I knew my recent trip to San Diego would offer an immense amount of photographic opportunities. What I didn't know was how fantastic the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 would be at capturing those moments. I'm pretty sure I am in love with this camera.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 was introduced just weeks ago. The camera arrived as the less expensive little brother to the OM-D E-M1 and E-M5. When I saw the E-M10 back at CES, I was instantly intrigued by this camera. The price point is just shy of $700 (body only) or $800 with the kit 14-42mm f3.6-5.6 zoom lens, yet sports the same sensor and viewfinder as the E-M5. It also features the same image processor as the E-M1. The camera has a tiltable touchscreen just like its more advanced siblings, too. In fact, the E-M10 is only missing a few things that its bigger brothers can gloat about. The E-M10 is not weather sealed like its siblings, nor does it have the 5-axis image stabilization. Rather, the E-M10 has a 3-axis image stabilization system (yaw, pitch, roll). 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.
Spoiler alert for the full review: I am head-over-heels in love with this camera. It appeals to my need for great image quality, my desire to interact with a smaller camera, and my want to save money while investing in camera equipment. It's a trifecta of awesomeness!
At this point in my review I have very little that I can even nitpick about this camera. The only feature of the camera that even had me worried was the 3-axis image stabilization instead of the 5-axis image stabilization. So far, I am not seeing much of a difference. Throughout the review process, I will continue to push the limits of the E-M10 when it comes to image quality and its stabilization system.
In my hands-on preview of the camera I stated, "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." After spending some time with the lens I have come to the conclusion that I would absolutely buy the kit instead of the body only option. This probably comes as a surprise to most as I have very little desire to own most kit lenses. But the 14-42mm lens is far better than I imagined. In fact, I found myself reaching for this lens and keeping it on the camera body on several occasions during my vacation. It has a great focal length (28-84mm equivalent) and did remarkably well outdoors. Without a doubt, it is worth the $100 upgrade from the body only option.
I also shot with the 25mm (50mm equivalent). It is a fantastic lens and I would also recommend it! The maximum f1.8 aperture makes it perfect for low-light imagery. It's also great for isolating your subject from the background. The image quality is super. For only $400, this lens is a steal-of-a-deal. Imagine owning the 17mm f1.8, the 25mm f1.8 and the 45mm f1.8. It's like another trifecta of awesomeness! And if you want to add more focal length, try out the 75mm f1.8. It is a great lens.
Check out the image gallery below and let us know what you think. I used both the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens and the 25mm f1.8 lens for these images.