Canon M10 vs Olympus E-510
The Canon EOS M10 and the Olympus E-510 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in October 2015 and March 2007. The M10 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the E-510 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (M10) and a Four Thirds (E-510) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS M10 and the Olympus E-510? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M10 and the Olympus E-510. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the E-510 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-510 is considerably larger (73 percent) than the Canon M10. Moreover, the E-510 is substantially heavier (79 percent) than the M10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M10 nor the E-510 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon M10||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.6 oz||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|2.||Olympus E-510||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||19.0 oz||750||n||Mar 2007||799|
|3.||Canon M100||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.7 oz||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|4.||Canon T6||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||17.1 oz||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|5.||Canon G9 X||3.9 in||2.3 in||1.2 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon M3||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||12.9 oz||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|7.||Canon G7 X||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|8.||Canon T5||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|9.||Canon SL1||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|10.||Canon M||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|11.||Canon T3i||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.1 oz||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|12.||Olympus E-620||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
|13.||Olympus E-520||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699|
|14.||Olympus E-410||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|15.||Olympus E-400||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Sep 2006||699|
|16.||Olympus E-500||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.6 in||16.9 oz||750||n||Sep 2005||599|
|17.||Sony A5000||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The M10 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the E-510, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon M10 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-510 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-510 is 32 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the M10 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-510 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 17.9MP, the M10 offers a higher resolution than the E-510 (10MP), but the M10 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 4.74μm for the E-510). However, the M10 is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 7 months) than the E-510, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Canon M10 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M10 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inches or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inches or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-510 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The M10 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS M10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-510 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the M10 provides substantially higher image quality than the E-510, with an overall score that is 13 points higher. This advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 1.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|2.||Olympus E-510||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.2||10.0||442||52|
|5.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|7.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|12.||Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|13.||Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|14.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|15.||Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||..||..||..||..|
|16.||Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The M10 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-510 does not. The highest resolution format that the M10 can use is 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-510 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M10, the Olympus E-510, and comparable cameras.
|5.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M10 has a touchscreen, while the E-510 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The M10 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the E-510 does not have a selfie-screen.
The M10 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-510 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-510 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the M10 only has one slot.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS M10 and Olympus E-510 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|5.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the M10 offers wifi support, while the E-510 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the M10 and the E-510 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-510 was replaced by the Olympus E-520, while the M10 was followed by the Canon M100. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon M10 or the Olympus E-510 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M10:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 10MP) with a 37% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (13 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.4 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 215k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.6 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (108x67mm vs 136x92mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 237g or 44 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 8 years and 7 months of technical progress since the E-510 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Olympus E-510:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 255) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2007).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M10 is the clear winner of the match-up (19 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon M10 and the Olympus E-510 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M10 or the E-510. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|2.||Olympus E-510||..||89/100||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799|
|3.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|4.||Canon T6||4/5||o||73/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2016||449|
|5.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon M3||4/5||o||75/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679|
|7.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|8.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|9.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|10.||Canon M||3/5||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599|
|11.||Canon T3i||3/5||o||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599|
|12.||Olympus E-620||3/5||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|13.||Olympus E-520||..||87/100||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699|
|14.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|15.||Olympus E-400||..||85/100||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2006||699|
|16.||Olympus E-500||..||76/100||+ +||..||..||Sep 2005||599|
|17.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Canon M10 vs Olympus E-510
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon M10||Olympus E-510|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2015||March 2007|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M10||Olympus E-510|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||17.9 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||4.74 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||4.44 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||TruePic III|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||65||52|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.2||21.2|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.4||10.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||753||442|
|Screen Specs||Canon M10||Olympus E-510|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||215k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M10||Olympus E-510|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||4.6 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M10||Olympus E-510|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon M10||Olympus E-510|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||255 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
108 x 67 x 35 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 in)
136 x 92 x 68 mm
(5.4 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
|Camera Weight||301 g (10.6 oz)||538 g (19.0 oz)|
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