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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III Full Review

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III Full Review - Read our full review of Olympus' entry level OM-D, the E-M10 Mark III, with 4K video, Wi-Fi and new controls.

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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III in Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera



Olympus OM D E M10 Mark III (3)

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is the third version of the OM-D E-M10, the entry level OM-D from Olympus, offering a mini-DSLR style camera, with an electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lenses, a 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, plus 4K video recording. 

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III Features

Olympus OM D E M10 Mark III (4)

The retro styled Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III features a 16mp Micro Four Thirds sensor (see how this compares to other sensor sizes), 5-axis image stabilisation built-in, a 3inch tilting touch-screen, built-in Wi-Fi, 8.6fps continuous shooting, and 4K video recording. There's an electronic viewfinder (EVF), with a high resolution of 2.36m dots, and there's even a built-in pop-up flash. 

The E-M10 Mark III is the third version of the entry-level OM-D camera, and this version has been updated to make the camera easier to use, with a new mode dial, updated modes, and easier to use graphical user interface. The OM-D E-M10 range sits under the E-M5 range, which features weather-sealing, whilst the E-M10 range does not. 

The camera is part of the Micro Four Thirds (M43) standard, which Olympus and Panasonic created in 2008. The OM-D E-M10 Mark III can use any number of M43 lenses, and due to the age of the system, it has the widest lens range of lenses of any mirrorless camera system. There are multiple lenses from Olympus (over 20), Panasonic (over 28), Samyang, Sigma, Tamron, Kowa, Voigtlander, and others. In fact, there are over 140 lenses in our Equipment Database available with the Micro Four Thirds lens mount, meaning there should be a lens to suit every budget.     

The OM-D E-M10 Mark III has a number of new and updated shooting modes:

  • Auto (was iAuto)
  • Scene mode - updated with touch-screen operation, and clear categories.
  • AP - Advanced Photography - Here you'll find a number of unique shooting modes as well as multiple exposure, HDR, and focus bracketing. 
  • Art Filters - with new Bleach Bypass

As expected, there are manual controls, P, A, S, M, as well as a video mode on the dial.

Olympus OM D E M10 II Vs Mark III
Olympus OM D E M10 II Vs Mark III

Let’s have a look at the main differences between the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, above left, and the new E-M10 Mark II, above right. First we’ll start with the upgrades.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III updates over the Mark II:

  • 4K video recording
  • 121 AF points 
  • 8.6fps continuous shooting
  • Updated user interface
  • Updated mode dial
  • New shortcut button (replaces Fn3)
  • Bleach Bypass Art Filter
  • TruPic VIII image processor (from E-M1 II)
  • Improved grip front and rear
  • Cluster AF (multiple areas in focus displayed)

If we only looked at what’s been improved, without looking at what’s been removed, we wouldn’t be presenting the whole picture. Normally we don’t have to cover this in as much detail, as most new models add new features, without taking any (or many) away, however, the Mark III has had a number of changes.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III downgrades compared to the Mark II

  • Power saving mode / Quick sleep not available
  • Less customisable function buttons
  • Plastic top and bottom (Mark II is metal)
  • 11fps High speed (electronic/anti-shock) shooting no longer available
  • Simulated OVF no longer available
  • Numerous menu items have been removed
  • AE / Focus Bracketing is now available in AP mode (Mark II has numerous bracketing modes available in most modes)
  • Electronic shutter available in some scene modes / advanced modes but not other modes
  • Wireless flash control removed
  • Photo story mode removed

If you’re simply looking at this camera as a new purchase, then much of this probably won’t matter to you, as the new features will be more appealing, but if you’ve got an OM-D E-M10 or Mark II, then upgrading to the Mark III may not be so straightforward.

Olympus OM D E M10 Mark III (7)

The camera will record 4K UHD video, with stereo sound, at a frame rate of 30, 25, or 24fps. The bitrate is set by the camera when recording 4K video, but can be changed when recording FullHD video. You can also record high-speed video at a reduced resolution of 1280x720, at 120fps.

Wi-Fi is built-in, letting you transfer images, shoot remotely, edit photos and add Geotag information to photos. 

