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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Expert Review

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Expert Review - Read our full review of the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 - the entry level OM-D from Olympus. Find out how this mini OM-D performs.

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Category : Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
Product : Olympus OM-D E-M10
Price : £529
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Olympus OM D E M10 14 42ez Zoom (2)

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is the latest addition to the Olympus OM-D range, offering a more compact metal body and design similar to the Olympus OM-D E-M5, with the TruePic VII and Wi-Fi technology from the top of the range Olympus OM-D E-M1.

The E-M10 features a 16 megapixel Live MOS sensor, 3-axis image stabilisation, a tilting 3inch screen, an electronic viewfinder, and a built in pop-up flash. The E-M10 is available for £529 body only, making it the "entry-level" model in the Olympus OM-D range, alongside the E-M5 and E-M1 which will both remain on the market. 

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Features

Olympus OM D E M10 14 42ez Zoom (12)

In many ways the E-M10 is a mini E-M5 with a similar body, but without the weather sealing Olympus has managed to make the camera smaller, while also including a built-in pop-up flash, and built in Wi-Fi. Instead of the 5-axis image stabilisation of the E-M5 and E-M1, the E-M10 features 3-axis image stabilisation that is active in photo and video modes, correcting for yaw, roll and pitch. 

Olympus OM D E M10 With Battery Grip (4)

The E-M10 has been introduced with three new Olympus lenses, a bright 25mm f/1.8 prime lens, a 9mm fisheye body cap lens, and a new ultra compact power zoom pancake lens that will be sold with the E-M10, or on its own. The M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 MSC is the smallest lens of its kind, measuring just 22.5mm. This lens, when used with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 makes the camera and lens combination extremely compact and easily fits in a jacket pocket. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is available as a kit with the new 14-42mm lens for £699.

Olympus OM D E M10 With 25mm 9mm 14 42mm MCON P02

With the introduction of three new lenses, the 9mm fisheye, 25mm f/1.8 and 14-42mm EZ pancake zoom lens, this brings the range of Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses to 21 (including the previous body cap lens), and the total number of Panasonic, Sigma and Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses is 45 - giving the Micro Four Thirds system the world's largest mirrorless range. There is also a new Macro Converter MCON-P02, shown above that will attach to the 25mm f/1.8 lens, as well as the 14-42mm EZ lens (with Olympus SUR-3746 37-46mm adapter ring).

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 features an all-metal body, despite the lower price point compared to the E-M5 and E-M1. Designed to look and handle like a real camera, the electronic viewfinder (EVF) features an eye-detection sensor which will automatically switch on the EVF when the camera is held up to your eye.

Olympus OM D E M10 14 42ez Zoom (6)

Built in Wi-Fi gives the ability to use a smartphone for remote shutter release, live view mirroring, P, A, S, M control, remote zoom with electronic lenses, live bulb preview and image sharing directly on the connected smartphone. 

Inherited from the top of the range E-M1, the E-M10 features 2 HDR modes, interval shooting with time-lapse movie capture, focus peaking, live composite mode for previewing long exposures in the EVF, ISO extension down to ISO100, 12 Art filters including Diorama II for portrait photography, and photo story shooting modes. 

Fine Detail Technology II is designed to process images to the characteristics of individual lenses and aperture settings, and the camera features a moire removal tool, for optimum image quality. Adaptive brightness technology, from the E-M1, improves the view through the EVF, and the E-M10 also benefits from Creative Control, letting a number of settings be changed directly in the EVF. 

