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Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1

Portability
68
Imaging
46
Features
42
Overall
44
Olympus E-520 front
 
Olympus PEN E-PL1 front
Portability
86
Imaging
48
Features
43
Overall
46

Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1 Key Specs

Olympus E-520
(Full Review)
  • 10MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 1600
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • No Video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 552g - 136 x 92 x 68mm
  • Launched August 2008
  • Superseded the Olympus E-510
Olympus E-PL1
(Full Review)
  • 12MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 2.7" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 334g - 115 x 72 x 42mm
  • Announced May 2010
  • Later Model is Olympus E-PL1s
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Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1 Overview

Below is a extensive overview of the Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1, former being a Entry-Level DSLR while the latter is a Entry-Level Mirrorless and both of them are built by Olympus. The resolution of the E-520 (10MP) and the E-PL1 (12MP) is pretty close and they use the exact same sensor size (Four Thirds).

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The E-520 was released 21 months prior to the E-PL1 which makes the cameras a generation apart from one another. Each of these cameras come with different body type with the Olympus E-520 being a Compact SLR camera and the Olympus E-PL1 being a Rangefinder-style mirrorless camera.

Before diving through a in depth comparison, below is a short introduction of how the E-520 matches up against the E-PL1 in relation to portability, imaging, features and an overall grade.

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Reasons to pick Olympus E-520 over the Olympus E-PL1

 E-520 E-PL1 

Reasons to pick Olympus E-PL1 over the Olympus E-520

 E-PL1 E-520 
AnnouncedMay 2010August 2008More recent by 21 months

Common features in the Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-PL1

 E-520 E-PL1 
Manually focus More precise focusing
Screen typeFixed Fixed Fixed screen
Screen dimension2.7"2.7"Identical screen size
Screen resolution230k230kThe same screen resolution
Selfie screen Neither has selfie screen
Touch screen Neither has Touch screen

Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1 Physical Comparison

For anyone who is going to lug around your camera regularly, you will want to factor its weight and dimensions. The Olympus E-520 has outside measurements of 136mm x 92mm x 68mm (5.4" x 3.6" x 2.7") having a weight of 552 grams (1.22 lbs) whilst the Olympus E-PL1 has dimensions of 115mm x 72mm x 42mm (4.5" x 2.8" x 1.7") having a weight of 334 grams (0.74 lbs).

Check out the Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1 in our completely new Camera plus Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Remember, the weight of an ILC will differ based on the lens you are employing at that time. Underneath is the front view sizing comparison of the E-520 compared to the E-PL1.

Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1 size comparison

Considering dimensions and weight, the portability grade of the E-520 and E-PL1 is 68 and 86 respectively.

Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1 top view buttons comparison

Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1 Sensor Comparison

Quite often, its tough to picture the gap in sensor measurements simply by viewing technical specs. The visual underneath will provide you a clearer sense of the sensor measurements in the E-520 and E-PL1.

As you have seen, both of the cameras have got the exact same sensor measurements albeit different MP. You can expect the Olympus E-PL1 to result in extra detail as a result of its extra 2MP. Higher resolution will also help you crop pictures much more aggressively. The older E-520 will be behind with regard to sensor technology.

Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1 sensor size comparison

Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1 Screen and ViewFinder

Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Portrait photography with Olympus E-520
Portrait photography with Olympus E-PL1
59
manual focus
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
includes face detect focusing
delivers RAW formats
low resolution (10 megapixels)
60
you can focus manually
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
includes face detect focus
saves RAW formats
MP count low (12MP)
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Street Comparison

Olympus E-520 as a Street photography camera
Olympus E-PL1 as a Street photography camera
66
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
delivers RAW formats
no articulating screen
74
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
saves RAW formats
no moving screen
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Sports Comparison

