The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is the third camera in the company's OM-D range and represents another tier in the lineup - sitting below the E-M5 and the even more expensive E-M1. It uses the same 16 megapixel Four Thirds sensor as the E-M5, though doesn't offer that camera's weatherproofing. From the E-M1 it gets the latest TruePic VII image processor and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. Clearly, the E-M10 leans on some highly capable genetics.
The E-M10 doesn't have all the enthusiast trimmings of the E-M1, but it is targeted to a slightly more serious or developing photographer, rather than a casual snapshooter. With a built-in viewfinder, dual control wheels and number of customizable controls, it's aimed for the photographer who wants to take some control over shooting settings, though it does have an Auto mode for shooters not yet ready to take that step. It presents all of the light-and-compact benefits of Micro Four Thirds, with a few more SLR-like touches (viewfinder and direct controls) that an enthusiast will appreciate.
The first of Olympus's OM-D models, the E-M5, impressed us a great deal when it was launched, and struck a chord with our readers - comfortably winning our first annual 'camera of the year' poll. And the cause for the excitement? A combination of the best image quality we'd seen from a Four Thirds sized sensor and a well-considered set of controls that offered an enthusiast DSLR-style experience in a much smaller body, which was genuinely unprecedented. Overall it was the most complete and coherent mirrorless camera we'd seen up until that point.
The E-M10 offers almost everything the E-M5 did, plus a bit more, at a much lower starting price. Whereas the E-M5 debuted at a cost of around $999 body-only, the E-M10 hit the market at around $699 (or $799 with the collapsible 14-42mm II R lens).
The story is slightly different in the UK, where Olympus is bundling the E-M10 with the tiny 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ power zoom lens that was announced at the same time. This kit costs around £699, with a £529 price tag to buy it body-only. This means the body-only price is only around $30 more expensive than the US price, if VAT is removed to compare them on an equal footing.
OM-D E-M10 key features
16MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
Twin control dials
8 fps continuous shooting
Tilting 1.04M dot LCD touchscreen
1.44m dot LCD viewfinder
Wi-Fi allowing remote control and file transfer to smartphones
'3-axis' image stabilization
Looking through that list, you'll see that the E-M10 is essentially an un-weather-sealed E-M5 but with a better rear screen and the ability to easily send images off to a smart device. And, in use, that's a pretty accurate way of looking at things. But just looking at what's new or different risks downplaying how much is carried over from the E-M5.
Despite its fairly modest (mid-range DSLR level) pricing, the E-M10 retains not only a full twin dial control setup, giving you plenty of direct access to exposure settings, but also a touchscreen that helps make it quick to change secondary settings (gradation, white balance, ISO, etc.). As usual, Olympus hasn't made any moves to simplify or dumb-down its menu system, with all the advantages and disadvantages that brings.
Olympus OM-D E-M10
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