Saturday, February 01, 2014

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review Part 1: Handling, 3-Axis Image Stabilization and the New M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ Lens

Important Note:
1) I am an Olympus Malaysia employee. 
2) This review is a user-experience based review, from a photography enthusiast's point of view. 
3) All images were shot in RAW and converted to JPEG via Olympus Viewer 3. Noise Filter = OFF, Gradation Normal, Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness set to default "0". Image Setting Natural, Auto White Balance with Warm Color OFF. 
4) The images were almost straight out of camera, with slight exposure (brightness/contrast balance) tuning and white balance tweak. 

Today is the first day of Chinese New Year, and there is no better way to start this auspicious year of the Horse with a new review of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake Zoom lens. 

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 and the new Pancake Zoom kit lens 14-42mm EZ were designed to be paired perfectly together, creating a very small and lightweight combination, pocket-able yet aiming to provide the well received OM-D experience. The OM-D E-M10 goes all out against the stereotype set by traditional DSLR equivalent category: big and bulky, cheap plastic build, typical ugly design, lack of direct buttons/controls and controls and stripped down features and lower overall performance in comparison to higher tier DSLR categories. The E-M10 though slotted in "premium compact", promises to deliver high image quality, superb performance and new advanced photography features, the core aspects that made Olympus OM-D line cameras stand out from the competition. Without weather sealing and magnesium alloy body and with 3-Axis Image Stabilization instead of 5-Axis from the E-M5/E-M1, being smaller and lighter, how does the E-M10 fare? Today I have been out shooting whole day and I cannot wait to share the images and my thoughts with you beautiful people!

As usual there will be multiple part review, and in this Part 1 I shall be discussing on the performance of the new M.Zuiko 14-42mm Pancake Zoom lens, and to answer the most popular questions: How is the handling of the E-M10 considering it is so small and light? And now that we have 3 Axis Image Stabilzation instead of 5-Axis, is it good enough?  In my later entries, I shall explore other capabilities of the camera such as high ISO shooting, autofocus performance and the camera features like WIFI connectivity, time lapse shooting, etc. 



I am going to break my tradition and do something rather different in this review part. Instead of the OM-D E-M10, let's talk about the new M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake Zoom lens first. The reason is because I practically fell in love with this lens! I know it is just a mere kit lens, but do bear with me, I find it to be more than capable in delivering very good results, and most important of all, it is made to match the E-M10 perfectly. 


THAT AMAZING PANCAKE ZOOM LENS, OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ

This pancake lens is so small and light, I cannot believe it is a zoom lens when I first saw and held it. It is a collapsible design, meaning when you power it on, the lens will extend out, to a length more than doubling it's original length. Not an issue to me, as the lens when powered off is currently the world's slimmest pancake zoom lens, thinner and smaller than what Sony and Panasonic are offering. 

Although the pancake zoom lens is considerably smaller and lighter than the original M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II kit lens, the optical architecture inside remains the same, and the same glass elements and groups were used, of course with improved and advanced technology and assembly methods to keep the size down. Having similar optical design means that theoretically there is very little if no compromise when it comes to image quality. The glasses inside included multiple ED and Aspherical elements to correct distortion and chromatic aberrations. We are not expecting the pancake zoom lens to match the performance of the now highly regarded M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 or 45mm F1.8 lenses, no that would be too much to ask for such a tiny package. I am more interested to find out how the kit lens performed as a kit lens. 

In short, I was impressed. As usual, let's see some photos first. 

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/500sec, F3.5, ISO200, 14mm

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/40sec, F5.6, ISO640, 42mm

100% Crop from Previous Image

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/6sec, F5.6, ISO200, 14mm

100% Crop from Previous Image

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/60sec, F5.5, ISO800, 37mm

100% Crop from Previous Image

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/80sec, F8, ISO400, 42mm, Macro Converter M-CON P-02, Wireless TTL Flash 

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/13sec, F5, ISO200, 14mm

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/200sec, F5.6, ISO200, 42mm

The Pancake Zoom lens is reasonably sharp, and I find it a tad bit sharper than what I usually get from the M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3. At wide angle the difference is not that significant, but as you zoom in to the telephoto end, the image quality is evidently better than what you can obtain from the older M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 lens. In fact, I was very impressed with what the lens can do at longer zoom range, even at full 42mm end, producing a good amount of useful detail. This is fairly important to me because I usually shoot at the longer focal length, especially photos of people. Looking at the images, I also like how the pancake zoom lens renders the out of focus area, creating very smooth and pleasing looking bokeh. The bokeh is actually so much better looking than what I normally get from the M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 lens. 

