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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III


Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

The mirrorless Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III camera doesn't offer a lot of tech upgrades, instead focusing on an easier photography experience.


  • Pros

    Compact, solid build. Built-in EVF and flash. Tilting touch LCD. 8.6fps burst shooting. Raw and JPG capture. In-camera art filters. Wi-Fi.

  • Cons

    16MP sensor seems dated. Tracking focus slows speed to 4.8fps. No Bluetooth or NFC.

  • Bottom Line

    The mirrorless Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III camera doesn't offer a lot of tech upgrades, instead focusing on an easier photography experience.

As the entry-level model in the OM-D series, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III ($649.99, body only) is a mirrorless camera that has to serve several audiences. One of those are folks who want to capture the moments in their life, but don't know an f-stop from a truck stop. Olympus has refined the interface to make the newest E-M10 easier to use, but has also offered some improvements for advanced amateurs, enthusiasts, and even pros looking for a lightweight, inexpensive camera. We'll have to wait and see if the camera lives up to both promises—we've only had a brief opportunity to check it out. We'll follow up with a thorough review when we've had more time with it.

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The Mark III looks a lot like the Mark II, with the same retro-chic finish. But there are some changes to the body, notably a deeper handgrip, larger control dials, and larger point type labeling buttons and dials. It isn't that far off in size (3.3 by 4.8 by 2.0 inches) or weight (14.5 ounces) from its predecessor (3.3 by 4.7 by 1.8 inches, 13.8 ounces), but the new grip does make it feel a bit more secure in the hand. Like others in the series, the new E-M10 is available in all black or a two-tone silver-and-black finish.

You can buy the camera as a body only for $649.99, the choice that photographers upgrading from an older Micro Four Thirds model are likely to make. But if you're new to the system you can also buy it with the svelte M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ zoom for $799.99. That's not a bad deal, as the 14-42mm EZ sells for $300 on its own.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IIIAs mentioned, the control dials are larger, and more comfortable to use. On the top plate you'll find the new Shortcut button on the far left, right next to the combined power switch and flash release. Three dials sit to the right of the hot shoe and flash—the standard Mode control along with forward and rear control dials. Top buttons include the programmable Fn2 and a Record button for movies.

The Fn1 (AEL/AFL by default) button is squeezed into the top right corner of the rear plate, above the ergonomic thumb rest. Below it are four buttons—Delete, Info, Menu, and Play—flanking a four-way controller with OK at its center. Each directional press has a labeled function—Drive, Flash, Focus Area, and ISO.

The buttons are supplemented by a touch interface. The 3-inch LCD is mounted on a hinge, so it can tilt up and down to nab shots from more interesting angles, and you can tap on a part of the frame to set focus or to focus and capture an image. You'll also use the display to navigate through the menu systems—the E-M10 has an on-screen overlay to access common functions, launched via the Shortcut button, as well as a more extensive menu to configure the camera to your liking.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Shortcut is also used to change in-camera art filters or adjust scene modes. If you switch the Mode dial to one of those settings you'll be greeted with an on-screen menu of the different filters and preset modes available to you. In previous models changing what you initially selected was a chore, now you can do it on the fly just by pressing Shortcut.

You don't have to frame shots with the rear LCD—though at 1,040k dots it's plenty sharp. The E-M10 Mark III also has a built-in viewfinder. The EVF is an OLED design, crisp thanks to a 2.36-million-dot resolution. It's not the largest you'll find in a mirrorless camera—it delivers 0.62x magnification when paired with a standard-angle lens.

Filters and Connectivity

Olympus has long put art filters into its camera line, and all of your favorites from previous models—black-and-white, selective color, soft focus, and the like—are still here, with the addition of a Bleach Bypass issue. The camera also supports Live Bulb, Live Composite, and Live Time capture, which take a lot of the guesswork out of capturing long exposure scenes.

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It's almost a given at this point, but have no fear, Wi-Fi is built-in. We haven't yet tested it, but the Mark III promises to support wireless file transfer and remote control to Android and iOS devices using the Olympus Image Share app. It's an established app, offering one of the better remote control interfaces out there, and we expect the experience to be a pleasant one. One thing of note: You don't get Bluetooth or NFC with this model, so you'll need to use an on-screen QR code or manually type a Wi-Fi password into your phone's settings to establish a connection.

Images are stored on a standard SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory card. In addition to the card slot, the camera includes a micro USB port (in-camera charging is not supported) and a micro HDMI connector.

Performance and Imaging

We've not yet had a chance to test the speed or autofocus system of the camera, but Olympus promises improvements. The new model features 121 contrast autofocus points and can be set to prioritize focus using face recognition and eye detection. It supports 8.6fps image capture with locked focus and 4.8fps with tracking. That's an increase from 4fps in the previous model, and Olympus promises that tracking accuracy is improved as well.

The image sensor is still a 16MP design. You get more resolution from competing APS-C models, which are almost all 24MP now, and more expensive Micro Four Thirds cameras, which have moved to 20MP. Honestly, you probably don't need the extra pixels, but newer sensors tend to offer other image quality improvements.

We'll need to wait and see if the Mark III delivers any upgrades in image quality, or just sticks with the status quo. Olympus promises the former, thanks in part to an upgraded image processor. The ISO setting in Automatic mode now ranges all the way up to ISO 6400—the Mark II would only go up to ISO 1600. The processor is also supposed to recognize scenes better, and respond to changes more quickly. Olympus says this will net better results for users who rely on Automatic shooting. Of course, this won't do anything to hurt performance for photographers who prefer to set things manually.

The E-M10 Mark III still enjoys entry-level status and relatively low pricing, but it does record 4K video, at up to 30fps. Because many computers can't handle 4K editing, Olympus has integrated editing tools into the camera. If you don't see the need to record in 4K, the E-M10 can also shoot at 1080p, at up to 60fps. Both 4K and 1080p also support the cinematic 24fps frame rate. Video is stabilized along 5 axes, the same as with stills, an upgrade from the 3-axis video stabilization you get with the Mark II.

Small but Palpable Upgrades

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III doesn't have a lot of head-turning new features—the addition of 4K video with in-camera editing is the most headline-grabbing feature. Other upgrades—improved ergonomics, faster processing and focus, and better results when shooting in automatic mode—are smaller, but when taken together, Olympus says they'll make for a better photographic tool. We'll see if the camera lives up to that promise when we spend more time with and give it a proper review. It's scheduled to go on sale at the end of September.

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headshot By Jim Fisher Senior Analyst, Digital Cameras

Senior digital camera analyst for the PCMag consumer electronics reviews team, Jim Fisher is a graduate of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he concentrated on documentary video production. Jim's interest in photography really took off when he borrowed his father's Hasselblad 500C and light meter in 2007. He honed his writing skills at retailer B&H Photo, where he wrote thousands upon thousands of product descriptions, blog posts, and reviews. Since then he's shot with hundreds of camera models, ranging from pocket point-and-shoots to medium format… More »

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