Photography News 07

Camera review

23

Olympus OM-DE-M10 They say that two’s company and three’s a crowd, so is the third OM-Dmuscling in where it doesn’t belong, or a worthy OM-D addition? ON TEST

For an even more detailed report on the Olympus OM-D E-M10, see issue 44 of Advanced Photographer , on sale 8 May.

SPECS

ABOVE The styling of the OM-D E-M10 is almost identical to the E-M5, but it’s a little smaller in all dimensions and the viewfinder housing at the top is not as tall. Control layout is very similar, but the buttons are much improved. BELOW The size of the OM-D E-M10 makes it ideal for street photography.

is the incorporation of Olympus’s 2x2 control, seen previously on the E-M1 and E-P5. On those cameras, a lever changes the functions of the command dials from aperture and shutter speed to ISO and white-balance – on the E-M10, an assigned button can do this, and I preferred this to the lever since it leaves less scope for unintended changes. In total, six buttons can each be assigned to one of 25 functions, including things like custom white-balance, HDR, bracketing and activating custom set-ups. You can also assign multi-function capabilities to one button, meaning it can be used to access highlight/shadow control, Color Creator, magnification and ISO/white-balance. Holding this button down while turning the back dial lets you switch between functions. Even the configuration of the command dials can be customised for each shooting mode independently. The OK button accesses the Live Control menu for any settings that aren’t assigned to a button – scrolling through this can be a little slow, but turning on the Live Super Control Panel in the menus rearranges Live Control into a panel interface, making things much quicker, especially if you take advantage of the touch control. Olympus has also taken on criticism of the E-M5’s controls and made many improvements. The buttons are much less fiddly and more positive, making for much nicer handling overall. The E-M10 is slightly more responsive than its bigger brother as well – with the E-M5, there’s a slight delay between turning the dials and on-screen settings changing, but this isn’t the case with the E-M10. There are a couple of things I don’t like. One is the position of the on/off switch, bottom right on the back – it’s just not convenient for a fast power- up. The other is that the SD card slot is in the battery compartment on the bottom. To Olympus’s credit though, the accessory grip is designed cleverly so it can clip off to reveal the battery and card compartment without unscrewing the whole thing. Talking of the battery, this is the same as in the PEN cameras rather than the other OM-Ds – this one’s smaller, but I got an impressive 800 shots out of it.

Words by Ian Fyfe

PRICE £529 body only CONTACT www.olympus.co.uk SENSOR 16.1-megapixel Live MOS with TruePic VII IMAGE DIMENSIONS 4608x3456 pixels ISORANGE 100-25,600 (expanded) AUTOFOCUSMODES Single AF, continuous AF, AF tracking, manual EXPOSURE COMPENSATION +/-5EV in 1/2 or 1/3EV steps, AEB 2, 3 or 5 frames in 1/2, 1/3 or 1EV steps SHUTTER 30secs-1/4000sec METERING PATTERNS ESP, spot, centre weighted, highlight, shadows SHOOTING SPEEDS Single, sequential L, sequential H 8fps, self- timer 2 or 12secs LCD SCREEN 3in tiltable touch panel STORAGEMEDIA SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I compatible) DIMENSIONS (WXHXD) 119.1x82.3x45.9mm WEIGHT 396g (including battery and card)

The original OM-D, the E-M5, had such success with professional photographers that Olympus responded by producing the E-M1, a higher-end model designed specifically to meet the needs of professionals – the trouble was that the price tag reflected this too. With the E-M10, Olympus is now catering for the other end of the market, and the new model slots in below the E-M5 at the bottom of the OM-D range, with a price little more than £500 for the body alone – very attractive to anyone who knows what an OM-D is capable of. In fact, taking a closer look at the specifications, it becomes clear that much of the E-M10’s specifications are a match for the E-M5 despite it being smaller and cheaper, and it seems that the bottom-of-the-range billing of the E-M10 may not tell the whole story. Complete control The E-M10 is certainly small, and when it comes to holding it, perhaps too small. For me, it’s a little too thin, and the grip isn’t quite enough to get hold of – I could barely get two fingers on the front, and as a result my palm started to fold in under the camera, making my hand feel cramped. There’s a very good solution though – an accessory grip that gives you more to get hold of at the front and supports your hand at the side, and the camera feels much more balanced with this attached. Once I’d used this, it was almost impossible to go back – if you have smaller hands, it might not be a problem, but I’d say the grip is almost an essential accessory, and the only drawback is that it costs an extra £54. Besides this, handling of the E-M10 is excellent. A small number of buttons gives you plenty of direct control, and it’s extremely flexible. Particularly good

OM-D by nature The technology inside the E-M10 is simply a mix of elements from the other OM-D models, and in some cases even the PEN line. This is no bad thing though – in essence, it means you’re getting the same 16-megapixel sensor as the E-M5 and the same TruePic IV processor as the E-M1, but for less money than either. Image quality from the previous OM-Ds has received a huge amount of praise, and with the same sensor as the E-M5, you’d expect the same from the E-M10. What you actually get though is slightly better image quality. It’s only a very small

Olympus has also taken on criticismof the E-M5’s controls andmademany improvements

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