on March 5, 2014
[UPDATE March 18 2014 dpreview just awarded the OMD EM10 its Gold Award]
I pixel peep ... a lot ... I figure if it's sharp at 100% crop, it's sharp period. I do pro street photography and primarily use the Sony A7 with a variety of lenses, but my go to lens is the Zeiss 55mm f1.8. This lens has been DXO tested to be second only to the the $4,000 Otus lens. All that to say ... it's SHARP. I recently got my OM-D E-M10 after comparing the images to the O-MD E-M1 and others costing much more. So ... I bought it.
[WORKS FOR MY STYLE OF SHOOTING]
I have a Sony NEX-6 with the excellent Sony G Lens 18-105mm. I use the NEX-6 as a backup to the A7. However I wanted something smaller to carry with me when I was not specifically on a street shoot. I thought about using the NEX-6 as my casual camera. It's small, but I really wanted something with the full manual control set that was like the A7. The NEX-6, while good, did not replicate the control buttons and dials of the A7. Plus the NEX lenses really added to the size of the NEX-6. But the EM10 used much smaller lenses and was completely customizable, AND had the two control dials just like my A7 ... one in the front on the top right, and one in the rear on the top right. I shoot in Manual mode and use the front dial (which I can easily turn with my index finger) to change shutter speed. I use the rear dial (which is placed perfectly for my thumb) to change Aperture for effect or bokeh, etc. Since the A7 has an Auto ISO that functions during Manual mode, it controls my exposure mostly for me. Not every camera has an Auto ISO capability that functions in Manual mode. The EM10 does. And I can set the upper and lower limits for ISO to use so I never get too much noise by going too high in the Auto ISO selection process. So between the two dial functionality being the same between the A7 and the EM10, and the availability of AUTO ISO in Manual mode and ISO bracketing on both cameras, I can use the same controls and the same setup for either camera.
[PRO LEVEL IMAGE QUALITY FOR MOST WORK]
Now for the good part ... The image quality on the EM10 is literally 95% of the image quality of my full frame A7 (both using the good glass). I'm talking about at full 100% crop. Now, to be sure, the EM10 is not an exact A7 equivalent. The 95% holds true only in reasonable light. In the lowest light the EM10, though good ... and slightly better than most APS-C cameras like the NEX-6, is simply no match for the full frame A7. But, for the money, and with the Olympus 25mm f1.8 lens, the little EM10 is excellent, and even is 95% of the image quality and capability (fast AF and 8fps vs 10fps, etc) of the EM1 to my eyes (in decent light). And the in-camera image stabilization makes it an even better bargain than many cameras. In fact, though I bought the camera to use as a third level camera in my "fleet", I am absolutely convinced it is slightly better than my NEX-6 with good glass. And I'm a Sony guy that owns an RX100 (by the way, the EM10 is significantly better than the 100 even though I love the little RX100), and an RX1 along with the NEX-6 and A7. I shot with the kit 14-42 Olympus, but it is not in the same league as the 25mm f1.8 Olympus glass. So I simply keep the better lens on the camera. I have found I can crop in on the raw EM10 image shot with the better glass and get the equivalent magnification the 14-42 would have given me by zoom ... and the f1.8 image is still better than or equal to the uncropped, zoomed-in image of the kit lens.
[COMPARISONS TO THE O-MD E-M1]
So, it's a go everywhere little camera that absolutely can replace my full frame A7 in a lot of my work. I'm simply amazed. I think the little EM10 just kicked my NEX-6 out of second place in my arsenal. The best part IMHO is that the EM10 is 90% of the camera the EM1 is ... to me. I don't need the weather sealing and would never knowingly take a weather sealed camera into a downpour anyway. But that's just the nature of my work I guess. Perhaps some people don't have an option and must be in the weather. I wanted to shoot a few thousand shots before I reviewed the little gem. The focus speed is virtually identical between the EM1 and the EM10. The same image processor gives practically the same noiseless higher ISO image quality. The EM1 has a slightly better image quality due to the lack of an anti aliasing filter, and the EM1 snaps 10fps vs 8fps for the EM10. The 3 axis image stabilization on the EM10 does about 85% of the work the 5 axis stablization of the EM1 does because the EM10 keeps the 3 most important corrections (yaw, roll and pitch).
