Olympus E-M10 Review: Shooter’s Report Part I - Affordable “OM-D for all” combines best of E-M1 and E-M5 in one camera


posted Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 2:01 AM EDT


Are you looking for a cutting-edge Olympus compact system camera, don't need the weather sealing of the Olympus E-M5 or the higher price tag and bigger size of the Olympus E-M1, yet still want a built-in electronic viewfinder? (In which case, you can scratch the E-P5)? If so, Olympus has you covered with the newly-introduced Olympus E-M10.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 -- "the OM-D for all", its maker says -- shares a lot of the guts and processing power of the flagship E-M1, as well as the earlier E-M5 -- but at a much more affordable price-point. Despite being aimed at entry-level enthusiast photographers, the new E-M10 is far from the "entry-level" in it feature-set, featuring the same TruePic VII image processor and electronic viewfinder Adaptive Brightness technology as the E-M1. The image sensor is a similar 16-megapixel Live MOS, and forgoes an anti-aliasing filter. All of this is packed into a retro-styled, all-metal body reminiscent of the E-M5.  

E-M10 (left) vs E-M5 (right)

The E-M10 does differ from its OM-D brethren in that the body is not weather-sealed. Nor does it have their 5-axis image stabilization system, opting for a new, more basic 3-axis system instead. Also, the E-M10 is "only" capable of continuous shooting at up to eight frames per second, as opposed to 9fps and 10fps on the E-M5 and E-M1, respectively. But it has to be said that an 8fps camera is no slouch, either.

The Olympus E-M10 with 14-42mm II kit lens

Entry-level or not, the E-M10 does bring a few unique tricks to the table. It's the first OM-D camera with a built-in popup flash, and also boasts a peppy electronic viewfinder. While the EVF on the E-M10 sports the same resolution and field of view as that of the E-M5, with 1.44 million dots and a 100%  field of view, it one-ups both the E-M5 and E-M1 with improved lag time, according to Olympus. (Although we haven't yet seen official numbers to tell us by how much it's been improved.) Still, this should provide for a more realistic, real-time view through the EVF.

We've had some extended hands-on time with the Olympus E-M10 here at Imaging Resource HQ, and along with posting our thorough in-hand walkaround of the camera and full Image Quality comparisons, I've also posted my Olympus E-M10 Shooter's Report Part I. In this first installment, I go through my initial impressions of this new, affordable OM-D camera after taking it out for a spin this past week. So far, it's been a very positive experience: The camera is small, light and solidly built, with excellent performance and image quality that's quite on-par for its class. Of course, there are a small handful of annoyances and issues I've found after, but you'll have to read my first Shooter's Report post to learn more about these!

For a lot more on Olympus's newest OM-D camera, head on over to our in-depth, on-going Olympus E-M10 review. Check out what I've found so far in Shooter's Report Part I, and also look over our full Image Quality comparisons to see how this new Micro Four Thirds camera stacks up against its competitors.

And of course, be sure to ask any questions about the E-M10 that I -- or any of us here at Imaging Resource -- might be able to answer by virtue of having had our hands on the camera. You can share your questions in the comments at the bottom of the review page.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is set to be available in March in both a body-only configuration and in a kit with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens, with estimated street prices of about US$700 and US$800, respectively. Like the E-M5 before it, the E-M10 comes in two body colors, black or two-toned black/silver with corresponding black or silver 14-42mm II lens for the kit configurations.

Just want to reserve your spot in line for what's likely to be one very hot camera? Place your pre-order with a trusted Imaging Resource affiliate now: