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E500 vs E510 Comparison

E500 vs E510 Comparison
Copyright ©2008, Lee W
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These three pictures show the difference in image qualities between E500 (CCD sensor) and E510 (Live MOS sensor) at low ISO settings.

The left picture is from E500 at ISO50 (undocumented setting) and Speed 1/40s. This setting is slightly more sensitive than ISO50, most like ISO60-70. It was the closest in exposures to others from available speed settings.

The middle picture is from E500 at ISO100 and Speed 1/60s.

The right picture is from E510 at ISO100 and Speed 1/60s. WB is very slightly adjusted to match E500. The picture is down-sized to 8MP to match with E500.

A Hoya Moose warm polarizer was used to compensate the blue cast in the morning shadows and to bring the sky brightness down to a manageable level. Camera settings were all in manual. I monitored histograms very carefully when testing exposure speed to ensure fully utilize the dynamic range available without clipping highlights and shadows significantly.

RAW-JPEG conversion was done in CS3 CameraRAW. I did not apply any exposure adjustments. I turned off all noise filters and sharp filters. The Curve was set to Linear. To show shadow characteristics, Brightness in zoomed area in each picture was increase by the same amount and Blacks in CameraRAW was set to zero.


Although E510's noise at high-ISO is lower than E500's as published, the CCD sensor in E500 actually gives much lower noises and cleaner shade details in shadows than the MOS sensor in E510. The undocumented and uncalibrated ISO50 setting in E500 gives even better shadow characteristics without visible drawbacks in color and dynamic range. On a positive note, we can see from the zoomed pictures that E510 is indeed slightly sharper because of its higher pixel counts.

Comparing the middle and the right images, we can see that E510 suffers from a narrower usable-dynamic-range. E510 has a higher dark-noise floor and has more saturation in high lights (see the upper-right corner of the right image).

Photographer: Lee W
Folder: Lee's Collections
Uploaded: 16-Aug-2008 20:02 CEST
Current Rating: 5.00/1
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Model release available:
Camera: Olympus E510
Exposure time: 1/60 sec
Aperture: F8
Focal length: 100mm (eqt)
Lens: Konica Hexanon 50mm F1.7
Focusing method: Manual
ISO: 100
White balance: Daylight
Flash: no
Image format: RAW
Processing applied:
Image resized to: 661x1600

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Very good on the technical evaluation. End result: the cameras are comparable each having a slight edge over the other depending on were your are in the spectrum of settings.


David Peterson at 02:54 CEST on 17-Aug-2008 [Reply]