Thanks to the rise of the mirrorless camera market, manufacturers are now creating more and more segments in their camera lines. With the introduction of the X-T1, Fujifilm now boasts a total of 5 different cameras, all targeted at different segments. Today Olympus also extended its line of mirrorless cameras by introducing the new Olympus OM-D E-M10, a budget version of the OM-D premium mirrorless cameras. Next to the OM-D E-M1 and OM-D E-M5, this is now the third premium camera designed to appeal the enthusiast crowd. It borrows most of its guts from its bigger brother, the OM-D E-M5, but in a smaller and lighter package. Priced at $699 MSRP, it is significantly cheaper than other OM-D series cameras. In a way, it is a confusing release, because it is even cheaper than the PEN E-P5 (currently at $799). Since all PEN series do not come with a built-in electronic viewfinder or weather sealing options, they are technically inferior to OM-D series. Now with the the OM-D E-M10, it is hard to say exactly what market this camera is targeted for, with its features and price range in comparison. Let’s take a look at the camera in more detail.
Key Specifications and Overview
While the Olympus OM-D E-M10 has a 16 MP sensor, it is slightly different than the one used on the OM-D E-M5. First, it has a little less resolution (16.1 MP vs 16.3 MP) and second, it features boosted ISO 100 (Low), similar to what the E-M1 does. Its image processor is the same one as used on the E-M1 (TruePic VII with Fine Detail Processing II). The first major difference between the E-M10 and its bigger siblings is the somewhat limited in-body stabilization. Both E-M1 and E-M5 have 5-axis image stabilization, while the E-M10 has 3-axis stabilization. Another difference is the slower speed of 8 fps in single mode and 3.5 fps in continuous mode (the E-M5 is 9 fps / 4.2 fps and the E-M1 is 10 fps / 6.5 fps). Shutter speed is limited to 1/4000 and the viewfinder is the same 1.4 million dot EVF found on the E-M5. The LCD screen has not changed, it is still a high resolution 3.0″ tilting one.
As expected, the OM-D E-M10 does not have the same rugged freezeproof/weatherproof body as the E-M1, but it does not have the superior splash and dustproof construction of the E-M5 either. So it is not designed to be abused like the premium models. It also comes with a built-in flash, the first OM-D series to include one (the other two come with a bundled flash that has to be attached separately).
Where the E-M10 clearly stands above the E-M5, is its autofocus system. It uses a similar contrast detect AF system as the E-M1 with 81 selectable AF points, which is way more than the 35 points on the E-M5. It also has a focus peaking feature, while the E-M5 does not. Lastly, the E-M10 packs built-in Wi-Fi, a feature not found on the more expensive E-M5.
The exterior of the camera, along with its ergonomics are very similar to what we find on the E-M5. Here is how the top of the camera looks:
And here is its back:
Aside from a couple of small design differences and a new flash button, the cameras look almost the same.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Specifications
Here is a short list of key specifications:
- 16.1 Megapixel Micro Four Thirds Sensor
- ISO range of 100 (Low), 200 – 25600
- Built-in sensor-shift 3-Axis Image Stabilization
- Contrast Detection Autofocus
- TruePic VII Image Processor with Fine Detail Processing II Technology
- Single SD memory card slot compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC memory standards
- High-resolution 1.44 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder
- Diopter adjustment ranging from -4 to +2
- 3” (1.04 million dot) tilting LCD screen
- Up to 8 fps in Single AF mode, up to 3.5 fps in Continuous AF mode
- Shutter speed range of 30s-1/4000s
- In-camera RAW converter
- Full HD movie recording at up to 1920×1080 at 30 fps
- Approximately 320 shots per battery charge
- Built-in WiFi connectivity
- Measures at 119.1mm (W) × 82.3mm (H) × 45.9mm (D)
- Weighs approximately 396g with battery and memory card
- No weather sealing
- Priced at $699 body only
Here is the official press-release:
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 29, 2014 — Olympus adds to its award-winning OM-D family with the new E-M10, an interchangeable lens camera that combines the outstanding image quality, speed and power of the flagship Olympus® OM-D E-M1 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 into an extremely compact and stylish all-metal body. Featuring the new TruePic VII image processor, the same found in the OM-D E-M1, 16 megapixel Live MOS sensor, Wi-Fi® technology, a large, high-speed electronic viewfinder, 3-axis image stabilization, ultrafast autofocus and a built-in flash, it’s the OM-D for photographers looking for an affordable, yet powerful, system camera they can use every day. The new, super-slim M.ZUIKO® DIGITAL 14-42mm f 3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom lens and the super-bright M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm f1.8 expands Olympus Micro Four Thirds line-up to 15 lenses.