[STREET PHOTOGRAPHY PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS]
The only thing I miss from the A7 is the location of the power switch. I carry my A7 on a wrist strap in my right hand and I always have my index finger on the power switch so that, within a second or so, I can turn the camera on and have it up to my eye and catching the moments. Then I simply switch it back off on the way back down to my side. I have found that when I operate like that I routinely can take over a thousand photographs on a single A7 battery charge. With normal CIPA measurements the reviews have the A7 at around 350 shots before the battery expires. All that to say that the position of the power switch on the lower back right of the EM10 means I cannot be ready quite as fast. BUT ... the EM10 has a setting that lets the camera go blank and save power after one to five (I think five?) minutes. Once it goes blank, it is saving power, but a single press of any key brings it back to life instantly ... so my situation is mitigated. Therefore, I just leave it in that 1 minute-to-power save mode and the battery lasts good amount of time. Not everybody uses the CIPA method of using a camera with flash and extensive LCD viewing of images. Once you realize just how much of the battery those two activities use, you can change your habits and realize a lot more battery life per charge.
All in all, I am very, very happy with this little camera. I feel it is perfectly capable, in the right light, of producing professional results for output even to large format. I hope an upgrade someday includes an Exposure Compensation dial that works in Manual Mode as well as others and an HDR dynamic range mode that does not disable Auto ISO when in Manual mode. But, even as it is, the little O-MD E-M10 is a breeze and a pleasure to use and carry around. I take it practically everywhere I go. It's small enough and high quality build enough ... with professional features and controls ... to be a revolutionary replacement for larger cameras in a lot of DSLR work. But it's not too small making it uncomfortable to use for pro photography. And the price is right. Great job Olympus!
on March 27, 2014
Over the years I've owned several Micro Four Thirds cameras and, in my opinion, EM-10 is the best one. In many ways it is better than even the top of the line pro-level E-M1 model as it is significantly smaller/lighter and has built-in flash.
- VERY beautiful camera. Silver/Black combo is best as it works nicely with silver lenses and accessories (e.g. FL-300R flash)
- High end all-metal build quality.
- Built-in flash, very useful to fill face shadows in the sun or for slow sync creativity
- Impressive Wi-Fi functionality: very useful and great iOS apps for both iPhone and iPad
- Full featured time-lapse mode. Time-lapse made easy!
- Auto HDR mode. I love this feature on Sony cameras and finally it made its way onto Olympus.
- VERY effective in-body stabilization which works for both stills and video. It's magical and nothing comes close to it on the market right now (either 3-axis or 5-axis)
- built-in viewfinder: it's bright and large. Even though I mostly use tilting screen to compose, EVF is convenient to better estimate exposure when shooting outdoors in the sun. Brightness is automatically adjusted so it won't blind you.
- Video quality, while better than any Olympus camera to date thanks to higher bitrate (24 mbps), it's still behind Sony and Panasonic. It's apparent when filming moving objects, the movements are not nearly as smooth when watching on HDTV.
- LCD brightness does not automatically adjust like iPhone
It's really hard to find any serious flaws with this camera, E-M10 is a no-compromise compact camera which almost never happens in photography world. In the world of photography, Micro Four Thirds system is currently in the league of its own offering very high quality lenses for any budget and a full array of accessories including pro-level flashes.
on August 28, 2014
Hello, I am a seasoned part-time pro and have worked with a wide variety of subjects, equipment and light conditions. Today, I shoot mostly with APS-C gear but use M43 to travel light and an advanced compact which I keep with me at all times. I don't have anything to add to the many existing and thorough camera descriptions and feature lists but I can offer my two cents about the practical use of the camera. I do shoot with Panasonic lenses (I also have a GH1) and my comments relate mainly to the camera armed with the more than decent 14-45mm 1:3.5-5.6 zoom.
You have to see the E-M10 to believe how small it is and handle it to appreciate its tough construction. Ergonomics is such that, with my average size male hands, I never touch and activate any control by chance which is remarkable for such a small body. The reviews of the optional grip are very positive but I got the camera for maximum portability and the grip would defy the purpose. The EVF is large and sharp, and I find it to be very usable in any light condition. Its ability to vary its brightness depending on the subject is a nice feature. The LCD monitor is also quite functional with good colors, contrast and sharpness. I compose mainly with the EVF but the LCD tilting feature is very useful when my eye cannot reach the EVF. It's touch-sensitive, a feature about which I don't care (it's like sticking oily fingers on your eye glasses). I find the autofocus to be quick and assertive even in low light. The flash is unremarkable but does what it is supposed to do. Minor things that I do not like include the flimsiness of the battery/card compartment door and the rubber cover of the I/O connectors. Pro reviews mention that this camera is immune to the shutter shake blur problem of the E-M5 and E-M1.
