Amateur Photographer - - Testbench Camera Test -

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.

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