To its credit, the Olympus Evolt E-510 does a good job of keeping noise under control across its sensitivity range. While noise becomes noticeable at ISO 800 and is clearly apparent at the top setting of ISO 1,600, you should still be able to get acceptable prints throughout the camera’s sensitivity range. I just wish that the camera went beyond ISO 1,600. Even an entry-level SLR should reach at least ISO 3,200 at this point.
While the exposure quirks mentioned above might sound bad, you really can create very good photos with the Evolt E-510, though it can be a bit frustrating when compared to competitors, such as Canon’s EOS Rebel XTi or Nikon’s D40x. However, if you like the idea of this Evolt’s Live View mode or built-in Image Stabilization (something neither of the aforementioned competitors have), then you should give the E-510 a look.