 

Key Features

 

 

  • 16 megapixel Live MOS sensor
  • 3inch 1037k dot touch-screen
  • TruePic VII image processor
  • 3-axis image stabilisation
  • EVF with 1,440k dots
  • Fast AF with 8fps continuous shooting
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for remote shutter
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • HDR modes
  • Interval shooting with time-lapse movie capture
  • Focus peaking
  • ISO100 - ISO25600
  • 12 Art-Filters, Photo story
  • FullHD video recording
  • All-metal body

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Handling

Olympus OM D E M10 14 42ez Zoom (7)

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 features a metal body which makes it feel extremely well built. The top of the camera features two control dials, which can be used to set aperture and shutter speeds in manual modes, or customised to change your favourite settings, such as exposure compensation, ISO etc. For anyone with an Olympus OM-D E-M5, the E-M10 will feel immediately at home, with almost identical button and control layout, with the exception of the Fn1 and Playback buttons which have now been swapped round. The buttons are much flatter to the body of the camera, and gone is the slightly "Squishy" feeling that the E-M5 has, due to the buttons not needing to be weather sealed. 

Olympus OM D E M10 14 42ez Zoom (8)

The rear features the same button layout, although now features a button for the pop-up flash, and missing from the E-M10 is the accessory port that is available on the E-M5 and E-M1. The menu, info, OK, delete, and on/off switch are all in the same position, although the memory card slot is no longer on the side, and can now be found in the battery compartment underneath.

The 3inch touch-screen is tiltable in the same way as the E-M5, tilting both up and down and is very clear with a high resolution and good colour saturation. The camera has 81 focus points, covering a wide area of the image, and they can be selected using the 4-way controller on the back or alternatively using the touch-screen. This can be switched off, or alternatively set to take a photo when the touch-screen is pressed.

Olympus OM D E M10 14 42ez Zoom (10)

The E-M10 has an improved textured grip compared to the black E-M5, with a more leather-like feeling on the front of the camera, and with the protruding thumb grip on the back of the camera the camera is quite comfortable to hold. For those who would prefer a larger grip, then there's an optional grip that can be seen below. This gives the camera a very good hand-grip and feels very comfortable in the hand. 

Olympus OM D E M10 With Battery Grip (1)

The grip can be quickly unclipped to give access to the battery and memory card compartment without having to unscrew the grip from the tripod socket. The matching ergonomic grip (ECG-1) is available for £54.99. 

The menus have not changed much since the last Olympus camera, and can take a little while to get used to - a video walkthrough can be found on YouTube. The more basic settings are found within the first few menus, with the more advanced settings found within the colour coded custom menus. To quickly change settings on the camera, you can either enable the super control panel and use the touch-screen or 4-way controller, or you can press the OK button and bring up the on-screen controls. Once you become familiar with the controls it becomes fairly easy to change settings quickly.

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) features the same resolution as the E-M5, and is the same size, however there does appear to be a slight improvement in quality between the two models, particularly noticeable in low-light. The E-M10 adjusts the EVF light-levels automatically depending on the lighting.

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 320 shots according to Olympus / CIPA test results, which is average for a compact mirrorless class of camera - therefore we would recommend a spare battery if you plan on shooting more.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  Olympus OM-D E-M10
Shutter Response <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.15
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.25
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.3
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.5
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.1
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
6.5fps (222 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash 1fps
Continuous Shooting - RAW 6fps (12 shots)


Shutter response and focus speeds are very good (tested with the new 14-42mm EZ lens), with a very good shot-to-shot speed. Continuous shooting wasn't as quick as the specifications, however it was impressive that we were able to take over 200 shots before noticing any slowdown. The camera is compatible with UHS-I cards, and therefore we'd recommend buying the fastest card you can afford to get the best out of the camera. 

You can adjust the power zoom speed to low/medium/high for photos and videos separately. The camera focuses reasonably well in low-light thanks to the focus-assist light, and the Olympus website says that the camera has a -2 to 20EV focus detection range.

 

 

 

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - The camera has reliable exposure and produces excellent JPEG results straight from the camera, with bright saturated colours and very good levels of detail. The built in flash performs well, and there is no red-eye visible in the portrait shot above, and plenty of detail can be seen along with excellent skin tones. 

