FIRST LOOK: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

      In summary

      Olympus continues to improve its entry-level OM-D cameras and it’s good to see the latest E-M10 model can offer the same 20-megapixel resolution as its more sophisticated peers.

      The winning combination of small size, light weight and excellent performance has made the OM-D line-up popular with travellers since it was introduced in early 2012 and there’s no reason to doubt the new camera’s capabilities.


      Full review

      Announced today, the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is the fourth model in Olympus’ entry-level OM-D line-up and the lightest in the series to date. Olympus has increased its resolution by introducing a 20-megapixel sensor, although it appears not to be the same chip used in the higher-priced E-M1 models. Sensor-shift stabilisation has been improved by half a stop over the previous model and the new model‘s monitor is more adjustable. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE and USB charging make their first appearances.

      Angled view of the new OM-D E-M10 Mark IV, silver version, with the M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ kit lens. (Source: Olympus.)

      Like previous models in this series (and also the E-M5 line-up), the new camera will be offered in silver and all-black versions. Its magnesium alloy body appears to be similar to the E-M10 III’s but adjustments will have been made to its composition to make it lighter.

      As before, the battery and single memory card slot share a compartment in the grip moulding, which is accessed via the base of the camera. The battery is the same BLS-50 unit as used in the E-M10 III but shooting capacity has been extended slightly and USB charging is now supported.

      The OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is due to go on sale in Australia in mid-September at an RRP of AU$1299 for the body alone or $1499 for the body with the M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ kit lens, as shown above. This camera will also be sold with the M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II extended-range zoom lens for AU$1799.

      Because the camera we received was an IP (Initial Production) unit, we weren’t able to subject it to our usual Imatest tests.  But we did take some sample images with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS PRO zoom lens and also with the new the M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS lens, which is reviewed separately. We look forward to reviewing a production-standard camera once one is available.

      Who’s it For?
      Like its predecessors, the E-M10 IV has been designed for photographers who want a ‘proper’ interchangeable-lens camera that looks serious and provides a full suite of controls but remains relatively easy to use. As the lightest model in the series, it is also targeted at travellers, for whom the jump to 20-megapixel resolution and inclusion of 4K movie recording will be important purchase criteria.

      The flip-down monitor and easy smartphone connection will make the E-M10 IV popular with bloggers and vloggers. (Source: Olympus.)

      Like the E-M10 III the new camera is not weather-sealed so travellers and outdoor photographers will require a waterproof camera bag. The flip-down monitor and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with always-on background connection to the user’s smartphone will please bloggers, while the new Camera How To addition to the OI.Share smartphone app should simplify posting of photos and videos on social media.

      Connecting the E-M10 IV to a smartphone for image sharing is easy.

      What’s New?
      The step up from 16 to 20 megapixels is an important point of difference between the Mark IV model and its predecessor. This makes 20 megapixels the standard resolution across the entire current OM-D range from the professional E-M1X down.

      With the E-M5 Mark III introducing weather sealing, the lack of it in the E-M10 series provides a clear differentiation in the three product lines (E-M1, E-M5 and E-M10). And while both the E-M5 III and the E-M10 IV have 121-point AF systems, the E-M10 IV relies on a contrast-based system.

      The table below compares key features of the OM-D E-M10 IV with the previous model.

