Product Support

EVOLT E-500

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What are the main features of the EVOLT™ E-500?

The EVOLT E-500 digital SLR camera is a part of the award-winning Olympus E-System. It features strong build quality, ergonomic design with the placement of commonly used controls on the surface of the camera. The Four Thirds® standard mount accepts the 30-plus lenses designed specifically for the Four Thirds standard. Each Zuiko® Digital lens features an internal CPU with firmware that communicates with the camera body to produce super-sharp, bright colorful pictures from edge-to-edge. The exclusive TruePic Turbo® image processor delivers a camera with rapid response and smooth vivid images every time. Olympus innovated the Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF™), which vibrates 35,000 times per second to eliminate dust from the EVOLT E-500's eight-megapixel, full frame transfer CCD image sensor, so you can change lenses anytime and anywhere. The 2.5" high-resolution HyperCrystal® LCD provides an all-around 160° viewing angle of images and menu items.

The EVOLT E-500 features two memory card slots. One is for xD-Picture Card™ media, and the other is for CompactFlash™ (Type I and Type II) cards and Microdrive™ media.

The camera is powered by a rechargeable BLM-1 lithium-ion battery.

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Does the EVOLT E-500 support the Olympus wireless RC flash system?

The EVOLT E-500 does not have an RC mode and so cannot communicate with electronic flashes in the Olympus wireless RC flash system when those flashes are in RC mode. However, when connected to these electronic flashes via hot shoe or the optional FL-CB05 Hot Shoe Flash Cable, the EVOLT E-500 can communicate with them in traditional TTL modes.

When using the Olympus wireless RC flash system flashes with the EVOLT E-500, adjust the ISO sensitivity and aperture value of the electronic flash in AUTO mode to the same values as on the camera or change the shooting distance in MANUAL mode. You can also emit the flash wirelessly as a slave flash.

Olympus wireless RC flash system flashes, such as the FL-50R and the FL-36R, and the FL-CB05 Hot Shoe Cable can all be purchased online from The Olympus Store.

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Can I use my OM- Series 35mm SLR lenses on the EVOLT E-500?

Olympus OM- Series lenses can be mounted on Olympus E-System DSLRs with the optional MF-1 OM Lens Adapter. OM- Series lenses are unable to communicate with the firmware in E-System camera bodies. Therefore, their use in this fashion has the following restrictions:

  • Autofocus is not available.
  • OM Series autofocus lenses cannot be manually focused.
  • Stop-down metering is used.
  • Spot metering does not work properly.
  • Although it is possible to use the A (Aperture priority AE) shooting mode in auto exposure, the aperture display is not available.
  • The aperture display in the M (Manual) shooting mode is not available.
  • In P (Program AE) or S (Shutter speed priority AE) shooting mode, the shutter releases, but the auto exposure control does not work.
  • The distance scale on the OM system lens may not indicate the actual distance. Always use the viewfinder or Live View for focusing.

Because the OM- Series lenses were designed for film rather than for use with a digital sensor, the image quality may not equal that produced by Zuiko® Digital lenses.

To purchase the MF-1 OM Lens Adapter (Item #260231) from The Olympus Store, click here.

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How do I download the images in my camera to a computer?

The simplest method is to use OLYMPUS Master software to transfer the files. 

This model ships with OLYMPUS Master version 1. Complete instructions for transferring files using this version may be downloaded by clicking here.

This model also supports OLYMPUS Master 2. Complete instructions for transferring files using OLYMPUS Master 2 may be downloaded by clicking here.

To request a free download of OLYMPUS Master 2, click here. It is not necessary to uninstall OLYMPUS Master version 1 before installing and using OLYMPUS Master 2.

Note: Adobe Reader® software is required to view PDF files. It is available as a free download from Adobe's web site. Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

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Is the EVOLT E-500 body splashproof?

No, the camera is not designed to be used in severe environmental conditions. The Olympus E-3 would be more appropriate for use in severe conditions.

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What is the origin and meaning of the Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF™)? Where does the dust go?

The filter is so named because it shakes dust off the image sensor by using supersonic wave vibrations. The dropped dust is affixed to a dust-collection component under the filter.

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Is it necessary to clean or change the dust-collection components in the camera?

It is not necessary to clean or change the dust-collection components under normal use for several years. The dust-collection system can easily deal with the particles that are a result of the dust-reduction system. If the camera is used constantly in severe conditions, Olympus recommends that the camera body be sent to an authorized Olympus repair service center approximately at an interval of three to five years. As part of Olympus' camera service maintenance, the dust-collection components are replaced.

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What is the difference between Olympus digital camera lenses and other manufacturers' digital camera lenses?

The lens-mount diameter of Olympus digital camera lenses is approximately twice the diameter of the image area. As a result, Olympus lenses provide more than adequate coverage of the image sensor, ensuring superior image quality from the center all the way to the edge of the frame. In addition, with Four Thirds System lenses, it is possible to make bright, large-aperture lenses that are much more compact than comparable 35mm or APS size camera lenses.

Olympus cannot comment on other manufacturer's development goals and design standards.

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What are the advantages of lenses that are designed specifically for digital camera use?

Although the small size of the individual pixels in CCD, CMOS, and Live-MOS image sensors enables them to capture even more detail than film, the sensitivity of the sensor elements is highly directional. That is, they respond best to light that strikes the elements straight on. With lenses designed for use with film, the light rays passing through the periphery of the lens strike the image sensor at an angle, and this tends to degrade picture quality at the periphery of the image area.

On the other hand, lenses developed specifically for digital camera use are designed to match the imaging characteristics of CCD, CMOS, and Live-MOS sensors, ensuring high image quality at both the center and the periphery of the frame.

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How do I update the firmware in the EVOLT E-500 camera body and Olympus E-System lenses?

Firmware updates of Olympus E-System digital SLR bodies and Zuiko® Digital lenses are performed using OLYMPUS Master® or OLYMPUS Studio® software. Each version of the software has an Update Camera function that is used to initiate the update procedure.

Below are the locations of the update functions in the various software versions:

  • OLYMPUS Master 1.x: On the opening page, click on Update Camera or, in the Browse window’s menu bar, click on Online Service > Update Camera.
  • OLYMPUS Studio 1.x: In the Browse window’s menu bar, click on Help > Update Camera.
  • OLYMPUS Master 2.x: In the Browse window’s toolbar, click on Update/Language.
  • OLYMPUS Studio 2.x: In the Browse window’s toolbar, click on Update/Language.

Before updating, mount an Olympus Zuiko Digital lens to the camera body and set the camera body’s USB MODE to STORAGE. Connect the camera to a computer via its bundled USB cable. The computer must be connected to the Internet because the download and installation are managed online from an Olympus server. The camera battery should be fully charged. When these prerequisites are met, launch the software and click on the update function.

The update process will first poll the camera and lens to determine what firmware versions are currently installed. It will then ask if you want to search for a newer version. If it finds a newer version, you will be prompted to perform the update. Step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process.

Follow the on-screen instructions carefully. If you deviate from the instructions, the firmware installation may not complete and the firmware may become corrupted. If this occurs, the camera will have to be sent to an Olympus Repair Service Center to have its firmware replaced. Do not do a firmware update during a storm or when there is a risk of losing power because this will also cause a corrupted firmware installation.