I generally do not encounter any issues with distortion even shooting wide open (a few samples in this blog). I also do not have issues of Chromatic Abberation, mainly thanks to the Truepic 7 image processing as well as ED elements in the pancake zoom lens. 

Close up performance of the lens is mediocre, perhaps this is the only thing that the M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 can do better. For the spider shot above I did attach the new M-CON P-02 macro converter to get closer, but still not as good as a macro lens. The important point I want to highlight is that the macro image was shot via manual focus for pin-point accuracy (it is just me, not that I do not trust the camera, but my own habit of engaging manual focus when I do macro shooting). Considering how small and thin the pancake zoom lens is, thankfully Olympus did not take out the manual focus ring, and it was still good enough for me to do my manual focusing to grab my macro shot. Since it was a close-up shooting, the depth of field was very shallow and it was sufficiently shallow to isolate the subject. Do check out the smooth bokeh behind the spider, though at F8, the bokeh was round and pleasing to look at. 

Of course Olympus already has many higher performing and sharper lenses out there, but for a kit lens the new Pancake Zoom M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ is a class on it's own. It is so tiny, the Autofocus is as fast as any other Olympus lenses on OM-D (still the world's fastest if I am not mistaken, at this time of writing) I just could not think of any reason not to highly recommend this lens to go along the OM-D E-M10, or any other cameras that you want to keep as small and light as possible, including the PEN series (E-P5, E-PL5, E-PM2, etc). 


GENERAL CAMERA HANDLING AND THE IMPORTANCE OF EXTERNAL CAMERA GRIP ECG-1

Since the E-M10 is made to be very small, even smaller than E-M5, handling has been a concern for me. I always treasure a beefed up grip for comfortable hand-holding, and adequate size for better camera steadying when shooting. To fully test the OM-D E-M10's handling, I did not just use the pancake zoom lens, I also have brought along the M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 (I just cannot get over how awesome this lens is) as well as the M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 Macro, obviously for some extreme insect macro with high magnification shooting, which is my ultimate test for any camera handling. 

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8, 1/1600sec, F1.8, ISO200

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8, 1/180sec, F2.8, ISO200

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 Macro, 1/100sec, F4.5, ISO200, Wireless TTL Flash

100% Crop from Previous Image

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 Macro, 1/100sec, F4.5, ISO200, Wireless TTL Flash

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8, 1/400sec, F1.8, ISO200

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8, 1/1600sec, F2.8, ISO1600 (mistake, I do not need ISO1600 for this shot)

Using the pancake zoom lens 14-42mm EZ on the E-M10 was very comfortable in hand. I can even just hold the camera single-handedly, it was light enough, but being a conservative photographer I used both hands for added stability. You will see in the later part of this blog entry when I was pushing the 3-Axis Image Stabilization, I have no trouble steadying the pancake zoom lens on the E-M10 at ungodly shutter speeds. Handling was very comfortable, and I was very confident using this combination. 

However, the same cannot be said when I was handling larger lenses especially 75mm F1.8. The 75mm felt imbalanced and the weight was shifted to the lens. If I was just taking a quick shot or two with this lens, it was no problem at all, but as I used for more than 30 minutes, it was getting increasingly difficult to ignore the out of balance and odd handling. I then added on the External Camera Grip ECG-1 (click to watch the youtube video on this cool ECG-1). The E-M10 felt like a different camera altogether. There is something about this new External Camera Grip that is different from E-M5's horizontal/landscape grip (though both are built with similar concept), this ECG-1 seemed to bond completely with the E-M10. If you have larger/heavier lenses such as 75mm F1.8 or 75-300mm lenses, or intending to buy and use any of the larger/heavier lenses, you MUST have the External Camera Grip for better overall handling. Thankfully the ECG-1 is not expensive. 

