Olympus E-500

Olympus E-500 front
  • 8MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 2.5" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 400 (Push to 1600)
  • No Video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 479g - 130 x 95 x 66mm
  • Announced October 2005
  • Alternative Name is EVOLT E-500
  • Successor is Olympus E-510
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives

Olympus E-500 overview

Olympus E-500 is Olympus's Advanced DSLR camera initially released on October of 2005. It uses a 8 MegaPixel, CCD Four Thirds sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448. The camera is referred to as "EVOLT E-500" in some countries.

Olympus introduced the newer Olympus E-510 (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to improve this camera.

The E-500 stands at #85 out of 91 in Advanced DSLR cameras and all around #751 out of 1422 for cameras in our collection. Remember to test our Advanced camera search to see camera ratings based on your customized factors.

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The following is a chart of different criteria used in the scoring system.

Olympus E-500 family

The Olympus E-500 is part of a family of digital cameras. You can see the complete range underneath.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Olympus-E-5 front thumbnailOlympus E-5
E-500 vs E-5
12MPFour Thirds5.0 fps2011
Olympus-E-30 front thumbnailOlympus E-30
E-500 vs E-30
12MPFour Thirds5.0 fps2009
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Olympus-E-520 front thumbnailOlympus E-520
E-500 vs E-520
10MPFour Thirds4.0 fps2008
Olympus-E-3 front thumbnailOlympus E-3
E-500 vs E-3
10MPFour Thirds5.0 fps2008
Olympus-E-510 front thumbnailOlympus E-510
E-500 vs E-510
10MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2007
Olympus-E-330 front thumbnailOlympus E-330
E-500 vs E-330
7MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2006
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Olympus-E-500 front thumbnailOlympus E-5008MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2005
Olympus-E-300 front thumbnailOlympus E-300
E-500 vs E-300
8MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2005

Olympus E-500 Pros and Cons

Below is a checklist of pros and cons of the Olympus E-500 based on criterias which are typically viewed as necessary in a camera.

above average min ISO (100)
focusing manually
has built in flash
interchangeable lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
lighter than average (479 grams)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
saves RAW files
supports phase detect autofocus
display isn't selfie friendly
doesn't have liveview
lack of HDMI socket
lack of headphone socket
lack of microphone socket
lack of Timelapse mode
low resolution (8MP)
max ISO too low (400)
no image stabilization
no moving screen
no video
pixelated screen (215 k dots)
slow frames per second (3.0 frames/s)
small screen (2.5 inches)
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Olympus E-500 Sensor specifications

The measurement of the sensor in the Olympus E-500 is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor is able to resolve 3264 x 2448 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3.

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The CCD sensor boasts 8MP and supports a native ISO range of 100 - 400. This ISO can also be increased electronically to a high of 1600. RAW files are saved therefore the user has wider margin for error.

The picture underneath displays the E-500's sensor dimensions compared to other common sizes. The E-500 sensor comes with a crop factor of 2.1 and is shown in green.

Olympus E-500 sensor size Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus E-500 dimensions

Olympus E-500 weighs around 1.06 pounds (479 grams or 16.90 oz) and the measurement of the camera is 130mm x 95mm x 66mm (5.1" x 3.7" x 2.6"). The weight of normal Advanced DSLR camera is 775 grams so the Olympus E-500 is lighter when compared to various competitors.

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Down below is a shot of the Olympus E-500 with a soft drink so you can have a sense of its scale.

Olympus E-500 dimensions scale

The top view under will highlight the button design on the E-500.

Olympus E-500 topview buttons dials

Olympus E-500 Lens specifications

The E-500 fits the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 151 lenses available for sale. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our collection which will fit the E-500.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Sigma-30mm-F1.4-DC-DN-C-Micro-Four-Thirds lensSigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN C30mmf/1.4 265g
Olympus-Zuiko-Digital-14-54mm-f2.8-3.5 lensOlympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm f2.8-3.514-54mmf/2.8-3.5 435g
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Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-40-150mm-F2.8-Pro lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 Pro40-150mmf/2.8 760g
Panasonic-Leica-Summilux-DG-25mm-F1.4 lensPanasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.425mmf/1.4 200g
Sigma-19mm-F2.8-EX-DN-Micro-Four-Thirds lensSigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN19mmf/2.8 140g
Olympus-Zuiko-Digital-ED-9-18mm-f4.0-5.6 lensOlympus Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.69-18mmf/4.0-5.6 280g
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Panasonic-Lumix-G-25mm-F1.7-ASPH lensPanasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7 ASPH25mmf/1.7 125g
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Olympus E-500 Connectivity

The E-500 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Cameras that incorporate NFC and / or Bluetooth compatibility are able to be used wirelessly through smartphones. You can easily copy pictures and usually adjust settings with no need to connect physically to the camera.

Several applications even enable a Liveview and click the shutter in case you aren't near the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI out, it can easily be attached to an external screen. The majority of cameras enable you to recharge the battery with the USB socket.