The E-M10 controls and settings are an interesting topic. As already mentioned on the web, this is not a camera for the faint at heart. The only controls that I find somewhat difficult to reach without looking are the Fn1 and playback, everything else is remarkably well laid out. The feature set of the camera is mind-boggling though, typically offered by much more expensive models. Hence, setting up the camera to my liking was a (fun) challenge (one can always work in full auto but what a waste!). I had to read the (pdf only) manual cover to cover, which I always do anyway with a new camera, and then spend a few hours deciding what I wanted the individual controls to do and setting them up accordingly. It's almost too much of a good thing but striking a balance between mass customization and ease of use is very tough. I almost always work in A mode. Right now, I have the rear dial set to f/stop, the front to exposure compensation, F1n to bracket, F2n to ISO and WB, top joystick arrow to f/stop (to be changed as soon as I find out how), right arrow to flash, bottom arrow to drive, left arrow to focus point position. The histogram shows in recording and shadows/highlights in playback.
Learning the physical position and function of each control took its time. In the field (Nature, landscapes, architecture, travel, etc.), I am always thrilled by the competence of this little jewel versus its size. In my living room little product photography studio, the ability to move the focus point and the tilting LCD are great. I am using the timer to let vibrations settle but am going to buy an electronic remote. IQ is great and at up to ISO800 I can make impeccable 24x36" prints out of well exposed, focused and processed Raw pics. I am still annoyed at Olympus for the lack of an AC adapter. Overall, my shooting experience with the E-M10 has been truly enjoyable. It's too bad that the tiny Oly 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ power zoom is a mediocre lens, it would make for a perfect companion. I shoot Raw but the Olympus digicams jpeg processing engines are famous for their quality.
I work a lot with my beloved Pentax K5 and DA* lenses and cannot conceive giving it up. On the other hand, the idea of an OM-D body with a set of pro lenses is getting ever more attractive. For photography where portability is an issue (or for people who just want to travel light), the balance of quality, features, ergonomics, lens selection and price of the M43 system is very hard to beat, and this is one of the best bodies in the bunch.
030715 update: for the last month or so I have been photographing ice and snow with my two E-M10 and the two Panasonic lenses I have been aiming for, the 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 the 35-100mm f/4-5.6 mounted on their own body. I have the Panasonic 14-140mm f/4-5.8 in the car as a spare lens (I used to have Panasonic GH cameras and still love the lenses). I carry the body with the 35-100mm on a sling strap inside my parka and the one with the 12-32mm in the front pocket on a wrist strap. I do climb up and over ice and rocks to get the pics I want and this setup works for me like a charm. I have been working in 0dF, -25dF real feel weather and have not had any problems with the cameras. I don't know of any system that would give me the same IQ, feature set, build quality, flexibility and portability in the same price range. It's hard to find any noise in the ISO1600 pics developed in DxO OpticsPro. Bottom line, photography has never been more rewarding. Next lens additions are going to be the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro and the 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 (birds, watch out!).
on April 21, 2014
Lots of good advice in these reviews so I won't repeat what's already been said. I'm coming from using SLRs in the past, and then chucking them for point and shoots cuz I was in the backcountry a lot and tired of carrying all that junk. But I now think m4/s have gotten to the place where I wanted to try a camera with better resolution, manual controls, and lens choice. I was using a Panasonic superzoom and loved the camera.
This thing is small and light, and if you get the EZ lens it's quite small. But without being so tiny it's hard to operate controls. The LCD is fairly bright, but you still need the EVF outdoors. I definitely dislike the fact that the monitor in back doesn't flip over; you can set the camera on it's back and do some major damage to that screen. Careful.
I am very impressed with the image quality, but I'm just an amateur. It isn't just the better lenses than the P&S cameras I've been using, it's the control over shooting parameters. But the nice thing about this camera is that I can put it on all auto and it behaves just like a simple P&S. Versatile.