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Macro performance from the 14-42mm EZ kit lens is reasonably good, however it is possible to get much closer with the optional MCON-P02 macro converter lens. The new 14-42mm EZ power zoom kit lens performs well despite it's extremely compact size when switched off, and detail is good whether using the lens at the wide-angle or telephoto end of the lens. There is some purple fringing visible when viewing images at 100% in areas of high contrast, such as in tree branches, but this is mostly noticeable towards the edges of the frame, and shouldn't be a problem most of the time. The camera has built in correction and this does a very good job controlling barrel and pincushion distortion, as well as vignetting, although some was occasionally visible. The lens was also very resistant to flare. 

Olympus OM-D E-M10 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - ISO100 shows extremely low noise, although with slightly less dynamic range. Noise is low at ISO200, with good levels of detail, and the same can be said about ISO400. Low noise and good detail continues until ISO1600, where there is a slight drop in levels of detail, although noise is low at this setting, and at ISO3200. At ISO6400 noise increases, although results are still quite impressive. The E-M10 delivers better noise performance at high ISO settings including ISO12800 and ISO25600, when compared to the E-M5, with the E-M10 showing better retention of detail, as well as better colour saturation. The camera also delivers comparable results to 20 and 24 megapixel APS-C mirrorless and DSLR cameras, with very good results even when shooting at the highest ISO settings of ISO12800 and ISO25600.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten and fluorescent lighting, often producing better results than using the presets. The camera has an option to "Keep warm colour" when using auto white balance under tungsten lighting, which can be useful for capturing the mood of a scene.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Outdoor images


A new HDR Mode, first seen on the E-M1, combines a number of photos taken at different exposures, and can be used handheld (although a tripod is recommended). There are two modes, one more natural, the other more dramatic, as shown above.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a number of Art Filters, including Pop art, Soft focus, Pale and Light Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia, Dramatic Tone - Colour or Black and White, Line Art, and Watercolour as well as Art Bracketing that will apply as many effects as you choose to one image you take. Each filter has a number of options and additional effects that can be applied such as a vignette, a frame, or different black and white filters when shooting with one of the black and white effects.

The camera features photo story mode - there is the choice of 1:1, or 4:3 aspect with 4 different styles of story boards, as well as frame and layout options. There are also three different styles of "Fun Frames", and a speed setting that takes a continuous set of photos, great for action shots or other creative styles. The original raw image is saved as well so that you can go back to the original image if you want to. Unfortunately there is no automatic panoramic stitching mode, instead just a framing assist feature for you to stitch the photos yourself on a computer.

Video - Quality is good, with the camera recording full HD video with stereo sound. There are options to enable wind noise reduction, as well as set the recording volume of the microphone. Image stabilisation is active when recording which helps steady the shot, and the highest ISO setting selectable is ISO3200. The camera does not offer different frame rate options, instead video is recorded at 30fps. An example recorded in low-light can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel.

 

 

 

Value For Money

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is available for £529 body only, or £699 with the compact 14-42mm EZ zoom lens, which makes it good value for money, particularly as very few competitors come provided with a compact zoom lens. The following cameras features built in viewfinder:

Olympus OM-D E-M5, 9fps, Weather sealed, (no Wi-Fi), £899 with 12-50mm lens
Panasonic Lumix GX7, 9fps, £749 with 14-42mm lens
Sony Alpha A6000, 11fps, £649 with compact 16-50mm lens
Samsung NX30, 9fps, £899 with 18-55mm lens
Fujifilm X-E2, 7fps, £1140 with 18-55mm lens

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

 

 

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Verdict

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 takes the already winning formula of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and E-M1, mixes some of the best bits together, and squeezes them into a more compact stylish metal body. In addition Olympus has added some of the latest image processing technologies from the top of the range E-M1, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity and a built in pop-up flash. To make the OM-D E-M10 even more appealing Olympus has released an extremely compact power zoom lens, the M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ lens that delivers impressive image quality, as well as making the camera fit neatly into your pocket! 