Once the firmware is updated, it is not possible to go back to a previous version.

You can check the firmware version of your camera and lens at any time when the camera is not connected to a computer. Open the camera menu, go to the Custom 2 menu (indicated by the icon of a wrench followed by the number 2), scroll to FIRMWARE and toggle right. The LCD will display the firmware version for the camera body and the currently mounted lens.

Lenses can be upgraded individually using the same update process even if the camera body already has the most current firmware. Mount a different lens on the body and repeat the update process as though you were updating the camera body.

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I don't own an E-System camera body. How can I update the firmware of my E-System lens?

Olympus Imaging Corp., Panasonic Corporation and Sigma Corporation offer a joint firmware update service that makes it possible to download and install firmware for one another's Four Thirds System-compliant lenses when the lenses are attached to any of the companies' Four Thirds System-compliant cameras. Therefore, the lens firmware can be updated by mounting the lens to a Panasonic camera body.

To update the firmware of an E-System lens when mounted to a Panasonic camera body, refer to the Panasonic support Web site.

For more information on the joint firmware update service, visit the Four Thirds System Web site.

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Can I use the EVOLT E-500 to update the firmware of any Four Thirds System-compliant lens?

The answer depends on what company manufactured the lens.

Olympus Imaging Corp., Panasonic Corporation and Sigma Corporation offer a joint firmware update service that makes it possible to download and install firmware for one another's Four Thirds System-compliant lenses when the lenses are attached to any of the companies' Four Thirds System-compliant cameras. The service is not available for Four Thirds System-compliant lenses manufactured by other companies, such as Kodak, Fuji and Sanyo.

Panasonic/Leica and Sigma lenses mounted to an Olympus E-System camera body can be updated using the software packaged with the camera. Click on the appropriate link below for complete instructions.

Update using OLYMPUS Master 2.x.
Update using OLYMPUS Master 1.x/ OLYMPUS Master Plus 1.x.
Update using OLYMPUS Studio 1.x / OLYMPUS Viewer 1.x.

For more information on the joint firmware update service, visit the Four Thirds System Web site.

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What are the purposes of the different record modes?

The EVOLT E-500 has numerous quality setting options for capturing and saving the images in camera. While it is possible to always shoot at the higher quality settings and process them to lower file sizes in the computer, it may be more convenient in some situations to shoot at other than the higher-quality record modes.

  • RAW images are saved to the memory card from the camera sensor with minimal image processing. Factors such as white balance, sharpness, contrast, and color are unchanged so they can be modified later in the computer. This allows the photographer more creative control in post-production. Some photographers shoot RAW format all the time for all subjects, while others may shoot RAW in situations that may pose complicated exposure problems, such as wedding photography.

    Each camera manufacturer has its own version of RAW tailored to the camera, so the files must be processed and converted to other file formats such as JPEG and TIFF using specific software processors and converters. OLYMPUS Master® and OLYMPUS Studio® contain RAW processing and conversion software for the Olympus RAW format, whose file extension is *.orf. Other imaging software may have RAW plug-ins or upgrades to process Olympus RAW files. Otherwise, third-party imaging applications and computer operating systems will not able to read RAW images from Olympus digital cameras. Most photo kiosks, printers, or photo labs cannot read unconverted RAW images.
  • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) files are very large non-compressed files that are approximately three times the megapixel rating of the camera. In the EVOLT E-500, a TIFF file is about 24 MB. TIFF files take a relatively long time to write to a memory card compared to other formats and fill up memory cards quite rapidly. TIFF files are preferred in some situations in which the images are to undergo many post-processing steps. JPEG files recompress a little with each post-processing step, so if extensive work is done on a JPEG file the quality will progressively degrade. TIFF files do not recompress during post-processing so the quality remains the same. An alternative to using TIFF is to shoot in JPEG and immediately convert the JPEG files to TIFF before any post-processing is performed.
  • SHQ images are the highest-quality JPEG images that can be shot with the EVOLT E-500, and they create the largest JPEG files. When the camera processes a captured JPEG image and saves it to the memory card, it uses algorithms to discard some of the data to make the file smaller. The process of mathematically reducing a file’s size by discarding some of its data is called compression. When the image is opened on a computer, the JPEG algorithms reconstruct the discarded data. SHQ uses the lowest JPEG compression, with a fixed ratio of 1:2.7. SHQ is the best choice for general photography and for producing large prints.
  • HQ and SQ are lower-quality JPEG formats, which create smaller files than SHQ. Unlike SHQ, the photographer has the option of setting HQ and SQ compression ratios in the camera menu. The compression ratio options available are 1:2.7, 1:4, 1:8, and 1:12. HQ mode at a low compression is suitable for general photography and printing. SQ mode is suitable for small images in desktop publishing, images to be used on the Internet, and still images made for animated movies.
  • RAW+SHQ, RAW+HQ, and RAW+SQ save a RAW and a JPEG image when a picture is taken. The advantage of these record modes is that an unprocessed RAW image is saved to the memory card as well as a processed JPEG image that can be used without having to convert the RAW image to another format.

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What is the purpose of the Scene mode?

The EVOLT E-500 has a Scene mode that optimizes the camera settings for specific shooting conditions. All of the settings applied in the 15 available Scenes can also be applied via controls in the camera menu, but applying them manually can be time-consuming. In addition, amateur photographers may not have a deep enough knowledge of photography to select the appropriate settings for some situations that advanced amateur and professional photographers would employ. For example, here are the settings applied by the FIREWORKS Scene:

  • F11
  • 4 seconds
  • ISO 100
  • Saturation 0
  • Contrast +1
  • Sharpness –1
  • Exposure Compensation –1.0
  • White Balance 5300K
  • Gradation Normal
  • Manual Focus

These are the optimum settings for shooting fireworks. Selecting the FIREWORKS Scene sets the camera up with appropriate settings tailored to the subject matter, all in one step.

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Some scenes can be selected directly from the Mode Dial and also via the Scene Select menu in Scene mode. Is there a difference?

Whether a scene is activated via Easy Shooting mode (by turning the Mode Dial to its respective icon) or via the Scene mode (by turning the Mode Dial to SCENE and then using the arrow buttons to select it from the Scene Select menu), the camera initially applies the same default settings, optimized for the selected scene. However, Easy Shooting mode offers additional options for the most frequently used scenes.

In Easy Shooting mode, the control panel remains active so that the photographer may change certain settings. The control panel is accessed by pressing the OK button.

In Scene mode, most settings are controlled by the camera and so are fixed. The control panel is not available. Instead, pressing the OK button invokes the Scene Select menu so that a new scene can be selected.

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In the White Balance (WB) menu, what do all the numbers followed by a "K" mean?

The color balance of different light sources in the color spectrum is rated numerically by color temperature in the standard Kelvin (K) temperature scale.  A color temperature value is expressed as a number followed by a "K," for Kelvin.  The chart below shows approximate values of different light sources in the EVOLT E-500 White Balance menu:

The EVOLT E-500 White Balance menu displays icons to the left of the color temperature values to illustrate the relationship of the type of light to its Kelvin value.  The Custom White Balance (CWB) settings in the White Balance menu allow photographers to select more accurate color temperature settings.  Many commercially available lamps are labeled with color temperature ratings that fall between 3000K and 4000K, so a photographer is able to set up the camera for more accurate color rendition.