Unlike some other brands I was considering, Panasonic and Olympus have a 300mm zoom, which I wanted for wildlife pictures. I've found so far it works handheld with the in-body stabilization just fine; probably helps that the ergonomics of the camera with that lens are conducive to handheld. For outdoors stuff the tilting monitor in back, availability of macro tubes, time lapse, sweep panorama, and especially wifi remote control are very useful.
Olympus, and indeed other manufacturers, need to make more use of wifi. This camera has a nice implementation, but I don't see why they don't have the ability to connect to a laptop. On any wifi camera using wifi to transfer images is painful, especially RAWs. Just get a fast card reader. But it is super useful for remote control, which allows for stealth pictures of bird nests, close ups at odd angles, shooting when the camera is mounted in a weird spot, etc. The camera is actually small enough that I can attach it more easily to things with clamps than I could ever have done with an SLR, which allows for some interesting shots. Hero sticks, using ski poles as monopods, gorillapods and the like all work better with this cuz it's small and light. Not so much with a 300mm at one extreme, but definitely true with a smaller lens. Or the lens cap lens, which works surprisingly well. And again you can use that wifi connection and your phone to trigger the camera while viewing what it sees; super cool.
It didn't concern me that this isn't weatherproofed. Most lenses aren't anyway. You're probably better off with a case. The card slot/battery hatch is a bit flimsy; it could definitely be stouter. Battery life is fine; there are lots of aftermarket chargers and batteries. My Wasabis have worked fine. Wifi eats it up, so you'll need extras.
I do wish it did 60fps video; seems behind my Panasonic in that regard. It's fun in outdoor activities to shoot at that rate and then slow it down. Burst mode is quite acceptable. I have found the autofocus to work fine, but then again I'm not shooting courtside at the NBA playoffs. YMMV.
Some might consider the optional grip, ECG-1. It's very well made, but is weighty. Which might be a plus for some. Gives a much sturdier one-handed grip. And a cool feature is that it has a quick release so you can easily just slip off the grip, leaving only a small base and tripod mount, and making the card/battery slot accessible. And it does protect the whole bottom of the camera. Very well made.
There are an awful lot of good cameras out there now. Your specific needs may dictate one over the other, but you certainly can't go wrong with this camera. It's a beaut.
on October 2, 2014
After having this camera a few months and an international trip with it under my belt, here's my review of the E-M10.
This thing takes awesome pictures. MUCH better than an iPhone, easily as good as APS-C dSLR camera (Rebel, etc). You'll need to step up to a full-frame camera (5D or d800) to get higher-quality pics.
Though it's small, it is not a pocket camera; similar to a dSLR, you will need to carry it in hand or around your neck. If you want a pocket camera, stick with an iPhone or the Sony Rx100. I wanted interchangeable lenses, so I got this camera and love it.
I got this with the kit lens; I picked up a Panasonic 20mm lens and the difference is remarkable. I also shot with the Olympus 25mm and love that lens as well. There is also a Olympus 14-42mm pancake lens that is supposed to be as good as the kit lens and it's much smaller. I would choose *any* of these lenses over the kit lens. I really want to get the 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens, but it's $900. Maybe for Christmas.
Something to keep in mind with the Micro 4/3 lenses - You need to double to the focal length to get an equal focal length on a "normal" camera. For example, a 25mm lens on this camera is like a 50mm lens on a "normal" camera.
The menu system is crazy confusing on this camera. Luckily, the "mega menu" that you access via touching "Ok" on the back of the camera has almost all the controls you really need. Stick with this menu until there is something you want to do that is not on there.
This works well; you start a wi-fi network from the phone (via touchscreen button) and then you choose the camera's wireless network via settings on your iphone. You can then control the camera and download photos to the phone. Something that totally confused me for awhile is that if you shoot RAW images (not jpg) the images on the camera will not show up on the phone; the iPhone app only can read jpg. When you are done downloading, you have to disconnect from the camera wifi before you can upload photos to Facebook/etc. It's a little janky, but you get used to the workflow after doing it a few times.
Olympus is not popular as Nikon and Canon
I took a Flash photography class and was the only person with an Olympus. If you look for books on how to use your camera, there are way more books on Canon and Nikon. Lynda.com has classes on Nikon and Canon cameras. There *are* resources out there for Olympus, but just to be clear they are nowhere as popular as Nikon and Canon. If you are a total beginner and want to really get into your camera, you might choose another brand.