I also tested the ECG-1 on E-M10 while using the M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 macro. If you have not read about my macro shooting techniques please do so here and here. I held the camera + macro lens combo with my right hand single handedly, while my left hand held the external flash unit fired wirelessly off camera. Since I was shooting at extreme magnification (some of the spider images were 1 to 1 true life magnification) every tiny shake will render the image useless. Therefore, being able to hold and steady the camera and macro lens with just one hand was crucial, and E-M10 with the aided stability from the ECG-1, I found no issue nailing my shots. I cannot say the same without the external camera grip. 

In short, just get the external camera grip ECG-1, seriously. 


3-AXIS IMAGE STABILIZATION, GOOD ENOUGH?

The previous incarnations of OM-D have 5-Axis Image Stabilization, and Olympus was the only camera manufacturer in the market to include such image stabilization system in their camera bodies. The 5-Axis Image Stabilization have proven to be extremely effective, with many photographers finding the IS helpful in steadying their shots in many situations. It was not a surprise that the 5-Axis IS was one of the main selling point of the OM-D E-M1 and E-M5, a unique feature that only Olympus has at this moment. 

The new Olympus OM-D E-M10 has 3-Axis Image Stabilization. The missing two Axis were horizontal and vertical translational movements (movement up-down and left-right). The camera is still compensated for Yaw, Pitch and Roll movements, which according to extensive research were the main causes of camera movement/shake. 

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 0.6sec, F5.6, ISO200, 37mm

100% Crop from Previous Image

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1sec, F5.6, ISO200, 25mm

100% Crop from the Previous Image

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 Macro, 1/100sec, F8, ISO250, Wireless TTL Flash

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 Macro, 1/160sec, F11, ISO250, Wireless TTL Flash

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/160sec, F11, ISO250, 42mm, Macro Converter M-CON P-02, Wireless TTL Flash 

This image is not the best to demonstrate anything, but I wanted to include this since it was quite a rare find for me, baby spiders! They were underneath a leaf, so imagine how hard it was for me to get this shot. It was cropped, and the original image was severely underexposed, hence the degraded image quality. But it was taken with E-M10 and 60mm F2.8 macro lens, and I still think the image looks quite cool. Despite all the imperfections I do like this image a lot. 

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 Macro, 1/125sec, F8, ISO200, Wireless TTL Flash


To be entirely honest, I did not feel any difference using the 3-Axis IS, considering I have been so used to 5-Axis IS all this time. I still get the live stabilization preview as I half-pressed the shutter button, the IS works it's magic in reducing hand-shake, which proved very useful for me when I am doing very high magnification macro shots, such as the few demonstrated above. The live-stabilization preview increased my hit-rate by significantly reducing the jumpiness of the image. 

I can still slow down my shutter speed comfortably to half a second, something which I can do confidently with E-M5 and E-M1. I did also push the shutter speed to as slow as 1 second, and still managed to get some useful shots. Of course anything slower than that, a tripod is highly recommended. The point of having image stabilization is not for you to recklessly slow down the shutter speed. The 3-Axis Image Stabilization, as I felt being as reliable as the 5-Axis, can boost your confidence when shooting at slower shutter speed than recommended. For example, when using a 45mm lens, normally I would ensure my shutter speed is 1/100sec, or 1/80sec if I do not have Image Stabilization. With 3-Axis IS, I can confidently slow down my shutter speed to 1/20sec, or even 1/15sec (yes I can do slower, but I still play safe). Provided that your subject is not moving, in this situation, you can significantly lower down the ISO setting, which can result in less image quality loss. 

The insect macro shooting test was perfect to torture the 3-Axis IS. If you have done close-up shooting before you will know every tiny movement is hugely amplified as you go to high magnification shooting. The 3-Axis made a whole world of difference (in comparison to IS turned off). 

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/1250sec, F8, ISO200, 32mm

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/1600sec, F6.3, ISO200, 14mm

100% Center Crop from Previous Image
The pancake zoom 14-42mm EZ lens is reasonably sharp in the center. 