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With so many White Balance settings available, why and when should I use One-Touch White Balance?

There are many light sources and situations that are not covered by Auto White Balance or the other settings in the White Balance menu. There are many noncontinuous light sources that do not have all of the colors of the spectrum, such as fluorescent, mercury vapor, and sodium vapor lights. There are also situations in which many different types of lights are used in one environment. These do not neatly fit into what the camera firmware knows about white balance, so it is necessary to “educate” the camera about the specific light balance by shooting a white reference subject such as a white card and saving the data in the White Balance menu as a One-Touch White Balance.

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In the PICTURE MODE > MONOTONE menu feature, what is the purpose of the B&W filter options?

In black-and-white film photography, different colored filters are placed in front of the lens to modify the tones in the final image. These are called contrast filters. One popular effect created with contrast filters results in a landscape photograph with majestic clouds against an almost black sky. This effect is obtained by shooting through a deep red filter, which makes the blue in the sky darker.

A general rule of thumb regarding the use of contrast filters is: The filter makes its own color lighter in tone and its opposite color darker in tone.

The EVOLT E-500 is able to create these effects without using physical filters by modifying the performance of the red, green, and blue color channels in the MONOTONE mode.

The functions of the B&W filters are described below:

  • RED - The red filter darkens blues and greens and lightens reds. In landscape photography, it produces dark skies that make clouds look more dramatic. The red filter can also cut through atmospheric haze to some degree. It can be used in portraiture to diminish skin blemishes on light-skinned people.
  • YELLOW - The yellow filter darkens the blue in the sky so clouds separate from the sky without producing the dramatic effect of the red filter. Many black and white photographers routinely keep a yellow filter on their camera because the effects appear more natural than using other filters. In copy photography of old documents, the yellow filter brightens the look of yellowed paper.
  • ORANGE - The effect of the orange filter falls midway between that of the red and yellow filters.
  • GREEN - The green filter lightens plants in images. It will also make red subject matter darker and add contrast to sunsets.

The B&W Filter effects can be previewed on the Live View screen before shooting.

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Is it possible to take time-lapse photo sequences with the EVOLT E-500?

This camera can take time-lapse photo sequences when connected to a computer running the optional OLYMPUS Studio® 2 application software. Unlike built-in intervalometers found in some digital cameras, OLYMPUS Studio 2 offers very detailed computer camera control over preset time periods.

To use this functionality, connect the camera to a computer using the USB cable bundled with the camera. Set the camera’s USB Mode to CONTROL. In the application, open the Camera Control window and choose Time Lapse from the menu or click on the Time Lapse icon on the Camera Control window’s toolbar. The following dialog will be displayed:

Configure any or all options, and then click the Start Shooting button to begin the time-lapse sequence. The images will be saved on the computer – not the memory card.

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My 35mm SLR had a mirror lockup to let the camera vibration settle down before the shutter tripped. Does the EVOLT E-500 have this?

The EVOLT E-500 has an ANTI-SHOCK function that diminishes camera shake caused by vibrations when the mirror flips up. This feature can be useful in astrophotography, photo microscopy, or other applications where a very slow shutter speed is used and camera vibration needs to be minimized. The interval between the mirror flipping up and the shutter opening can be pre-set from one second to 30 seconds via the Camera 2 menu. This menu is represented by an icon of a camera followed by the number 2.

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Is there a programmable Function (Fn) button on the EVOLT E-500?

The One-Touch WB button on the upper right of the camera back is the EVOLT E-500's Custom Function button. Its assigned function is changed via the Setup 1 menu (indicated by the icon of a wrench, followed by the number 1).


The default function of the button is the One-Touch White Balance. In addition to being able to set One Touch White Balance to OFF (requires firmware update 1.1), the other assignable functions are:

  • TEST PICTURE - This enables a photographer to shoot a picture and see it on the monitor without saving it to the memory card. This can be useful in a studio situation where it would be desirable to shoot setup tests and not use up space on the memory card. Simply hold down the Custom Function button while shooting.
  • MY MODE - If a photographer has created special settings in My Mode, this option allows the photographer to apply those settings without having to go to the menu and select My Mode. Instead, simply hold down the Custom Function button and shoot.
  • PREVIEW - To check the depth-of-field while looking through the lens, press the Custom Function button and the camera will stop down to the selected f-stop.

    Beginning with firmware update 1.1, the functions of the AEL/AFL and the One-Touch WB/Function button can also be interchanged by enabling the last function in the Setup 1 menu. Its icon looks like this:

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Who makes the CCD used in the EVOLT E-500?

Eastman Kodak manufacturers the CCD used in the EVOLT E-500.

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What size CompactFlash cards can the EVOLT E-500 accept, and does it support the benefits of Write Acceleration cards?

The EVOLT E-500 accepts CompactFlash cards up to 8 GB in capacity and supports Write Acceleration CompactFlash cards.  When the camera polls the card at power up, if it detects Write Acceleration technology, it enables its own Write Acceleration firmware.

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Can I use Microdrive storage media in the EVOLT E-500?

Microdrive storage media that support the CF + Type II (CompactFlash extension) are compatible with the EVOLT E-500.  Because Microdrive media use a spinning hard disk drive as the recording medium, they are susceptible to damage from impact, vibration, and strong magnetic fields – especially during recording and playback.

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How long does it take to write the image to the media?

This figure depends on the speed of the media card used. As a general guideline, a SanDisk Extreme III CF card is fast enough to allow you to continuously shoot without any delay (using the default HQ quality mode).

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What type of USB connection is used?

The EVOLT E-500 is USB Auto-Connect (mass storage) and is compliant with USB 2.0 Full-Speed specifications.

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Where can I find documentation for my camera?

The EVOLT E-500 is packaged with a printed Quick Start Guide and Instruction Manual.  The documents can also be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.

Adobe Reader® is required to view the PDF files.  The software is available as a free download from Adobe's web site.

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What does the optional OLYMPUS Studio 2 software do, and how can I get it?

OLYMPUS Studio 2 is imaging software for personal computers that allows photographers to speed up organizational and post-processing tasks associated with the photography workflow, such as examining and selecting the best shot from a large number of images; searching disparate folders and albums for a desired image; comparing similar images side-by-side on a virtual lightbox; batch processing edits and print jobs; etc. It also has a camera control function that lets photographers operate Olympus E-System cameras remotely or save images directly to a computer instead of a memory card. (These operations require that the camera be connected to the computer using its bundled USB cable.) The software can also be used to update the firmware of Olympus digital cameras or to change the language of the camera's menu system and LCD displays.

The software is supported on the following operating systems: Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional (32-bit), Windows Vista (32/64-bit), Windows 7 (32/64-bit, but please see these caveats), and Mac OS X 10.3 ("Panther") through 10.5 ("Leopard").

To download a free, 30-day trial of the latest version of OLYMPUS Studio 2, please click on the appropriate link:

For information on obtaining a permanent license key, please send an email to e-slrpro@olympus.com.

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How do I insert the memory card into the camera?

To insert the memory card into the camera, do the following.

