Digital Cameras Guide

Olympus OM-D E-M10 review

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review - This 'Entry-level' Camera Surprised Me

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Launch SRP
S$893 (body only)
S$1,020 (with 14-42mm kit lens)

Overall rating 9/10
Performance:
9
Design:
9
Features:
9
User-Friendliness:
9
Value:
9.5
THE GOOD
Beautiful design
Smooth handling
Useful 3-axis stabilization
Useful built-in Wi-Fi
Responsive EVF
Excellent image quality
Low price for performance
THE BAD
Awkward Power switch
New kit lens awkward to zoom


Image Performance, Conclusion

Image Performance

The sample photographs were shot with the Olympus E-M10. The originals have not been post-processed and are copyright to SPH Magazines. They are provided for your reference only and we ask that you do not reproduce them elsewhere. Click for full-resolution images.

The E-M10 matches the image quality you’d get from the two-year old E-M5, which is very nice indeed. Remember that the E-M5 was a leapfrog camera in terms of image quality for Micro Four Thirds, so it’s no surprise that two years later the quality of the image sensor still shines.

The E-M10 retains the E-M5’s ability to shoot high ISO pictures, up to ISO 3200, with minimum noise and detail loss, helping you in low-light. Colors are vibrant and true-to-life, Olympus produces some of the best looking color in digital imaging today.

Even though the E-M10 comes with ‘only’ 3-axis image stabilization, most digital cameras today don’t come with IS built-in, opting to build IS into the lens. There are arguments for each approach, but built-in IS means you gain an extra advantage when you slap a non-IS lens onto the camera, like the wonderful Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens.

Autofocus performance is fast and sure, and we like how quickly you can adjust AF points by pressing the d-pad or simply tapping on the monitor. You can also turn on focus peaking to aid with manual focusing. It’s useful how the E-M10 comes with in-camera raw processing, so you can shoot and save in raw, but then transfer a JPEG out via Wi-Fi. Linking the camera to the Olympus app is quick and easy, and built Wi-Fi is simply a must in the age of the smartphone.

Conclusion: This 'Entry-level' Mirrorless Camera Surprised Me with How Good It Was

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 comes in at entry-level price but offers much more than any entry-level camera I’ve seen yet. A responsive rear monitor and electronic viewfinder, built-in 3-axis image stabilization, excellent image quality, great handling, built-in Wi-Fi, all wrapped up in a retro-gorgeous compact body.

In some ways, we actually prefer the E-M10 to the E-M5 and Pen E-P5. The E-M10 has a richer screen than the E-M5, and while it lacks that camera’s ruggedness, the E-M10 has the same image quality and can transfer pictures out via Wi-Fi. We prefer the way the E-M10 handles compared to the E-P5, and while being slightly wider and taller, the E-M10 is actually slightly lighter than the E-P5. We don’t see ourselves missing the higher maximum shutter speed and flash sync speed of the E-P5 that much.

With this camera, the Micro Four Thirds system now has two great entry-level options for two different crowds, and neither will break the bank. The Panasonic Lumix GM1 is a solidly built, compact and beautiful starter camera, great for the beginner who doesn’t plan to stick a large lens on it. At S$999 retail, the GM1 is fantastic value. The E-M10 is an advanced camera with lots of controls readily available, and at $893 (body only) or $1,020 (with 14-42mm kit lens) is just a steal with the number of features built in. With the wide range of lenses available, Micro Four Thirds offers a comprehensive system for any level of photographer, and remains the mirrorless system I'd recommend for most.