clouds

Overview

After committing the unfriendly model-number to memory, you’ll actually find the Olympus extremely user friendly and fun.
I wanted to give it a try as a camera that was more than mobile but less than professional in terms of bulk. I wanted a camera I could use on the fly in multiple scenarios with minimum time lapse between taking it out of your bag to capturing an image. Also it did all the things on paper that a camera today ‘should’ do given the technology is out there, just waiting to be applied.

  • Wireless and Live-View from app
  • Hi Speed video capture
  • Small and lightweight
  • Touchscreen focus and shutter

Let’s also not forget to mention this is one cute retro-looking camera that feels good in hand. That’s also important (to me), because it helps me bond with my gadgets, just like taking care of a diary.

Colours in daylight iso 250, 14mm, f4.5, 1/60

As I say, I’m used to shooting with my mobile phone and my pro Canon, so out the box I was struck by the distinctively different culture of shooting with a consumer/prosumer level, mirrorless camera. It did all the things I was hoping it would do and more.

ISO 250, 14MM, F22, 1/60

ISO 250, 14MM, F22, 1/60

Pros.

The greatest things about this camera is the touch screen.
Not only does it allow you to compose, focus and shoot in a single touch, but because you can tilt the touchscreen it enables you to shoot portraits of people incognito at close range while looking down at your camera.
Evidently taking pictures of a person in their line of sight will always have an impact on the outcome, no matter how good you are with cameras or people. If the subject is aware of being photograph, it’s a different photograph. So this feature was a revelation.

iso 200, 14mm, f4.0, 1/40

iso 200, 14mm, f4.0, 1/40

There are other cameras that do this but this was a first for me. Furthermore I always shoot in manual… until now.  Stick this thing in aperture or shutter priority and you can capture fleeting gestures and unconscious mannerisms like a seasoned gunslinger, except without killing your subject of course!

Cons. 

You need to make compensations in order to produce a feature-rich, small, lightweight camera. I can appreciate that. Nevertheless the digital viewfinder, and digital zoom feel cheap and plastic if you’re used to shooting on a DSLR with optical viewfinder.

Shoreditch Night, ISO 1600, 14mm, f3.5, 1/4 sec

Shoreditch Night, ISO 1600, 14mm, f3.5, 1/4 sec

ORF raw files aren’t supported by Aperture or Photoshop CS6, so having a good look at the files is problematic if this is your set-up, which mine is.

Finally, and this is the crux of it. The EM10 uses a small sensor and it shows in the result. The images don’t cut it for me as an alternative, they look digital.

Summary

If only this camera was a toy I could value for the fun it is to play with. Sadly the files just don’t cut it. And that, at the end of the day is what this game’s all about.