BY DAISY DICKINSON
With sophisticated looks from the much-loved OM-D E-M10 Mark III , updated sensor and borrowed ergonomics from the PEN E-PL10, the new OM-D E-M10 Mark IV just might be the best little mirrorless camera yet, and a true companion for all your picture-taking adventures..
At first glance, you might think that the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV looks pretty similar to its predecessor, the E-M10 Mark III, and I thought so too, until I took a closer look at the finer details which now have me hooked.
The OM-D E-M10 Mark III is such a superbly-stunning camera that this game of spot the difference doesn’t bother me in the slightest with the new model, as you’ve already got the retro good-looks and chic style expected from Olympus. However, those with a keen eye for detail will notice the slightly curiver physique of the new OM-D E-M1 Mark IV which has allowed for a finger rest imprint on the front grip for super-comfy hand-held shooting. You’ll also find an easily distinguishable IV on the front, a nice touch, and the menu panel to the back is slightly different, but does not affect usability. The rear grip is smoother, and when combined with the amendment on the front makes for a majorly relaxed and comfortable grip, which will suit those shooting for prolonged periods of time.
And the biggest physical difference? The Mark IV is the first in the E-M10 series to feature a flip down LCD touchscreen. While previous models only tilt up, the new model borrows the ergonomic and uber-flexible capabilities from it’s little sister, the E-PL10, meaning fans of the system can now enjoy a whole new world of accessibility, including selfies to boot – but no need to panic if you’re a firm fan of the tilt on older models, this functionality still remains in place, too. Taking that selfie game a notch further, you can enjoy auto features that engage when you flip the screen and tap, allowing a one-second delay to give you enough time to get your pose right, before shooting the perfect self-portrait. I’d always recommend looking deep into the lens for a great shot, but thanks to the positioning of the screen, unlike those that flip up or to the side, the eyeline will appear much more natural if you just can’t help looking into the screen – no judgement here!
The updated screen will also no doubt be a welcome addition to video fans and vloggers, where thanks to the lightweight body – it’s 27g lighter than the Mark III – it’s easy to hand-hold and shoot stunning 4k video, and keep yourself in the frame. For those wondering about tripod mounts with the flip down screen, I use a cheap and cheerful bar mount to extend the camera away from the screen and tripod to hold it steady, but you could also use a hot shoe attachment and hang it from a tripod this way. But with a camera so light, it’s likely going to spend much of the time in your hand.
So, what’s ticking under the bonnet? Taking a deeper dive and you’ll find an updated 20-MP Live MOS sensor and that silky, smooth 5-axis image stabilization that we know and love for shooting awesome, top-quality stills and video which is packed with detail even when the light gets low, or you’re a little (or a lot!) shaky. My favourite memory of testing out the stabilisation qualities of this technology has to be in shooting video from the back of a jeep in Africa, and while I was being thrown about, the footage was weepingly smooth and still – amazing!
Along with updated features and function, the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV also features Advanced Photo Mode for shooting Live Composite images, or Live Time, where you can see the exposure appearing on the screen, like magic. Shoot Multiple Exposures, HDR, and Panorama images, as well as correct distortions in-camera with Keystone Compensation, and use Exposure and Focus Bracketing for greater control of your results. With the dedicated Scene mode shoot quality images of People, Nightscapes, Motion, Scenery, Indoors and Close-Ups where the camera will do all the hard work for you – plus, apply creative effects with the ART mode including Dramatic Tone, Vintage, and Instant Film.
I love the E-M10 range as my absolute go-to for the perfect camera companion for popping in my bag and having with me always, ready for any fleeting photographic moment. In fact they’re so compact that I’ll often pop one coupled with the ultra-portable M.Zuiko Digital 17mm F1.8 Lens, in my coat pocket when dog walking, it really is that discreet.