The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III Micro Four Thirds camera has a lot going for it. There’s a lot to like. With the ever growing competition between the top brands, there is now a new standard for this moment in time. It changes every few years.
People have now come to expect 4K video quality, built-in WiFi, touchscreen displays, Live Composite, electronic view finders, built-in flash, various filters, in-body image stabilization and a massive selection of different lenses that can be attached. Thankfully, the Mark III has all these features. And, it’s also extremely easy to use.
Like the Olympus PL9, the E-M10 Mark III is mildly aimed at newcomers to camera photography, or those looking to upgrade from something less capable but still very simple to get the hang of. This is great in some ways, as the more people getting into photography at a higher level the better. It means more great images potentially being created.
But on the other hand, it seems a little off-key that Olympus are marketing the MK III at newcomers / beginners if we compare the Mark III to the Mark II. In terms of customizable navigation and a few fairly important features, The E-M10 Mark III seems to have taken a few steps backwards. While it is a great camera, with 4K video, excellent 5-axis image stabilization and auto focus, and a 16 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor + TruePic VIII Image Processor that can produce some impressive results, I would definitely go with the Mark II over this model.
While some users, even experienced photographers may prefer a simple to use menu, the ability to assign certain buttons to specific settings and modes has been largely taken out. The navigational pad buttons are set in stone and can not be changed to suit the users individual preferences. There’s also no remote shutter cable connector, no audio jack line-in so the user can connect an external microphone when recording 4K HD video. And there’s also no wireless RC flash option. You can of course work around this by using a third party trigger, but this can be rather long winded and off-putting for those who need and use this feature on a regular basis.
Compared to the OM-D E-M10 Mark II
Other than 4K video, and a super attractive, classic-style SLR body (which the older model has also), you’re not really missing out on much from not buying this camera. Better image quality has been a feature which has been referred to about this model. However, if you look at some of the comparison images side by side from the Mark II and 3, you will be hard pressed to find much difference between them at all. Yes, for newcomers the MK III may require less of a learning curve than the previous model to get the hang of in terms of navigating around the various functions and features.
But in some ways, more complexity and customization is all part of the learning process and an integral part of laser targeting your own personal set up once you master the camera. On a professional level, that is somewhat missing on this model. Easier to use, with less personalization is good for some and not so good for others. Of course, this in itself is a personal preference. It’s a very capable camera, but the Mark II beats it in almost every department other than the 4K video quality. And with the E-M10 MKII being cheaper in price, it makes for the better choice. But each to their own. Both are good, versatile cameras, but the earlier model is the more equipped of the two.