireless electronic flashes.

And if you are into underwater photography, the Underwater Housing PT-E05 allows you to take the E-520 to depths of 130 feet. The required, optional lens ports allow the use of lenses from the 8mm fisheye through the 50mm macro -- as well as flashes -- for underwater photography.

The Olympus E-520 is an easy-to-use DSLR for beginners and advanced photographers alike. It's for those who like the idea of an in-camera image stabilization, Live View using Contrast-Detection AF (just like on a compact P&S) and wireless multi-flash photography.

If you are looking for a very compact digital camera for first-time users (and without Image Stabilization), check out the E-420.


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Olympus E-520
QuickFact™ Sheet
  Olympus E-520US | CAN | UK  
Type Type Single-lens reflex Live View digital camera with interchangeable lens system
Media CompactFlash Type I/II, Microdrive, xD-Picture Card™ (Dual-Slot)
Sensor Size 17.3 mm (H) x 13.0 mm (V)
Lens Mount Four Thirds Mount
Number of Effective Pixels 10 million pixels
Image Sensor Type Live MOS Sensor
Effective Pixel Number Approx. 11.8 million pixels
Aspect 1.33 (4:3)
Filter Array Primary color filter (RGB)
LPF Fixed type
IR cut filter Hybrid type
Dust reduction Supersonic Wave Filter (dust reduction system for image sensor)
Recording System Recording Format DCF, DPOF compatible/Exif, PRINT Image Matching III
File format RAW (12-bit), JPEG, RAW+JPEG
Recording image size [RAW] 3648 x 2736 pixels
[JPEG] 3648 x 2736 pixels - 640 x 480 pixels
File Size

RAW: 3648 x 2736 compressed Approx. 11MB

Large: 3648 x 2736 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 6.8MB
3648 x 2736 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 4.7MB
3648 x 2736 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 2.2MB
3648 x 2736 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 1.5MB

Middle 3200 x 2400 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 5.3MB
3200 x 2400 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 3.7MB
3200 x 2400 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.7MB
3200 x 2400 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 1.1MB
2560 x 1920 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 3.6MB
2560 x 1920 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 2.2MB
2560 x 1920 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.1MB
2560 x 1920 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.7MB

Small 1600 x 1200 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 1.3MB
1600 x 1200 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 0.8MB
1600 x 1200 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.5MB
1600 x 1200 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.3MB
1280 x 960 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 0.8MB
1280 x 960 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 0.5MB
1280 x 960 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.3MB
1280 x 960 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.2MB
1024 x 768 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 0.5MB
1024 x 768 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 0.4MB
1024 x 768 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.2MB
1024 x 768 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.1MB
640 x 480 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 0.2MB
640 x 480 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 0.2MB
640 x 480 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.1MB
640 x 480 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.1MB

