Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV Review: Stabilized and Reasonably priced

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

MSRP $699.00

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

Execs

  • In-body stabilization
  • Compact, classic design
  • Good picture high quality
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Slower efficiency
  • Extra noise than APS-C cameras

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is an entry-level camera that wears the hand-me-downs of its greater siblings. The $800 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 0.1 megapixels shy of cameras that price greater than twice as a lot. 

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

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

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

Movie-inspired compact design

The E-M10 Mark IV embodies what the mirrorless camera was initially heralded for: Compact dimension. Measuring lower than 2 inches deep (and fewer than 3 inches with the equipment lens retracted), the mirrorless is the perfect dimension between a point-and-shoot and most interchangeable lens cameras. Weighing roughly 20 ounces with the equipment lens, it’s mild sufficient to sling round your neck and nearly 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 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 camera.

Regardless of the lower cost level, the E-M10 Mark IV is a beautiful camera. The silver physique with a textured black wrap, the silver dials, and the on/off change make it appear like a traditional 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 want barely bigger grips, the form is straightforward 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 3-inch, 1.04-million-dot LCD display screen that tilts 180 levels, (Be aware: If you happen to use a tripod, the total swing of that tilt can be blocked.) Much like the expertise on different current Olympus cameras, each the viewfinder and LCD display screen don’t at all times precisely painting what the camera is capturing. A number of instances, the white stability within the viewfinder was a lot completely different than what the precise picture captured. Publicity additionally didn’t at all times match up, and areas in shadow are usually muted and tough to make out from the viewfinder. On condition that the M-10 IV is a finances 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 simple to regulate. Twin management wheels regulate 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 regulate the focus in a single step — on the E-M10 IV, you faucet the shortcut, then transfer the cursor. However, once more, the joystick is a function 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.

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

The aspect of the 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 generally is a little annoying. Whereas the battery is rated for 350 photographs, I received about 650 photographs earlier than it wore down. It’s lacking the ports of a extra superior camera, like a mic port for video, however has the pop-up flash that high-end cameras are likely to omit.

The small dimension, traditional 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 dimension means I by no means needed to second-guess whether or not I actually needed to haul the camera round with me all day.

Sluggish efficiency, glorious stabilization

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

Olympus advertises that the finances E-M10 IV makes use of a number of 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 completely 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 technology behind the E-M1 Mark III. To place that even additional in perspective, the E-M1X has two processors. Each the extra restricted sort 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 camera, although. It’s correct and simple to make use of, however lacks a little bit of velocity. I had only a few photographs that didn’t nail the main target, and plenty of of these had been as a result of I shot a little bit too early. Autofocus slows down barely in low mild however nonetheless appeared to lock on precisely with out an excessive amount of of a delay.

Steady autofocus was OK for a finances camera, getting extra photographs 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 camera with monitoring adequate to completely depend on, even amongst pricier fashions.

Eye AF is great 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, nevertheless. My favourite half concerning the Eye AF is that you just don’t have to be in auto-area focus mode for it to work, a trait another manufacturers annoyingly reserve this function for. Olympus permits you to toggle the function on and off, so you should use it in additional superior focus modes moderately than completely within the mode that wishes to mechanically choose the topic for you.

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Picture captured with Eye AF Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

The E-M10 IV can shoot at as much as 8.7 frames per second (fps) with the mechanical shutter however wants the slower 5 fps velocity in an effort to use steady autofocus (or prolonged ISO settings). On the quickest velocity, capturing RAW + JPEG, the camera can churn out 18 photographs earlier than the filling buffer begins to sluggish issues down. Slowing the velocity to five fps permits the camera to interact autofocus (which, let’s be sincere, you’re going to need energetic) and take 21 photographs 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 possibly can review the pictures in playback, however you possibly can preserve capturing at a slower charge or regulate settings whereas writing to the cardboard.

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Picture captured handheld Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

Top-of-the-line 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 4.5 stops, the system was adequate to shoot all the way down to 1/tenth of a second at 14mm handheld and nonetheless get some (however not all) photographs 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 tough to seek out on a finances camera.

Wonderful picture high quality

Sporting nearly the identical pixel depend as pricier fashions, Olympus didn’t skimp on the sensor for the E-M10. The 20.3 megapixel Micro 4 Thirds sensor captures sharp photos with good colour. Whereas the pictures might not look nearly as good from the viewfinder and the camera is a bit slower, picture high quality is one function that was not shortchanged to achieve the finances value.

Photographs from the E-M10 IV and equipment lens had been effectively detailed. They had been sharpest at f/5, however nonetheless acceptable capturing with the equipment lens broad open. Blended with the flexibility to shoot .23x magnification with the equipment lens, the camera has the potential to seize a number of element. The compact equipment lens does tend to flare, nevertheless.

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7ISO 3200 Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

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

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

olympus om d e m10 mark iv review p8010144Immediate movie colour profile Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

olympus om d e m10 mark iv review p8010145Default colour profile Hillary Ok. Grigonis/Digital Tendencies

Video is on the market at 4Kp30 and gives the identical stable colour and element as the pictures. The picture stabilization additionally helps enhance video high quality. The camera is tough to suggest for vlogging or severe video work, nevertheless, 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 camera’s small dimension and value.

Our take

As a finances mannequin, the Olympus E-M10 Mark IV captures glorious photos with a number of sacrifices to efficiency, construct high quality, and controls. For the value, the E-M10 has quite a bit to supply, together with glorious photos, 4K video, a compact physique, and picture stabilization. Capturing with the E-M10 looks like grabbing a point-and-shoot camera, due to the small dimension and lightweight weight. Whereas utilizing a mirrorless camera with out a number of lenses shortchanges the camera’s capabilities, the tiny 3-ounce equipment lens makes the E-M10 IV really feel like an inexpensive different to dear point-and-shoots just like the Sony RX100 collection.

After all, in an effort to slim that value down, Olympus made a number 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 choice?

The E-M10 Mark IV is an effective finances camera, nevertheless it doesn’t have fairly sufficient to make it the perfect finances mirrorless 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, nevertheless, giving the E-M10 IV an edge for photographers incessantly working in low mild. 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 highway, along with restricted lens availability. The construct high quality is nice for a finances camera, however don’t anticipate the sturdiness of its weather-sealed siblings.

Must you purchase it?

Not if pictures is a severe interest, nevertheless it’s a better promote for extra informal shooters. The smaller sensor, slower velocity, and questions on the corporate’s future makes this camera tough to suggest for extra discerning shutterbugs. The small dimension, low value, good picture high quality, and built-in picture stabilization — a function onerous to seek out in an entry-level camera — are all nice for the informal photographer, nevertheless.

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