Great little camera for beginners
My first camera purchase and I do not regret it at all! This camera ticks a lot of stuff that I wanted from functionality to design. I love the retro look and especially the twin dials! Absolutely a wonder to use and just makes you want to keep on shooting. I like the small form factor but wish the grip was a tad bit larger. Another issue is the battery life. I recommend getting at least 2 more extra batteries and you'll be set for the day! Overall an excellent camera for beginners and still a good value for anyone on a tight budget. Paired with a sharp lens and you'll be surprised at how good your images come out!
OMD E-M10 - The good, the bad and the ugly
I've only given this camera a four star rating, with some work Olympus could easily bump that to a five star.
Let's start with the good. I bought this camera to cover a fairly difficult use case: shooting 8 foot tall objects from about 150 feet away, using fairly dim available light. My point and shoot simply could not manage this - however with the OMD E-M10 on a tripod, and a good telephoto lens on it, this camera got the pictures I wanted with absolutely no trouble at all.
Olympus have been in the business of making optical equipment for almost 100 years, and that experience shows in this camera. It really does do a spectacularly good job of getting the image onto the sensor and from there to the SD card.
I started "serious" photography back in the early 1990's with a SLR from another company, got tired of the size of it by 2000, and switched to compact Point and Shoot devices.
It took something of the quality of this camera to get me to switch back to an interchangeable lens system, my only regret now is that I didn't switch back as soon as Olympus started making micro four thirds cameras.
So what about the bad? As noted, Olympus are primarily an optics company, but they are apparently lagging a little in their adoption of modern standards for consumer electronics.
The first hint of this was the fact that there's a custom USB cable. The rest of the industry is overwhelmingly using micro B or USB c connectors, with full size B still in use for printing devices and some external hard drive enclosures.
The take away from the above is that custom cables are a thing of the past. The camera would have all the connectivity it needs with the current HDMI connector for AV hookup and either a micro B or USB c connector for computer hookup.
The next bad is the SD card. I have quite a collection of SD cards, all of which I keep formatted with exFAT. So I plug one of them in and ... "Card Error" Sure enough - I get the camera to format it, check the result on my computer and it's now FAT32.
Use of FAT32 is a little bit dated now: The format was introduced in 1996 by Microsoft as a stopgap to allow Windows 95 to use large drives. It has no place in modern consumer electronics, with the introduction of exFat in 2006.
This is the de-facto standard nowadays for flash devices, since the format was expressly designed to work with media devices, it has optimizations that make it extremely efficient and easy to use with both still and movie shooting.
And lastly the ugly - charging the camera. I knew this was going to be an issue when I found an external charger in the box.
USB, at a minimum, provides 500 mA, which is enough to charge the battery in 5 hours or so. Get a one amp or two amp charger and that time drops to 2 1/2 hours, or down to just over 1 hour. Or switch to USB c with power delivery, and you can charge the battery as fast as it can accept the power.
There really isn't a need for an external charger, not when the battery could be charged via USB. Ask yourself the following. Would you buy a cell phone today that required an external charger for the battery? Of course not. Why then should a modern camera come with an external charger?
Worse yet, you can't charge and shoot at the same time. Turn the camera on, plug it into a power bank, and it goes into a special mode to transfer pictures, even though there's no computer attached.
Again, I ask, would you buy a cell phone that behaved like this: you're in your car, you need to charge your cell phone from the cigarette lighter adapter. What would you think of a cell phone couldn't make a call while charging?
This camera has the ability to be fully functional as a camera while charging and attached to a computer. It supports MTP - Media Transfer Protocol. This was specifically designed for this use case: to allow the device to continue to operate normally while being accessed by a computer.
MTP has been around since 2008, this camera supports it, just not as well as it could.
So there you have it - this is a great picture taking device held back by some rather anachronistic decisions that should not be too hard to fix. Indeed, all but the custom cable and the external charger could be solved by a firmware upgrade.
My suggestion to Olympus is to take these issues under consideration, and address them. Doing so will put Olympus very firmly at the top of the list of modern camera makers.
Well rounded camera in the Olympus line up
My first Olympus camera was the PEN Mini E-PM1. I liked the image quality but discovered I wanted a larger, more ergonomic body and controls, integrated EVF, and the amazing 5-axis image stabilization (IBIS). That pointed to the E-M5 or E-M1 but those were out of my budget. I ended up with the E-M10 and have been extremely happy. The ergonomics are wonderful and adding the ECG-1 grip is not necessary when using with the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 (though it does help make it even more comfortable). The 3-axis IBIS may not be as good as the 5-axis, but is close enough, and is significantly better than the 2-axis in the older PEN cameras. Hand-holding the 40-150mm lens is a piece of cake with the 3-axis IBIS since live view is stabilized. Other features like the newer 16 MP sensor, flip up/down LCD screen, and WiFi are just icing on the cake. Remote access with WiFi is also another extremely useful feature for selfies of if you want reduce the chance of vibration when on a tripod.In my opinion the E-M10 (and the Mark II) are the best bang for you buck in the Olympus line up, as long as you don't need weather sealing or high speed auto focus tracking.
The Sweet Spot Olympus Camera
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is the DSLR camera I've been waiting on for over 20 years. Having favored film photography over this time, I was not happy with the quality and handling of digital cameras. Nevertheless, Olympus got it totally right with the OM-D series. I particularly like and prefer the classic tools, options, handling and metal construction.
Having the best of both worlds in traditional and new generation digital photography technologies all in a single camera opens up many more visual opportunities and creative options. I purposely bought the OM-D E-10 model rather than one of the latest Olympus models because it hits the sweet spot of photographic capabilities and features I was seeking. Also, with its very good HD video, I am better able to creatively merge photography and videography projects without complications or shortcomings.
The sweetness is in the simplicity, even with its many features and tools.The OM-D E-M10's straightforward marriage of simplicity, ease-of-use and sophisticated easy access tools allow me to express all of my art and photojournalism experience and ideas without technical or creative obstacles.
The variety of available lenses and filters specifically for this models fuels my creativity as well. The free Olympus software — Image Share, Image Palette, and Image Track — has been very helpful when using the WiFi features of my Android smartphone with the OM-D E-M10. Also, both the included Olympus Digital Camera Updater and Viewer 3 softwares have been a big help when managing projects on my portable Windows laptop.
This OM-D model's construction, though smaller and lightweight, still rivals or surpasses my older heavier film cameras. For however long this durable full metal body OM-D E-M10 remains available for sale, I strongly advise taking a good look at the specs of this Olympus OM-D model if you are transitioning from or prefer film photography, and want a quality digital camera that provides the best of what your experience can bring to Olympus DSLR technology. Especially, if you want to go further over time.
Wonderful in all aspects
When I switched to digital photography in 2005, I bought a bridge camera because I was unhappy with the weight and bulk of the analog SLR I had been using so far. But in 2014, I wanted a camera with better image quality, so I chose Olympus, mainly because of the incredible optics in their Pro line. I first bought the E-M10, which I absolutely loved. Lightweight and compact, it produces incredibly sharp images, especially when coupled with a Pro Zuiko lens, and its image stabilization is excellent. All in all, it is a wonderful camera.