  1. Power off the camera.
  2. Open the card cover on the right side of the camera.
  3. Insert the card into the card slot as shown. (The EVOLT E-500 supports xD-Picture Card media as well as CompactFlash™ media.) Push the card gently straight in until it clicks.

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What are the P, A, S, and M modes on the Mode Dial, and how are they used?

The P, A, S, and M modes are the Advanced Shooting modes. These are essentially non-AUTO modes that allow the photographer more creative control over shutter speed and f-stop settings. The Advanced Shooting modes also allow total access to the menu options. They are also the modes required for use with E-System flash accessories.

Briefly, the Advanced Shooting modes and their applications are as follows:

  • P (Program shooting) – Allows shooting using an aperture and shutter speed set by the camera. However, the Program Shift function allows some creative control. When the camera is turned on, the control panel shows P in the upper left of the Control Panel screen. Rotating the Control Dial, changes the P to Ps, which is Program Shift. This permits selecting a shutter speed or aperture other than the default while maintaining the same exposure. If a higher shutter speed is selected, a wider aperture is set. If a slower shutter speed is selected, a smaller aperture is set. In effect, it is an AUTO mode that accepts input from the photographer.
  • A (Aperture priority shooting) – Allows the aperture to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over depth-of-field. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any aperture in the range of the lens using the Control Dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the shutter speed automatically as the f-stops are changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under or over-exposure, the exposure values in the viewfinder and on the Control Panel screen will blink.
  • S (Shutter priority shooting) – Allows the shutter speed to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over stopping action or reducing camera shake. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any shutter speed in the range of the camera body using the Control Dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the aperture automatically as the shutter speeds are changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under or over-exposure, the exposure values in the viewfinder and Control Panel screen will blink.
  • M (Manual shooting) – Allows the photographer to set the shutter speed and aperture independent of each other. Program Shift is not applied in this mode. This mode is invaluable to photographers using studio electronic flash systems and manual hot shoe electronic flashes because it allows the user to set the correct sync speed for flash and set an f-stop determined by a flash meter reading or testing. It also allows for use in exotic photographic situations such as scientific and engineering photography beyond the parameters of the camera firmware.

    In Manual mode, the shutter speed is set using the Control Dial, and the aperture is set using the Control Dial while holding down the Exposure Compensation button.

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When the Mode Dial is set to AUTO, why are some of the menu options deactivated (grayed-out)?

In the AUTO shooting mode, the camera operates with a minimum of input from the user. Many shooting functions are controlled entirely by the camera; the photographer cannot change their settings. Therefore, the menu options that control those settings are deactivated (grayed-out) in AUTO mode.

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The EVOLT E-500 has five focusing modes. Which should I use?

The five focusing modes are provided to offer the photographer greater flexibility in setting up the camera for diverse shooting situations. Any of the focusing modes that have an MF in their designation allow the photographer to adjust the focus by turning the focusing ring on the lens.

  • S-AF (Single AF) – Every time the shutter button is pressed halfway the camera focuses. This mode is suitable for taking pictures of still subjects or subjects with limited movement.
  • C-AF (Continuous AF) – The camera continuously refocuses as long as the shutter button is held down halfway. When the subject is in motion, the camera focuses on the subject in anticipation of its movement using Predictive Autofocus technology. If you are shooting in the Sequential Shooting Drive mode, Continuous AF resumes after a burst of images when the shutter button is returned to the halfway position.
  • MF (Manual Focus) – The lens is focused manually by rotating the lens focus ring. Still life and landscape photographers may prefer this focus mode as it allows more creative control. Manual Focus must be used when the EC-25 Extension Tube is mounted between a lens and camera body for accurate focus.
  • S-AF+MF (Simultaneous use of the S-AF and Manual Focus) – This mode allows the photographer the option of fine adjusting the focus using the lens focus ring after the shutter button has been pressed halfway and autofocus has been locked. This mode allows the photographer more creative control over the autofocus to focus on a specific area the autofocus may not have selected.
  • C-AF+MF (Simultaneous use of the C-AF and Manual Focus) – This mode allows the photographer to manually focus before pressing the shutter button halfway to enable C-AF. It allows the photographer to pre-focus the lens closer to a focus zone to provide the autofocus with a more rapid response in situations such as sports or wildlife photography.

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My 35mm SLR had a depth-of-field preview button so I could check what was in focus in my picture. How can I preview depth-of-field using the EVOLT E-500?

The EVOLT E-500 allows you to preview the depth-of-field by looking through the viewfinder with the lens stopped-down. To use the preview function, the One-Touch WB button needs to be enabled as the PREVIEW Function button in the camera menu. To enable the Function button for the preview function:

  1. Open the camera menu by pressing the MENU button.
  2. Toggle down to the Setup 1 menu, indicated by the icon of a wrench followed by the number 1, and toggle right.
  3. Toggle down to the FUNCTION menu item and toggle right.
  4. Toggling up or down, select PREVIEW.
  5. Press the OK button to set the selection, and then press MENU to exit the menu.

The One-Touch WB button then will become the depth-of-field-preview button. Holding the button down will close the aperture to the set f-stop to provide a view of the depth-of-field. The image will appear lighter or darker inrelation to the f-stop.

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The subject I want in focus doesn't line up with any of the AF frames in the viewfinder. How do I get the camera to focus on the subject?

The Focus Lock function enables the photographer to pre-focus on a specific subject, lock the focus, and then re-compose the image and shoot the picture.

  1. Position the AF frame on the autofocus subject and press the shutter button halfway until the AF confirmation mark lights up. The focus will be locked.
  2. While holding the shutter button in the halfway position, re-compose the image and press the shutter button all the way to shoot the picture.

At first this may seem to be a cumbersome procedure, but with practice it can become a fluid movement.

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Is there a way to shoot if I don't want to wait for autofocus to lock or the flash to recycle?

Normally, the EVOLT E-500 will not shoot while autofocus is operating or the flash is charging. However, situations may arise where the photographer would want to override the camera and force it to fire under marginal shooting conditions when the camera may not be ready to shoot.

The Shutter Release Priority function will permit the camera to shoot even though normal shooting requirements are not met. The function is found in the Setup 1 menu (Wrench 1 icon) and can be specified for two autofocus modes:

  • RELEASE PRIORITY S: Set to [ON] to enable the camera to fire immediately, without waiting for focus confirmation, in the S+AF autofocus mode.
  • RELEASE PRIORITY C: Set to [OFF] to force the camera to secure focus before firing in the C+AF autofocus mode. Predictive AF is not available when this function is enabled.

Be advised that overriding the camera creates special considerations. Shooting before the flash has recycled may cause images to be underexposed if ambient light is insufficient to illuminate the subject. Shooting before the autofocus has locked may result in blurry images, particularly when the subject is in motion. To compensate for the loss of autofocus, increase the depth of field by shooting with the smallest aperture that is practical for acquiring the shot.

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When and why should I use the Eyepiece Cover that came with my camera?

During normal shooting, the photographer’s face and the camera’s eyecup work together to shade the viewfinder and prevent light from entering the metering system of the camera through the viewfinder. When the camera is on a tripod, light can enter the viewfinder from behind the camera because the photographer may be standing away from the camera. This is most likely to happen if the sun is low and behind the camera or the photographer is shooting a night shot and street lighting is shining into the viewfinder. In both cases, this extraneous light can shine into the metering system and can skew the exposures, resulting in under-exposed images. Removing the viewfinder eyecup and replacing it with the eyepiece cover blocks extraneous light from entering the viewfinder so the exposures will be more accurate.

