Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review: Performance
We had reasonably high expectations for the E-M10 in terms of image quality, and it didn’t disappointed.
It’s capable of producing superb images with plenty of detail, and in fact resolves a little more detail than previous OM-D cameras at the lower sensitivity settings.
Noise is controlled well in JPEGs up to around ISO6400, when some smoothing and a slight loss of detail is evident in images viewed at 100% on screen.
As you’d expect, this softening increases with sensitivity, and while the top ISO of 25600 produces respectable results, most photographers are likely to keep it for emergencies only.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 generally produces natural-looking colours, and the automatic white balance copes admirably with most natural lighting conditions.
As is often the case, however, it struggles under artificial light, when a custom value is often a better option.
We were impressed with the E-M10’s AF system in normal daylight conditions: it manages to latch onto subjects quickly, and in AF Tracking mode it can follow quite fast-moving subjects around the frame.
Performance dips in low light, however, and we struggled to get sharp shots of moving subjects at a night-time fairground.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review: Sample photos
Plenty of detail
Images have a high level of detail direct from the camera, but as you’d expect, there’s a bit more visible in the raw files.
These catkins were bobbing about violently in the wind, but in the bright light the E-M10’s AF system was able to lock on to them quickly. It even managed to keep up with them as they moved around the frame in AF Tracking mode.
The tilting screen is useful when shooting landscape-format images from low down or high up, but it’s no help with upright shots. However, you can also compose images on your iPhone or iPad via the Olympus Image Share app.
Olympus’s Grainy Film Art Filter suits this cooling tower image well, but if you’re not sure, you can shoot a raw file simultaneously so that you have a ‘clean’ file to work with.
This image was shot using the Dramatic Tone Art Filter. It’s also possible to apply these effects to the raw files during processing using the supplied Olympus Viewer 3 software.
Here’s the raw version of the previous image, without the Art Filter applied.
Live Time shooting mode enables you to see the image build up on the screen on the back of the camera (or iPhone/iPad) and then trip the shutter when the exposure looks correct. This image took 5.5 secs at ISO100 and f/18.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review: Features and Review Video
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review: Build and handling
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review: Performance and sample photos
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review: Verdict and specs
Our original Olympus OM-D E-M10 announcement story
Our original Olympus OM-D E-M10 hands-on review
Common mistakes at every shutter speed (and the best settings to use)
White balance – Photoshop fixes and in-camera solutions for any situation
Color Theory: the best color combinations for photography (and how to take it further)
What is ISO: camera sensitivity settings and the best way to use them