        E-M10 Mark IV E-M10 Mark III
      Image sensor 17.4 x 13.0 mm Live MOS
      Resolution Approx. 20.3 megapixels Approx. 16.1 megapixels
      Image processor TruePic VIII
      Stabilisation Built-in 5-axis sensor shift system
      Shake correction 4.5 stops 4 stops
      Viewfinder Eye-level OLED EVF with 2,360,000 dots, approx. 100% frame coverage, 19.2 mm eyepoint, -4 to +2 dpt correction, approx.1.23x magnification
      Monitor 3-inch, 3:2 aspect ratio LCD with 1,037,000 dots, electrostatic touch panel overlay
      Screen tilt Up to approx. 80 o; down by approx. 180 o (for selfie mode) Up to approx. 85 o; down by approx. 45 o
      Sequential shooting Silent mode: approx. 15 fps, High mode: approx. 8.7 fps. Low mode: approx. 5 fps Silent mode: approx. 14 fps, High mode: approx. 8.6 fps. Low mode: approx. 4.8 fps
      Silent shooting modes P, A, S, M, ART, AP, Scn AP, Scn.
      Art Filters 16 types 15 types
      Fine Tune 2 types N/A
      Bluetooth LP Yes No
      Wireless radiowave flash compatible Yes No
      Storage media SD, SDHC, SDXC cards (UHS-I / UHS-II UHS compatible)
      Battery BLS-50 Li-ion rechargeable battery
      Bundled charger F-5AC-USB-AC Adapter BCS-5 Li-ion battery charger
      USB charging Yes No
      Shooting capacity Approx. 360 shots/charge Approx. 330 shots/charge
      Dimensions Approx. 121.7 x 84.6 x 49 mm 121.5 x 83.6 x 49.5 mm
      Weight (with  Battery & card) 383 grams 410 grams

      No changes appear to have been made to the image stabilisation system and even the M-IS1 movie stabilisation (which combines optical and electronic IS) appears to be unchanged in that the frame is still cropped slightly. A new M-IS2 mode that appears to rely solely on the sensor-shift IS, has been added for those who prefer uncropped frames.

      Build and Ergonomics
      Aside from the changes detailed in the table above, the body and ergonomics of the new camera are virtually identical to the OM-D E-M10 Mark III.  The illustrations below show the similarities between the two cameras.

      Front views of the OM-D E-M10, with the M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ kit lens. The new Mark IV model is at the top and the Mark III model sits below it. (Source: Olympus.)

      Rear views of the OM-D E-M10, with the Mark IV model at the top and the Mark III model below it. (Source: Olympus.)

      Top views of the OM-D E-M10, with the Mark IV model at the top and the Mark III model below it. (Source: Olympus.)

      The 2,360,000-dot OLED viewfinder and 3-inch, 1,037,000-dot touchscreen monitor are the same as in the Mark II, although the monitor now tilts down through 180 degrees to make it easy to use the camera for selfies and vlogging. Flipping the screen down automatically engages the selfie shooting mode.

      A new Instant Film Art Filter mode has been added to provide a nostalgic feel. But the Scene (SCN) mode has only five settings: Portrait, e-Portrait, Portrait+Landscape, Portrait+Nightscape and Children.

      The built-in flash is even weaker than the Mark III’s, with a range of 5.1 metres at ISO 100 although it can be used to manually trigger external flashguns.  Unlike its predecessor, the new camera supports the wireless RC commander function, which enables the flash to trigger external flashguns.

      As before, neither a microphone nor a headphone jack is provided, which is not unreasonable in a camera at this level. In addition, there’s no provision for an external camera grip to better counterbalance bigger and heavier lenses and/or add extra battery capacity.

      The battery and card slot still share the same compartment in the grip moulding and access is via a trapdoor in the base plate. However, you can now recharge the battery via a USB cable (supplied) so a separate charger is not bundled with the camera.

      Sensor and Image Processing
      With a maximum image size of 5184 x 3888 pixels, the E-M10 IV has the same stills resolution as its more upmarket siblings. It also uses the same TruePic VIII processor as both its predecessor and the classic E-M1 Mark II so is able to take advantage of its dual quad core system which supports faster processing and enables the camera to offer a native ISO range of 100 to 6400 with extension to a maximum of ISO 25600.

      Faster processing has enabled Olympus to claim the camera can shoot continuously with the mechanical shutter ‘until the card is full’ at a maximum frame rate of 8.7 fps. However, with silent sequential shooting – which has a maximum frame rate of 15 fps – the buffer is limited to roughly 49 large/fine JPEGs of approximately 42 ORF.RAW files.

      Compare these figures with the E-M5 III and you’ll find that camera supports 10 fps with the mechanical shutter and its buffer capacity is up to 150 ORF.RAW frames. Also missing from the E-M10 IV are the Pro Capture and High Res Shot modes.

      Video capabilities have been limited as well with the absence of the option to record C4K (4096 x 2160 pixels) movies, although FHD and HD recording are supported, each with a maximum frame rate of 60 fps (50 fps for the PAL system). But all clips are recorded with IPB compression (ALL-I is not available) and video profiles are not supported.

