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Thread: e510 vs. e520

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    e510 vs. e520

    i need a camera that works well in lower light situations
    since i use it for music/theatrical productions and occasionally for outside
    work. (and yes, if i had the money, maybe i'd be going with the e3 or something pricier/viewed as "professional" but that's the reality of the situation. so is the fact that i haven't been comfortable working with my Canon XTI over the past year even though i have taken some very nice shots.)

    been reading reviews/opinions and i keep going back and forth between
    e510 and e520. 1

    1)is the e520 sharpness really that bad or is it simply a matter of doing a correction on the camera? i've read and seen some e510 shots that seem a bit sharper but the e520 seems to be better quicker at autofocus.

    2)is the e510 really that slow, and when you say slow are you talking a couple seconds or...?

    3) is the Live View really that much better on the 520 than the 510 to make it worth it?

    4) is the 520 autofocus really that much faster than the 510?

    i think those are my main fine points of debate.
    pricewise, i'm finding some 520s with body only for under $400 right now. don't know why, but if i choose that camera, the sale price will be fine by me.

    thanks very much for your assistance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    1)is the e520 sharpness really that bad or is it simply a matter of doing a correction on the camera? i've read and seen some e510 shots that seem a bit sharper but the e520 seems to be better quicker at autofocus.
    In my opinion, no, the sharpness of either is more than acceptable for any real world usage. The fact that they "updated" the model by making it softer presumably means they had a reason.

    2)is the e510 really that slow, and when you say slow are you talking a couple seconds or...?
    No, it is not that slow. In fact, I am actually not sure what you are talking about.

    3) Is the Live View really that much better on the 520 than the 510 to make it worth it?
    If you use live view that often, yes. And the new E-620 should be even better, etc.
    4) is the 520 autofocus really that much faster than the 510?
    No, the difference is virtually non existent I'd guess. You should use the center autofocus point and place it on a contrasty subject in dark atmospheres, and use the focus-recompose method. The biggest variable in focusing speed in lower light is the lens used, I'd recommend the old 14-54mm lens (should be cheap now) or even the 12-60mm SWD.

    i think those are my main fine points of debate.
    pricewise, i'm finding some 520s with body only for under $400 right now. don't know why, but if i choose that camera, the sale price will be fine by me.
    Yeah, I was just looking at the great prices on the camera. But I'd highly suggest that if you really require fast focusing and low light performance you stay with Canon and get a 40D. If you get the E-520 you'd need the 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 lens, or maybe a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 lens, to keep up in poor light, and it would be just as cheap to get the 40D. Assuming you have a tripod, of course, otherwise the in-body IS of the E-520 might swing the advantage to Oly. Even then, a Canon 40D will focus faster in low light, and you can buy the IS kit lens for pretty cheap. What lenses do you have for Canon? Else, the new Nikon D5000 also looks pretty good in low light, or even a D90.
    Last edited by raven15; 05-10-2009 at 04:01 PM.

  3. #3
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    May 2009
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    thanks for your response.

    sorry if my one question was confusing. i think i was referring to the 520 mentioned as having a fast autofocus system in one of the many places i've read recently.

    as far as my lenses -- a Sigma 28-70 f/2.8 DG and Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 APO DC HSM. i use a monopod mainly for the second one to stabilize and occasionally still have movement.

    btw,
    another reason for my uncomfortableness with the Canon is that my eye gets blurry when looking through the viewfinder. i've never had that problem with my Nikon N50 from years ago nor my point and shoot Olympus cameras. it really messes me up.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2004
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    I have owned the E-500, E-510 and now the E-520. Yeah, I might have a problem, but I didn't buy an E-30 or E-620...yet. I do think that the E-520 is the best in most ways. I did prefer the menus on the E-510. I feel that the E-520 has better white balance and clearly better performance at ISO 400 and above. Focusing seems pretty good on both with the 12-60 and equally slow with the 70-300.

    The E-620 would offer the increased number of AF points and better AF in LiveView with the right lenses. It also will give you the ability to tune the focus for individual lenses. My experience with the 70-300 makes me think this would be valuable (although I understand it is a little difficult to setup). I find that my 70-300 tends to focus a bit behind where I expect which leads to out of focus noses or lead cars at auto races. I would love to tell the lens to behave differently.

  5. #5
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    as far as my lenses -- a Sigma 28-70 f/2.8 DG and Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 APO DC HSM. i use a monopod mainly for the second one to stabilize and occasionally still have movement.
    Those are very good lenses for the subject at hand, so I'd have to suggest again looking at the Canon 40D ($800), or at least trying it to be sure. To equal that setup you'd really need the Oly E-30 ($1000), Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 ($800), Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 ($400). Or else the old Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 ($400) and a used 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ($700).

    I'd suggest trying both an Olympus E-520 and Canon 50D/40D in the store to see if the viewfinders are acceptable to you (if you haven't done so already).

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpg View Post

    btw,
    another reason for my uncomfortableness with the Canon is that my eye gets blurry when looking through the viewfinder. i've never had that problem with my Nikon N50 from years ago nor my point and shoot Olympus cameras. it really messes me up.
    You really do need to pick up an FourThirds type camera and take a look at the viewfinder, then. The E-510 and E-520 have very mediocre viewfinders (the 520 is better). I use a 510 with a viewfinder enlargement eyepiece. It does wonders for focus but it kind of kills any eye relief you might get.

    On the other hand, the viewfinder on the E-620 is fantastic - it is a marked improvement over the 5xx series.

  7. #7
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    May 2009
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    thanks!!

    <<
    Quote Originally Posted by jekostas View Post
    You really do need to pick up an FourThirds type camera and take a look at the viewfinder, then. The E-510 and E-520 have very mediocre viewfinders (the 520 is better). I use a 510 with a viewfinder enlargement eyepiece. It does wonders for focus but it kind of kills any eye relief you might get.

    On the other hand, the viewfinder on the E-620 is fantastic - it is a marked improvement over the 5xx series.
    >>

    first off, thanks to those who responded. you information is most helpful.

    had a chance to view through 520 at a store. nothing major but it seemed fine. a friend is supposed to loan me his 510 to check and possibly purchase. hopefully, that will be the final answer for me.
    used the Canon again and had the same blur problem. thought that the photos were okay while shooting due to the problem. only later while at home did i see that more in better shape without any PP than i imagined.

    still, weighing my options......although i should keep in mind that although i do get IS i'll have to compensate for noise in higher ISO levels.

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