100% Crop Corner from the previous Image. 
At the corner the pancake zoom lens 14-42mm EZ does very well, though there is noticeable softness, which is still a lot better than competing kit lenses from any other camera manufacturers. 

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/40sec, F5.6, ISO250, 22mm

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/250sec, F4.7, ISO1600, 25mm

E-M10 and M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ, 1/500sec, F5.6, ISO200, 14mm


As usual I am providing full resolution images for your pixel-peeping pleasure. You may download the selected 10 images from this review Part 1 here:

I will be out shooting again for my later parts of the review, so please do give me some time to gather sufficient images. After all my review is heavily photograph based. More to come very soon, and I know many will be requesting for the new M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 lens review, I will be working on that, I promise! 

More shooting awaits, and I cannot wait to go out and grab some photos with all these new gear!

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109 comments:

  1. Thanks robin, u make me wants to add my camera collections at my dry box.. hehe

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  2. I see you also have the 9mm fisheye body cap lens. I'd love to hear your impressions!

    Thanks for the pics - very impressive.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely working on that one too. Thanks for the kind words.

      Delete
  3. Hi Robin, how is the new 3-axis IBIS with longer lenses? Any noticeable difference between the 3 & 5 axis stabilization?

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    Replies
    1. I don't have the 75-300mm or 40-150mm with me and due to Chinese New Year holidays my office is closed for almost a week from now. Nonetheless I see that it is a popular request and I will shoot with longer lenses to see how good the 3-Axis IS is on longer end, but that will have to wait a bit, apologies!

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  4. Thank you Robin, which one do you recommend for macro photography, EM5 or EM10? Is there any practical difference in terms of stabilization performance in macro shooting?

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    Replies
    1. Can I say E-M1?
      The difference is very minimal between E-M5 and E-M10 when it comes to macro shooting, but with the added external camera grip, somehow I prefer the feeling of E-M10 in hand. Just my preference. It feels more reassuring, more stable somehow.

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    2. Hello Robin, So between E-M10 and E-M1 you will choose and recommend EM1. Can you explain the main difference for you to tend buy EM1 instead of EM10. (i already know the technical differences but i want your impressions about). And i hesitate with the D7100 which is comparable to EM10 but with a better AF-C for parties.

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  5. "Not an issue to me, as the lens when powered off is currently the world's slimmest pancake zoom lens, thinner and smaller than what Sony and Panasonic are offering. "

    "At the corner the pancake zoom lens 14-42mm EZ does very well, though there is noticeable softness, which is still a lot better than competing kit lenses from any other camera manufacturers. "

    Are you sure this lens is better and smaller then Panasonic 12-32mm f3.5-5.6?

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    Replies
    1. It is thinner than 12-32mm though (22.5 vs 24mm), but heavier and bigger in circumference

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    2. I can't say it is better because I do not have both lenses side by side. I can sure say it is smaller.

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    3. E-M10 with the new pancake zoom seems a GX7 killer.
      Same price as Panasonic G6, but with premium body like the GX7.
      I think the E-M10 (with the optional grip) is a very nice upgrade for my Panasonic G3.

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    4. I do think the E-M10 and 14-42mm EZ pancake is a great combination!

      Delete
  6. Thank you Robin yet again for your beautiful photographs and look into life where you live. Really enjoyable.
    May I ask what type of flash you are using for your macro work ?
    Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. For the macro shooting, kindly read my wireless flash off camera technique in the following blog entries (which I have linked also)
      http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2012/08/shoebox-macro-flash-bouncer.html
      http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-shoebox-experiment.html

      I used the in camera flash to trigger the external flash FL-50R wirelessly. Yes, full TTL

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  7. Very nice test of the camera and the pcturs are stunning,,My omd was stolen so instead of a new omd 5 i take this instead the perfect camera for me

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    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear about the stolen OM-D.

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  8. Thanks, Robin! Question: You mention in some of the example photos that you used wireless TTL flash. Is it correct that the E-M10's built-in flash CAN act as a wireless RC controller? Or did you have to use a separate "master" flash (such as an FL-36R, FL-600R, etc.) as a controller?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the built in flash CAN control external flash with full TTL function. For my techniques please read the following entries
      http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2012/08/shoebox-macro-flash-bouncer.html
      http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-shoebox-experiment.html

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  9. Thanks Robin for a great review. With the 5-axis image stabilization it's typically understood to enable 1/8th of a second delay. Is this still required for the 3-axis? I find that slight delay is enough for me to miss some shots (shot to shot slowness and overall slowness taking candids). Also I read somewhere for video there's electronic image stabilization to cover horizontal and vertical movement in conjunction with the 3-axis, is that accurate?

