Olympus unveils the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV: We have gallery images, video samples, First Shots and more!
posted Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 1:00 AM EST
The Olympus OM-D line of cameras first came to market in the form of the popular E-M5 back in April of 2012. Now more than 8 years later there are four distinct OM-D lines, and the first of these to be christened with "Mark IV" branding has just arrived in the all-new Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV.
The entry-level model in the OM-D line, the E-M10 IV is the last to receive an upgrade to the newer 20mp sensor, which is arguably the most important upgrade for the line in this latest revision. This is important for several reasons, primarily that the older 16mp chip had become a bit dated, and for anyone wanting the Mark IV as a capable back-up camera, having the newer sensor and higher resolution comparable to the other OM-D lines is quite a significant advantage.
For anyone wanting to head straight to the deep details about this new entry-level model, including learning about the additional new features housed within, please dive into my colleague Jeremy Gray's full Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV Preview. And for anyone wanting to see the imaging and video potential from this new model from both the lab and the field, please read on...
E-M10 IV Gallery: Versatility in a lightweight package
While my colleague William Brawley was out shooting the new M. Zuiko 100-400mm f/5-6.3 IS lens, I took to the field with the new E-M10 Mark IV and a few choice lenses in tow, including the relatively new 12-200mm f/3.5-5.6 as well as the latest Olympus lens in the 12-45mm f/4 Pro. Each of these capable lenses makes for a nice pairing with the E-M10 IV, as they're both quite lightweight and versatile for what they offer, and both are also reasonably priced as well.
In shooting with the Olympus E-M10 IV, the term that most often came to mind for me while in the field is versatile. As the fourth member of the entry-level line in the OM-D family, we already know that it's the lightest and least pricey member, but now with an updated 20mp sensor, it becomes something more. In addition to being a terrific choice for anyone launching into photography beyond smartphone limitations, it's also a capable back-up camera for anyone shooting one of the many enthusiast-grade OM-D models.
The Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-5.6 first saw the light of day in 2019, and provides quite a nice pairing to the E-M10 IV both from a price standpoint ($799) and also a nice overall weight balance for the combination (body = 383g + lens = 455g). The lens is weather resistant whereas the E-M10 IV is not, and so that's one of the major drawbacks to being entry-level. But otherwise, the pairing is very comfortable in the field.
The camera feels very solid in the hands, with reassuringly precise control dials and a familiar overall design. Indeed, not much has changed other than a newer sensor and tipping the scales at a slightly lighter weight from its predecessor, and that's a good thing considering how much we've loved this line over the years. They have updated the LCD screen, however, and it now swings down into a full front-facing orientation.
E-M10 IV Video: More than meets the eye for an entry-level offering
For an entry-level camera, the E-M10 IV carries fairly hearty video chops and specs, shooting 4K/30p and 1080/60p, as well as 1080/120p slow-motion footage. The camera can also shoot and create time-lapse videos, although the framerate options are limited compared to higher-end models in the line. For 1080p output in timelapse films, you're limited to 15fps, and for 4k output, you're limited to just 5fps, which I don't find overly usable. Still, the footage that the camera can create at 1080/15fps is quite good, and you'll see several examples of this in the samples montage below.
For most of the clips in the montage, I put the newer 12-45mm f/4 Pro lens to good use, as it's quite light and versatile for video. It's also priced about the same as the E-M10 IV, and the pair yields quite the video powerhouse for roughly $1500. I missed not having the focus clutch that I'm usually accustomed to with the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens, but the quick menus and programmable function buttons on the camera came to the rescue easily enough.
In these clips you'll see both 4K and 1080p footage, as well as clips with a variety of framerates, in addition to the timelapse footage mentioned above.
E-M10 IV First Shots: Going beyond smartphones and 1-inch sensors
The Four Thirds sensor is roughly twice as large (in terms of actual physical real estate) as a 1-inch sensor such as the one found in the new Sony ZV-1, and more than five times larger than a typical smartphone sensor such as the iPhone 11. The larger size equates to better overall image quality as ISO rises, and also to a shallower depth of field potential.
We'll circle back in a few days with some direct side-by-side comparisons for you, but in the meantime feel free to head over to our E-M10 IV Lab Samples page to pixel peep our Still Life test target First Shots to see what's going on under the hood at both default noise reduction as well as with NR dialed as low as possible in-camera. Of course, as always, the RAW files are also available for download, and you can compare this camera to any others we've tested in our extensive database via our Comparometer.
Below are a few crops zoomed in to 100% (1:1) at both native ISO and also ISO 1600 in order to see the lab image quality up close and personal.
Stay tuned for more to come on the Olympus E-M10 Mark IV! And dive in below for deeper details and image inspection.
Editor's Note: Update, 08/07/2020 - Incorrect product image has been replaced.