Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS review

The Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS delivers 200-800mm of reach – but is its image quality as impressive?

Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS review
(Image: © James Artaius / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS delivers pleasing results overall – albeit with the usual caveats that it's not at its sharpest when shooting at its maximum focal length, and you can't expect an f/6.3 lens to achieve the same results as faster and more expensive glass. It supports Olympus' teleconverters and focus stacking, making it very flexible for super telephoto and telemacro work. For portable 800mm images with performance on par with the price and speed, the Olympus 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 is an easy lens to love for stills and video alike.


  • +

    Huge 200-800mm range

  • +

    Lightweight and compact

  • +

    Supports teleconverters

  • +

    Weather sealed


  • -

    Quirky stabilization

  • -

    Panasonic lens is faster

  • -

    Could be sharper

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The Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS represents the key strengths of the Micro Four Thirds format: compact size, light weight and a ridiculous amount of reach for such a small package. 

This is all made possible not only thanks to the clever design of the Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS itself, but because of the small size of the Micro Four Thirds image sensors inside the best Olympus cameras. Their 2x crop factor means that, to calculate the equivalent 35mm range of an attached optic, you multiply the focal length by 2x – which makes this latest Olympus lens a whopping 200-800mm. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.