Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review

First Look

The OM-D series has become a trio with the announcement of the Olympus OM-D E-M10, which packs a high-speed electronic viewfinder, the TruePic VII image processor and ultrafast autofocus into a compact all-metal body.





















We were lucky enough to get a hands on look at the OM-D E-M10, watch our first look video above and read on for Richard Sibley's first impressions.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 combines a lot of its features from what has gone before in the series, with its 16MP Live MOS sensor and TruePic VII processor having been seen before in the OM-D E-M5 and E-M1.

The TruePic processor allows the E-M10 Fine Detail II Technology that adapts the camera's processing to the characteristics of individual lenses and aperture settings, as well as a moiré removal feature.

 



Even by Micro Four Thirds standards, the E-M10 is compact. When fitted with the new M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 EZ electronic standard lens, as pictured above, the camera measures 63.9mm from the rim of the lens to the viewfinder. Its body eschews moulded plastic in favour of an all-metal build. In a first for the OM-D series, the Em-10 also sports a built in pop-up flash.

The E-M10 also comes with a 3-axis image stabilisation system, a stripped down version of the 5-axis version we saw in the E-M1 and E-M5. Olympus says the 3-axis system will counteract yaw, roll and pitch with both still images and HD movies, even in low light or when using an exposure of 1/15sec or less. The E-M10 is capable of shooting at speeds of up to 8fps.

 

 

 



Image: The E-M10 shown alongside an Olympus Stylus 1 for comparison

The electronic viewfinder on the E-M10 is lifted from the E-M5. The large, high-speed EVF has 1,440,000 dots of resolution and uses Adaptive Brightness Technology from the E-M1 to accurately reproduce both light and dark scenes. The Creative Control feature in the viewfinder allows users to quickly adjust composition, focus and colour and see the results practically in real time in the viewfinder.

Olympus's FAST AF system uses 81 points over the entire image, and can also make use of Small AF Target and Super Spot AF modes to zoom in and focus accurately on specific sections of the frame.

 

 

Image: The LCD screen is the same 3in articulated screen found on other O-MDs

The E-M10 is compatible with Olympus's family of 35 mirrorless lenses. The introduction of the E-M10 also marks that of two new lenses to the Micro Four Thirds lineup: the M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 EZ pancake lens, which at 22.5mm deep is (according to Olympus) the world's slimmest standard zoom kit lens, and the M.Zuiko Digital 25mm 1:1.8. These two bring the Micro Four Thirds family to 15 members.

A number of accessories are also being released to complement the E-M10: the ECG-1 ergonomic grip (£54.99), the BCL-0980 9mm* Fish-Eye Body Cap lens (£89.99), the LC-37C Stylish automatic lens cap (£39.99), the C-44SF Premium padded camera case (£44.99) and the MCON-P02 macro converter for Micro Four Thirds lenses (£59.99).

 

 

Image: Michael Topham gets a first-hand look at the diminuitive O-MD E-M10

The OM-D E-M10 is available in black or silver for £529.99 body-only, and will be on sale from mid-February. Alternatively, it comes as a kit with the M.Zuiko 14-42mm, priced together at £699.99. The M.Zuiko 14-42 lens is priced at £299.99 on its own, the 25mm £369.99. Both will be available from March.

First Impressions

Reassuringly, the build quality of the E-M10 is of the same high standard as the other cameras in the OM-D range. In the hand it feel somewhat like a smaller version of the E-M5, however the controls are a little simpler and generally feel more pleasant to handle. It's unfortunate that the E-M10 lacks weather sealing, and this means the E-M1 is still probably the better choice for those who like to get out in all conditions.

While the speed of the focusing is a little slower than the competition, it didn't seem that significant in practice during the short time we had with the camera. We'll have to see how much of a difference it makes once we subject the camera to a full test. When used with the new M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6mm EZ lens the E-M10 allows for control with a smartphone, and this system appears to be very comprehensive and should be useful for long exposure or wildlife photography.

The build quality of the E-M10 is certainly impressive - we'll have to wait and see if the image quality measures up.


Compact System Camera Reviews

Price as reviewed

body-only
£529.99
with M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 EZ lens
£699.99

Scores

WDC-goldaward
Scores
Features 18/20
Design 19/20
Image Quality 18/20
Performance 17/20
Value 18/20
Overall Score 90%