Monday, May 12, 2008

New Olympus E520 DSLR is officially announced!

We talked about the Olympus E520 rumors earlier and at PIE 2008, but the E520 is a rumor no more. It is official!

Three Olympus E520 previews posted already
Not only that, but Jeff Keller at DC Resource has already posted an Olympus E520 preview! DSLR madness! Discussion of Jeff's preview in this discussion thread.

Four Thirds, a blog specializing in Olympus and Four Thirds DSLRs, takes a closer look and compares the E520 with the E510, but also the E410. They have an 11-page preview of the E520 and the new 9-18mm lens, so be sure to check the E520 preview at Four Thirds Photo.

But wait, there's more! Photography Review has received a pre-production E-520 unit, and has posted their hands-on preview as well.

E520 available for pre-orders (9-18mm lens not yet)
A quick look at Amazon shows the Olympus E520 available for pre-ordering, but not the new 9-18mm. The E520 is available as body only for $600 and with the 14-42 lens for $700. The estimated release date is August 10, 2008 but Amazon can be conservative with the initial dates at times.

Coverage of the E520 announcement
Olympus Global has posted the press release in typical Oly Japan fashion, a similar format to those who enjoy reading computer-translated Olympus Japan press releases, but this one is written in English! No computer translators.

CNet's Crave blog has a comparison between the E510, E520 and E420, as well as price details for the USA market.

An even more detailed specs comparison comes from Camera Labs, where they compare the E520 to the E510, E420, but also the Canon Digital Rebel XSi 450D. Please note these are specification comparisons, their E520 review will be posted at a later time.

More on the new releases on Ryan Brenizer's Amazon blog. Ryan also talks about the impact of having a 9-18mm wide angle lens, and also mentions the Nikon 12-24 DX, which is included in the Nikon digital-only lens roundup.

Also just appearing, the Olympus announcement at dpreview, along with a separate announcement for the 9-18mm Digital Zuiko lens.

More on the E520 at Imaging Resource as well, and coverage of the 9-18mm f4-5.6 lens. Now Four Thirds users can enjoy an affordable ($600) wide angle zoom (18-36mm in 35mm equivalency terms).

Even more on the E520 at the Adorama News Desk.

Reactions to the announcement
There was a play by play of the pre-announcement in the Olympus SLR Talk forum at dpreview.

The flickr forum users at the E500 club are celebrating the E520 announcement as well.

But let's give the new 9-18mm super wide lens some love too. These Four Thirds fans are doing exactly that. One user points out how you can combine that with the 18-180mm super zoom for some fun! Be sure to check out the discussion for more.

Meet the Olympus E520 DSLR
This lovely Four Thirds DSLR follows up on the ground-breaking (in the Four Thirds world) E510, and offers users trade-offs between sizes and features, when compared to the adorable E420/E410 duo.

It uses a 10mp LiveMOS sensor, familiar to Four Thirds users, and starts at $600 for body only and $700 when combined with the new(er) small(er) 14-42 kit lens. Not a bad price at all considering you are getting sensor-shift stabilization which benefits most lenses attached to the camera body. And in that area, Olympus adds an extra stabilization option, giving its users more flexibility (V/H panning).

The beep-beeper mode is bumped to 3.5 fps, and pity the poor pixel-ants that have to rush all those pixels inside the camera :) Expected around July 2008, give or take. Face detection is conditionally added, which is guaranteed to be a discussion point in the various camera forums along of course with the latest twist in the world surrounding Live View, a feature a $30 Hello Kitty camera has, yet DSLRs are still stumbling over their legacy to implement properly :)

Meet the Digital Zuiko 9-18mm f4-5.6 wide
You met the specs, now meet the price: $600 and coming at some point in 2008. This is lighter than a bottle of Tropicana at 711 (10oz).

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