The camera does not come with a storage card. Make sure you include one with your purchase. Mirrorless cameras use a lot of power...way more than normal dSLRs. You'll need extra batteries. The battery wall charger that comes with this camera sucks - it has a long cord and a big, bulky battery case. Olympus batteries are $45. I bought the Wasabi clone batteries: 2 batteries and a wall-charger that has a european wall adapter for $25. Worked great. I also bought the optional hand grip - it's pricey ($50), but I love the way it makes the camera feel in your hand.
Lightroom can read the RAW files from this camera - so can iPhoto. I find both work great; I love shooting RAW because I can easily adjust the exposure.
This camera can take great photos - I get plenty of compliments of the pics I shoot with it. It's not a pocket camera, though it could fit in a purse. It's a great alternative to mid-level dSLRs (think Canon Rebel) in a smaller form factor. Get a 20mm Panasonic pancake on this thing and it's an amazing carry-around camera.
on February 10, 2014
I originally bought the E-M10 so that I could get a discount on the Olympus 12mm, 17mm, 25mm, 12-40mm, and 75mm lenses. I was planning on getting these lenses and thought that I would take advantage of the $800 discount bundling with this body. I never expected that I would love this camera almost more than my E-M1. It's so tiny and easy to carry into places where I would normally leave the E-M1 at home because of the size. The image quality is equal to the E-M1 from what I can tell after using it for a weekend. I will probably end up using it more than my E-M1 because of the portability.
on July 21, 2014
This is a really great camera. I upgraded from an old Nikon D40X DSLR. Even though the Micro 4/3 sensor is smaller than the APS-C sensor in my old Nikon, it is actually more sensitive. So technology really has improved. This camera takes phenomenal pictures with the 25 mm / f 1.8 prime lens. I also have the "EZ" pancake zoom lens, which is very convenient, and the 50-150mm zoom which is a bargain. The camera focuses fast and well, even in low light, which is important to me since I take a lot of indoor shots of my little kids.
The only reason I am not giving 5 stars: my camera broke. First the WiFi stopped working, then it stopped working altogether. (Made a weird clicking noise when turned on and the screen would go blank.) I returned to Olympus and they fixed under warranty. Relatively painless except the cost of shipping it back and the inconvenience.
Nitpicky criticism: I wish the delete switch would be moved to where the power switch is (easier to review and delete pictures on the phone). Ideally, I'd like to see the power switch on the top of the camera, near the shutter, as it was on my Nikon. I find that easiest for grab and go photos.
Also, the camera suffers from typical Japanese "feature-itis". I wish there was a "simple mode" setting that would hide most of the camera settings except the most essential ones like aperture and shutter speed. The Super control screen helps a bit.
Finally, I hope one day they will upgrade the firmware to enable use of the physical aperture ring found on some Panasonic / Leica lenses.
But the most important thing is that it is fast and takes great photos -- lots of detail and great colors -- especially with the Prime lens. Highly recommend.
***UPDATE AUGUST 7, 2014***
I discovered that the WiFi feature is still not working, even after it went back to Olympus for repair. I have called Olympus and asked them to send me a replacement camera but apparently their policy is that a product has to fail to be repaired TWICE before they will replace it with a new one. This is an absurd policy, especially given that their repair process takes 3 weeks and they make the customer pay for return shipping. So essentially they are telling their customers they have to endure 6 weeks without the camera and pay to ship the product twice before they will do the right thing, which is provide a new working product. Not to mention I have spent hours on the phone with a half dozen support reps explaining and reexplaining my situation. Ugh. What a disappointment.
*** UPDATE LATE 2014 ***
So after much back and forth, I finally connected with a nice person at Olympus corporate office in Pennsylvania and returned the product once more for repair. They agreed to pay for shipping this time. It came back with a note that the WiFi was working in the lab. However, when I switched it on...no Wi-Fi. After all of this, they finally authorized an exchange for a new unit. The new unit arrived and I was happy to see the camera works as advertised (so far, at least).
