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Customer Review

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best camera I have ever owned, 19 July 2014
By 
This review is from: Olympus OM-D EM10 Body Only - Black (16.1MP, Live MOS) 3.0 inch LCD (Camera)
I agonised over this purchase. How to replace my old Canon SLR with something smaller and, crucially, better? Not easy. I considered everything for months, then bought the Olympus E-M10.

I might have bought the E-M5 or stretched to the E-M1 to get that leap in quality, but I realised I didn't need to. The E-M10 doesn't really lack any professional features (well, one or two perhaps, though it has one or two unique features of its own, like a built-in flash) - it's just smaller.

Okay, so you don't get the weather sealing or the 5-axis image stabilisation the other two OM-Ds have, or the ability to shoot at 1/8000. The lack of weather sealing is fine for a fair-weather photographer like me, and in any case you have to have weather sealed lenses too, and none of the lenses I fancy are weather sealed.

The 3-axis image stabiliser gets good reviews from the pros, and works very well for me, so I can live with that too. And 1/4000 sec shutter speed is fine for my kind of photography. Get over these three hurdles and the E-M10 is the obvious choice since it's such good value.

In the hand it feels great - super dense and built like a little tank. It feels expensive. I like cameras to be as small as possible, and this is so much smaller than my SLR was. The E-M10 feels just right, with a perfect thumb grip on the back and decent finger grip on the front. If you want to use big lenses, you might want to buy the optional grip that I hear is very useful.

Image quality is clearly better than my old SLR. It had a bigger sensor, but was poor at ISO1600, its max ISO. That's how things have moved on. The E-M10 is smooth and detailed at ISO1600, fine at 3200, and just about okay at 6400 in a pinch. I wouldn't bother with the higher settings. I have two of the gorgeous Olympus f1.8 primes (didn't bother with the kit lens since the whole point of a camera like this is to wring the very best IQ from it and that means fast lenses doesn't it?) and the pics I'm getting are the best I've ever had, with very little effort. It feels like the camera is better than I am at the moment.

Everything works brilliantly. It's really fast and responsive. The electronic viewfinder is so crisp and clear and fluid that I never even think about it. I just use it. However, after a few weeks use I have noticed a problem, which is that blue-green colours are rendered completely (and I do mean completely) wrong in the viewfinder, which is disappointing. The tilting, touch sensitive LCD is as slick and classy as anything you'll see and `touch to focus' is something you'll wonder how you managed without. The twin dials suit me just fine and all the buttons and switches are positive in action and reasonably large. I love the old-fashioned power switch that you can flick on and off by feel. It's just a pleasure to use.

Even the wi-fi works brilliantly. I've only tried it once, but it connected easily to my iPhone and stayed connected when I retreated indoors to take pictures of the birds in my garden by remote control. This blows me away. I just need to think of other ways to use it.

There are so many functions that I can't describe them. The main ones are, luckily, easy to access and use, either from a typical menu with the buttons (useful when your eye is glued to the EVF) or by using the touch screen. You can go much, much deeper into things and customise every last button, dial and function. The level of customisability for an `entry level' camera is astonishing. It's also a bit bewildering. But after a few weeks I'm getting the hang of it, though remembering where a particular setting is can be tricky. The manual (on CD only) is not bad, but you really need it with you all the time if you're going to access the more obscure functions on the go. I've had many cameras over the years and the E-M10's menus are the most challenging of all. But you will get the hang of them in the end.

Other downsides are minor. The battery takes a full three hours to charge, and then lasts a fairly average length of time. So it's a shame there's no percentage for the battery level like on a phone. When you're down to two segments, what it really means is that it's about to die. Get a spare battery or two. At least you get a proper charger with two leads - one for the UK and one for everywhere else. It would have been nice to have some more video frame rates. Video looks pretty good, but you're stuck with 30fps or nothing. I also find the eye detector a bit sensitive so when you're using the touch screen playback you have to be really careful or your finger is detected and puts you back into record mode. The diopter control is essential but super fiddly, so pray you will only have to set it once.

After many months of use I also notice a little fault: when IO use it to take lots and lots of photos in quick succession, it sometimes misbehaves and refuses to focus or take a shot. Perhaps this is overheating because it corrects itself if I switch off for 30 seconds and start again.

But the downsides are minor niggles. This is a great camera. Fast, beautifully built, outstanding image quality, packed with useful and versatile features, small and stylish, the list goes on. It is, without a doubt, the best camera I have ever owned.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Aug 2014, 22:02:45 BST
Coleon says:
very good review thanks for taking the time to write it. One thing missing though is the Olympus JPEG colours which I find very pleasing. Your review has prompted me to sell my G6 and get the EM10 - a Thanks again

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Aug 2014, 14:40:41 BST
Androo says:
Hi, and glad you found it helpful. Must admit I only shoot raw so haven't much experience of the jpeg colours. But I'm very impressed with colour rendition generally. I've had (still have) Sony and Panasonic cameras that have had great trouble with certain colours, but the E-M10 seems to get them spot on. I never feel the need to adjust them afterwards to make them how I remember them.
The more I use the camera, the more impressed I am with it.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Sep 2015, 13:37:48 BST
Tricky says:
Hi Androo,

Thanks from me for the review as well, you've sold another one :)

I used to have an e410 back in the day, which I loved, and the colours on that were superb and very lifelike. I quite like the look of the Leica 25mm for the EM10 as well...this could get expensive!

Thanks

Richie

Posted on 16 Aug 2016, 12:22:36 BST
Androgeos says:
hi thanks for the great review - could you tell me what is the best wideangle Olympus prime for this camera? Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Aug 2016, 12:31:54 BST
Androo says:
The obvious answer is the 12mm f1.8. It's expensive. But very good.
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