Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review

Olympus’s OM-D series is well-regarded, with both the E-M5 and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 scooping several accolades. The third model in this series, the OM-D E-M10, has a lot to live up to and encounters much competition. This happens because Olympus wants to produce a camera aimed at amateurs, but also entry-level users who are confident enough to upgrade to DSLRs.

Well, Olympus has created yet another powerful but portable camera that gives you pro-style performance. The camera has a thoughtful design that focuses on a solid, quality build that enables you to feel the grip in your hands while the ergonomic shape and agile control system allows you to get the perfect shot.

The camera targets enthusiast photographers. However, it also has a great warp-speed AF system, TruePic™ VII image processor, interactive EVF, and a host of creative features. Has Olympus produced yet another champ? Let’s find out from this Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review.

Olympus OM-D E-M10

General Specifications

The mirrorless Olympus OM-D E-M10 has some of the top specs found in the OM-D range making it unique from the latest and similarly priced DSLRs. Here’s what makes the OM-D E-M10 stand out from other cameras in the DSLRs class.

Type: Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera
Resolution: 16 Megapixel with live MOS image sensor
ISO
Native ISO: 200 – 25,600
Extended ISO: 100 – 25,600
Shutter Speed: 1/16000 – 60 seconds
Continuous Shooting Rate: 8fps
Size: 119 x 82 x 46 mm ( 4.7 x 3.2 x 1.8 in.)
Weight: 18.2 oz (515 g) includes kit lens and batteries
Media Storage: SD Card, SDHC or SDXC

Pricing Options:

• Price in Olympus Store: $599.99
• New on Amazon: $549.00
• On Sale: $449.00
• Used: $340.00 plus $5.99 shipping
• Refurbished: $319.99
• Kit Options: Camera case plus SDHC Card at $24.7

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Key Features

The Olympus OMD EM10 boasts of a powerful TruePic™ VII image processor which is also used by the flagship model E-M1. TruePic VII enhances sharpness based on the optical characteristics of the aperture value (f-number) and attached lens.

This feature has Fine Detail II Technology that minimizes false colors and performs high-precision de-mosaic for a low-pass filter. With this technology, specific colors can be corrected without affecting the reproduction of other colors. The TruePic™ VII image processor together with Olympus’ Fine Detail II technology can apply aberration adjustments and specific distortion for any of the company’s lenses. This makes the camera able to deliver high-quality images.

Another flagship feature of this mirrorless camera is its 16 megapixels live MOS image sensor which comes with the Micro Four Thirds system (M4/3 or MFT). This technology is used to design and improve mirrorless interchangeable lens digital cameras. The system allows the EM10 to have a smaller body compared to those of its competitors since no mirror is used in the body. The camera also comes with lighter and smaller lenses since they do not need to produce a large image onto the sensor.

The E-M10 has a large and intelligent interactive electronic viewfinder which displays all the shooting you need in any exposure like saturation and white balance. With this viewfinder, effects like color tone, framing grids, focus peaking, electronic level guide and aspect ratio can be viewed in real time. The EVF enables the photo captured by the lens to be projected electronically onto a miniature display.

This kind of camera viewfinder allows photographers using the E-M10 to use high-zoom-ratio lenses without the need of a large reflex mirror. The EFV shows 100% coverage of the final image and uses less power compared to a large LCD screen. The adaptive brightness technology that comes with the electronic viewfinder provides a natural display under all lighting conditions.

Image Quality & Performance

In the pursuit of perfection, Olympus provides photographers with a blend of technology to offer fascinating image quality. The E-M10 combines a 16MP Live MOS sensor, the acclaimed Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital lenses and the TruePic™ VII image processor with Fine Detail Processing Technology II to deliver precise color rendition and unique resolution. The M.ZUIKO lens system provides remarkable performance packaged in a compact and lightweight form to enable you shoot breathtaking images and capture the scenery just as you see it with your eyes.

The Olympus E-M10 has a 3-axis image stabilization system which works with a variety of lenses to give you advanced technology needed to shoot amazing photos, all the time. This feature compensates for camera shake by correcting pitch, roll and yaw compared to the most sophisticated 5-axis used in the E-M1 and the E-M5. Despite this simple technology, you will notice that very few images will suffer from camera shake while reviewing your photos.

The high-speed 16 Megapixel Live MO sensor is at the heart of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 imaging performance. This feature together with the TruePic™ VII image processor allows for silent shooting when using a 1/8000 sec shutter speed and the 40 Megapixel high-resolution shooting option.

Design & Controls

The E-M10 has a streamlined look when viewed from the front. The camera has an AF lamp above the faceplate and a round lens release button to the right of the lens mount. You can access the 12 unique Art Filters by changing the dial mode to ART mode. You can then scroll through and choose the filter you want to use. They include Pin Hole, Diorama, Pop Art, Gentle Sepia and Cross Process just to name a few.

The camera comes with a touchscreen, but you won’t have to use it most of the time since the camera operation can be configured to manual or automatic without losing the streamlined shooting feel. Photographers can now capture magnificent streetscapes and star trails thanks to the Live Composite control, which automatically blends several exposures for amazing night scenes. There is also an Advanced Olympus Capture which creates an interface between computer and camera for great image transfer and camera control.

PROs

The E-M10 gives photographers a pro-style performance in a compact camera. Here are features that make it a powerful yet portable camera:

• Exceptional dynamic range for a Four Thirds sensor
• Great hue accuracy and realistic colors
• Better HD video
• Lightweight and very portable
• Excellent low-light performance
• Has a well-rounded set of features
• Inbuilt Wi-Fi with sharing features and remote control
• Minimal EFV lag time
• Improved HD video
• Good high ISO performance

CONS

• Does not have a weather seal
• Has only 3-axis stabilization
• Tendency to over-sharpen JPEGS
• Heavy-handed high ISO noise reduction
• Mediocre battery life
• Does not have headphone jack or external microphone
• Produces good but not great videos and photos

Recommendations

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 does not have all the enthusiast features of the E-M1. However, it aims towards slightly more serious or developing photographers. Therefore, the camera is great at capturing studio shots and landscapes that need optimum accuracy. The electronic viewfinder, number of customizable controls and dual control wheels make it more ideal for the photographer who’s into controls than shooting settings. However, the camera also has some SLR- like features and the light-and-compact benefits of Micro Four Thirds that an enthusiast will appreciate.

Verdict

Portability, functionality, and speed are principal features that make the E-M10 an excellent alternative to the likes of Canon’s EOS 100D and 1200D, Nikon’s D3300 and D5300 and Pentax’s K-50. The DSLRs mentioned cannot match the 8fps shooting speed of this compact mirrorless camera.

The camera has average photo quality. However, the Olympus OM-D E-M10’s features, design, and performance make it an excellent upgrade from a point-and-shoot camera. Share your experiences with us if you already own the E-M10.

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