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How do I use the different metering modes?

The EVOLT E-500 provides several metering options that allow the photographer to have greater creative control over exposure.  The metering modes can be set in the Control Panel screen or the camera menu.  Descriptions and applications of the metering modes are detailed below:

Digital ESP metering is recommended for general use.  The camera measures and calculates the light differences in 49 separate areas of the image. The mode can be changed to ESP+AF in the menu to center the metering on one of the three AF frames seen in the camera viewfinder.
Center Weighted Averaging metering provides average metering between the subject and the background lighting, placing more weighting on the center of the frame. Use this mode when you do not want the light level of the background to affect the exposure value of the main subject.
Spot metering meters an area of about 2% of the frame around the center AF frame. This mode can be used to meter a backlit subject. Spot metering must be used very carefully because the brightness of the subject area that the metering spot is centered on can dramatically influence the final exposure.
HI Spot metering performs the same as Spot metering, but compensates toward overexposure, allowing accurate white reproduction. For example: with normal Spot metering, snow would be captured as grey rather than white. The HI Spot Metering compensates so that the snow would appear whiter in the exposure.
SH Spot metering is the inverse of HI Spot metering and compensates toward underexposure to keep dark areas from exposing lighter toward grayness. An example would be photographing a black cat on a light background. SH Spot metering would underexpose the cat so that it would expose as black rather than gray.

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Can I configure my EVOLT E-500 so that the lenses I attach will always be set to focus at "infinity" when I power on the camera?

Yes. Use the LENS RESET function.

By default, the EVOLT E-500 does not reset lenses' focus when the camera is powered down. However, activating the LENS RESET function will cause the camera to reset the focus of any attached lens to infinity when the camera is powered down. This ensures that the focus is pre-set to infinity when the camera is powered on.

To set the Lens Reset value, do the following:

  1. Press the MENU button.
  2. Press the Down arrow button three times to select the Setup 1 menu (indicated by an icon of a wrench followed by the number 1).
  3. Press the Right Arrow button once to enter the Setup1 menu.
  4. Press the Up Arrow button four times to select RESET LENS.
  5. Press the Right Arrow button to enter the RESET LENS submenu.
  6. Use the Up or Down arrow to select ON.
  7. Press the OK button twice to activate the selection and exit the menu.

Note that LENS RESET only affects the initial setting of the focus when the camera is powered on. After shooting an image, the focus used to capture the shot is retained until either of the following occurs:

  • the shutter button is pressed halfway down (when AF Mode is set to S-AF or C-AF);
  • the focus ring is manually adjusted (when AF Mode is set to S-AF+MF, or C-AF+MF, or MF)

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What is the purpose of Exposure Compensation?

Metering systems in cameras measure light but do not have a way of determining what the subject matter is, so the exposure decisions the metering system makes may not always be appropriate for the subject matter.  This phenomenon is called subject failure.  As with Spot metering, the human touch may be required to arrive at correct exposures.  Exposure Compensation allows the photographer to set up the camera to under- or overexpose in specific situations.

The Exposure Compensation scale is shown on the LCD’s control panel.  It looks like this:

In the example, Exposure Compensation is set to underexpose one f-stop.  The function can be set to under- or overexpose up to three f-stops in 1/3-stop increments.

It is important that you set the compensation back to 0 before shooting subjects in other conditions so the subjects will be properly exposed.  When the Exposure Compensation is set to 0, the scale is not displayed in the Control Panel screen.

The Exposure Compensation value is also displayed in the viewfinder.

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How do I select which ISO setting to use?

Think of the ISO values as “film” speeds. Low ISOs such as 100 and 200 are better suited to situations in which there is a lot of light – outdoors scenes. Higher ISOs, such as 400 and 800, would be used outdoors where there is plenty of light and fast shutter speeds are desired – sports and air shows, for example – or indoors for available light shooting. ISO 1600 would be used where there are very low light levels, such as indoors or at night.

The AUTO mode and Scene mode automatically set the ISO.

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How does the EVOLT E-500 combat noise commonly found at high ISOs?

Digital cameras vary the light sensitivity of the image sensor by varying the gain voltage applied to the sensor, much like turning up the volume on a stereo. When the gain voltage is increased, as it is when shooting with higher ISOs, the sensor becomes hot. Hot pixels perform differently under extreme conditions. The result is a graininess known as "noise."

Noise occurs whenever sufficient heat has built up on the image sensor. Therefore, it can also be seen in images with long exposures, such as night photographs, due to the additional heat generated by charging the sensor for an extended period of time.

All digital cameras include technologies to minimize the effects of noise. The EVOLT E-500 combats noise using NOISE REDUCTION.

NOISE REDUCTION is enabled from the Camera 1 menu. After the first exposure, the camera makes a second exposure of equal length with the shutter closed. It then, in effect, overlays the two images, finds the hot pixels in the second image, and deletes the corresponding hot pixels from the first image. This doubles the shooting time. If the first exposure is 12 minutes 30 seconds, the second black exposure is also 12 minutes 30 seconds, for a total exposure time of 25 minutes. Since the second exposure is made with the shutter closed, the shooting setup can be taken down to move to another location, but the camera must remain powered on so it can complete the second dark exposure.

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What do the fractions in the Manual Flash settings represent?

The photographer has the option of using different power settings in the Manual Flash mode to balance the fill flash with available light exposure. You may have seen TV clips of celebrity and news photographers using fill-flash outdoors. Fill-flash throws a little extra light into shadows to “open” them up to get a more pleasing image. You can also use this technique in landscape and travel photography to show a little more detail in the shadows of foreground subjects.

The fractional settings (FULL, ¼, 1/16, 1/64) allow the photographer control over how much light is needed to fill the shadows at varying distances. The sync speeds used are between 1/60 and 1/180 second.

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I shot in the RAW format and I need a JPEG image, but I'm away from my computer. How can I convert the RAW files to JPEGs in the field?

The EVOLT E-500 has a RAW editor in the camera menu that allows the photographer to not only convert the RAW file to a chosen JPEG record mode, but also apply white balance, sharpness, contrast, and color adjustments in the converted JPEG image.

To edit a RAW file in camera:

  1. Open the camera menu, and in the first tab (Camera 1) select the PICTURE MODE, RECORD MODE, and WB (White Balance) settings to be applied to the RAW image to be edited.
  2. Exit the menu by pressing the MENU button.
  3. In the playback mode, select the RAW image to be edited.
  4. Open the menu, select the third tab (Edit), select EDIT, and toggle right.  You will see the RAW image to be edited.
  5. Press the OK button.
  6. In the RAW DATA EDIT screen, select YES and then press OK.

A JPEG copy of the RAW image that reflects the settings selected in the Camera 1 menu has been saved to the memory card.  The RAW image remains unchanged.

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In the CARD SETUP menu, the options are ALL ERASE and FORMAT. What is the difference between these settings?