Olympus OM D E M10 Mark III (12)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • 3inch tilting touch-screen, 1040K dots
  • 2.36m dot EVF, 0.615x magnification
  • 5-axis image stabilisation sensor (4 stops)
  • 121 AF points
  • 8.6fps continuous shooting 
  • 4K UHD video, 30, 24, 24fps
  • 720p High-speed video (120fps)
  • ISO100 to ISO25600
  • Wi-Fi built-in
  • Available in black or silver/black

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III Handling

Olympus OM D E M10 Mark III (14)

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III follows the design of the E-M10 Mark II, with retro styling, as well as the SLR style triangle on top of the camera. There is both an electronic viewfinder (EVF), and pop-up flash. The pop-up flash is activated by pushing the on/off switch further, and the style of this mimics the old Olympus OM film cameras of yesteryear.

On the back you'll find the useful 3inch tilting touch-screen. This can be used to select different shooting modes after first selecting a mode with the mode dial on top. Alternatively you can use the 4-way controller to go through options. The screen tilts up as well as down, and with a resolution of 1040K dots looks good, with good colour and detail. Viewing angles are good, and the screen is quite easy to see even in bright light, thanks to a gapless design. The ability to tilt the screen helps outdoors, as well as with awkward shooting angles.

The camera has plastic top and bottom sections (the Mark II was metal), with a brushed aluminium insert. Despite this, the camera feels well-built, and the new, larger, grips feel good, with a good texture on the front and back. The larger dials are made out of metal, and have a re-assuring solid feel to them, with quite positive pressure needed to turn the main mode dial. This means it should be fairly difficult to accidentally knock or turn the mode dial. 

Olympus OM D E M10 Mark III (1)
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III in black.

The USB connection has been updated to MicroUSB instead of Olympus' proprietary USB cable. However, it doesn't let you charge the camera through the USB cable. One downside of this is that AV out no longer supported, but most people will be more interested in using the HDMI connection instead.

You can use the touch-screen to set the focus position, and the 121 points cover a wide area of the frame. The focus system uses contrast detection AF, which means it can struggle more in low-light, however, in good light the focus speeds are rapid.

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has a high resolution, and the colour reproduction matches the screen on the back. There’s also dioptre adjustment should you need it, and the rubber surround makes the EVF comfortable to use.

The camera weighs 410g with battery and memory card, compared to 390g for the E-M10 Mark II. 

Olympus OM D E M10 Mark III (1)

Menus – The menus have had a refresh, and video options are now kept in their own area, after the photo options. There is still a long list of custom settings, but it's easier and quicker to see the options. Unfortunately the colour coding for these has been removed. In answer to this, the sections are named A. B. C. D. etc, and these labels have been made larger. Unfortunately you can't use the touch-screen to scroll through and select menu items, but you can use the touch-screen to select the scene modes, Art filters, and Advanced shooting modes. 


Wi-Fi features – Using the QR Code displayed on the camera, you can quickly set up a connection to your smartphone. The Olympus O.I. Share app makes it easy to transfer images, shoot remotely, edit photos and add Geotags to photos. The remote control part of the app gives good control over settings and options, as well as letting you take photos and record videos. 

Olympus OM D E M10 Mark III (9)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 330 shots according to Olympus / CIPA test results, which is fairly average for a mirrorless camera. The E-M10 Mark II had a quick-sleep mode, that could extend battery life to 750 shots. For some reason, the E-M10 Mark III does not have this option. 



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Photographs taken using the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Walking into the dark

Comments


Flymoman 5 2 United Kingdom
14 Sep 2017 8:17PM
Much as I love ephotozine I'm beginning to get a bit frustrated with the camera reviews I've read recently. No mention again of the auto focus performance. I was really looking forward to seeing if this had been improved. Having said that I'll definitely be skipping this model. A real backwards step for the em10. Plastic body and less customisation. Small cameras are not just for beginners.

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joshwa Plus
7 842 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2017 8:03AM

Quote:Much as I love ephotozine I'm beginning to get a bit frustrated with the camera reviews I've read recently. No mention again of the auto focus performance. I was really looking forward to seeing if this had been improved. Having said that I'll definitely be skipping this model. A real backwards step for the em10. Plastic body and less customisation. Small cameras are not just for beginners.


Hi,

On the first page you'll find:
"The focus system uses contrast detection AF, which means it can struggle more in low-light, however, in good light the focus speeds are rapid."

On the second page:
After the performance tests, showing the focus speeds for wide and telephoto:
"Tested with the 14-42mm EZ Pancake lens, focus is extremely quick in good light, and shutter response is excellent."

and
"Focus is reliable and quick, although can struggle in low-light conditions."

The speed of focus was measured to be ever so slightly quicker than when we tested the OM-D E-M10 Mark II, but the focus system is the same, and the camera still struggles in low-light, when compared to other cameras with phase detection focus systems.

Hope this helps
Josh

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