Canon EOS 500D

8.5 Rating

A capable DSLR for photographers who require a broad range of adjustable functions plus Full HD video recording.Announced in late March, Canon’s EOS 500D is another ‘in-betweener’ model, like the Nikon D5000 and Olympus E-620 we reviewed recently. Positioned between the 450D and the 50D, the EOS 500D offers the same effective resolution of 15.1 megapixels as the EOS 50D, the same DiG!C 4 image processor and the same Full High Definition movie recording capabilities as the EOS 5D Mark II.

Olympus E-520

9 Rating

An affordable, compact DSLR camera with built-in image stabilisation and live view support.Like the recently-released E-420, the new Olympus E-520 is an update of a previous model and doesn’t introduce any radically new features or functions. The tenth Olympus DSLR and the third in the 500 series, it has the same 10-megapixel imager as the E-510 with a few tweaks to the stabilisation and autofocus systems to improve handling and performance. Like its predecessor, the E-520 is targeted at photo enthusiasts.

Olympus E-510

9 Rating

A well-built, easy-to-use Four Thirds System DSLR with built-in dust minimisation and image stabilisation facilities.The differences between the Olympus E-510 and the E-410 model we reviewed last month are largely physical, but the less obvious, internal differences are highly significant. Targeted at more knowledgeable photographers, the E-510’s body is larger and 85 grams heavier, thanks to the addition of a built-in imager-shift stabilisation system. Its battery has a slightly higher capacity, supporting roughly 100 shots more per charge than the E-410’s. Otherwise the two cameras’ specifications are identical.

Olympus E-410

8.5 Rating

A well-built, ultra-compact DSLR camera with some excellent features for novice users.The smallest DSLR on the current market, the Olympus E-410 is 100 grams lighter than its nearest rival and offers 10-megapixel resolution. Targeted at ‘Everyday’ photographers (i.e. novice DSLR users), it’s as easy to operate as many long-zoom digicams but has the benefit of producing much better pictures, thanks to its significantly larger image sensor. Developed by Panasonic, this ‘LiveMOS’ sensor uses CMOS technology and has been developed to allow photographers to compose and capture shots with the camera’s 2.5-inch LCD.

Olympus E-5

8.5 Rating

A new flagship DSLR with upgraded resolution and image processing plus a larger, higher-resolution monitor.When Olympus unveiled its E-5 DSLR shortly before Photokina in mid-September 2010 it was seen as an affirmation of the company’s commitment to the Four Thirds System format. Despite a gap of three years between E-series models, the E-5 has the same rugged body as the E-3 and many similar (or identical) features. Overall, it can be seen as a relatively modest upgrade.

Olympus E-330

8 Rating

The first DSLR to provide a continuous live view of subjects in full colour plus an adjustable LCD monitor.FIRST LOOK: Olympus is renowned for product innovation so it should be no surprise to hear that it’s the first company to produce a digital SLR camera that provides a full-time, live view of the subject you’re shooting on its LCD screen, making a DSLR just as straightforward to use for shot composition as a compact digicam. To date, the only DSLRs that provided any kind of live view were the Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro and a special version of the Canon EOS 20D that was designed for astronomical photography. However, in both cases the “live” view was in monochrome and the display only lasted a second or two. In the E-330, the full-colour display is continuous.

Olympus E-30

8.8 Rating

A feature-rich Four Thirds System DSLR for photo enthusiasts.Designed for photo enthusiasts and amateur photographers who want a more sophisticated camera, the new Olympus E-30 is the first in a series of ‘double-digit’ models that will slot in between the ‘three-digit’ entry-level models and the professional ‘single-digit’ camera. The new camera’s 12.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor replaces the 10-megapixel imager currently used across the company’s DSLR range. The E-30 also features a new image processor.

Olympus E-3

8.5 Rating

A solidly-built, professional-quality DSLR for Four Thirds system enthusiasts.Olympus is targeting professional photographers and ‘advanced enthusiasts’ with its E-3 DSLR model, which replaces the four-year-old E-1, the world’s first Four Thirds system DSLR. However, the promise of smaller, lighter cameras claimed for the Four Thirds system is not delivered in the E-3, which is one of the heaviest DSLR bodies in the under-$5000 category. (Only Nikon’s D200 and D300 weigh more.) But size and weight aren’t the only factors influencing camera choice and the E-3 has plenty to recommend it.

Olympus E-620

8.3 Rating

A compact, lightweight DSLR camera with built-in image stabilisation and a wide range of adjustable functions.Positioned between the E-520 and the E-30, the new Olympus E-620 is another ‘in-betweener’ model offering features from both cameras. Claimed as the smallest and lightest DSLR with built-in image stabilisation it is smaller by roughly 12 mm in all dimensions and almost 250 grams lighter than the E-30. Despite having the same 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor and TruePic III+ image processing engine as the E-30 the E-620 lacks much of the finesse of the higher-priced model.

Nikon D7000

8.8 Rating

A new pro-sumer-level Nikon DX-format DSLR body that offers durability and functionality for serious photographers.Nikon’s widely anticipated D7000 slots into the company’s range between the popular D90 and D300s models. A tempting upgrade for D90 owners, it features a 16.2-megapixel (effective) sensor, new EXPEED 2 image processor and expanded sensitivity range that reaches up to ISO 25,600. A new AF system uses 39 focus points, including 9 cross-type sensors in the centre, while a new 2016-pixel RGB metering sensor underpins the built-in Scene Recognition System.