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Editor's Choice

Olympus OM-D E-M10 review

A more affordable OM-D with most of the E-M5's features

Our Verdict

An excellent camera that affords lots of control over images, feels good in the hand and has a control layout that's easy to get to grips with. It also has a healthy number of customization options and produces high quality images.

For

  • High quality EVF
  • Excellent image quality
  • Compact metal body

Against

  • Tilting rather than vari-angle screen
  • Not weather-sealed
  • No battery-grip

Olympus is hoping that the new OM-D E-M10 will find favor in the same way as the OM-10 did when it was launched way back in 1979.

Whereas the OM-10 was the first consumer-level camera in Olympus's OM series of SLRs, and went on to be a big hit and a popular choice for family photography, the Olympus E-M10 is the first consumer-level model in the highly respected OM-D series. It sits below the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Olympus OM-D EM-1 in the company's line-up of Micro Four Thirds compact system cameras.

For those unsure of the difference, the Olympus OM-D series distinguishes itself from the Pen series (Olympus Pen E-PM2, Pen E-PL5 and Pen E-P5) by its more SLR-like styling and the presence of a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF).

Ratings in depth
Design 4 5
Features 4 5
Performance 5
Usability 5
Value 4

Features

Many of the features found in the E-M10 are the same as in the Olympus E-M5, the original OM-D – the Four Thirds type (17.3x13mm) 16.1-million-pixel LiveMOS sensor and 1,440,000-dot electronic viewfinder, for example.

This means that unlike the E-M1's sensor there is an optical low-pass filter present. However, rather than using the TruePic VI engine of the E-M5, Olympus has used the TruPic VII processor that is found in the top-end OM-D E-M1.

The TruPic VII processor incorporates Fine Detail II Technology that adapts processing to the characteristics of individual lenses and aperture settings. It is also claimed to allow better noise control. These two features may mean that the new E-M10 could produce better quality images than the E-M5.

This processor also allows sensitivity to be set in the range ISO 100-25,600 and a 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.

Olympus side shot

As the E-M10 uses the E-M5's sensor it doesn't have the phase detection pixels of the E-M1, so focusing is carried out by contrast detection alone. A total of 81 AF points are available for selection at normal viewing sizes, which can be selected individually or in groups of nine.

Focus modes

In addition to Single AF mode, Continuous AF mode, Manual Focus (MF), Single AF + MF and AF Tracking mode are available. Manual Focus is aided by the ability to magnify specific areas of the scene and focus peaking, which highlights the areas of highest contrast.

Face Detection AF is also available and this can be augmented with Eye Detect AF, Left, Right and Near side priority.

While it's the entry-level OM-D camera, the E-M10 still has the enthusiast friendly exposure modes: program, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual. There's also a healthy collection of automatic scene modes (24 in total), including a new Hand-Held Starlight mode. In this mode the camera captures eight images and automatically combines them into a single composite for better exposure and noise control.

Rear

In addition to Olympus's standard Live Bulb and Live Time modes, which allow the photographer to see the image build-up on the screen during long exposures, there's a new option called Live Composite Lighten Mode. This allows a Live Bulb image to be combined with one 0.5-60sec exposure for better dynamic range control in some situations.

Filter modes

Being an Olympus camera, the E-M10 has a large collection of Art Filter modes – 19 in total – which may be used to apply an effect to images. Many of these effects are customisable. They can be applied to JPEG files and video clips, but raw files can also be recorded at the same time so there's a 'clean' image for processing.

Like the other OM-D cameras, the E-M10 has a tilting LCD screen that is touch-sensitive for making settings adjustments and swiping through images in review mode. This is a 3-inch device with 1,370,000 dots like the E-M1's, so it trumps the E-M5 screen's 610,000 dot-count.

Side on

Key differences in comparison to the E-M5 include a simplification of the optical stabilisation system, which is 3-axis rather than 5, no battery-grip compatibility, the lack of an accessory port in the hotshoe and no weather-sealing.

The 3-axis stabilisation counteracts yaw, roll and pitch for both still shots and HD movies, irrespective of the lens attached to the camera. It is claimed to extend the safe hand-holdable shutter speed by up to 3.5EV.

Pop-up flash

A small pop-up flash, with Guide Number 5.8m at ISO 100, is a key addition to the E-M10. This will be useful for fill-in or shooting in low-light conditions. As mentioned earlier, there's also a hotshoe to accept an external flash. While the built-in flash sync speed is 1/250sec, it is 1/200sec with an external flashgun (1/180sec with the FL-50R).

The new camera also has Wi-Fi connectivity built-in, the same system as in the E-M1. Furthermore, it's compatible with the updated Olympus Image Share app which gives 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. It's also possible to use a smartphone like a standard wireless remote shutter and just trip the shutter, keeping the camera settings as they are set on the body.

Side on 2

On the face of it, the E-M10 looks like an attractive alternative to the E-M5. It has many of the same features, makes only a few compromises and has a few aspects borrowed from the top-end E-M1.

Olympus has announced a new 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens to complement the E-M10 and it will be offered as the standard kit lens. This new lens is a powerzoom and it collapses down when the camera is turned off to maintain the slim lines of the camera. Olympus claims that it is the slimmest standard zoom lens in the world.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution16.1 Megapixel
USBYes
Product FamilyOM-D
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourSilver
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Continuous Shooting Mode, Time Lapse Function
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4 AVC, MOV, Motion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)350 g
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution17.2 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody Only
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedBLS-5
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I)
Height82.3 mm
Width119.1 mm
Depth45.9 mm
Autofocus Points81
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW, MPO
Audio FormatsPCM, WAV
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelE-M10
Product NameOM-D E-M10 Mirrorless Camera
Product LineOM-D
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV207020SE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

E-M10: Small on size - big on performance

The new E-M10 is a super-slim, beautifully designed, light-weight system camera offering amazing value for best performance in class. A Micro Four Thirds camera packed with sophisticated technologies: large electronic viewfinder, high performance 3-axis image stabilisation and high-speed auto-focus, it also comes equipped with built-in flash and WiFi. The E-M10 outperforms DSLR cameras both in size and imaging excellence!

Battery Life320 Shot
Package Contents
  • OM-D E-M10 Mirrorless Camera
  • BLS-5 Battery
  • BCS-5 Battery Charger
  • EP-14 Micro Four Thirds Body Cap (BC-2)
  • Shoulder Strap
  • CB-USB6 USB Cable
  • Software Media
  • Operating Instructions
  • Warranty Card
Display Resolution1037000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker