Olympus E-M10 III Performance

 
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Olympus E-M10 III Performance


Timing and Performance

Excellent performance for its class, with some nice improvements over its predecessor.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~1.0 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.5 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Startup time including taking a shot was good for a mirrorless camera at about one second, though that's a bit slower than the Mark II's 0.8 second. Switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was also quite good and identical to the predecessor at about 0.5 second.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode

0.140 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All AF timing performed with the M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 ED lens.)

Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Auto Flash Enabled

0.281 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, TTL Auto flash enabled.

Manual Focus

0.072 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.051 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Olympus E-M10 Mark III's full-autofocus shutter lag in single-area AF mode (center AF position) was only 0.14 second when tested with our M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 ED lens. That's much faster than average for a mirrorless ILC and competitive with prosumer DSLRs. (The E-M10 II tested at 0.157 second so it appears AF speed has improved.)

Full autofocus shutter lag increased to 0.281 second with the flash enabled, to account for the additional delay for the preflash metering, however that's still quite fast and improved over the E-M10 II's 0.383 second.

When manually focused the Mark III's shutter lag time was 72 milliseconds, very fast and improved over the Mark II's 82 milliseconds. The E-M10 III's prefocused shutter lag time of 51 millisecond was quite quick, and again slightly improved over the E-M10 II's 60 milliseconds.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Super Fine JPEG

0.24 second

Time per shot.

Single Shot mode
RAW + LSF JPEG

0.33 second

Time per shot.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H Mode
Large/Super Fine JPEG

0.12 second
(8.60 fps);
Unlimited(?) frames;
1 second to clear*

Time per shot, with no apparent limit other than card capacity.

Continuous H Mode
RAW

0.12 second
(8.60 fps);
33 frames total;
2 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 33 shot buffer capacity, then slows to an average of 0.16s or 6.20 fps when buffer is full with a lot of variation.

Continuous H Mode
RAW + LSF JPEG

0.12 second
(8.61 fps);
14 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over 14 shot buffer capacity, then slows to an average of 0.23s or 4.41 fps when buffer is full with a lot of variation.

Flash Recycling

4.3 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a 64GB Lexar Pro 2000x UHS-II SDXC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were excellent for its class at a third of a second or less versus about half a second for the E-M10 Mark II. We no longer test just RAW file cycle time in single-shot mode, as it's usually somewhere in between JPEG and RAW+JPEG.

Continuous H mode performance was quite good, matching Olympus' 8.6 frames per second spec no matter the file type. That's marginally slower than the E-M10 II's 8.9 fps result but it tested faster than its 8.5 fps specification with a UHS-II card. Note that focus and exposure are fixed at the first frame of a burst in this mode. There is also a "low speed" mode rated at up to 4.8 fps (up from 4.0 fps) which supports continuous AF and exposure, however we didn't test that mode in the lab.

Buffer depths when shooting best quality JPEGs were much improved at over 400 frames with no signs of slowing (we'll call that unlimited) versus 28 frames for the E-M10 II. When shooting RAW files, the buffer depth was 33 frames which is also much improved over the E-M10 II's 18 frames. Interestingly, when shooting RAW+JPEG frames, buffer depth fell dramatically to 14 frames which is only one more than the E-M10 II's result.

Buffer clearing times were excellent and improved over the E-M10 II's, ranging from only one second after a burst of 400 LSF JPEGs to only three seconds after a burst of 14 RAW+JPEG frames with a fast 2000x UHS-II card, and you can take additional shots and adjust settings while the buffer is still clearing.

Note that when using an fast UHS-I card (95MB/s SanDisk Extreme Pro), buffer depths dropped to 23 best quality JPEGs, 14 RAW and 12 RAW+JPEG frames, while clearing times increased to about 4, 6 and 9 seconds respectively, so you'll want to use a fast UHS-II card for best burst performance.

Built-in flash recycle time was an average of 4.3 seconds after full power discharge, which is a tad sluggish.


Bottom line, the Olympus the E-M10 III improves on the already excellent Mark II's performance in most cases. The E-M10 Mark III offers faster autofocus, lower shutter lag, improved cycle times, improved buffer depths and faster clearing times compared to its predecessor.

Battery

Battery Life
Slightly below average battery life for a mirrorless camera.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard)
330

The Olympus E-M10 III uses a custom BLS-50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and charger. The rated 330 shots per charge (Olympus makes no distinction between using the EVF or LCD monitor) has improved slightly from 320 shots for the E-M10 II but is still a bit below average for a mirrorless ILC, and well below the capacity of most DSLRs with their optical viewfinders. We recommend getting a second battery for your E-M10 III for use during extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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