Olympus OM-D E-M10 review
March 26, 2014
Olympus OM-D E-M10
Price as Reviewed:£529.99
Aimed at the enthusiast market, but armed with performance and tech that could see the Wi-Fi enabled 16.1-million-pixel OM-D E-M10 punch well above its weight, has Olympus created yet another champ? Read the Olympus OM-D E-M10 review...
Olympus OM-D E-M10 at a glance:
- 16.1-million-pixel, four thirds-sized Live MOS sensor
- ISO 100-25,600
- 8 frames-per-second shooting
- Wi-Fi control and transfer from smart device
- TruePic VII processor with Fine Detail II technology
- 3-axis image stabilisation
- Street price around £529 body only
- See sample images taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M10
Olympus OM-D E-M10 review – Introduction
How do you follow-up the award-winning OM-D E-M1 and E-M5? With a more affordable offering that retains the quality construction and classic design of its predecessors, naturally.
Olympus is bolstering its position in the compact system camera market with this latest release – which balances the OM-D line-up – and is now offering a model at every price point. Yet given the popularity of the OM-D series, the E-M10 has a lot of expectation riding on it, especially in the competitive CSC arena.
The company has been smart by creating a model that will appeal not only to CSC newcomers, but also to ‘advanced beginners’ who might be considering the Nikon D5300 or the 18-million-pixel Canon EOS 700D DSLRs.
As many on the forums predicted, to keep the cost down Olympus has ditched the weather-sealing that featured on the premium OM-D models. However, the E-M10 still shares some of their more advanced technology, including the E-M5’s 16.1-million-pixel four thirds Live CMOS sensor and the TruePic VII image processor from the top-of-the-range E-M1.
Image: Capable of capturing good-quality images in a small frame, the inconspicuous E-M10 is an ideal choice for street photography
Olympus OM-D E-M10 review – Features
Olympus has won many fans since reverting to the classic film SLR design aesthetic for its OM-D cameras. The E-M10 bears more than a passing resemblance to its film-era namesake, the Olympus OM-10, which was also designed as an attractive lightweight alternative to tempt advanced enthusiasts as well as beginners who didn’t want bulkier and heavier SLRs.
Obvious good looks aside, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 is well equipped to capture quality images on its four thirds (17.3x13mm) sensor. It is also capable of utilising the expansive wealth of micro four thirds lenses, having stuck with the popular micro four thirds system mount.
Along with the TruePic VII image processor adopted from the Olympus flagship OM-D E-M1, Fine Detail II technology can apply specific distortion and aberration adjustments for any Olympus lens, to deliver optimal image quality.
While some compact offerings from competitors have ditched the EVF, the E-M10 has a 1.44-million-dot electronic viewfinder. It’s also the first OM-D camera to include a built-in flash, which is nestled below a hotshoe that can be used to attach an external light or wireless lighting trigger. Unfortunately, unlike the E-M5, there is no accessory port for additional audio options.
Only 3-axis in-camera stabilisation features on the E-M10, for combating yaw, pitch and roll movement. This is a slight step-down from the 5-axis stabilisation included in the more advanced E-M1 and E-M5.
Interestingly, the E-M10’s tilting 1.04-million-dot LCD touchscreen, 3-axis image stabilisation, twin controls, focus peaking and wireless capabilities put it on a par with the key features of many recently launched DSLRs in its price bracket.
Speed, functionality and portability are key features that will make the E-M10 a compelling alternative to the likes of Nikon’s D3300 and D5300, Canon’s EOS 100D and 1200D, and Pentax’s K-50. However, none of the DSLRs mentioned can match the 8fps shooting speed of the pocket-sized and mirrorless E-M10. Additionally, only the Canon EOS 100D and Nikon D5300 are currently a match for the 1.04-million-dot resolution of the E-M10’s 3in LCD screen, which also has a touchscreen that’s as responsive as a smartphone.
Of course, the difference in sensor size between the Olympus OM-D E-M10 and the DSLRs mean that they can’t be directly compared like-for-like, but for people who don’t need the extra pixels, or the additional bulk, the E-M10’s features set will not leave them wanting.
- Dioptre Adjustment: -4 to +2
- White Balance: Auto, 7 presets, manual, 2 custom modes
- External mic: Not available (No accessory port)
- Video: 1920 x 1080-pixel full HD at 30p, 1280 x 720-pixel HD at 30p, AVCHD, AVI Motion JPEG
- Built-in Flash: Yes, GN 8.2m @ ISO 200
- Shutter Type: Computerised focal-plane shutter
- Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I
- Viewfinder Type: Electronic, with 1.44 million dots
- Output Size: 4608 x 3456 pixels
- LCD: 3in, 1,037,000-dot touchscreen
- Field of View: 100% (with 1.15x magnification)
- White Balance Bracket: Yes
- AF Points: 81-point system, touch focus, face and eye detection
- Sensor: 16.1-million-effective-pixel Live MOS (17.3x13mm)
- Max Flash Sync: Built-in sync 1/250sec, external flash X-sync 1/250sec and 1/4000sec (Super FP Mode)
- Exposure Modes: PASM, iAuto, 24 scene modes, 11 art filters
- Weight: 396g (including battery and card)
- Power: BLS-5 Rechargeable Li-Ion (320 shots per charge)
- Drive Mode: Up to 8fps, or 3.5fps with continuous AF
- File Format: JPEG, raw (ORF), JPEG + raw, AVI (motion JPEG)
- Shutter Speeds: 60-1/4000sec + bulb up to 30mins
- Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
- RRP: £529.99 (body only)
- Lens Mount: Micro four thirds
- ISO: Low (approximately ISO 100)-25,600
- Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, manual, tracking
- Metering System: 324-zone multi-pattern TTL digital ESP, spot, centreweighted, highlight, shadow
- DoF Preview: No (via test picture)
- Dimensions: 119.1 x 82.3 x 45.9mm
- Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI D
- Compression: 2-stage JPEG
- Exposure Comp: ±3EV
- Tested as: Entry-level CSC