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    Replies
    1. There is a control function in the menu to enable or disable the "lag time". When set to "normal" there is a very short delay, but not 1/8sec. It is much, much shorter than that. You can set the lag time to "short" to mitigate this issue if you find it affecting your shots.
      Yes, for video shooting, the Image Stabilization is compensated digitally for translational vertical and horizontal movements.

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    2. Is this digital stabilization cropping into the HD sized frame or does it shift the full HD sized frame up/down/left/right on the sensor into areas that are outside the frame? I.e. is the stabilized output full res HD or a crop that is scaled up to HD?

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    3. You still get full resolution HD, no crop.

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  10. I liked the photo of the monkey with the coconut. One question: how does the electronic zoom (14-42 EZ) works? Is it possible engage the zoom mechanism while exposing, in order to get the zoom blur effect?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words. I am afraid you cannot do the zoom blur, that required mechanical zoom.

      Delete
  11. Robin

    Excellent report. I had the opportunity to handle the EM-10 today, sadly though none of the new lenses were available.

    Don from America

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    Replies
    1. Oh dear how come no lenses?

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    2. Robin

      I guess they were still on the boat.

      Don

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    3. That is strange. I would have thought everyone had the lenses by now, the initial production units which are ready for testing purposes.

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  12. fantastic images - shows that M43 can produce pro level images and one does not need FF in most cases

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    Replies
    1. Micro Four Thirds system certainly has come a long way!

      Delete
  13. Robin,
    Thanks for the great report!
    I would also appreciate to hear how the IBIS works for longer lenses. And, if you don't mind, how your flash setup works. Thanks again!
    Florian

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    Replies
    1. Longer lenses tests will have to wait, office is closed for almost a week due to Chinese New Year holidays. I will come to that when I have my hands on the longer lenses.
      For my macro shooting techniques with wireless TTL Flash please read the following entries
      http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2012/08/shoebox-macro-flash-bouncer.html
      http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-shoebox-experiment.html

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    2. Great, thanks! Your macro photos have the "I-would-like-to-do-that-too"-effect. Sadly, we don't have that many colorful insects here in Germany. Or should I be glad? ;)
      I am looking foreward to the next installment of your review!

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    3. Macro shooting is fun, I enjoy insect macro very much. I am sure there are nice insects around to shoot!

      Delete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. Hi Robin.

    Thanks for a great report. I look forward to the next part(s).

    The EM-10 seems to be the perfect upgrade for my E-PL1. Have you checked if it can use the BLS-1 battery? I have a bunch of those.

    Best regards,
    Niels Kristian

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    Replies
    1. Hey Niels,
      Yeap, it is using the same battery type, and you can use those BLS-1 batteries.

      Delete
    2. Robin, are you sure about that? This table from the Olympus website seems to show that not to be the case (if I'm reading it correctly) :

      http://www.olympus.co.jp/en/support/imsg/digicamera/compati/pen_power.cfm

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    3. I have just slotted the BLS-1 battery (black) in an E-M10 and it works just fine. I honestly do not know why the table shows otherwise. Perhaps for safety reasons it is not recommended to be used.

      Delete
  16. Thanks Robin for taking time on CNY shooting so we may have this review so soon. Even during the rumour phase one site asked which of the new items readers want and I greedily polled for all of the E-M10, the new compact zoom, the 25mm f1.8 and the 9mm BLC.
    Can't wait for the next parts of your review. Gong xi fa cai.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No worries, it was my pleasure to shoot and blog. Working hard to get more photos for my coming review parts. Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too!

      Delete
  17. Happy CNY! Looks like its time for a new present for myself, I miss the viewfinder so much...