      High-speed movie recording is, however, available at 120 fps (100 fps for PAL system viewing) but only with HD (1280 x 720 pixel) resolution. The maximum recording time per clip is roughly 29 minutes, regardless of resolution.

      The Highlight/Shadow warnings have now been made available in movie mode and users can also adjust electronic zoom speeds to enable smooth zooming. However, focus peaking is still only available for stills shooting, which is odd, and there’s still no zebra striping to assist with exposure determination.

      Like the Mark III, the new camera allows users to record still frames while shooting movie clips and apply most of the Art Filters and in-camera effects to movies. As before, frame rates can drop when certain Art Filters are used.

      Time-lapse movies can be recorded in all three resolutions but only with frame rates of 5 fps for 4K movies. Frame rates increase to 10 fps and 15 fps with FHD resolution and up to 30 fps in HD mode. The camera battery is rated for up to 80 minutes of video recording, based on JEITA testing.

      First Thoughts

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      Image sensor: 17.4 x 13.0 mm Live MOS sensor with 21.8 million photosites (20.3 megapixels effective)
      Image processor: TruePic VIII
      Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
      Focal length crop factor: 2x
      Image formats: Stills: JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.31), ORF.RAW, RAW+JPEG; Movies: MOV (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
      Audio: Wave Format (Stereo linear PCM / 16-bit, Sampling frequency 48 kHz)
      Image Sizes: Stills – 4:3 aspect – 5184 x 3888 (RAW); 5184 x 3888 to 1280 x 960 (JPEG); Movies: 3840 x 2160 @ 30/25/24P (102Mbps), 1920 x 1080 @ 50/25/24p (approx. 52Mbps, approx. 30MBps, approx. 18Mbps), 1280 x 720 @ 50/30/25p (approx. 26Mbps, approx. 14MBps, approx. 10Mbps); all with IPB  compression; max. recording time approx. 29 minutes; High Speed Movie – 1280 x 720 @ 120 fps
      Aspect ratios: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1, 3:4
      Image Stabilisation:. Built-in 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilisation; 4.5 stops of compensation; Multi motion IS (sensor-shift + electronic) available in movie mode
      Dust removal: Supersonic Wave Filter (image sensor dust reduction system)
      Shutter (speed range): Focal-plane shutter (60-1/4000 seconds plus Live Bulb, Live Time, Live Composite; Electronic shutter: 60 to plus up 1/320 to  1/16,000 second in Silent Mode; flash synch at 1/250 sec.
      Exposure Compensation: +/- 5EV in 1/3EV steps (+/-3EV for Live View)
      Exposure bracketing:  3 frames in 1.0EV steps of 5 frames in 0.7EV steps
      Other bracketing options: Focus (8 frames in 5 or 10 focus steps); HDR (Auto Composite) 2 modes – HDR1, HDR2 (painting-like) available as Backlight HDR in Scene mode and HDR in Advanced Photo mode; ISO is set at 200.
      Other in-camera functions: Keystone Compensation in Advanced Photo mode; Live Bulb / Live Time; Live Composite; Multiple Exposure (2 frames with Auto Gain and Overlay settings); One Push Tele-Converter (2x) magnification)
      Self-timer: or  seconds delay plus
      Interval recording: Yes, for time-lapse movie (4K / 5 fps; FHD / 5 fps, 10 fps, 15 fps; HD / 5 fps, 10 fps, 15 fps, 30 fps)
      Focus system: High-speed imager AF (contrast detection) with 121 points, AF Targeting Pad
      AF  selection: All target, Single target (Normal), Group target (9-area); Face and Eye detection available
      Focus modes: Single AF (S-AF), Continuous AF (C-AF), Manual Focus (MF), Single AF (S-AF+MF), AF tracking (C-AF+TR);  3x, 5x, 7x, 10x, 14x magnification and focus peaking available
      Exposure metering: Digital ESP metering (324-area multi pattern metering) with Centre-weighted average, Spot and Spot metering with highlight / shadow control settings
      Shooting modes: Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual Exposure
      Picture modes: i-Finish, Vivid, Natural, Flat, Portrait, Monotone, Custom, e-Portrait, Color Creator, Art Filters; Gradation: 4 types (Auto, Normal, High Key, Low Key); Highlight/Shadow Control: +/-7 steps each for highlight, shadow and midtone
      Art Filters: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia, Dramatic Tone, Key Line, Watercolour, Vintage, Partial Colour (18 colours), Bleach Bypass, Instant Film; colour Creator available
      Colour space options: sRGB and Adobe RGB
      ISO range: Auto (ISO 100-6400, Manual: ISO LOW (approx. 100) to 25600
      White balance: Auto WB, Presets WB (6 types), Capture WB (number of saved capture WB: 4), Custom WB (Kelvin setting); +/- 7 steps of adjustment on A-B/G-M axes
      Flash: Built-in TTL flash; GN = 5.1 (ISO 100, m); GN 7.2 (ISO 200, m)
      Flash modes: Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync. (1st curtain), Slow sync. (1st curtain), Slow sync. (2nd curtain), Manual (1/1 (FULL) – 1/64); RC Commander function available
      Flash exposure adjustment: +/- 3EV in 1/3EV steps
      Sequence shooting: Max.15 frames/sec. in silent sequential mode; 8.7 fps with mechanical shutter
      Buffer capacity: To card capacity with mechanical shutter; Max. 49 Large/Fine JPEGs, 42 RAW files with silent shutter
      Storage Media: SD, SDHC, SDXC cards (UHS-I / UHS-II UHS Speed Class 3 standard compatible)
      Viewfinder: Eye-level OLED electronic viewfinder, approx. 2,360,000 dots, 100% FOV, 1.23x magnification, 19.2 mm eye point; -4 to +2 dpt dioptre adjustment, grid overlay & level gauge available, Adaptive brightness technology (EVF Auto Luminance) plus +/-2 manual brightness and +/-3 colour temperature adjustments
      LCD monitor: Tilting (up 80 degrees/ down 180 degrees) 3-inch electrostatic capacitance touch panel screen with 3:2 aspect ratio, approx.1,037,000 dots; +/- 7 levels of brightness and colour temperatures adjustments, vivid/Natural colour tone selection
      Interface terminals: USB 2.0 Micro-B, Micro HDMI (type D) , hot shoe
      Wi-Fi function: Built-in (IEEE 802.11b/g/n); built-in Bluetooth  Ver. 4.2
      Power supply: Rechargeable BLS-50 Li-ion battery; CIPA rated for approx. 360 shots/charge; USB charging supported
      Dimensions (wxhxd): Approx. 121.7 x 84.6 x 49 mm (excluding protrusions)
      Weight: Approx. 383 grams with battery and card