The sad thing is this whole episode consumed not only hours of my own time (and weeks of downtime w/o a camera) but the hassle of returning the camera 3x times and a general feeling of malaise about what should have been a wonderful product experience. Would I buy Olympus again? I am not sure. Eventually I received good customer service, but that was only after going through many rounds of calls with Tier 1 and Tier 2 support and asking to escalate. Based on the fact that other Amazon customers (and others around the web, if you search) seem to have had similar problems, I am amazed that Olympus' first response wasn't to simply recognize a product defect and exchange the product to make the customer happy. Frankly, they should do this anyway, regardless of the problem. Give the customer a new unit and then send the defective one to the lab for autopsy / refurbishment. Their #1 goal should be to delight the customer. It would probably be a lot more efficient for them, too -- imagine all the FTE time spent in customer service that could be avoided by just making it right the first time. Whoever devised their customer service policy should take a re-look. I bet the over-scrutiny / skepticism of customer claims is costing them more money than it saves.
That said, I am upgrading my review to 2 stars in light of the fact that I finally received good customer support and a new, working unit, albeit after a ridiculous amount of time and effort. As I said in my first review, I like the camera. It takes good pictures. Now I have the ability to share them with grandparents through my smartphone. That's what was advertised and all I wanted all along.
on May 25, 2014
This is one amazing piece of engineering. I used to use a Nikon D7100 for serious shooting, Fuji X-10 to carry everywhere, and an IPhone 5S in a pinch. I was looking for something more portable than the D7100 and with more creative control than the X-10. I nearly bought the Fuji X-T1 but when I learned that it was difficult to control the focus points, that was ruled out. I was hesitant to go with any micro 4/3 until the EM-10 came out. Since purchasing this I have not had the desire to use the D7100 or the X-10 and rarely use the IPhone. Below are the pros and cons. It gets four stars rather than five only because of performance in sports and action photography was not on par with a DSLR, but their was a firmware upgrade in May 2014 and by setting "Release Lag-Time" to "short" it works much better for sport and I may upgrade my review to a 5 star later.
1) Small size: the camera is so incredibly small yet so usable. It is actually smaller than the X-10. It's like having a miniature DSLR in your pocket. It easily fits in your coat pocket or suit jacket pocket with the power zoom lens. All the lenses are very small and can fit in your coat pocket.
2) Design: The controls and menu system is great. I never could get use to the controls on the D7100 and the controls on the EM-10 are so intuitive and user friendly. I mainly shoot full manual and I can quickly control aperture and shutter speed with the command dials and access the ISO and white balance to control with the two command dials. It also has auto ISO in full manual which is great.
3) Focus points: There are 81 focus points throughout the screen that are easily controlled by the directional dial. Whenever you press the direction dial it will control the direction of the focus point. Nothing else needs to be done. I know of no other camera that has this feature or that can control focus point so easily. That is reason alone to purchase this cameral for me. The D7100 had 51 focus point that were all bunched up in the center.
4) Electronic view finder (EVF): If you have never tried an EVF, please do so. After using an EVF, I could never go back to an optical view finder (OVF). The image quality is so much better, bigger and brighter then with D7100 OVF. What you see is what you get. The exposure and white balance changes that you make are reflected in the EVF. There is no guesswork in the exposure. You rarely have to rely in the light meter. You can also play back photos in the EVF. Even in the brightest outdoor lighting you can playback the photos in the EVF.
5) The tilting touch screen: This feature is to die for. No longer do you have to lie on the ground to get a creative shot. You flip out the touch screen and tap the screen with your finger where you want the photo to focus and be exposed. While I prefer to use the EVF when possible, this really comes in handy for the hard to get shots. The focus is also blazing fast.
6) Video with image capture: DSLR's are terrible for video. The live view is awful and the autofocus is noisy. Not with this camera. The focus is spot on and totally silent. Best of all, you can do completely silent image capture while recording video. No longer do you have to choose between video and photo. You can snap away during video and nail great pictures very fast.
7) Easy access to advanced features: Custom white balance, HDR, bracketing and multiple exposure are so easy to use and much better than the D7100. It would take to long to explain each one. For custom white balance, you just point it a white sheet of patient, snap a picture and your done. You now have perfect white balance during difficult lighting.
8) Low light performance: In my opinion this camera is superior in low light to the APS-C D7100. As far as I am concerned, it is very good up to ISO 6,400 and totally usable up to 10,000. Most reviews would disagree with me, but unless you are pixel peeping and cropping, that's been my experience.