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  18. Kung Hei Fat Choi, Robin! Once again you've nailed it with this review of this camera and the lenses used. These shots are simply superb and I am (also) really amazed at the optical quality of the kit zoom. This E-M10 body looks like another winner for Oly to me. You are truly a wonderful asset for Olympus - the best possible ad they could hope for. This is exquisite work, showing the capabilities and quality very, very well.

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    1. Hi Andre! Thanks for the kind words! Doing my best to get good photos though I only had very short time given. It is not easy producing images with limited time frame.

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  19. Hello, Robin
    Is it possible use ECG-1 grip with OM-D E-M5 camera?

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  20. Thanks Robin, of your excellent review and great photographs.

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure to shoot and blog as always!

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  21. Excellent photos Robin. The pricing on the E-M10 makes it very tempting!

    I know it won't be up to the E-M1 standard, but how do you find the EVF? I've got some classic Zuiko glass that I would have to manually focus, so being able to use the EVF accurately would be essential.

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    Replies
    1. I will be talking about the EVF very soon. I think it is good enough. Surely not as good as the E-M1.

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  22. What flash do you use when you took macro with 60mm lens?

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    Replies
    1. I used FL-50R, fired wirelessly off camera.

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  23. Hi Robin,
    Superb images and very informative reviews. Thank you for sharing your awesome effort and passion.
    Love to have E-M10 in my hand but I have poisoned my wife with E-M1 too much that it's impossible to change. Beside the purchase had been approved last year for this year budget.
    Yet I am looking forward on your review on the 25mm. It would be great for the street.
    Gong Xi Fa Cai and happy shooting.
    John Ragai

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    Replies
    1. Hey John,
      Thanks for the kind compliments.
      It was my pleasure to write and share. The review of the 25mm has been published!

      Delete
  24. Robin,

    Do you see a big difference between 2-axis and 3-axis IS? This information is useful for those who are planning for upgrade on older PEN models

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    Replies
    1. Considering I find that the 3-Axis effectiveness is similar to 5-Axis, it surely is better than the older 2-Axis IS. One very important improvement is that when half-press shutter button you get instant live preview of the IS, with your image being stabilized, very helpful when shooting longer focal lengths.

      Delete
  25. Hi Robin, thanks for your review.

    Do you think that the E-M10 is an upgrade of the E-M5 and that it make sense to think of a substitution or the differences between the two cameras are not so significant for a non-pro photographer?

    Thanks, Andrea

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    Replies
    1. Hey Andrea,
      Nope. the E-M10 is definitely NOT an upgrade of the E-M5. It is slotted at a category below the E-M5.

      Delete
  26. Can you tell me in which characteristics the E-M5 is superior to the E-M10?

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    Replies
    1. E-M5 is superior in the following items:
      1) Magnesium Alloy build, hence sturdier and stronger build
      2) Full Weather sealing, splash and dust proof
      3) 5-Axis Image Stabilization, theoretically should be more effective
      4) Can add on battery pack (external battery grip) for better handling with much larger lenses.

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  27. Thanks a lot. Your are always very kind and reactive and your blog is probably the best available on the net (al least for olympus lovers).
    Cheers,
    Andrea

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    Replies
    1. No worries! My pleasure to contribute a little to the online community.

      Delete
  28. Robin, does the new grip finally has an access to battery compartment, or you still need to remove the grip each time to change batteries, and now with this model to remove the SD Card (since it is now in the battery compartment?

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    Replies
    1. See this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdW2NqtEVHI

      Delete
  29. Dear Robin, thank you very much for the first part of your review.
    It would be great if you could also use lenses like the 75-300mm or 14-150mm to see the effektiveness of the IS. Do you think that the EM-10 would be a good addition or even an upgrade to the E-PL5? Best regards, Ismail

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    1. It is surely an upgrade from the E-PL5, a more complete camera with better IS and built in EVF.
      Will do the testing with longer lenses when I can.

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  31. RAW files converted to JPEG by Viewer 3 are usually sharper than JPEG captured by the camera. I have used Olympus camera for years. If you could show the original JPEG in your site, it will be more useful for other photographers.

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    1. Nope, the RAW files converted to JPEG from Olympus VIewer 3 is almost exactly the same with straight out of camera JPEG. DPReview confirmed this, as well as many other photographers and trusted online photography sites who have tested and compared.

