WITH the OM- D E- M10 Mark III, Olympus has made a fine little camera that’s more interesting than it might at first appear. It may not look radically different to its predecessor, but the 121-point AF system offers finer control, while 4K video recording gives much more detailed footage than full HD – even if you’re only viewing on a HD display. Most importantly, the overhaul of its interface makes the camera much more easy to use.
At this price point, the E- M10 III’s main competitors are entry-level DSLRs such as the Nikon D5600 and Canon EOS 200D, or mirrorless models like the Panasonic Lumix DMC- GX80 or the ageing but still capable Sony Alpha 6000. If you choose to rate these cameras based on their raw image quality, then the larger-sensored rivals undeniably have the edge in terms of resolution and high ISO noise. The Nikon D5600 and Sony Alpha 6000 in particular will also do a better job of keeping track of focus on moving subjects.
However, to judge the camera primarily on these factors would be a huge mistake. It has considerable charms all of its own: a compact and easy-to- use design, superb viewfinder and class-leading image stabilisation. Crucially, it gives lovely JPEG images straight out of the camera that are consistently more attractive than those from its main competitors. If you’re planning on building up a system, Olympus also makes a wide range of relatively affordable, lightweight lenses, and you can use Panasonic lenses, too.
The upshot is that the Olympus OM- D E- M10 Mark III looks like a great choice as a first ‘proper’ camera for smartphone photography enthusiasts. But it should also be a capable second body for owners of higher- end OM- D models – although it may not offer that much advantage over the Mark II. It may not be technically the best camera at this price point, but it looks great, takes lovely pictures and is a joy to use – and that’s not a bad combination at all.