9) Auto focus: The singe auto focus is blazing fast and accurate.
10) Menus system: While not necessarily intuitive, it is logical, easy to use, easy to learn and easy to access. The manual is good.
11) Built in image stabilization: It works
12) Lenses: Multiple great lenses to choose from. Excellent fast prime lenses. The 14 - 42 mm pancake power zoom with built in lens cap is so incredibly convenient. You have to see it to believe it.
13) Image quality: With the prime lenses the image quality is equal to or better than the D7100. With the kit lenses the image quality is good, but not on par with the D7100 using my Tamron 28 - 75/f2.8 and 70 - 300 mm. Not a fair comparison though.
14) JPEGS: The JPEGs are so good that you hardly need any post-processing.
15) Manual focus peeking: I rarely use it, but it is a nice feature.
16) Small lens diameter: Because the lenses are so small you can shoot through a chain fence at a little league baseball game.
17) Design: I like the retro DSLR look and feel.
1) Continuous auto-focus and auto-focus tracking: READ THIS CAREFULLY. This camera does not focus in the same way as a DSLR. Contrast detection is different from phase detection. This is important when it comes shooting sports or children playing. Faces do not have a lot of contrast and if you focus on a face of children playing the camera may focus on the background. This is not important with portrait photography, but with people at a distance it is a real problem. There is a way around this, though. You have to pick the smallest focus point. Go to the focus point menu. At the bottom left of the screen you can control focus point size and face detection. Select the smallest focus point size, the camera DOES NOT come set this way and you won't easily find it in the manual. Also select the large superfine JPEG (check the manual). You have to go into the menu system to do this. Most important, focus on shirts and not faces. Shirts have a lot more contrast and you will get better results.
a. The autofocus tracking works, but is unreliable. Nowhere on par with a DSLR. Best avoid using it if possible. Don't believe the Youtube tests. Yes, the autofocus tracking will work great on a brightly colored motorcyle circling on a dirt track. It will not work for a small child running around a cluttered playground.
b. The continuous autofocus works pretty well, but you can't see the focus point in the screen when taking multiple shots at either 3 FPS or 8 FPS. With the D7100 the focus point were always lit up red, in the EM-10 it lights up green once and not again. The focus point is otherwise so faint you really cant see where it is. You have to just put it in the center of the screen for action and keep the subject in the center of the screen.
c. For fast moving sports there was a noticeable delay between what you see and what is actually occurring until the May 2014 firmware update and by setting the "Release Lag-Time" to "short".
2) Does not have quiet or silent mode for photography. The shutter release is little loud, so less than ideal for street photography.
Conclusions: Amazing camera, small and convenient, great low light performance, image quality on par with a DSLR, excellent controls and functionality, attractive design, great lenses. Did not initially excel at sports and action photography but with a recent firmware upgrade and setting the "Release Lag-Time" to "short", focus speed is now outsanding may exceed a DSLR.
on May 3, 2014
First, let me say that this is my first and only mirror less camera and that I am a beginner photographer (only began 1 year ago) when my husband purchased a Canon Rebel SL1/100D (APS-C sensor). Since then, I’ve been studying photography and researching gear, etc.
I bought the OMD EM 10 for several reasons:
Smaller and lighter and more compact than even the SL1 (Canon’s smallest DSLR in their range, came out in 2013).
The buttons and dials are near perfect, making easy to shoot in manual (not very easy with the SL1’s single dial) and a super control panel that allows you to change your settings by tapping the screen and swiveling the dial or using the arrows on the keypad. There are other screens that come up to make quick adjustments too.
I wanted an EVF and LCD screen. Both are very bright and come with lots of cool features that even modern DSLRs (sorry, Canon!) don’t have. I can view my highlights in bright red and shadows in blue, I can adjust the highlights and shadows before I even take the shot. I can see my exposure compensation applied to the shot before I take it. Focus peaking and magnifying of the subject to fine tune focus. So cool!
The LCD is tilting, but not articulating, and the touch screen feature was really important to me. It allows three settings (tap to focus and take a shot, tap to focus only, and turn off touch screen). I can easily toggle between these settings. Its very touch sensitive and I find myself using the LCD more than the EVF (less squinting in my opinion).
