Olympus’ E-M10 was an almost-perfect package: (relatively) good value, beautifully styled and with cracking internal specs to make higher-end cameras weep.
We’re amazed, then, that Olympus has found ways to make the E-M10 even better, unveiling the compact system snapper’s second iteration with amped-up smarts ready to take the fight to the Micro Four Thirds field.
Five times as stable
Like the Spitfire and the Ford Cortina, the E-M10 sounds eminently cooler with ‘Mark II’ after its name – and, thankfully, it has the smarts to back it up.
The biggest addition to Olympus’ retro-revelling shooter is the Japanese manufacturer’s famed 5-axis image stabilisation tech: eliminating blur from all but the most violent of shakes, the system works with any lens and can compensate for up to the equivalent of four steps of shutter speed (that's a lot).
Olympus’ original E-M10 eschewed the heralded 5-axis system in favour of just three, in order to keep the body of the budget snapper compact with the pop-up flash. Yet, somehow, allegedly using some form of secret shrinking device, the Mark II’s maker has crammed the full five axes in whilst retaining the TTL flash and 3in tilting touchscreen.
What’s more, the Mark II’s electronic viewfinder (EVF) has been upgraded to OLED and continues to offer 100% field of view, meaning mega-accurate framing capabilities.
Stealing from its sibling
The second iteration of the E-M10 has retained a number of the nifty features of the first: built-in WiFi for image sharing and remote shooting; the same 16.1MP sensor; and the lightning-fast 81-point autofocus system.
On top of those, Olympus has boosted the high speed shooting rate to 8.5fps and added a 4K ultra HD time-lapse video feature.
That’s right: with the E-M10, you’ll be able to fulfil your dreams of shooting dreamy timelapses of the Northern Lights drifting over barren tundra, set against the Inception soundtrack. Or you could just record the cars driving past your garden wall.
Fight the system
Still, it’s a more than impressive feat that Olympus has pulled off, cramming upgrades into what was already a feature-packed camera, and retaining an incredibly compact shell: just 119.5 x 83.1 x 46.7mm, and 342g in weight. That’s a third smaller than a Canon 750D.
Given the popularity of the OM-D range, which the Mark II now joins, updating the E-M10 with some of its super-siblings' high-end features, but sticking an affordable US$650 (body only) price tag on it, might just be a stroke of genius.
For the same amount of cash, you could pick up a 750D or a Sony A6000 – both of which we rate seriously highly. The question of whether the E-M10 can hold a flash gun to either will have to wait until we get our hands on one, but that smooth, retro styling might just be enough to provide some compact competition.