While the retro styling and photographic capability of the Olympus OM-D line-up has had a broad fan base since its introduction, its pricing has pretty much limited it to the enthusiast and professional markets. Now Olympus is aiming to widen its appeal with the introduction of the OM-D E-M10, a smaller and more budget-friendly offering.
The Olympus E-M10 is the third camera in the OM-D line-up. It follows on from the E-M5, one of the first mirrorless cameras that photographers took seriously, and the E-M1, which last year re-defined what mirrorless cameras are capable of. Although propping up its stablemates as the entry OM-D model, it shares more with them than just those retro looks and dials.
Inside there's the same 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) Live MOS sensor as the E-M5, which is paired with the TruePic VII image processor from the E-M1. This allows for high-quality images in almost any lighting conditions, and the camera has an ISO range of 200 to 25,600 (a low ISO 100 equivalent setting is also available). It can also record Full HD video at 1080p 30 fps.
A contrast detection autofocus system with 81 points is described as being "Olympus' fastest ever" and should be up to the job, whether you want to focus on a tiny section of the frame, or keep up with an active subject. On the topic of speed, the E-M10 is capable of sequential shooting at 8 fps for up to 20 RAW shots before slowing down.
On the back of the E-M10 there's a 3-inch tiltable touchscreen monitor with a resolution of 1,037k dots. But despite the camera's diminutive size, users aren't restricted to composing shots on the rear screen. Olympus has also found space for a 1,440k dot electronic viewfinder which is said to not suffer from the lag which can make some EVFs a pain to use. Built-in Wi-Fi also means that compatible smartphones can be used as a remote control while mirroring the Live View LCD, in addition to making the sharing of images easier.
Measuring 119.1 x 82.3 x 45.9 mm (4.7 x 3.2 x 1.8 inches) the OM-D E-M10 only weighs 396 g (14 oz) with its battery and memory card, despite featuring an all-metal casing. There's also the inclusion of a built-in pop-up flash, which is a first for an OM-D camera, along with the solid-looking manual control dials users have come to expect.
That brings us onto what the E-M10 doesn't have. While there is sensor-based image stabilization, it's just a 3-axis version of the 5-axis stabilization used in the OM-D E-M1. The new camera also lacks the weather sealing which allows its bigger brothers to be used in adverse conditions.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is due to go on sale from mid-February. It will be available in either black or silver and will cost US$700 body-only, or $800 with a 14-42-mm F3.5-F5.6 kit lens. Though this is considerably cheaper than the OM-D E-M5 was when it was first released, it's worth noting that the two-year-old camera can now be had for a similar price.
To see a bit more of the E-M10, check out the Olympus promo video below.
Product page: Olympus OM-D E-M10