Price! At $700 USD, this is pricier than my Canon Rebel SL1, but I felt like it was the right fit for my needs (looking for sharper images, touch screen, family shots, vacation camera, take out and about camera).
Fast autofocus. Sharp images. When I tap the screen using Live View on my Canon, it focuses slowly and finally takes the shot (like 1 second goes by). This Olympus is fast….tap and zap! I love the 81 auto focus points, but I find myself just tapping the screen where I want to focus and it does that. Try doing that with the Canon (it will…just really really slowly and you’ll miss the shot!). I’ve been experimenting on shooting my 5 year old boy and by tapping to focus and shoot, the majority of my images are sharp (though it can’t keep up if my kid moves at warp speed).
Image stabilization! I found a lot of my Canon photos to be just slightly blurry—user error, lens error, I don’t know. But with this stabilization, I can see the effect when video recording and when hand holding in dark situations. I did some compare shots with the Canon and I got the first shot using the Olympus sharp, and with the Canon handheld, it took 3-4 shots before I got a usable photo.
Love the idea of focus peaking and magnifying, though I am still practicing how to use this feature. I couldn’t get it to work a few times, its most likely user error.
Allows various file formats (RAW, Raw + fine JPEG, Raw + Normal JPEG…)
Their Olympus app allows you to use the camera’s built in wifi (woohoo!) to upload images, to control the camera in a Live View mode (I used this to get self portraits), only caveat is that to upload photos to your phone, you have to shoot JPEGs (RAW files won’t be able to be uploaded). I discovered this issue after some trial and error. The app worked right away though it took me a few tries to get the hang of it. You turn the WiFi on the camera, then go to your settings on your phone (I have iPhone) and connect to the WiFi of the camera, then exit, then open the Olympus app. If you try to use the camera (like to play the last photo or take a shot) while the WiFi is on, it turns off the WiFi connection. Even in their app, I can tap the screen to focus and take the shot (95% of my images came out pin sharp. I did the same test on my canon with an equivalent lens and with a remote trigger and only like 70% of my shots came out sharp).
I’ve been playing around with the options and discovered the WB feature has a “keep warm tones warm” or something like that. Turn that off. I was taking pics of my son playing in the bath and he was golden, and the white tiles were yellowish. Much better when I removed this feature.
On/off switch is stuck on the back lower right corner. So I was not turning it off, and accidentally taking photos when the camera was bouncing around.
So many customizable features…a bit daunting (I don’t know what some of it means) but I got the settings to where I want them and played with some of the more advanced features. Download the PDF manual and read that. The paper manual that comes in the box has bare minimum information. There are articles and YouTube videos to help explain some of these features.
Lenses: I bought the tiny pancake zoom M. Zuiko 14-42 mm 3.5-5.6 EZ MSC power zoom (instead of the kit lens) for its compact size. I plan on using this for movies and shots where I need the zoom feature.
The new 25mm 1.8 Olympus lens with hood. Just got it yesterday and together, my images are PIN sharp. I am super impressed.
Overall impression: very pleased with this purchase and I have no reservations about it at all. I am impressed by the bokeh I am getting using the 25mm 1.8 lens because I didn’t expect much from a micro 4/3 sensor. Highly recommend this camera for its style, customizability, totally cool digital features (focus peaking, magnifying, immediate view of your adjustments before you take the shot, and WiFi connectivity).
on February 22, 2014
I normally shoot with a Canon 5D3 with lots of prime L lens. I love taking photos in general and when i travel or just go out and about. Many times i hesitate to take my DSLR system because it gets too heavy. Never have i imagined i would buy into Micro 4/3rds, im glad i did because it has made everyday photography a joy. I no longer worry about size and weight because the camera and lenses are so small.
I initially ordered the kit through Amazon first but my local store had one so i cancelled the Amazon order and bought local. I now leave my DSLR for the serious work, and this camera serves as my everyday take everywhere camera.
The auto-white balance is very nice, get's it right. The focus is fast and very accurate. The build is very solid, lots of metal. Wifi works. I'm not going to worry that its not weather sealed, my 5D3 is weather sealed and i hardly let it see harsh conditions so if i treat this camera the same way i have nothing to worry about.
Adobe just released RAW support today and i love the RAW files from this camera, i used to shoot a 7D also and my impression is that this sensor is performing better.