TEST 03: PERFORMANCE
Features and innovations aside, the cameras’ response is what matters
The E-M10 Mark III feels the most comfortable and natural in the palm
The diminutive Canon is more fiddly than conventionally styled, larger rivals; we had to raise its screen to get a fingernail under the catch for media card access, which the screen bezel otherwise obscures. The lack of a proper handgrip was also more noticeable. However, it was quick to power up, find focus and capture a shot, and presenting its three core shooting modes on a dial next to the shutter-release button keeps things simple. Image quality is good, if not quite knockout, with warm colours straight out of the camera, and particularly lush autumnal greens, browns and blues. We were able to achieve some pleasing shallow-depth-of-field effects with the kit lens.
The Olympus E-M10 Mark III is the most comfortable and natural in use – its large, prominent top-plate buttons and dials, exposed like a clock’s inner mechanisms, aid adjustments on the fly. The fact that they’re crammed together may make for a daunting layout for the uninitiated, but the OM-D is swift and responsive, and its rear LCD is impressively sharp. Also detailed are its pictures, even with a bog-standard 14-42mm zoom lens. Colours fall on the side of naturalistic when compared with the Canon, but can be vividly enriched in-camera via art effects filters if so desired.
Our second choice for performance and convenience after the Olympus would be the Fuji X-E3. Again, we loved its tweakable top-plate dials for shutter and exposure, but more direct access to shooting modes would have been preferable. As it is, we get a small ‘drive’ button that doubles up as the delete button on the backplate for this purpose, with stills capture at the top of a left-of-screen menu, and video capture relegated to bottom. Again, you get bags of detail out of the X-E3’s images, plus a real lushness to forest greens and browns in our test shots. The Fuji is actually our top choice for imagery, but the extra responsiveness of the Olympus means it edges to the top in this test.