ALL ERASE deletes all of the images from the memory card directory except for those that have been protected.  FORMAT deletes all of the images from the memory card directory and overwrites the directory.  In both cases, the actual digital images are still on the memory card until new images are shot that overwrite the old images.  Therefore, if images are inadvertently erased or formatted, it may be possible to retrieve them via image recovery software.

If ALL ERASE is used exclusively to delete images, over time a buildup of artifacts in the directory may corrupt the memory card.  The FORMAT option is recommended to preserve the integrity of the memory card and extend its useful life.

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What accessories are available for the EVOLT E-500?

Click here to view the System Chart for the EVOLT E-500.

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How many images can be shot on a single charge of the BLM-1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery?

Although the number of images that can be captured depends upon the shooting conditions and the camera functions used, a fully charged BLM-1 battery should take approximately 400 images before it needs to be recharged.

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Does the EVOLT E-500 support the Olympus wireless RC flash system?

The EVOLT E-500 does not have an RC mode and so cannot communicate with electronic flashes in the Olympus wireless RC flash system when those flashes are in RC mode. However, when connected to these electronic flashes via hot shoe or the optional FL-CB05 Hot Shoe Flash Cable, the EVOLT E-500 can communicate with them in traditional TTL modes.

When using the Olympus wireless RC flash system flashes with the EVOLT E-500, adjust the ISO sensitivity and aperture value of the electronic flash in AUTO mode to the same values as on the camera or change the shooting distance in MANUAL mode. You can also emit the flash wirelessly as a slave flash.

Olympus wireless RC flash system flashes, such as the FL-50R and the FL-36R, and the FL-CB05 Hot Shoe Cable can all be purchased online from The Olympus Store.

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Can I use my Olympus FL-40 external flash on the EVOLT E-500?

The Olympus FL-40 external flash is not compatible with the EVOLT E-500 because it was not designed to work with the TTL firmware in the camera.

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I have a third-party electronic flash. Can I use it on the EVOLT E-500?

Flash units that are not part of the Olympus E-System may pose problems if used on the EVOLT E-500.

Thyristor-type flash units can be used with the EVOLT E-500’s Manual shooting mode as long as the sync voltage does not exceed 6 VDC.  Third-party TTL flash units will not have TTL capability because the contact pins in the camera hot shoe probably won’t align with the contacts on the flash.  In addition, the TTL communication with the EVOLT E-500 may damage the camera circuitry or corrupt the camera firmware.

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How can I use the EVOLT E-500 with my studio flash equipment if the camera doesn't have a PC connector?

The EVOLT E-500 uses an electronic rather than mechanical sync circuit that is rated at 6 VDC maximum sync voltage. Because some studio flash systems have a sync voltage that exceeds 6 VDC, a PC sync jack was not incorporated into the camera to prevent users from accidentally damaging their cameras.  In addition, the polarity of the studio flash sync pulse may be opposite the polarity of the EVOLT E-500 sync circuitry.  Studio flash equipment should be connected to the EVOLT E-500 using the Safe Sync Hot Shoe to PC Sync Adapter.  The adapter protects the camera from excessive sync voltage up to 400 VDC, and automatically corrects sync pulse polarity. This item (#200329) may be purchased from The Olympus Store.  To order, click here.

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Do I need a voltage converter to use my battery charger in other countries?

The bundled BCM-2 Battery Charger for the EVOLT E-500 is rated at 100-240 V AC and automatically adjusts itself for the local electrical current. However, you may have to get a set of plug adapters for the different wall outlets used in foreign countries. Plug adapter kits are available at electronics and luggage stores.

A replacement BCM-1 Battery Charger is available from The Olympus Store.  To purchase, click here.

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What size CompactFlash cards can the EVOLT E-500 accept, and does it support the benefits of Write Acceleration CF cards?

The EVOLT E-500 accepts CompactFlash cards up to 8 GB capacity and supports Write Acceleration CompactFlash cards.  When the camera polls the card at power up, if it detects Write Acceleration technology it enables its own Write Acceleration firmware.

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Can I use Microdrive™ storage media in the EVOLT E-500?

Microdrive storage media that support the CF + Type II (CompactFlash extension standard) are compatible with the EVOLT E-500.  Because Microdrive media use a spinning hard disk drive (HDD) as the recording medium, they are susceptible to damage from impact, vibration, and strong magnetic fields – especially during recording and playback.  Be sure to carefully read the instructions that come with Microdrive media.

Note: The data on Microdrive cards will not be erased completely even after formatting the card in-camera or deleting the data. When discarding Microdrive cards, destroy the cards to prevent leakage of personal information.

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What accessories are available to remotely control the EVOLT E-500?

The optional RM-1 Remote Control (item #200597) can be used to remotely trigger the shutter button of the EVOLT E-500. It allows the photographer to get into the frame and be part of the shot.  It can also be used for long (BULB) exposures, such as night photographs. The RM-1 is an infrared release that must be aimed at the Remote Control Receiver on the front of the camera body.

The camera can be set to release the shutter immediately or two seconds after the shutter button on the remote control is pressed.  The response time is set by pressing the Remote Control/Self-Timer/Drive button, located on the back of the camera above the arrow pad and just to the right of the LCD screen, and then using the control dial to select the setting.

The RM-1 Remote Control is available online from the Olympus Store. To order the RM-1, click here.

The EVOLT E-500 can also be remotely controlled from a computer using the bundled USB cable and the Camera Control feature of the optional OLYMPUS Studio® 2 application.

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How can I take long (BULB) exposures using the optional RM-1 Remote Control?

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Set the camera's Mode Dial to the M (Manual) shooting mode.
  2. Using the Control Dial, set the shutter speed to BULB.
  3. Aim the RM-1 Remote Control at the Remote Control Receiver and press the [W] button on the RM-1 to open the shutter.
  4. Press the [T] button on the RM-1 to close the shutter.
Notes:
  • For best results, the camera should be set up on a tripod. The photographer should stand behind or to one side of the camera so that the autofocus does not focus on the photographer.
  • The shutter will not be released if the subject is not in focus.
  • If eight minutes elapse after the [W] button is pressed, the shutter will close automatically.
  • Under bright light conditions, the remote control lamp may be difficult to see, making it hard to determine whether or not the picture has been taken.
  • Zoom is not available on the remote control.

The RM-1 Remote Control is available from authorized Olympus dealers and online from The Olympus Store. To order the RM-1, click here.

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What is the purpose of the LBH1 lithium battery holder?

The BLM-1 rechargeable battery is powerful and economical but it is sometimes inconvenient to charge. By offering the LBH-1 battery holder, photographers have the option to use commonly available CR123A lithium batteries to power the camera. Three CR123A batteries will allow approximately 200 pictures to be taken.

The LBH-1 is available from authorized Olympus dealers and online from The Olympus Store.  To order, click here.

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When attempting to install OLYMPUS Studio® on a computer running Macintosh™ OS X 10.5.x ("Leopard"), I get the following error: The current user does not have administrative privileges. Log on as an administrator. What should I do?

Please do the following:

  1. Download the latest version of OLYMPUS Studio by clicking here.
  2. Send an email to e-slrpro@olympus.com to request a license key for the latest version. Olympus Digital Technical Support will contact you to provide the key.
  3. Run the installer file (OS230EN.dmg) and follow the on-screen prompts. When prompted, enter the license key.

