Photography News 07

Camera review

25

HDR OFF

HDR 1

HDR 2

High Dynamic Range

If you’re struggling with a high contrast scene and the subtle effects of the Highlight/Shadow control aren’t enough, the E-M10 has an HDR function. This takes four images of different exposure and combines them into one JPEG file – there are

two modes, the second giving a more extreme effect. It works very well, and even when I tried my luck at hand-holding for the four shots, image alignment and sharpness was fine. The alternative options available under HDR mode are automatic

bracketing for subsequent combining of different exposures in software. You can ask it to take three or five images with 2 or 3EV exposure differences, and even seven images with exposure differences of 2EV.

The verdict

OLYMPUS OMD E-M10

With the OM-D name comes high expectation, and there’s no doubt that the E-M10 lives up to this billing. There are reasons for it being at the bottom of the OM-D range – the lack of weather sealing, slower continuous shooting speed and less advanced image stabilisation all put it slightly behind, although the practical disadvantages of these depend on what you use the camera for. Comparing the E-M10 with the E-M5, which sells for £650 body only so £120 more expensive, you get equal performance when it comes to the essentials – things like image quality, focusing and low-light performance. But with improvements such as the E-M1 processor, EVF adaptive technology and better controls, you could argue that overall the E-M10 is a better camera so represents great value for money, even with the extra £54 for the accessory grip. At a price point well within the range of Olympus’s own less advanced PEN line and which puts it in the same ball park as other entry-level CSCs, it all looks like exceptional value. If you’re looking for an entry point into the mirrorless world and want an extremely capable camera for a good price, the E-M10 is an extremely attractive prospect.

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10

ISO 6400

ISO 12,800

ISO 25,600

23/25

FEATURES

ISO performance

All the OM-D basics, more limited in places HANDLING 23/25 Very good, but excellent with the accessory grip PERFORMANCE 24/25 Picture quality at least as good as the E-M5’s VALUE FOR MONEY 24/25 A bargain price for an OM-D

and below, it takes some close inspection to see this. At ISO 800, there’s a fairly sudden change with a noticeable loss of contrast and fine detail, and ISO 1600 is about as high as you can go before it has a big impact on image quality. Above this, there’s a lot of noise, and severe detail loss. Comparison with the E-M5 reveals a very slight advantage for the E-M10 in JPEG files at around ISO 1600, but at other levels and in Raws, there’s no difference.

The E-M10 has a sensitivity range equivalent to ISO 100-25,600. While this means it has the same top sensitivity as the E-M5, with the Low extended setting equivalent to ISO 100, it has an extra stop at the bottom end, useful in bright light. We looked at performance in Raw files converted in Lightroom 5.4 and all noise reduction turned off. There is a small amount of noise even at the bottom settings, but at ISO 400

OVERALL

94/100

More than a worthy addition to the OM-D line-up, with a very tempting price

PROS Controls, focusing, image quality CONS Too small without grip, SD card in base

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Issue 7 | Photography News

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