The Micro Four Thirds sensor and wide range of available lenses, class-leading in-camera image stabilisation and striking retro styling, as well as an updated image processor, 4K video capture and more focus points than the older Mark II.
For amateur or pro?
The Olympus OM-D range is aimed at the more advanced enthusiast photographer. The OM-D E-M10 Mark III is a mid range camera designed to be easy-to-use but also allow photographers who want to progress in their photographic ambition. That's the beauty of the Micro Four Thirds system (MFT), as there are a raft of lenses that you can buy for it.
The E-M10 Mark III isn't the most advanced in the company's range - but it's an accessible, affordable model with some great features on board, updating the Mark II model. It's a shame there's no weather-sealing. Still, the new camera does feature a more pronounced grip, which significantly improves handling and makes the camera feel more secure in normal use.
Also see: Best DSLR cameras: The best interchangeable lens cameras available in the UK
- 5-axis stabilisation system (effective to 4-stops)
- 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder
- 3-inch, 1,040k-dot vari-angle touchscreen
One of the biggest plus points about the Olympus OM-D range is its image stabilization: the Mark III features 5-axis stabilisation with an efficiency up to 4-stops. Meaning, the Olympus camera system counters pitch, yaw and roll, plus horizontal and vertical sensor movements. The 4-stops means you'll be able to get a sharp hand-held shot four shutter settings different to shooting without using the system. So, for example, a shutter speed at 1/4th of a second should be the equivalent of 1/60th of a second, which is impressive.
Then we come to the built-in viewfinder. In the E-M10 III it's a 2.36-million-dot resolution - the same as in the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. However, the magnification is 1.23x which is a touch lower than those more advanced models, meaning a slightly smaller overall image to the eye.
On the back is the 3-inch touchscreen, which is nice and bright and responsive to touch, and comes mounted on a tilt-angle bracket, so can be used for those high- and low-angle shots easily.
The touchscreen is practical to use - even when using the viewfinder to shoot. When looking through the finder the camera has a mode where you can select and move your AF point using the touchscreen by dragging a finger across it, relative to where you wish the focus point to be. This very useful for adjusting focus point selection on the go.
- 121-point contrast-detect autofocus system
- 8.6fps burst shooting (single AF) / 4.8fps (continuous AF)
- 330 shots per charge
- Wi-Fi connectivity
Speed and autofocus is one of the key areas where the O-MD Mark III has definitely improved upon. The camera ups the ante with a 121-point contrast detection system, which is fast enough to lock onto subjects quickly and accurately, whether in single or continuous autofocus. One criticism though, is that it inevitably slow down in low-light conditions.
Focus types also simplify shooting in some situations. Face priority is one such example, which will be a useful feature for many amateur photographers. In this mode, when the E-M10 III detects faces or eyes it focuses on them and ensures they are always sharp, taking the effort out of fine-tuning focus for the perfect shot.
If you are shutter happy, then the E-M10 III's processor is up to task. Its fastest burst rate of 8.6 frames per second (reduced to 4.8fps with continuous autofocus) is a decent speed. Although it's not that different to the Mark II model.
As it is crammed with features, the battery life isn't as good as a DSLR competitor. Its rating of 330 shots per charge is pretty reasonable at this level. Olympus inexplicably removed the quick sleep mode we saw on the E-M10 Mark II, so the batteries won't last as long. Also, Olympus has changed the USB connection on the side of the camera to a Micro-USB – but this connection doesn't accept battery charging, you'll need to use the mains charger instead.
Olympus has simplified its menu system but is still too complicated. The system/button arrangement is still annoyingly tricky. We think that for the amateur photographers which this camera is targeting, in reality automatic mode will be chosen more often than not.
Olympus has always been good when it comes to Wi-Fi Connectivity and the E-M10 III is no different. It can be used with the Olympus O.I Share app (available on Android and IOS). This allows users to send photos and videos directly from their camera to their phone or tablet. Also, users can control their camera from their smartphone or tablet using the app.
Image and video quality
- 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor
- TruePic 8 image processor
- 4K video capture (to 25fps) / 1080p (to 60fps)
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III features a 16-million-pixel Micro Four Thirds sensor. This is the same sensor that's always been used in the E-M10 series, only the image processing has been tweaked and updated.
To not go with the 20-million-pixel upgrade makes the camera only a small improvement over the Mark II model.
When shooting we found the images to be decent - the camera captures a good amount of dynamic range at lower sensitivities, although if limited lighting conditions force this sensitivity up then the quality noticeably drops.
The only real change in quality compared to the previous E-M10 models comes down to the new TruPic 8 image processor. Providing more efficient JPEG image processing than before - although some will find the shots a little too sharp.
The E-M10 Mark III has the same video spec as the flaship E-M1 II. It can shoot 4K resolution at 25fps, Full HD at up to 60fps, or 720p at 120fps. There's no mic port or a headphone socket, though, so if you are looking to capture some high-quality video on your travels it will have the quality to do so effectively.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III Compact System Camera with 14-42 EZ Zoom Lens - Silver £699.00
If you're after a smart-looking interchangeable lens mirrorless camera that can capture great shots in reasonable lighting conditions, then it does an excellent job. We tested it on holidays in the sun, on a hiking trip and whilst going on country walks and the Mark III performed admirably.
However, its competing in a very tough market. The Mark III's improvements over its predecessor are nothing much to speak of. Plus it's not too great when shooting in low-light conditions, which is where a large sensor camera would come into its own, and the menu systems is still too complex.
Overall, the OM-D E-M10 Mark III is a reasonable mirrorless camera for the money. The autofocus, video and design improvements are all definite improvements. But our concern is that although it is aimed at the amateur photographer, it does feel a little overcomplicated.