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    2. If you don't edit the images, then why don't you post the original JPEG? When compare the images of EM10 posted in DPReview and yours, yours are sharper.

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    3. In this world there will come a time when people questioned if the images are manipulated. There are softwares out there that can modify the EXIF data if you use JPEG images. To protect myself, shooting RAW is the only way to go. There is no way to modify RAW data.

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    4. Regarding the quality of your images when compared with those from DPR, I would guess that the difference may in part be how much care you give to the processing the RAW files. Your composition is beautiful, but there is such a clear, sharp, and vibrant look to them that I don't often see elsewhere.

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  32. Thanks for the great review (part one) - for me, the choice is between the E-M10 and the EP5. It seems like the OMD has a few advantages (built in EVF, slightly smaller, newer processor, less prone to 'shutter shock') but it's the 3-axis vs 5-axis that's made me pause. Any thoughts on which is better?

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    1. Same for me...tossing up between e-p5 and e-m10,mainly because of the effectiveness of 3-axis vs 5-axis and the shutter speed in e-p5 (1/8000s) vs e-m10 (1/4000s).

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    2. I'd pick E-M10. Viewfinder to me is very important, and having the latest Image Processing engine, Truepic 7 makes some difference in the image quality too.

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    3. Thanks for the valued opinion. At the moment, a VF4 comes free with EP5s here in the UK, so that part doesn't bother me so much right now. However, I wonder if you could expand a bit on what difference the Truepic 7 makes? Does it outweigh the loss of two axes of stabilisation do you think? Both look like fantastic cameras.

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    4. Perhaps this will help elaborate better: http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2013/10/olympus-omd-e-m1-review-comparison-with.html

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  33. Hi,

    Did you experienced Shuttle Shock(SS) at various speeds on this model, E-M10, have you experienced this phenomenon from E-M10, please be honest. Some users experienced it from their E-M1 and less from E-M5. Any comments?

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    1. What makes you think I am NOT honest? Why is my honesty in question?
      No I have not experienced any shutter shock issues and if I did it would have been shown in any of now about nearly 100 images I have shown on my blog taken with the E-M10.

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    2. Sorry I doubted your integrity.

      I own E-PL1 and E-PM1 both exhibit SS but not E-P3, there are many Oly cameras users experiencing SS on E-M1 and E-M5. I strongly suspect SS occurs on some units while others don't. There is a possibility that Oly gave those units to review that don't exhibit SS. Believe me SS does exist.

      I believe SS is a SERIOUS problem, I think you should inform Olympus about this. Just imagine you take a shot in a ,critical situation of friends, family, etc and when you review it and found it to be blur. Arrgh...There is also a possibility it is a manufacturing problem, Hence Olympus has to fix it.

      You are one of the trusted Oly reviewers please pass my comments to Olympus otherwise I have nothing to complain about all my three cameras.

      Thanks for your time.

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    3. Now this is the part that gets to my nerves. People expect me to be able to fix whatever problems there is. I am an employee in Olympus Malaysia, pretty much at the bottom of the food chain. I do not have direct connections to where the cameras and other products come from. I am working in the marketing division. Please do not expect me to perform miracles.

      I am actively using the E-M5, and I still own an E-PL1, I have possibly thousands of photos taken with both E-M5 and E-PL1 in this blog. I have no such issue with shutter shock. If your unit is faulty, kindly visit Olympus service center at your location. There really is nothing much I can do for you at this end. I do not deny such problem exists, but what good it is to say it here? What do you expect will happen, that Olympus actually reads this blog and will solve the problem?

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  35. hi robin! i've been a reader of your blog since the release of the e-m5 and i really appreciate the very informative reviews. :)

    i have a small favor though. could you try and confirm if the e-m10's rubber eyecup will fit into the e-m5? or if you still have access to an e-m1, could you try that one's eyecup on the e-m5 as well? this is because i have been thinking of replacing my e-m5's eyecup but the ep-11 eyecup seems too big and protruding for my taste..

    thanks in advance, and i hope you can indulge me on this.

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    1. Hey vielsun,
      E-M5 and E-M10 use same eyecup, but the E-M1 uses a different one.