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Olympus E-500 Video specifications

Olympus E-500 does not take video. In case you are wanting a camera to take only pictures, this is not a concern.

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Olympus E-500 Weather Sealing

There is no weather sealing for the Olympus E-500 so you need to be cautious in wet or dusty situations.

Olympus E-500 Display and Viewfinder

The Olympus E-500 houses a 2.5" fixed display supporting a resolution of 215k dots.

Unfortunately the display is not a touch screen.

Olympus E-500 screen and viewfinder Instagram's $20 billion Ad success

The View Finder specs regarding Olympus E-500 are the following:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • Coverage 95 percent
  • Magnification 0.45x

Viewfinders are quite handy in sunny outdoor situations which may make the camera display washed out and difficult to view.

Olympus E-500 Shutter specifications

Olympus E-500 is able to shoot continuously at 3.0 frames/s. The max shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds.

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Olympus E-500 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Olympus E-500 includes both in-built flash and also external flash ability. The maximum flash sync is 1/180 seconds.

Olympus E-500 Autofocus specifications

Olympus E-500 includes both Phase Detect Autofocus along with Contrast Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot faster and accurate when compared to Contrast Detect focusing.

The AF system boasts 3 focus points to select from. Olympus E-500 boasts manual focus when required in low light scenarios or you need more precise focus control.

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Olympus E-500 Battery life

The general Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 911. Nikon D780 comes with the highest possible (2260) battery life in this type of cameras.

Following is a listing of Advanced DSLR cameras having the highest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
Nikon-Df front thumbnailNikon Df
E-500 vs Df
1400 yesnono
Canon-EOS-90D front thumbnailCanon 90D
E-500 vs 90D
1300 yesnoyes

Olympus E-500 for different forms of photography

The following diagram displays a analysis of the Olympus E-500 for different forms of photography. To learn more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Olympus E-500 Portrait photography advice

The Olympus E-500 has a rating of 49 which is modest, and means the camera is fairly suited to use for portrait images. Photographing portrait images favors greatly towards sensor dimension, RAW support & ability to work with off-camera flash.

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focusing manually
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
supports RAW formats
does not have liveview
sensor resolution not great (8 megapixels)

Olympus E-500 Street photography information

Coming in at a reasonable score of 57, the Olympus E-500 is somewhat adequate for street photography. A very good street photography camera gives a fine balance of image quality plus portability.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
good sensor size (Four Thirds)
exports RAW files
lighter than competition (479g)
no articulating screen
does not have image stabilization
low maximum ISO (400)

Olympus E-500 Sports photography advice

A lousy sports photography rating of 38 indicates the Olympus E-500 is not really good for taking pictures of sports. A camera really should have great focusing and shutter speeds for sports photography.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
sensor has phase detect autofocus
doesn't have liveview
max frames per second low (3.0 frames per second)
no image stabilization
low megapixels (8MP)

Olympus E-500 Travel photography details

Weight is really critical in picking a travel camera. Overall, the Olympus E-500 gets a average 52 for a travel camera which makes it somewhat appropriate for your travels.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
lighter than others in class (479 grams)
has built in flash
does not have Time Lapse recording
low MP (8MP)
does not have a selfie friendly screen

Olympus E-500 Landscape photography information

If you're planning to choose a digital camera for landscape pictures, the most important factor will no doubt be image quality. The Olympus E-500 with it's lousy rating of 44 as a landscape camera is not really good within the current marketplace.

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focusing manually
change lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
saves RAW files
screen is small (2.5")
no liveview
does not have image stabilization
sensor resolution not great (8 megapixels)
max ISO too low (400)
doesn't have Timelapse mode

Olympus E-500 Vlogging highlights

A vlogging camera should really have a articulating display, mic port and ideally IBIS. Considering all things, the Olympus E-500 is not really good for vlogging as it receives a lousy score of 9.

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no video shooting

Olympus E-500 Alternatives

If you are looking for alternatives to the E-500, here is a range of the top scored cameras which fall into the family of Advanced DSLR.

The line chart underneath shows you an overview of the E-500 versus it's highest ranking competitors shown previously.

There are more cameras you might have a look at as alternate options. To go through a extensive comparison, go to the "compare" link.

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General Information
Olympus E-500
Other name
Advanced DSLR
Physical type
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Four Thirds
Sensor measurements
17.3 x 13mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
8 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
Highest resolution
3264 x 2448
RAW support
Highest native ISO
Highest boosted ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mount
Micro Four Thirds
Available lenses
Focal length multiplier
Display type
Fixed Type
Display size
2.5 inches
Display resolution
215k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Viewfinder Information
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
95 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO All around score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
Maximum shutter speed
Continuous shooting rate
3.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
13.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash settings
Auto, Auto FP, Manual, Red-Eye
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Maximum flash synchronize
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Highest video resolution
Microphone port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
479 gr (1.06 lbs)
130 x 95 x 66mm (5.1" x 3.7" x 2.6")
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
Compact Flash (Type I or II), xD Picture Card
Card slots
Pricing at launch