Olympus has done it again with the new Digital SLR evolt e510
It is hard to find digital SLR cameras with the same high end features as the Digital SLR evolt e510 at an affordable low price. Digital SLR cameras with both an image stabilizer and live LCD view donít come at the Digital SLR evolt e510 price tag.
For a price around $500 the Olympus Evolt E510 has features only found in high end cameras costing in the thousand dollars and more. Two of those features are an image stabilizer allowing taking photos with high zoom lenses and in conditions when camera movements can not be avoided and a live LCD view allowing composing photos when the optical view finder is useless.
An image stabilizer is a rare feature in entry level $500 price range digital SLR cameras. In short an image stabilizer allows taking pictures when camera movements are unavoidable or when such movements are amplified for example when using a high zoom lens. The image stabilizer is an electro-mechanical optical element either in the camera lens or in the camera body that identifies and compensates for camera movements. Without an image stabilizer many photos taking at extreme conditions would come out blurry and useless.
An image stabilizer can be implemented in two ways. It can be implemented as an optical feature built into the lens or as a feature built into the camera body. When implemented in the les the image stabilizer is a combination of a gyro and a floating optical element. The gyro identifies and tracks any camera movement and directs the floating optical element to compensate and balance that movement. The image stabilizer built into the camera body is implemented as an electro-mechanical mechanism that actually moves the image CCD sensor to compensate for movements. There are advantages and disadvantages to each implementation. Usually the optical in-lens solution is considered of higher quality as it can be perfectly tuned to the specific lens. The in-body implementation however has a tremendous cost advantage and it is not surprising that the Olympus Evolt E510 uses it. It is both cheaper to implement but also because it is built into the camera body you can enjoy image stabilization with any lens that you use.
In other words if you want image stabilization in every lens you use, with the Olympus Evolt E510 you can it at the cost of one image stabilizer mechanism in the camera while with in-lens image stabilization you will have to pay again and again for each lens.
Live LCD view is the second great feature of the Olympus Evolt E510. Digital SLR cameras use a single lens reflex mechanism and usually only allow using the optical view finder to compose pictures. The LCD screen is only used for menu settings and for reviewing the pictures taken but it can not use to view a live feed of what the camera is looking at and for composing and taking new photos. With live LCD view a special optical mechanism allows some of the light to be used by the camera sensor to feed the LCD thus providing both the optical view finder and the LCD as possible picture composition tools. With live LCD view you can use the Olympus Evolt E510 to compose pictures in situation where the optical view finder is useless for example when taking photos of a crowd while holding the camera high over your head with both your hand stretched.
Danette Mckay explains about this subject in more depth at olympus evolt e510 10mp digital slr camera with ccd s...