Image quality is impressive with bright saturated colours and excellent levels of detail. Built in image stabilisation helps get good shots in low light, as well as steadying videos recorded with the camera. This also works with any other lens you might want to use with the camera, and there are a growing number of Micro Four Thirds lenses to choose from, including the new Olympus 25mm f/1.8 prime lens, and a fun 9mm fish-eye body cap lens. Priced at £699 with the M.Zuiko 14-42 EZ power zoom lens, the camera is one of the smallest interchangeable lens cameras available with a built in electronic viewfinder, and well worth investing in. 

 


 
 
  The Olympus OM-D E-M10 delivers some of the best image quality of any Micro Four Thirds camera and, thanks to the compact metal body, fits neatly into your pocket!  

 

 

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Pros

Excellent metal body
Excellent image quality
Impressive ISO performance
Extremely compact zoom lens
Built in HDR shooting
Built in flash
Focus peaking
Very good value for money
Wi-Fi connectivity
2 year warranty

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Cons

No automatic panoramic stitching feature
Limited video frame rate options

 

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  


Olympus OM-D E-M10 Specifications

ManufacturerOlympus
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeMicro / Four Thirds
Sensor Size (width)17.3mm
Sensor Size (height)13mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution1037k dots
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Touch AF
  • Spot
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Shade
  • Flash
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-5
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Resolution1.44million dots
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting8fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeBLS‑5 Li‑Ion battery
CIPA Rating320
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight396g
Width119.1mm
Height82.3mm
Depth45.9mm

View Full Product Details

 

 

Explore More

Photographs taken using the Olympus OM-D E-M10

Waiting for the lightsThe Brown BowlerJitterbugOh what a lovely war!BenchesSwans HeadThe Big Wheel, BerlinCyclists in BerlinFeeding TimeHere Come the GirlsArgument at the Brandenburg GateReflectionNow, what's up here ?In & out of focusAn owl
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Comments


RJPhoto 2 9 1 United Kingdom
29 Jan 2014 9:30AM
OK, so it looks like I've found my new 'in my pocket all the time' camera. Prefer the fact the Fuji has a larger sensor, but on first impression this looks more compact and better suited to not creating a bulge! Can't wait to see a review and test images.

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ChrisV 8 888 26 United Kingdom
29 Jan 2014 1:14PM
It's a relief to see they've put a pop-up flash in this one - it mystifies me they didn't do that with the EM1. Does the flash unit on this also work as a commander for wireless speedlights? I haven't found any mention of this in the reviews. The accessory grip seems OK, but for me the biggest advantage of the portrait grip in the EM1 is that it doubles the battery life [which I find necessary] - is there going to be an equivalent for this camera? I'm considering buying one to replace the G6 as a back up body.
RJPhoto 2 9 1 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2014 9:43AM
I've been waiting for this full review ever since it was announced! I suspected it would get the full star treatment, and glad to see I was right. I've been looking for a 'take anywhere in my pocket' camera, and this does seem to tick all the boxes. It almost makes the Stylus 1 from Olympus redundant, even though that has a longer zoom, due to the sensor size and flexibility of the OM10.

It's a shame Olympus have left the filter in, though I suppose at this price point there's only so much technology they can get away with. Bu that won't be putting me off!

I've got to invest in a second (back-up) camera for my main camera bag, which is Canon, but as soon as that's done the Olympus will be mine!
2 Mar 2014 6:32PM

Quote:it mystifies me they didn't do that with the EM1. Does the flash unit on this also work as a commander for wireless speedlights?


It does, see other review sites or download the manual. Even my old E-PL2 can command multiple flash guns with its flash, and AFAIK, all m4/3 (from Olympus) can.

Higher tier cams, e.g. 5DmkII, X-Pro1, usually don't have a built-in flash. I suppose that's why Olympus didn't put a flash in the E-M1? Well at least it comes with a detachable one.
9 Sep 2014 2:35PM
Designed to look and handle like a real camera

So... This is not a real camera? It is just a 500 ornament? Haha

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