This procedure will overwrite the previous installation of OLYMPUS Studio and allow you to use the application in your environment.

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When attempting to install OLYMPUS Master® on a computer running Macintosh™ OS X 10.5.x ("Leopard"), I get the following error: The current user does not have administrative privileges. Log on as an administrator. What should I do?

Download the latest version of OLYMPUS Master 2 by clicking here. Run the installer file (OM211EN.dmg). This will overwrite the previous installation of OLYMPUS Master 2 and allow you to use the application in your environment.

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When I look through the viewfinder, the image does not appear to be sharp. Why?

You may need to adjust the viewfinder’s diopter to your vision. To the left of the viewfinder eyepiece cup is the diopter adjustment dial. While looking through the viewfinder, rotate the diopter adjustment dial until you can see the AF frame clearly in the center of the viewfinder.

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I can't get a sharp image using Night Scene. What am I doing wrong?

The NIGHT SCENE and NIGHT+PORTRAIT Scenes are meant to take time exposures of skylines and city streets by leaving the shutter open for several seconds. Therefore, it is necessary to stabilize the camera by bracing it against something solid or – ideally – by using a tripod or camera clamp.

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After I attach the lens to the camera body, my camera seems unable to secure autofocus. This problem is intermittent but affects multiple lenses. Why is this happening?

If the problem occurs with every shot taken with every accessory lens, the camera may indeed be broken.  However, if the problem occurs sporadically -- and chiefly only after attaching or switching lenses -- then it is possible the lens(es) may not have been attached properly.

Remove the lens from the camera and look at the silver mount.  Nine gold-colored pins are arranged below the mirror in an arc.  These pins must make firm contact with the gold-colored touch points on the back of the lens.  This happens naturally when the lens is attached properly, but if the lens is not locked into place then one or more pins may not receive sufficient pressure to maintain contact during use.

To attach a lens to the camera body, align the lens attachment mark (red circle) on the camera mount with the alignment mark (raised red knob) on the side of the lens.  Then insert the lens into the camera’s body.  Rotate the lens clockwise and listen for a click.  The click is an audible indication that the lens lock pin has snapped into place on the back of the lens and has secured the lens in the proper position.  The lens lock pin is the small silver pin on the lens mount in between the mirror and the lens release button.

Do not press or hold down the lens release button while attaching a lens to the mount.  The lens release button forces the lens lock pin to retract into the camera so that the lens can be removed without breaking the pin.  If the button is held down while attaching the lens, it may not align with the hole on the back of the lens after the button is released.  This will result in a situation in which the lens is attached to the camera mount but is not locked into place.  It is possible that this condition will prevent the lens from making and retaining a firm connection to the camera.  This will inhibit autofocus and may increase the lag time between shots.

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Sometimes when I'm shooting in dim light I have difficulty getting the camera to focus. What can I do?

Digital cameras autofocus by detecting differences in the contrast between light and dark areas of the image projected onto the autofocus sensor. If the light is dim or the image has somewhat flat contrast, the camera may have difficulty focusing.  The EVOLT E-500 has an AF Illuminator feature that uses the flash to illuminate the subject just before the exposure is made, thereby assuring autofocus.

To enable the AF Illuminator:

  1. Open the camera menu by pressing the MENU button.
  2. Using the Down arrow key, go to the Setup 1 tab, represented by an icon of a wrench followed by the number 1.
  3. Toggle right to enter the Setup 1 menu, and then toggle down to AF ILLUMINAT.
  4. Toggle right and select ON.
  5. Press the OK button to apply the setting.
  6. Press the MENU button to exit the menu.

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I shoot landscapes. In low-light conditions, or when contrast is low, my lens sometimes cannot secure focus using AF. How can I make sure the lens sets -- and keeps -- the focus at infinity?

In certain photographic disciplines, such as landscape photography or astrophotography, the intended subject typically exists at the maximum focusing distance of the lens. Therefore, it is useful to set the focus to infinity in low-light conditions outside of the AF working range with this type of subject matter. Using the MF (manual focus) AF mode will ensure that the lens retains focus at infinity -- even if an unintentional subject enters the viewing area. To set AF Mode to MF, do the following:

  1. Press the AF Mode button (the right arrow key on the four-way kepad).
  2. Using the arrow keys, select MF.
  3. Look through the viewfinder, and compose the shot with the subject at or near the horizon line.
  4. Turn the focus ring until the subject comes into focus.

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When I'm shooting near subjects, I can hear the lens trying to focus and see it trying to focus through the viewfinder, but it does not secure focus. What can I do?

If the lens seems to be unsuccessfully searching for a focus point, you may be too close to the subject matter for that particular lens.  Lenses have a minimum focusing distance, and zoom lenses have different minimum focusing distances at different zoom settings.  If you back away from the subject, the lens will focus at some point.

If you intend to do macro or close-up photography, you may want to invest in a macro lens or the EX-25 Extension Tube.

The E-System has two macro lenses:

  • The Zuiko Digital 35 mm f3.5 Macro has a 35 mm format equivalent focal length of 70 mm and focuses from 5.75” (146 mm) to infinity.
  • The Zuiko Digital ED 50 mm f2.0 Macro has a 35 mm format equivalent focal length of 100 mm and focuses from 9.45” (240 mm) to infinity.

The EX-25 Extension Tube mounts between the lens and the camera body and reduces the minimum focusing distance of E-System lenses by moving the lens 25 mm away from the camera sensor.  Lenses mounted with the EX-25 are not able to focus to infinity.  It is necessary to manually focus lenses mounted with the EX-25 for more accurate focus.  A table of the adjusted focusing distances of E-System lenses when mounted on the EX-25 can be found here.

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My EVOLT E-500 does not lock the exposure in the M (manual) shooting mode even though I press the AEL/AFL (auto exposure lock) button. Why not?

Olympus DSLRs do not meter light to automatically establish the exposure setting when the shooting mode is set to M (manual). Instead, the photographer must manually set the exposure by entering aperture and shutter speed values. This is by design. Because there is no auto exposure, there can be no AEL.

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When I press the shutter button, the camera doesn't shoot immediately. What can I do?

In the deault AUTO AF Frame Selection setting, the camera measures the distance to the subject using the three AF frames in the viewfinder and selects the most appropriate AF frame. If the subject is complex or the subject is moving, it may cause the camera to take more time selecting which AF frame to use. The camera will respond more rapidly if only one AF frame is elected--the center frame, for example.

To change the AF Frame Selection from AUTO to a selected frame:

  1. Press the AF Frame selection button on the upper right of the camera back.

  2. The control panel will display the AF Frame options. Select a specific AF Frame other than the AUTO setting. The center AF Frame is recommended.

     

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When my images are displayed on the EVOLT E-500's LCD screen, there are blinking black areas in the image. How do I get rid of them?

What you are seeing is a part of the histogram feature.  In the lower right corner of the LCD screen, you will see a little box that says either SHADOW or HILIGHT.  The blinking black regions identify areas in the image that have no detail due to overexposure (HILIGHT) or underexposure (SHADOW).

