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Micro-four thirds cameras are like marmite, you either love them or hate them
on 21 November 2014
Micro-four thirds cameras are like marmite, you either love them or hate them. I just love the size advantage you get, and there are some fantastic lenses. Although this is supposed to be the "budget" OM-D camera, it bests the original Olympus E-M5 in many areas and I actually prefer the E-M10.
An internet review site likened the E-M5 to a gazelle, which is also good simile for the E-M10. As soon as you put the camera to your eye, it automatically switches off the rear screen and enables the electronic view finder. The rear dial I have programmed to adjust exposure with the button next to it programmed for AEL. Unlike an optical view finder there is a live view of the exposure, so you immediately see if you are under/over exposing before taking the photo, and you can toggle "blinkies" to check for sensor dynamic range clipping (clipped highlights flash orange and clipped shadows flash blue). The front dial I have programmed for adjusting aperture / shutter, with one of the adjacent buttons programmed for depth of field preview. The other adjacent button is programmed to toggle the dial functions; press it and the front dial changes adjusts ISO, and the rear dial adjusts White Balance. Again, there is live view of the white balance in the view finder before taking the photo. I have the view finder programmed so that the exposure compensation is replaced by a spirit level once the shutter button is half pressed. So managing the exposure, depth of field, white balance and getting straight horizon is childs play, and no need for chimping after each photo.
The autofocus is also quick, accurate and no-nonsense. I have the four arrow buttons programmed to directly move the focus point around the 81 point grid. However, if you want to let the camera do some of the work for you, I have the OK button programmed to bring up the "super control panel" on the rear touch screen. Touch the "face" icon and spin the front dial for all the face detection options, and half press the shutter to start shooting again. Take the camera away from your eye in shooting mode, and the rear touch screen is ready for touch to shoot. The screen tilts for shooting from the hip or over heads.
The mode dial has some functions that I don't use(ART, SCN, etc.), which can be reprogrammed to custom settings (Mysets). I have reprogrammed the ART position to Myset1 for high speed action shots, which is aperture priority with F/5 (optimum sharpness for mFT lenses and plenty of DOF), with 1/120 refresh rate of the view finder (so no EVF time lag), and 8 frames a second high speed burst. I have programmed the SCN position to Myset 2 for manual focus, which aperture priority, manual focus mode, and focus peak (which highlights all the in-focus [high contrast] areas of a scene).
You don't have to re-programme the dials and buttons (the default settings are sensible), but if you know what you like, you have the flexibility to tune your camera exactly to your shooting style. The custom menu system to initially set up the camera isn't always intuitive, but you only do it once.
I bought the camera without lens, and use it most of the time with the 17mm F/1.8. The combo is just the right size, balance, feel......I'm sure that someone reading will know what I'm talking about. I have some zoom lenses too, but it's those tiny prime lenses I love using.
Anyway, Olympus have got a lot of things right with this camera. It provides a very engaging and enjoyable shooting experience that will motivate you to go out and take photos more often. If you don't want the burden of a bulky DSLR, you will find it a liberating experience.
P.S. I would recommend spending 20 pounds on an extra x2 pack of batteries, and be sure to get the ones compatible with the Olympus charger.
P.P.S. If you want to know the bad bits: you'll keep loosing the EVF cover if you carry the camera in your coat Pocket, and some things in the custom menus are not very clear.