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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Hands-On First Look
by Laura Hicks -  1/28/2014

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The OM-D E-M10 has a 16.1 megapixel micro four thirds sensor and has the most recent TruePic VII image processor. The camera has a classic body style that looks a lot like an E-M5

We had the honor of getting some hands-on time with the E-M10 at CES. For starters, the E-M10 is being introduced at $699.99 for body only or $799.99 as a kit with the 14-42mm f3.6-5.6 zoom lens. Clearly, this camera won't have all of the bells and whistles of the E-M5 or the E-M1, but in many ways it comes extremely close. So what is under the hood of this new OM-D? The E-M10 has the same sensor and viewfinder as the E-M5. And it maintains the same image processor as the E-M1. The camera has a tiltable touchscreen just like its more advanced siblings. However, the E-M10 is not weather sealed like its bigger brothers, nor does it have the 5-axis image stabilization. Rather, the E-M10 has a 3-axis image stabilization system (yaw, pitch, roll).

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The E-M10 weighs only 14 oz and measures only 4.7 in(w) x 3.2 in(h) x 1.8 in(d), but is no lightweight when it comes to its 8 frames per second continuous shooting rate or its 81 autofocusing points. The camera can shoot both RAW and JPEG files as well as capture video as MOV and AVI files. The E-M10 has an ISO range of 100-25600 (ISO 5000 as the native high).

The camera's button layout is pretty similar to the E-M5. The on/off switch is located on the lower right side of the back of the camera. Its mode dial is located on the left side of the top deck and the overall appearance of the other buttons has a striking resemblance to the E-M5 minus the playback button that has a much better location on the E-M10.

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The E-M10 has an ever-so-slightly smaller and lighter footprint than the E-M5. One of the added benefits to the E-M10 over the E-M5 and E-M1 is the built-in flash, as well as a hot shoe. The camera does not come with an off-camera flash, however. The E-M10 comes in both black and silver.    

Those who love the E-M5 and don't need the weather sealing, but are looking for a better price point may want to take a second look at the E-M10. Imagine the E-M10 as the consumer version of the E-M5. It has a 3-axis IS instead of 5, but for some this might not be a huge deal. Our first impression of this camera is that it is very similar to the E-M5 in so many ways. Really, you would be hard pressed to find massive real world differences between the two. For me, the better placement of the playback button and the built-in flash might actually send the E-M10 to a higher overall ranking over the E-M5. The biggest different between the E-M5 and the E-M10 is the IS and weather sealing. So the question remains: unless the difference between the 5-axis and 3-axis IS is fairly substantial, why would Olympus introduce a camera with such a lower price point? My assumption is that getting mid-range DSLR users to become mirrorless camera users is a huge reason. And why wouldn't someone looking at an entry level DSLR want to take a look at the E-M10, too? It's smaller, more compact, lighter weight and has a better feature set than most DSLRs at this price point. The E-M10 has an autofocus grid that covers the whole frame, 8 fps, and a top shutter speed of 1/4000 sec. In addition, the E-M10 has Wi-Fi, a built-in flash, and tilting touchscreen. Heck, at this point I'm trying to talk myself out of buying it. Like I need another camera, right?

Although I was not able to keep any of the images I took from this camera, they looked on par with the other OM-Ds. Its autofocus was fast and the kit lens was not bad (I'm just not a fan of variable aperture zoom lenses). I would choose to buy the body only and purchase two other lenses like the 17mm f/1.8 and the 45mm f/1.8. However, if you are new to the mirrorless market and want a lens that covers a standard focal length, the 14-42mm kit lens is a fantastic deal at only $100 more than the body alone. It delivers much, much greater results than you would expect for only $100.

In addition to the E-M10 announcement, Olympus is also announcing a 25mm f/1.8 lens for only $399.99. I also got to try this out at CES and I am very impressed with the image quality for just under $400. The lens focused quickly and produced sharp images. It's a must have for those looking to expand their treasure-trove of MFT lenses.

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Also, Olympus is adding a 9mm f/8.0 body cap lens. It has a manual focus lever and looks very similar to the 15mm Olympus body cap lens. Like the other products, I tried this out at CES. However, I can't say this lens holds much appeal for me. That being said, it's inexpensive and some people think it's pretty cool.

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The last announcement in this article is the Macro Converter Lens. This lens does hold quite a bit of appeal for me as I am a major macro photography fanatic. However, before I give a nod to this converter lens, I want to test it outside of the CES walls. I didn't have a proper amount of time to see if it was able to keep up with my shooting style and give you an accurate first impression.

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