Olympus has announced their new E-M10 mkIII… the entry level OMD camera. I have not gotten to review the camera, and I am not given loaner copies…I will reserve my review for when I either rent or buy one. I will be honest though, this is a very interesting camera. I have always been fond of the E-M10 series. In fact, it always seemed to make more sense than the E-M5. Before my opinions though, lets see what seems to be new. (By the way… the usual host of online reviewers are all posting their hands-on by now and repeating all the same specs…so be sure to check those if you are interested.)
The new noteworthy stuff is bleach bypass art filter, TruePic VIII processing engine, 4k video, more AF points, and a better layout of camera functions if you use scene modes. Button feel is apparently beefed up in feel a bit too. The rest of the camera is very similar to the previous. Still 16mp, folding screen, viewfinder, pop-up flash, etc…
And some new stylish accessories. The E-M10 has always been the stylish one with browns, orange covers, etc…
I think the E-M10 is a great camera. Actually it has always made a lot of sense to me. It is TINY and it feels great. Probably the best feeling “entry-level” camera out there. It has a great button layout, two control dials, and everything Olympus usually tosses in their cameras that scares everyone away. This is a good thing. The new menu system allows you to access features such as live composite, live time, HDR, etc… without having to menu dive or use custom functions. It seems a MUCH better integration of the touch screen too. This really seems like the camera you can throw into auto mode and have a LOT of fun with, hand to others, etc… If you want to get into advanced functionality, the deep menu system is there with all the custom options we have grown to love. This seems like a good step forward. I will wait to fully get my hands on it. This also seems like a very GOOD backup to the E-M1mkII. Ok ok, only the E-M1mkII is a true backup for itself…but if you can’t spend the money for two, this is a great alternative. Or a great second camera to carry along side it. The handling is better than the PEN-F in my opinion and the viewfinder is nicer. Pen F viewfinder just never sat well with me. For those who have never held an E-M10…it feels small but solid. Attach a prime lens to this camera and you have an awesome and very capable camera that weighs virtually nothing and takes very little bag space. In fact a camera bag just for this almost stops making sense.
4k video is nice for capturing some scenes, vacation memories, home video, etc… The non fully-articulating screen makes this a bit difficult for vlogging…a natural use for this kind of camera…but its not the end of the world. For dedicated video work, there are still other cameras I would recommend instead.
There is apparently a new Art filter addition. Bleach bypass look in two versions. That means you will be seeing an Art Filter software update from me once I can get a hold of this camera. I am going to assume that the next round of firmware updates adds this art filter in to the other cameras. We’ll see. Even if it doesn’t… my presets will offer it so there you go!
I think pricing is a tad high. I think the entry should have come in at $500, the mid range at $1000, which then leaves the flagship at $2000. The only question is what is the mid-range?
The 16mp, single memory card, non-sealed, user friendly camera makes sense as the entry. You get all the goods, but none of the big demanding features. I am having trouble visualizing what the mid-level for olympus looks like now. The more “big” features you add in, the closer you get to the E-M1mkII. At that point how do you justify the price gaps? We’ll see what Olympus chooses to do. I think they are one of the few companies that really offers a huge bang for your buck in the entry level. If you have an E-M10 mkII I wouldn’t necessarily run out and switch. I think you are fine and still well served. If you do not have an olympus yet and can’t afford the flagship… this is a great buy into the system. I would potentially consider this over a used E-M1 (original) if you want something small and light and will be using prime lenses primarily.
Are you looking forward to this camera? What are your thoughts?