Viewfinder Type Eye-level single-lens reflex viewfinder
View field coverage Approx. 95%
Magnification Approx.0.92x (-1m^-1, 50mm lens, infinity)
Eye Point Approx. 14 mm (-1m^-1)
Diopter Adjustment -3.0 - +1m^-1
Focusing Screen Fixed (Neo Lumi-Micron Mat screen)
Eye Piece Shutter Eye piece cap EP-4 supplied
Eye cup Interchangeable type. EP-5 supplied. Optional EP-6, EP-7, Magnifier eyecup ME-1 available
Preview Can be checked (when FN button is set in preview mode),
selectable from the optical viewfinder or rear-mounted LCD monitor
Viewfinder information Aperture value, Shutter speed, Record mode, AF confirmation mark, Flash, WB, AE lock, Number of storable still images, Exposure compensation value, Metering mode, Battery warning, Exposure mode, AF frame (super impose). IS activating mode.
Live View Live View Live MOS Sensor for still picture shooting is used, 100% field of view, Exposure adjustment preview, White balance adjustment preview, Gradation setting preview, Face detection preview, Perfect Shot preview, Grid line displayable, 7x/10x magnification possible, MF/S-AF, AF frame display, AF point display, Shooting information, Histogram, IS Activating mode.
AF High-speed imager AF, Phase difference detection AF
Image stabilizer System Built-in (Imager shift image stabilizer)
Mode 3 modes
(2-dimensional activation (Horizontal + Vertical), 1-dimensional activation (Vertical), 1-dimensional activation (Horizontal)
Effective compensation range Up to 4 EV steps maximum
LCD Display Type HyperCrystal™ II LCD (semi-transmissive TFT color LCD)
Size 2.7 inch
Total no. of pixels Approx. 230,000 pixels
Playback field of view 100%
Brightness Control 15 levels
Color Balance 15 levels
Focusing AF system TTL phase difference detection system, contrast detection system (with 25mm f2.8, 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, 40-150mm f4.0-5.6)
Focus Mode Single AF (S-AF) / Continuous AF (C-AF)* / Manual Focus (MF) / S-AF + MF / C-AF + MF
*C-AF mode is not available with the contrast detection system
Focusing point 3-point multiple AF with the phase difference detection system (Auto, selectable in option)
11-point multiple AF with the contrast detection system (Auto, selectable in option)
Focusing point selection Auto/Option selectable
AF luminance range
(phase difference detection system)
EV 0 to 19 (at 20°C, ISO 100)
AF Illuminator Built-in flash (on/off selectable), external flash available
AF lock Locked at first position of Shutter button in Single AF mode / AEL button (customizable)
Focus Tracking Interlocked with Continuous AF mode
Focus Aid Available
Exposure Control Metering system TTL open-aperture metering system
(1) Digital ESP metering (49-point multipattern metering); (2) Center-weighted average metering; (3) Spot metering (approx. 2% of the viewfinder screen); (4) Spot with Highlight control; (5) Spot with Shadow control
Metering range EV 1 - 20 (Digital ESP metering, Center-weighted average metering, Spot metering)
(At normal temperature, 50mm f2, ISO 100)
Exposure Mode (1) Auto; (2) P: Program AE (Program shift can be performed); (3) A: Aperture priority AE; (4) S: Shutter priority AE; (5) M: Manual; (6) Scene program AE; (7) Scene select AE
Scene program AE Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sport, Night + Portrait
Scene select AE Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Children, Sport, High Key, Low Key, Digital Image Stabilization, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Fireworks, Documents, Panorama (requires Olympus xD-Picture Card media), Beach & Snow, Underwater Wide, Underwater Macro
ISO sensitivity AUTO (ISO 100 - 1600) / Manual (ISO 100 - 1600), 1 EV steps
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps selectable
AE Lock Locked by first position of Shutter button / AEL button (customizable)
Exposure Bracketing 3 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 EV steps selectable
White Balance Auto WB system Advanced detection system with Live MOS sensor
Preset WB 8 settings (3000K - 7500K): Lamp (3000K), Fluorescent 1 (4000K), Fluorescent 2 (4500K), Fluorescent 3 (6600K), Daylight (5300K), Cloudy (6000K), Shade (7500K)
WB Compensation ±7 steps in each A-B/G-M axis (in Auto WB/Preset WB mode)
Custom WB 1 temperature setting can be registered in degrees Kelvin (2000K - 14000K)
One-touch WB 1 custom setting can be registered
Color Mode Color matrix sRGB, Adobe RGB
Picture Mode Mode Vivid, Natural (default setting), Muted, Portrait, Monotone, Custom
Adjustment parameter Contrast, Sharpness and Saturation level available in 5 steps for Vivid, Natural, Muted and Portrait
Contrast and Sharpness level available in 5 steps for Monotone
Filter effect Yellow, Orange, Red or Green filter available for Monotone
Picture tone Sepia, Blue, Purple or Green tone available for Monotone
Gradation 4 levels (Auto, high key, normal, low key)
Shutter Type Computerized focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed Auto mode: 2 - 1/4000 sec. (depends on settings), P(Ps), S, A, M mode: 60 - 1/4000 sec. (Bulb: up to 30 min. with limiter), Scene program/Scene select mode: 4 - 1/4000 sec. (depends on settings) 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps selectable
Self Timer Operation time: 12 sec., 2 sec. (cancel available)
Remote cable release Available (with optional RM-UC1 Remote Cable)
Optical remote control Operation time: 2 sec., 0 sec., bulb control available (with optional RM-1 Remote Control)
Anti shock mode Available (1 to 30 sec. selectable)
Drive Drive Mode Single-frame shooting, Sequential shooting, Self-timer, Remote control
Sequential Shooting Speed Approx. 3.5 frames/sec.
Max. recordable pictures
on sequential shooting

RAW mode: Max. 8 frames

JPEG mode: Depends on compression ratio and no. of pixels (LN mode: approx. up to card capacity with SanDisk Extreme III 1GB)

