Olympus Introduces the OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Photo credit: olympus.com.au

Photo credit: olympus.com.au

This morning I got an email announcing that Olympus released the E-M10 Mark II. As some of you might know, I am a proud owner of an Olympus E-M10 since April 2014. Therefore, everything Olympus and mirrorless cameras is important to me and will now and then get featured on this blog.

Olympus and its OM-D camera family is constituted of three lines of products. First the E-M1, then the E-M5 (Mark II) and lastly the E-M10. The idea behind it is to target different end users. The E-M1 being for the "pro user" with its weather sealed body as well as a dual AF, the E-M5 is more targeted to a creative end user that is aware of quality and performance. Lastly, the E-M10 as the entry-level camera to the OM-D system but with outstanding performance for size and price.

For a really good overview of the new Mark II camera, 4/3 Rumors has a good run-down on early reviews, picture samples, video and official press releases. In a nutshell, the new iteration of the E-M10 has now a 5-axis stabilisation, a better electronic viewfinder (EVF) as well as performance and cosmetic changes. Here are a few opinions on the release:


As with its predecessor, the Olympus E-M10 II brings the best features from its more expensive siblings and puts them into a reasonably priced (albeit less robust) package. It doesn’t feel as much as a traditional photographic tool as its main competitor, the Fujifilm X-T10, nor can’t it track moving subjects as well as DSLRs like the Nikon D5500, but in most respects the E-M10 II keeps up nicely.

The E-M10 II is well-suited for those moving up to a more capable mirrorless camera and don’t need the weather-sealing of the E-M5 II. The E-M10 II is also an attractive choice for those seeking a lightweight second camera. Either way, the E-M10 II offers a lot of camera for the money, and is well worth considering.

Matthieu Gasquet, Mirror Lessons:

That said (and to be perfectly honest), I expected that more time would pass before seeing an E-M10 upgrade. Olympus kept the original E-M5 for almost three years and the E-M1 is turning two years old this September. The good news in all this is that the original E-M10 will remain on the market as a true entry-level model and will have a more attractive price. This is a good thing if Olympus wants to attract new users to the OM-D system. Despite the nice improvements made to the E-M10 mark II, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the original E-M10 if budget is your main concern.

Alvaro Serrano, Analog Senses:

Still, for my money the original E-M10 remains an excellent value. Despite these few nice additions, you won’t get better image quality out of the Mark II, which means owners of the previous generation don’t have many compelling reasons to upgrade this time around. That said, if you’re looking to buy your first Micro Four Thirds camera, the new E-M10 Mark II is definitely a solid choice.

My friend Josh at The Newsprint:

Even as a first purchase, I’m left wondering if the original E-M10 — at a now-reduced price — is a better buy. For an extra $250 USD, you get a better electronic viewfinder, a better build, and a better stabilization system in the Mark II. Or, if you haven’t been spoiled by an excellent viewfinder — like the one found in the E-M5 Mark II — and you don’t need an all-metal (non-weather sealed) build, I say save the cash and put it towards the Panasonic Lumix 20mm pancake lens. I still think the original E-M10 and the Lumix pancake lens are a fantastic buy.

Put into perspective, considering the price and performance, it is astonishing what Olympus offers with this new camera. It seams though, that some people were a bit disappointed that the new camera did not get any new flashy feature or special improvement. What most left out but DPReview points out, is that on the RAW quality of the photos, Olympus even improved the low light performance and the E-M10 Mark II now surpasses the E-M5 Mark II as well as other cameras with a bigger sensor like the Canon Rebel T6S.

Considering all this, will I upgrade and buy the new E-M10 Mark II? No, because I think this is the wrong question. As I bought the E-M10 as my first "real" camera to enjoy and learn photography, I think the Mark II is a fantastic camera for someone who wants something more than a compact camera. But for an owner of a E-M10 as I am, I see no point to upgrade. Not because the Mark II has not enough new features or improvements, but because in the end the camera body matters less in my opinion than the lenses and ultimately how one masters the art of taking photos. The E-M10 Mark II is still playing in the same class as my original E-M10 and it should. We can thank Olympus that it cares for its new customers, but I personally am waiting to see what Olympus will do with the expected next iteration of the E-M1 Mark II.