      RRP: AU$1299, US$699(body only); $1499, US$799 (with M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ kit lens)
      Distributor: Olympus Imaging Australia; 1300 659 678,



      The images below were recorded with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS PRO zoom lens.

      Contre-jour lighting; 12mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/1000 second at f/11.

      44mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/180 second at f/8.

      100mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/160 second at f/8.

      28mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/200 second at f/7.1.

      75mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/500 second at f/4.

      31mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/800 second at f/9.

      31mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/640 second at f/6.3.

      100mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/500 second at f/4.

      20mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/320 second at f/7.1.

      3:2 aspect ratio; 12mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/125 second at f/8.

      16:9 aspect ratio; 38mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/80 second at f/8.

      38mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/400 second at f/5.

      100mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/800 second at f/4.

      17mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/1000 second at f/8.

      100mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/800 second at f/4.

      The images below were recorded with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS lens.

      Close-up at 100mm; ISO 200, 1/200 second at f/6.3.

      Close-up at 400mm; ISO 500, 1/800 second at f/6.3.

      Backlit close-up; 400mm focal length,  ISO 500, 1/800 second at f/6.3.

      400mm focal length, ISO 400, 1/800 second at f/9.

      400mm focal length, ISO 1250, 1/800 second at f/8.

      400mm focal length, ISO 6400, 1/800 second at f/6.3.

      400mm focal length, ISO 1250, 1/800 second at f/7.1.

      Additional image samples can be found with our review of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS lens.