Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV Evaluation: Like a point-and-shoot

“Borrowing options from Olympus’ pricier fashions, the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a uncommon finances digital camera with stabilization.”

In-body stabilization

Compact, classic design

Good picture high quality


Slower efficiency

Extra noise than APS-C cameras

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is an entry-level digital camera that wears the hand-me-downs of its larger siblings. The $800 digital camera and lens equipment — $700 for simply the physique — borrows the attention detection algorithms of the E-M1 Mark III and a truncated five-axis picture stabilization system, all paired with a sensor that’s solely zero.1 megapixels shy of cameras that value greater than twice as a lot. 

The E-M10 Mark IV alaunches as its dad and mom think about a break up. With Olympus in talks to promote its imaging division to Japan Industrial Companions, the way forward for the digital camera line — and the lenses and equipment — is unsure. The corporate expects to succeed in an settlement on the finish of September, however till then, the state of Olympus cameras is fraught with rumors and questions.

Like every hand-me-down, the E-M10 Mark IV’s options are a little bit tough across the edges. Are the fee financial savings for the extra reasonably priced OM-D digital camera value it regardless of a couple of snags? I spent two weeks with the Olympus E-M10 Mark IV to see the place the digital camera impresses and the place it falls quick.

Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Developments

Movie-inspired compact design

The E-M10 Mark IV embodies what the mirrorless digital camera was initially heralded for: Compact measurement. Measuring lower than 2 inches deep (and fewer than Three inches with the equipment lens retracted), the mirrorless is the best measurement between a point-and-shoot and most interchangeable lens cameras. Weighing roughly 20 ounces with the equipment lens, it’s gentle sufficient to sling round your neck and virtually neglect that it’s there. But the physique nonetheless holds sufficient actual property to supply a wide selection of bodily controls and a way more substantial grip than a slim compact digital camera. Maybe partly as a result of the final mirrorless I shot with was the DSLR-sized Canon EOS R6, the E-M10 Mark IV felt extra like a point-and-shoot than what we anticipate out of a contemporary mirrorless digital camera.

Regardless of the cheaper price level, the E-M10 Mark IV is a beautiful digital camera. The silver physique with a textured black wrap, the silver dials, and the on/off swap make it seem like a basic movie winder. The physique doesn’t really feel as sturdy as a magnesium alloy construct, however neither does it really feel chintzy. Sadly, it lacks the superb climate sealing of the high-end OM-D cameras. Whereas I choose barely bigger grips, the form is simple sufficient for the index fingers to wrap round on the entrance, with a pleasant thumb relaxation on the again.

The physique nonetheless leaves loads of room for a 2.36-million-dot viewfinder and a Three-inch, 1.04-million-dot LCD display that tilts 180 levels, (Notice: In the event you use a tripod, the total swing of that tilt could be blocked.) Just like the expertise on different current Olympus cameras, each the viewfinder and LCD display don’t all the time precisely painting what the digital camera is capturing. A number of occasions, the white stability within the viewfinder was a lot totally different than what the precise picture captured. Publicity additionally didn’t all the time match up, and areas in shadow are usually muted and troublesome to make out from the viewfinder. On condition that the M-10 IV is a finances digital camera, the viewfinder, regardless of its faults, met up with expectations in comparison with equally priced cameras.

The E-M10 IV’s management scheme makes a lot of the incessantly accessed settings straightforward to regulate. Twin management wheels alter shutter velocity and aperture, whereas shortcut buttons on the again open choices for adjusting ISO, flash, and burst capturing. Settings like autofocus modes and white stability are inside a fast menu. I miss the joystick discovered on higher-end cameras, which lets you alter the point of interest in a single step — on the E-M10 IV, you faucet the shortcut, then transfer the cursor. However, once more, the joystick is a characteristic usually reserved for higher-priced cameras, so we are able to’t be too harsh on it not being current on the E-M10 IV.

Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Developments

The aspect of the digital camera homes a USB for recharging, in addition to an HDMI port, whereas each the battery and single SD card slot share a door beneath. That battery door is simply barely blocked by a standard-sized tripod plate, which could be a little annoying. Whereas the battery is rated for 350 pictures, I bought about 650 pictures earlier than it wore down. It’s lacking the ports of a extra superior digital camera, like a mic port for video, however has the pop-up flash that high-end cameras are likely to omit.

The small measurement, basic look, and management scheme make the E-M10 Mark IV a blast to shoot with. Whereas I miss the climate sealing, grip, and joystick of its pricier siblings just like the E-M1 Mark III, the small measurement means I by no means needed to second-guess whether or not I actually wished to haul the digital camera round with me all day.

Sluggish efficiency, glorious stabilization

Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Developments

Olympus advertises that the finances E-M10 IV makes use of among the similar autofocus algorithms as costlier fashions, together with the continual autofocus topic detection of the E-M1X and the identical Eye AF because the E-M1 Mark III. However, whereas the algorithms are there, the E-M10 has a completely totally different autofocus system that cheapens the expertise. The E-M10 IV makes use of a contrast-detection system, whereas the high-end OM-Ds use a hybrid phase-detection and contrast-detection system.

The E-M10 IV additionally makes use of the TruePic VIII processor, which is one era behind the E-M1 Mark III. To place that even additional in perspective, the E-M1X has two processors. Each the extra restricted kind of autofocus system and slower processor combined with high-end algorithms signifies that the M10 Mark IV is extra correct than it’s predecessor, the E-M10 Mark III, however doesn’t have the velocity or reliability of both the E-M1 Mark III or the E-M1X.

The 121-point contrast-detection autofocus system is barely higher than what I anticipated from an $800 digital camera, although. It’s correct and simple to make use of, however lacks a little bit of velocity. I had only a few pictures that didn’t nail the main target, and lots of of these have been as a result of I shot a little bit too early. Autofocus slows down barely in low gentle however nonetheless appeared to lock on precisely with out an excessive amount of of a delay.

Steady autofocus was OK for a finances digital camera, getting extra pictures sharp than not, however nonetheless catching a handful of soft-focus photos when capturing the quickest motion. Unsurprisingly, monitoring autofocus doesn’t work that nice, however I’ve but to satisfy a digital camera with monitoring ok to completely depend on, even amongst pricier fashions.

Eye AF is superb for portraits and snapshots of individuals, because it simply picks up eyes and faces. It’s not fairly quick sufficient to make use of on motion, nonetheless. My favourite half in regards to the Eye AF is that you simply don’t have to be in auto-area focus mode for it to work, a trait another manufacturers annoyingly reserve this characteristic for. Olympus means that you can toggle the characteristic on and off, so you should use it in additional superior focus modes slightly than solely within the mode that desires to robotically choose the topic for you.

Picture captured with Eye AF Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Developments

The E-M10 IV can shoot at as much as eight.7 frames per second (fps) with the mechanical shutter however wants the slower 5 fps velocity as a way to use steady autofocus (or prolonged ISO settings). On the quickest velocity, capturing RAW + JPEG, the digital camera can churn out 18 pictures earlier than the filling buffer begins to gradual issues down. Slowing the velocity to five fps permits the digital camera to interact autofocus (which, let’s be sincere, you’re going to need lively) and take 21 pictures in a row earlier than slowing. Each bursts took round 15 seconds to be totally written to a Class 10 SD card earlier than you can overview the photographs in playback, however you can preserve capturing at a slower charge or alter settings whereas writing to the cardboard.

Picture captured handheld Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Developments

Among the best options the E-M10 borrows from extra superior fashions — albeit, it’s not fairly nearly as good — is the 5-axis sensor-shift picture stabilization. Rated to four.5 stops, the system was ok to shoot right down to 1/10th of a second at 14mm handheld and nonetheless get some (however not all) pictures sharp. I even took a handheld shot of the moon. Whereas lagging behind the 7.5 stops of the E-M1 Mark III, the  in-body optical picture stabilization system this good is troublesome to search out on a finances digital camera.