Best-In-Class Image Quality
The Olympus OM-D E-M10’s 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor, combined with the TruePic VII image processor and M.ZUIKO lenses, delivers beautiful image quality with high resolution, superior color reproduction and high sensitivity that exceeds other cameras in its class. A maximum sensitivity of ISO 25600 is perfect for shooting dark scenes and indoor shooting locations, and ISO LOW mode (100 equivalent) expands the low-sensitivity end. The sensor’s rich dynamic range makes smooth gradations possible and beautifully depicts high-contrast highlights and shadows. Fine Detail Processing II technology configures the appropriate sharpness processing for each individual lens resulting in natural, high-quality resolution.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10’s in-body 3-axis image stabilization system is derived from the world’s first 5-axis system in the E-M5 and E-M1. The 3-axis version effectively counteracts yaw, roll and pitch with both still shots and HD movies, regardless of the lens attached to the camera yielding great results even in poor lighting conditions or when using an exposure time of 1/15 second or less.
The on-board FAST AF is Olympus’ fastest-ever AF system and uses 81 target areas that cover the whole image. Small AF Target and Super Spot AF modes make it possible to zoom in and focus accurately on minute sections of the frame. The E-M10 is also capable of capturing high-speed action with 8fps sequential shooting, the fast processor supports continuous capture of up to 20 RAW frames or an unlimited number of JPEG frames, and the Continuous Auto Focus with Tracking mode accurately tracks and captures moving subject as fast as 3.5 fps.
Beautiful OM-D Design
The ultra-slim, compact and lightweight Olympus OM-D E-M10 body is built with precision-machined metal parts and a premium feel that inspires the user. Two easy-to-reach metal dials give excellent operability and improved control, and the grip is designed to rest comfortably in the user’s hand. Despite its size, the E-M10 is the first OM-D with a built-in flash that is optimized for 1/250 second synchronization, a benefit for daytime flash photography.
High-Speed Creative EVF
The large, 1,440,000-dot electronic high resolution viewfinder (EVF) located on the optical axis of the E-M10 features a 120-fps refresh rate, a 100 percent field of view and maximum 1.15x magnification to help accurately frame shots. An eye sensor seamlessly switches the display between the tilting, 3.0-inch touch-screen monitor and the electronic viewfinder. Camera setting information, such as shutter speed, is displayed at the bottom of the viewfinder and photographers can take full advantage of the EVF’s ability to display the effects of various exposure adjustments, Art Filter effects and Creative Controls like Color Creator, Image Aspect control, Highlight/Shadow control, Live Histogram, Display of five different grid patterns and even a Level Gauge — all without having to remove your eye from the viewfinder.
New features, including Live Composite Mode and Photo & Movie Capture, expand the user’s creative potential. Live Composite Mode is a tool that offers previews of long exposures in the EVF, a perfect tool for anyone looking to easily capture light trails when shooting a star-filled sky. Photo & Movie Capture lets users shoot high-quality still images without interrupting the video recording. 12 Art Filters, three HDR capture modes and Photo Story support your photographic imagination.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 includes built-in Wi-Fi, and the setup is simple. By quickly scanning the QR code displayed on the camera’s LCD with a smart device, it syncs with the Wi-Fi network created by the camera. The free Olympus Image Share smartphone app synchronizes a user’s smartphone and E-M10 so the camera’s Live View is effectively displayed on the phone. In this way, the camera can be controlled by touching the smartphone display as if it were the camera itself, and users can send selected images directly to websites and social media.
Two New Micro Four Thirds Lenses
Olympus has also introduced two new Micro Four Thirds lenses to its line-up. The super-slim M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom lens measures just .9 inches thick, making it the world’s slimmest standard zoom lens. It has a smooth electric zoom that is suitable for shooting movies, and can also be zoomed in and out remotely using compatible smartphones through the updated Olympus Image Share app. The super-bright, lightweight, high-performance M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm f1.8 lens has a fixed focal length and is ideal for capturing portraits or close-ups from as little as 9.8 inches away. Both new lenses are sold separately.
New Micro Four Thirds Accessories
A host of new Micro Four Thirds accessories join the Olympus Micro Four Thirds line-up, including the fixed-aperture F8.0 Fish Eye Body Cap lens with a focal length of 9mm (35mm equivalent: 18mm). It’s an ultra-slim accessory for creative wide-angle shooting through its 5-element, 4-group lens construction. The multi-use lens barrier MF lever switches from pan focus shooting to close up 8-inch shooting with a single press of the lever. The ECG-1 matching ergonomic grip is a removable grip exclusively for use with the E-M10. Designed for absolute comfort, the grip is the perfect thickness for resting the ring finger and pinky when holding the camera. A single press of the lever on the bottom of the grip easily removes it, making replacing batteries and memory cards seamless. The MCON-PO2 macro converter is compatible with six Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses and adapts them for close-up shooting. Finally, the Automatic Opening Lens Cap LC-37C is available exclusively for use with the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ. When the camera is turned off, this accessory protects the lens from dust and scratches, and when the camera is powered on the lens cap instantly opens for snapshots and quick shooting.