Olympus E-520 as a Sports photography camera
Olympus E-PL1 as a Sports photography camera
53
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
sensor has phase detect AF
slow continuous shooting (4.0 frames per second)
low resolution (10 megapixels)
45
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
includes tracking focus
max fps low (3.0 frames per second)
MP count low (12 megapixels)
not so great battery (290 shots)
no phase detect auto focus
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Travel Comparison

Olympus E-520 as a Travel photography camera
Olympus E-PL1 as a Travel photography camera
46
has built in flash
lack of Time Lapse mode
low resolution (10 megapixels)
does not have a selfie friendly display
52
built-in flash
missing Time Lapse function
not so great battery (290 shots)
MP count low (12 megapixels)
screen is not selfie friendly
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Landscape Comparison

Olympus E-520 as a Landscape photography camera
Olympus E-PL1 as a Landscape photography camera
56
manual focus
interchangeable lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
delivers RAW formats
tiny screen (2.7 inches)
low resolution (10MP)
lack of Time Lapse mode
55
you can focus manually
change lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
saves RAW formats
small screen (2.7 inch)
MP count low (12 megapixels)
not so great battery (290 CIPA)
missing Time Lapse function
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Vlogging Comparison

Vlogging with Olympus E-520
Vlogging with Olympus E-PL1
9
lack of video recording
30
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
includes face detect focus
screen is not selfie friendly
video quality not great (1280 x 720 pixels)
missing mic port
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Olympus E-520 vs Olympus E-PL1 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Olympus E-520 and Olympus E-PL1
 Olympus E-520Olympus PEN E-PL1
General Information
Brand Olympus Olympus
Model type Olympus E-520 Olympus PEN E-PL1
Type Entry-Level DSLR Entry-Level Mirrorless
Launched 2008-08-20 2010-05-17
Body design Compact SLR Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Processor - Truepic V
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Sensor size Four Thirds Four Thirds
Sensor dimensions 17.3 x 13mm 17.3 x 13mm
Sensor surface area 224.9mm² 224.9mm²
Sensor resolution 10 megapixels 12 megapixels
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio 4:3 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Full resolution 3648 x 2736 4032 x 3024
Max native ISO 1600 3200
Lowest native ISO 100 100
RAW format
Autofocusing
Focus manually
Touch focus
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Autofocus tracking
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Total focus points 3 11
Lens
Lens mount type Micro Four Thirds Micro Four Thirds
Available lenses 45 107
Crop factor 2.1 2.1
Screen
Screen type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen size 2.7" 2.7"
Screen resolution 230 thousand dot 230 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch friendly
Screen technology - HyperCrystal LCD AR (Anti-Reflective) coating
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder Optical (pentamirror) Electronic (optional)
Viewfinder coverage 95% -
Viewfinder magnification 0.46x -
Features
Slowest shutter speed 60 secs 60 secs
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 secs 1/2000 secs
Continuous shooting speed 4.0 frames per second 3.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance 12.00 m (at ISO 100) 10.00 m
Flash settings Auto, Auto FP, Manual, Red-Eye Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels)
External flash
AEB
White balance bracketing
Maximum flash sync 1/180 secs 1/160 secs
Exposure
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions - 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max video resolution None 1280x720
Video data format - Motion JPEG
Mic jack
Headphone jack
Connectivity
Wireless None None
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS None None
Physical
Environment seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight 552g (1.22 lbs) 334g (0.74 lbs)
Dimensions 136 x 92 x 68mm (5.4" x 3.6" x 2.7") 115 x 72 x 42mm (4.5" x 2.8" x 1.7")
DXO scores
DXO All around rating 55 54
DXO Color Depth rating 21.4 21.5
DXO Dynamic range rating 10.4 10.1
DXO Low light rating 548 487
Other
Battery life 650 photographs 290 photographs
Battery form Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery ID - BLS-1
Self timer Yes (2 or 12 sec) Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage Compact Flash (Type I or II), xD Picture Card SD/SDHC card
Storage slots 1 1
Launch pricing $400 $288