Olympus OM-D E-M10 review: the new E-M10 boasts all of the key features from the original OM-D at a more affordable price and in a smaller body. Angela Nicholson puts it to the test.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review: Features
The OM-D E-M10 is the third model in Olympus’s OM-D line-up of Micro Four Thirds compact system cameras, and it sits beneath the OM-D E-M5 (the original OM-D) and OM-D E-M1 as the ‘entry-level’ option.
However, it has many high-end features from the E-M5, as well as a few from the E-M1.
The 16.1-million-pixel LiveMOS sensor and 1,440,000-dot electronic viewfinder, for example, are the same as those found in the E-M5.
This means that unlike the range-topping E-M1, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 houses a sensor with an optical low-pass filter – while this reduces the risk of moiré patterning, it does mean it won’t resolve quite as much detail as one without.
However, the E-M10 does feature the TruPic VII processor of the E-M1 instead of the TruePic VI processor of the E-M5, which should be good news for image quality.
Thanks to the TruPic VII processor, sensitivity can be set in the range ISO 100-25600, and there’s maximum continuous shooting rate of 8fps – although focus and exposure are locked at the start.
In addition, shutter speed may be set in the range 1/4000-60sec (plus bulb) and Exposure Compensation can be adjusted to +/-5EV.
In comparison to the E-M5, key differences include a simplification of the optical stabilisation system, which is 3-axis rather than 5; no battery-grip compatibility; no accessory port in the hotshoe; and no weather-sealing.
However, unlike on the E-M5 and E-M1, there is a small pop-up flash, with a Guide Number of 5.8m at ISO100. This is useful for fill-in flash, or shooting in low-light conditions.
As mentioned above, there’s also a hotshoe for an external flash and other accessories.
The E-M10 also has Wi-Fi connectivity built-in, and is compatible with the updated Olympus Image Share app, which offers extensive control over camera settings – even allowing the exposure mode to be set to something other than the option indicated by the camera’s mode dial.
The app also enables a smartphone to be used as a wireless remote.
In our Olympus OM-D E-M10 review video we take a look at what this new camera has to offer and how well it performs.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review Video Transcript
Hi, I’m Angela Nicholson head of testing for Future’s photography portfolio and this is the Olympus OM-D E-M10.
Although it’s billed as the entry-level model for Olympus’s OM-D line-up of Micro Four Thirds compact system cameras, the E-M10 has many of the same features as the E-M5, the original OM-D and a few from the top-end E-M1.
The 16.1-million pixel LiveMOS sensor and 1.44-million-dot electronic viewfinder, for instance are the same as in the E-M5. However, the image processor is the TruPic VII engine of the E-M1.
Sensitivity can be set in the range ISO 100-25,600 and there’s a maximum continuous shooting rate of 8 frames per second – although focus and exposure are locked at the start.
Although it’s a little smaller and lighter than the E-M5, the E-M10’s control layout is almost identical to the original OM-D’s. On the top here we have a mode dial with options that give access to 24 scene modes, a fully-automatic shooting mode, photo story mode, video mode and the Art Filters as well program, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual exposure mode.
If you use the Art Filters via the mode dial, exposure is automatic and you just have control over exposure compensation. However, you can also select to use the Art Filters in the advanced exposure modes via the Picture Mode controls and still have exposure control.
If you use this option, any of the Filter customisation set via the mode dial route to the Art Filters is retained. In addition, the filters can be used when shooting raw and JPEG files simultaneously so you have a clean raw file to process as you, like as well as a JPEG file with the effect.
While the E-M10 is small, it feels very secure and comfortable in the hand thanks to this pronounced thumbrest and the ridge on the front of the camera.
On the top here, there are two dials for adjusting shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation depending upon which exposure mode you are using. I’ve changed these from their default set-up so that the front one sets the shutter speed or aperture while the rear one sets exposure compensation.
This button marked Fn2, used in conjunction with a control dial, gives access to the Highlights and Shadows, Color Creator, sensitivity, white balance, Image Aspect and Magnify controls. Once you’ve chosen the control you want, pressing the button again reveals the options for selection.
On the back of the camera there’s a 3-inch 1.37-million-dot LCD which provides a nice clear view with plenty of detail in most conditions, but in bright sunlight the 1.44-million dot electronic viewfinder is very useful. It also provides a clear view with a slight boost to the micro contrast in comparison with the captured image.
Like Olympus’s other OM-D cameras the E-M10 has Wi-Fi connectivity built-in and it allows the camera to be controlled remotely via a smartphone using the Olympus Images Share app.
This is very easy to set-up because the camera displays a QR code which the phone scans to download all the necessary information and there’s no need to key in passwords and the like.
It’s especially useful to use the app to control the camera when you’re shooting from awkward angles or using Live Bulb or Live Time mode to make long exposures as you can see the image build-up on the phone screen.
It’s a shame that the camera’s electronic level doesn’t show on the ‘phone screen – but perhaps this could be added with a firmware upgrade.
Our lab tests and real world shooting reveal that E-M10 produces high quality images with lots of detail, well-controlled noise and impressive dynamic range – especially in raw files. Colour and exposure are also good in most situations although I found the occasional need to reduce the exposure to preserve highlights.
I think the Olympus OM-D E-M10 is a great little camera. It may not have the dust and splashproof build of the E-M5, but it feels solid enough in the hand. It also has an extensive featureset with lots of customisation options and it produces superb images.