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  37. Wow, Robin, that 14-42 really shines! I remember when the words 'kit lens' meant 'cheap and low quality'. How far they have come! That little gem is SHARP! The DOF on the little boy's portrait even at f5.6 is astonishing for such a little, (relatively) inexpensive lens. For an included price of only $100USD, it really seems like a no-brainer with the EM10.

    Wonderful images as usual, Robin! You really help photographers see what is possible with the Olympus M43 system!

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    2. The pancake zoom kit lens is really sharp, and yes, it can still render some very pleasing shallow depth of field effect.
      Indeed, it is a no-brainer.

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  38. Hi Robin. Beautiful pictures as always! In the USA, the EM10 comes with the older 14-42 II lens. In your opinion, is it worth getting just the body with the newer pancake lens as a separate lens? The price difference is about $150 USD compared to buying the original kit. Thanks!

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    1. It depends on how small you want the camera and lens to be. If you can live with the extra bulk and size of the older kit lens, then there is no reason to get the pancake zoom lens. It just seems that the pancake zoom lens design matches the E-M10 so perfectly, and they feel very good in hand too.

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  39. Hey Robin. Great Shots! I need a new everyday lens for my EM5 as the 12-50mm is too big. Is there much difference in image quality between the 17mm f1.8 and the new 14-42EZ?

    Thanks

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    1. Being a prime lens, the 17mm F1.8 surely is better. It is hardly a fair comparison. However, 14-42mm and 12-50mm are very close. I would not be able to tell the difference.

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  40. Hi Robin.
    Is there any possibilities that battery grip (HLD-7) for E-m1 is causing hanging of controls for focus point? (No reactions on pressing arrow buttons as well as no reactions on pressing screen). After switching the camera off and on everything is ok, but that very annoying.

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    1. I have not encountered such issues, and none of my friends who use this combination have also. You may want to send your camera and the HLD-7 to Olympus Service Center.

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  41. Thanks for your prompt review with great photos.
    I am not sure E-M10 will bundle the older 14-42mm II R or the new EZ lens as kit lens here (Hong Kong). How do you compare these two kit lens (sharpness, bokeh, etc).
    I read another early review of E-M10 that that startup time (power on) is a bit slow when equipped with this new pancake lens. And the zooming from 14mm to 42mm is also a bit slow. What's your experience especially when taking snapshots in streets?

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    1. The startup time is slower due to the lens being extended out, probably take about a second or less, and should not impact anything serious.
      There is a way to control the speed of zooming in the menu, I set it to fast. Worked good enough for me.

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  42. Since the e-m5 12-40mm pro is announced and it's only $600 AUD more than the e-m10 w/14-42mm. Considering the price and the quality of the 12-40mm pro. it sounds like a pretty good deal too... (my head is spinning...)
    12-40mm pro lens only is selling around AUD$1199
    E-M5 and 12-40mm is around AUD $1595 (pre-order)
    E-M10 with 14-42mm is AUD$925

    would love to just go straight off and buy E-M1 but it's way too expensive for an amateur like me and it's bit too big for me (I want something that would fit in my handbag along with my all other stuffs...) I think E-M10 would be sufficient for me, but the 12-40mm pro is so irresistible. What would you do?

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    1. Dear Winifred,
      I think you can't go wrong with either options. but if you want the 12-40mm F2.8 pro lens it is best to have the E-M5 and getting the external battery grip to add weight and balance. In the case of pancake zoom lens you do not need so.
      I would personally go with the pancake zoom lens and E-M10, and then buy one or two more prime lenses! That is assuming I have not any Micro 4/3 system yet.

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  43. And what about the zoom mechanism during movie recording (14-42 EZ)? Is there any zoom noise also records?

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  44. em5's price has dropped...same or even lower than em10,,of course with older kit 1250
    any suggestions whr to go?em10 or em5?

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  45. Robin, I thinking about buying M10 i next days.
    Can you compare EZ pancake with older 14-42mm II R?
    I saw your samples and it looks very good as KIT optics but how it looks with comparing to IIR? Any optical issues and mechanical problems?
    On diffrent forums there are some negatives opinions about EZ...

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