The Mark III sports a 16-megapixel image sensor
with a native ISO range of 200-6400 (expandable
to 100 and 25,600). The camera’s in-body,
5-axis stabilization system is good for up to
four stops of correction, per CIPA standards.
There are 121 AF points with face and eye
detection plus touch-focusing capability on the
3-inch, tilting display. You’ll enjoy continuous
shooting of up to 8. 6 fps with focused fixed
on the first frame. Mechanical shutter speeds
top off at 1/4000 sec. but there’s an electronic
shutter with a top speed of 1/16,000 sec.
On the video front, the Mark III can record
4K (3840 x 2160) at 30p or 24p and full HD at
60p. It can also compile 4K time-lapse movies
in camera. There’s Wi-Fi, too. Finally, Olympus
has added a Bleach Bypass filter to its Art
Modes if you want some analogue nostalgia.
The E-M10 Mark III offers a nice degree of
customizability with a programmable shortcut
button and two customizable function buttons.
It carries on the OM-D tradition of prominent
dials and plenty of exterior controls, which
we like. Ergonomically, it’s comfortable to
hold with a nice grip in the front and a raised
space for your thumb on the back.
It lacks weather sealing, which isn’t
surprising given the price, and feels very light.
With the 12-100mm PRO lens attached, it
definitely felt front heavy.
Olympus redesigned the menu system in
the Mark III and while it’s definitely improved,
we still found it a bit more byzantine than
necessary. For instance, the first shooting menu
has just four options on the display, though
there’s ample room for more. Fortunately,
there’s a quick menu button that lets you access
most of your needed settings with just a press.
While 16-megapixels is on the lower side of
the resolution spectrum for mirrorless models
(though not for comparably priced competition
from Panasonic), you can expect solid image
quality from the E-M10 Mark III. On auto white
balance, JPEGs could sometimes take on a
cooler cast, but nothing too offensive.
The smaller sensor makes noise an issue as
you push up the ISO, but we had good results
below ISO 3200. RAW files showed surprisingly
good dynamic range for cameras in this class.
We were especially impressed with the
5-axis stabilization, which allowed us to get
sharp results handheld at 1/13 sec. shutter
speeds (using the 12-100mm f/4 PRO lens).
The Mark III is quite speedy, clocking in at 8
fps. Better still, you can shoot JPEGs until the
card is full. RAW images will start buffering
at around 20 or so frames. While the Mark
III has plenty of AF points, we found subject
tracking to be a bit more hit-and-miss than we
expected. Low light, focusing, however, was a
The battery clocks in at a CIPA-sanctified
330 frames, which is pretty solid for models
in this price, topping Panasonic’s GX850 but
below Fujifilm’s X-A3.
There’s plenty of competition for the E-M10
Mark III, including models from Fujifilm
and Sony with larger, APS-C-sized image
sensors. That said, few models at this price
point offer 5-axis image stabilization or the
Mark III’s stellar dynamic range.
FEBRUARY 2018 pdnonline.com 55
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
PROS: Excellent image stabilization; very
good dynamic range in stills and video;
ergonomic design; tilting display.
CONS: Menu is a bit clumsy; lower
resolution than some competitors.
PRICE: $650 (body)
with the Mark III of the test chart. Only
a slight softening of the finest detail is
noticeable at ISO 6400 compared to ISO
200. The same part of an image made at
ISO 800 is hardly softer than the photo
shot at ISO 200.
SHARPENING AND NOISE
The degree of sharpening applied by the
Mark III is on the low side, less than that
applied by the Mark II. The amount of
overshoot and undershoot also decreases as
ISO increases. However, one should recall
that the user can directly set the degree of
in-camera sharpening for JPEGs through the
many customizable picture mode settings.
Images made at all ISOs would show
observable noise when viewed at 100 percent
on a screen. Noise measurements ranged from
0.9 at ISO 200 to 1. 5 at ISO 1600. At ISO 6400
and above, the noise was very noticeable in
this viewing condition. A subjective visual
assessment of the images finds very little
noise observable at ISO 200, and observable
but not disruptive noise at ISO 800.
When the image is modelled objectively as
viewed on a mobile screen or as a postcard-sized print, results indicate that noise would
not be very noticeable until ISO 1600. In
Viewing Condition 3, simulating a large print,
noise would also only become noticeable
above ISO 3200. Most of the observable noise
can be seen in the mid-tones, especially the
darker part of the mid-tones.
Dynamic range in the Olympus OM-D
E-M10 Mark III is excellent: more than 11
f-stops at lower ISOs ( 11. 2 f-stops at ISO
200 and 400, and 12. 3 at ISO 800). Dynamic
range in the Mark III drops to 8. 5 at ISO
6400, and drops further at extended ISOs ( 7. 5
at ISO128000, and 7.0 at ISO 25600). Color
reproduction is also good, with infrequent
strong deviations from the original color.
The automatic white balance delivers very
good and consistent results throughout nearly
the entire range of available ISOs.
The camera’s start-up time is 1. 6 seconds. As
this is a mirrorless camera, the autofocus time
was measured only using Live View. When
using Live View in bright light, the autofocus
takes 0.17 seconds, with a total lapse from
pressing the button to shutter release of 0.26
seconds. In low light, the autofocus in Live
View takes a tiny bit longer (0.28 seconds), for
a total shooting lapse of 0.36 seconds.
In video mode, the Mark III uses 70 percent of
its sensor (759 line pairs per picture height)
at Auto ISO, and 73 percent (785 line pairs per
picture height) at ISO 1600.
Frames grabbed from a video shot at high
and low ISO and enlarged to 100 percent,
can be said from subjective inspection to be
completely acceptable with regard to detail,
color, and noise. Objective measurements
of visual noise in video show that it is not
extremely noticeable and when it is, it’s mostly
in the darker tones. Sharpening is acceptable
in video images made of high-contrast scenes.
Dynamic range in video is good, at 9.0
f-stops, about the same as the Olympus OM-D
E-M10 Mark II.
ABOVE: It may be the baby of the OM-D family, but
the entry-level E-M10 Mark III boasts many of the
features found on its pricier siblings.