The blinking display doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the camera.  Like film, cameras, digicams have a limited brightness range within which they can capture images.  If the camera metering is weighted toward the highlights, there will be a lack of shadow detail.  If the camera metering is weighted toward the shadows, there will be a lack of highlight detail.  In bright sunshine, a picture may have areas lacking both highlight and shadow detail.  On a grey, cloudy day, there may be detail throughout the image.  The purpose of the black blinking areas is to give the photographer feedback about the exposures.  If necessary, the photographer can apply options such as AE Bracketing or Exposure Compensation to reshoot the image.

The SHADOW and HILIGHT views are among seven options that can be selected by pressing the INFO button while displaying images on the LCD screen in Playback mode.  Pressing INFO repeatedly cycles through the views, each of which displays different image information.

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After shooting with a kit lens, I find that it does not retract when I power down the camera. To protect the lens, how can I configure the camera to retract the lens when it powers down?

On the 14-45 mm and 40-150 mm zoom lenses bundled with the EVOLT E-500 Two-Lens Kit, zoom operations are controlled by manually turning the zoom ring. The camera does not have an automated zoom feature. Therefore, it is necessary to manually retract the lens when finished shooting.

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When I try to use the AE Bracketing function, why do I only get one frame instead of three?

The camera’s Drive mode is set to Single Frame shooting. Configured this way, which is the default setting, the shutter button must be pressed for each bracketed frame. If the Drive mode is set to Sequential shooting, then pressing and holding down the shutter button will cause the camera to shoot all three bracketed frames in one burst.

To change the Drive mode, first press the Sequential Shooting/Self-Timer/Remote button, located on the top of the camera to the left of the pop-up flash. Use the control dial to move the cursor and select either Single Frame shooting (indicated by an icon of a single photograph) or Sequential shooting (indicated by an icon of a trio of stacked photographs). Finally, press the OK button to activate the new Drive mode.

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I went on vacation and used several memory cards. Now, when I'm downloading the images onto my computer and trying to save them, I get a message that says, "Image FILE NAME.jpg already exists. Replace it with a new file?" What's going on?

The EVOLT E-500 has two settings for creating file names for the images it captures:

    AUTO - Even when a new card is inserted, the folder numbers are retained from the previous card. If the new card contains an image file whose number coincides with one saved on the previous card, the new card’s file numbers start at the number following the highest number on the previous card.

    Put simply, the camera picks up where it left off when naming files.

  • RESET - When a new card is inserted, the folder numbers start at 100 and the file numbers start at 0001. If a card containing images is inserted, the file numbers start at the number following the highest file number on the card. If the card has been formatted, the file names will start with 0001.

    Put simply, the card starts naming files anew beginning at 0001. At some point, the computer will start seeing duplicate numbers. When multiple cards are downloaded in this setting, each duplicate file name will have to be renamed individually or else the like-named files will overwrite their predecessors when they are saved to the computer. The original images will no longer be viewable.

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I cannot control my camera with the RM-1 Remote Control although the camera is setup correctly for remote control shooting. Why not?

Other than the battery being exhausted, the frequency of the RM-1 may need to be changed for the remote control to be recognized by the camera.  With the camera on, point the RM-1 at the Remote Control lamp on the front of the camera.  On the RM-1, press the CH button and the W or T button simultaneously until you see the camera Remote Control lamp blink.  The RM-1 frequency will then be compatible with the camera.

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My camera is connected to my TV with the video cable to play back my photos, but I don't see any images. Why not?

TVs have AV (Audio Visual) input channels (usually found below Channel 2) to play images and videos from digital cameras and camcorders.  Using the TV channel selector, move downward through the channels until you see the camera menu on the TV screen.

If the image quality on the TV screen appears to be distorted, the camera may be set to a video output incompatible with your TV.  In the Setup 2 menu (indicated by the icon of a wrench followed by the number 2), check the VIDEO OUT setting.  In North America, the setting should be NTSC.

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Why doesn't the flash automatically pop up when I shoot?

In its default operation, the EVOLT E-500 flash will automatically pop up and fire in low light and backlit conditions when any of the following shooting modes are active: AUTO, Portrait, Night + Portrait, Children, Macro, or Beach & Snow. This functionality is goverened by the AUTO POP UP setting. If the flash does not pop up as expected, make sure the camera is in a shooting mode that supports AUTO POP UP. Then verify AUTO POP UP is enabled. From the Setup 1 menu (indicated by the icon of a wrench, followed by the number 1), choose AUTO POP UP, the press the Right Arrow on the arrow pad to enter its options submenu, and select ON.

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The Control Dial on top of the camera doesn’t seem to be functioning correctly. Is there a special setting?

The Control Dial can be set up to perform different functions in the Advanced shooting modes: P, A, S, and M.

The Control Dial performs in the factory default settings as follows:

P (Program)

Rotating the control dial changes the shutter speeds and f-stop combinations while maintaining correct exposure. This is called Program Shift. In the home setting, a P is displayed in the upper left of the Control Panel screen. As the Control Dial is rotated, the P changes to Ps, indicating Program Shift. Program shift is like being in the AUTO mode while being able to select a shutter speed or f-stop.

If the Exposure Compensation button is held down while rotating the Control Dial in the Program mode, the exposure compensation values will be changed. The values are displayed on the Control panel screen if they are other than 0.

A (Aperture Priority)

Rotating the Control Dial changes the f-stops. The f-stop values are displayed on the Control Panel screen. The shutter speeds will change to compensate for the exposure. Holding down the Exposure Compensation button will enable the Control Dial to be used to set an exposure compensation value. A blinking shutter speed value on the Control panel screen or in the viewfinder indicates over- or under-exposure.

S (Shutter Priority)

Rotating the Control Dial changes the shutter speeds. The shutter speed values are displayed on the Control Panel. The f-stops will change to compensate for the exposure. Holding down the Exposure Compensation button will enable the Control Dial to be used to set an exposure compensation value. A blinking f-stop value on the Control Panel screen or in the viewfinder indicates over- or underexposure.

M (Manual)

Rotating the Control Dial changes the shutter speed. If the Exposure Compensation button is held down while rotating the Control Dial, the f-stops are changed. There is no automatic exposure compensation because the camera is relying on the photographer to select the values using a light meter or by testing. An example where this would be desirable is using studio flash equipment or a Thyristor hot shoe flash unit.

The necessity of using the Exposure Compensation button can be reversed by going into the Setup 1 menu (Wrench 1) and in the DIAL function select the P or M option. Whichever option is selected will become the default function for the Control Dial, and will not require holding down the Exposure Compensation button for that function. In other words, it is possible to inverse the function of the dial in the P or M shooting modes.

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The camera is connected to my computer with its bundled USB cable, but the computer doesn't recognize it. Why not?

Assuming that the camera is turned on and that the OLYMPUS Master software has been installed, if the computer does not recognize the camera correctly, the problem is probably that the camera has been left in CONTROL mode.

Set USB MODE to AUTO or STORAGE.  When AUTO (default) is set, the selection screen for the USB connection is displayed every time the USB cable is connected to the camera.

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After inserting an 8GB Hitachi Microdrive™ memory card into the card slot, the card access lamp blinks and I am unable to shoot. Why is this happening?

When using an 8GB Hitachi Microdrive cards in the EVOLT E-500, the card access lamp may blink for up to two to three minutes the first time the card is inserted into the card slot. When the card access lamp stops blinking, the camera is ready to shoot.

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