Integrated Flash Built-in flash Retractable flash (Auto pop-up type), GN=12 (ISO 100.m)
Compatible external flash FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-50, FL-36, FL-20
Flash control mode TTL Auto (TTL pre-flash mode), Auto, Manual
Flash mode Auto, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction slow sync., Slow synchronization, Fill-in, Manual (1/4, 1/16, 1/64), Off
Synchronization speed 1/180 sec. or less, Super FP up to 1/4000 sec.
Flash intensity control Up to ±2 EV in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps
Synchronization timing 1st curtain synchronization/2nd curtain slow synchronization (selectable)
Flash bracketing 3 frames in 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1 EV steps selectable
Wireless flash control Compatible external flash FL-50R, FL-36R
Control method Triggered and controlled by built-in flash light
Flash control modes TTL Auto (TTL pre-flash mode), Auto, Manual, FP TTL Auto, FP Manual
Number of channels 4 channels
Group setting 3 groups
Super control panel Information (Shooting) Battery information, Exposure mode, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure compensation value, ISO sensitivity, Exposure compensation indicator, Exposure indicator, Flash intensity compensation indicator, Date, BKT setting, NR setting, WB, WB compensation value, Picture mode, Flash mode, Record mode, Image size, Card information, Drive mode, Flash intensity compensation value, Metering mode, Recordable still image number, Focusing mode, FP warning, AF frame, AF illuminator deactivated notification, Color space, Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation, Gradation, IS activating mode, Face detection, RC mode setting
Information (Wireless flash commander) Exposure mode, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure compensation indicator, Exposure compensation value, Flash compensation indicator, Flash compensation value, ALE notification, Flash compensation notification, NR notification, BKT notification, AF illuminator deactivated notification, Color space, IS activating mode, Wireless channel setting, Built-in flash intensity, Group setting
Back light timer Back light lighting time is selectable (Keep, 8 sec., 30 sec., 1 min.)
Playback Playback modes Single-frame, Index (4/9/16/25/49/100 frames), Calendar, Close-up ( 2 - 14X), Slideshow, Picture rotation (auto mode available), Light box
Information display Histogram (independent luminance/RGB available),
Highlight/Shadow point warning, AF frame, Shooting information
Menu Languages Americas: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Custom setting Custom function Fn button is available to set 10 functions: Face detection, Preview, Live preview, One-touch WB, AF home position, MF, Record mode, Test picture, My mode, Off
Drive button is available to set six functions: Drive, AF target selection, AF mode, WB mode, Metering mode, ISO setting)
Custom reset 2 settings are recordable
My mode 2 settings are recordable
Image Editing Erasing function Single frame, All frames, Selected frames (with protect function)
Protect function Single frame, Selected frames, Release protect (Single/All selected)
Copy between media Single frame, All frames, Selected frames
RAW picture editing RAW development
JPEG editing Shadow Adjustment, Red-eye fix, Triming, Monotone, Sepia, Saturation (color depth), Resize (producing another file)
Print Print function Print reservation (DPOF), Direct print (PictBridge compatible)
Input / Output PC interface High Speed USB for storage and camera control (MTP mode is available)
USB/Video connector Dedicated multi-connector (Video: NTSC/PAL selectable, Optional remote cable RM-UC1 is available)
Flash attachment Hot shoe
Power Requirements Battery BLM-1 Li-ion battery (included)
Sleep mode Available (1, 3, 5, 10 min., Off selectable)
No. of recordable pictures
(with 50% flash light)
Approx. 650 shots (optical viewfinder)
(with BLM-1 under CIPA testing standard)
Dimensions / Weight Dimensions (W x H x D) 136 x 91.5 x 68 mm /
5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7 in.
(excluding protrusions)
Weight 475 g / 16.8 oz. (body only)
Operating Environment Temperature 32-104 °F / 0 - 40 °C (operation)
-4 - 140 °F/ -20 - 60 °C (storage)
Humidity 30 - 90% (operation) / 10 - 90% (storage)
Box Contents

E-520 (outfit contents), ED 14-42mm Zoom lens

Eyepiece cap EP-4, Lens and Body Caps, Lens Hood
Li-ion battery BLM-1, Li-ion battery charger BCM-2
USB 2.0 cable, Video cable
Shoulder Strap
Instruction manual, Registration card
(Estimated Street Price)
Body only US $599.99 / CDN $649.99
with 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens US $699.99 / CDN $799.99

*Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective holder.

Olympus E-520 User's Manual

Olympus E-520 Brochure

Olympus E-520 Drivers

Olympus Photography Lessons

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

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- Olympus E-520 SLR Digital Camera with 14-42mm & 70-300mm Zoom Lenses


Olympus E-520
Body Only with 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens

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