Wonderful picture high quality

Sporting virtually the identical pixel rely as pricier fashions, Olympus didn’t skimp on the sensor for the E-M10. The 20.Three megapixel Micro 4 Thirds sensor captures sharp photos with good shade. Whereas the photographs might not look nearly as good from the viewfinder and the digital camera is a bit slower, picture high quality is one characteristic that was not shortchanged to succeed in the finances worth.

Photos from the E-M10 IV and equipment lens have been nicely detailed. They have been sharpest at f/5, however nonetheless acceptable capturing with the equipment lens extensive open. Blended with the power to shoot .23x magnification with the equipment lens, the digital camera has the potential to seize a number of element. The compact equipment lens does tend to flare, nonetheless.

ISO 3200 Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Developments

The smaller Micro 4 Thirds sensor will undergo extra from noise than an APS-C or full-frame digital camera, however is pretty well-controlled for the class. Slight noise seems in shadows at ISO 800. I’d use as much as ISO 3200 earlier than worrying a few vital lack of element and sharpness.

Colours coming straight from the digital camera are good. The E-M10 IV additionally provides a brand new prompt movie filter to the in-camera shade profiles, and it’s one in all my favorites for the punchy distinction and purple and crimson undertones. RAW recordsdata get well a good quantity of element from the shadows, with some slight restoration from the highlights.

Instantaneous movie shade profile Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Developments

Default shade profile Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Developments

Video is out there at 4Kp30 and gives the identical strong shade and element as the photographs. The picture stabilization additionally helps enhance video high quality. The digital camera is troublesome to advocate for vlogging or critical video work, nonetheless, as a result of it lacks a mic port.

Whereas the sensor on the E-M10 IV isn’t nearly as good as a bigger sensor, it competes with Olympus’ extra superior fashions and gives glorious high quality for the digital camera’s small measurement and worth.

Our take

As a finances mannequin, the Olympus E-M10 Mark IV captures glorious photos with a couple of sacrifices to efficiency, construct high quality, and controls. For the worth, the E-M10 has rather a lot to supply, together with glorious photos, 4K video, a compact physique, and picture stabilization. Taking pictures with the E-M10 looks like grabbing a point-and-shoot digital camera, due to the small measurement and light-weight weight. Whereas utilizing a mirrorless digital camera with out a number of lenses shortchanges the digital camera’s capabilities, the tiny Three-ounce equipment lens makes the E-M10 IV really feel like an affordable various to dear point-and-shoots just like the Sony RX100 sequence.

In fact, as a way to slim that worth down, Olympus made a couple of sacrifices. Its velocity is a bit missing, it gained’t deal with a rainstorm, and, even among the many finances class, there are competing cameras with bigger sensors.

Is there a greater possibility?

The E-M10 Mark IV is an efficient finances digital camera, nevertheless it doesn’t have fairly sufficient to make it the most effective finances mirrorless digital camera. The Sony a6100, which prices $750 with a equipment lens, has a bigger sensor, quicker 11 fps, and a hybrid phase-detection and contrast-detection autofocus system. It lacks picture stabilization, nonetheless, giving the E-M10 IV an edge for photographers incessantly working in low gentle. Our present favourite finances mirrorless, the Fujifilm X-T30, gives higher autofocus than the E-M10 Mark IV, a bigger sensor, and extra superior video options, however once more lacks stabilization and sells for about $200 extra.

How lengthy will it final?

Olympus is at the moment negotiating a deal to promote its imaging division, and the sale makes the way forward for Olympus lenses and equipment unclear. There’s a chance of shopping for the E-M10 Mark IV and shedding help down the street, along with restricted lens availability. The construct high quality is sweet for a finances digital camera, however don’t anticipate the sturdiness of its weather-sealed siblings.

Do you have to purchase it?

Not if pictures is a critical interest, nevertheless it’s a neater promote for extra informal shooters. The smaller sensor, slower velocity, and questions on the corporate’s future makes this digital camera troublesome to advocate for extra discerning shutterbugs. The small measurement, low worth, good picture high quality, and built-in picture stabilization — a characteristic laborious to search out in an entry-level digital camera — are all nice for the informal photographer, nonetheless.

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