Canon M10 vs Olympus E-PL9
The Canon EOS M10 and the Olympus PEN E-PL9 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2015 and February 2018. Both the M10 and the E-PL9 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on an APS-C (M10) and a Four Thirds (E-PL9) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 15.9 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 PEN E-PL9? 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 physical size and weight of the Canon M10 and the Olympus E-PL9 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The M10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the E-PL9 is available in four color-versions (black, brown, blue, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PL9 is notably larger (10 percent) than the Canon M10. Moreover, the E-PL9 is markedly heavier (26 percent) than the M10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the M10 nor the E-PL9 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. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|2.||Olympus E-PL9||117 mm||68 mm||39 mm||380 g||350||n||Feb 2018||599|
|3.||Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|4.||Canon T6||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||485 g||500||n||Mar 2016||449|
|5.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|6.||Canon M3||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679|
|7.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|8.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|9.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|10.||Canon M||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599|
|11.||Canon T3i||133 mm||100 mm||80 mm||570 g||440||n||Feb 2011||599|
|12.||Olympus E-PL10||117 mm||68 mm||39 mm||380 g||350||n||Oct 2019||599|
|13.||Olympus E-M10 III||122 mm||84 mm||50 mm||410 g||330||n||Aug 2017||649|
|14.||Olympus E-PL8||115 mm||67 mm||38 mm||357 g||350||n||Sep 2016||549|
|15.||Olympus E-M10 II||120 mm||83 mm||47 mm||390 g||320||n||Aug 2015||649|
|16.||Olympus E-M10||119 mm||82 mm||46 mm||396 g||320||n||Jan 2014||699|
|17.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The M10 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the E-PL9, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and 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-PL9 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-PL9 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-PL9 offers a 4:3 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 17.9MP, the M10 offers a higher resolution than the E-PL9 (15.9MP), but the M10 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 3.76μm for the E-PL9) due to its larger sensor. However, the E-PL9 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 3 months) than the M10, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further 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-PL9 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 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 PEN E-PL9 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|2.||Olympus E-PL9||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|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-PL10||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Olympus E-M10 III||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|14.||Olympus E-PL8||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|15.||Olympus E-M10 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73|
|16.||Olympus E-M10||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the E-PL9 provides a better video resolution than the M10. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M10 and the E-PL9 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M10, the Olympus E-PL9, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon M10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.6||Y||n|
|2.||Olympus E-PL9||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.6||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon M100||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n|
|4.||Canon T6||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon M3||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2||Y||n|
|7.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon T5||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|9.||Canon SL1||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9||Y||n|
|10.||Canon M||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3||n||n|
|11.||Canon T3i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n|
|12.||Olympus E-PL10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.6||Y||Y|
|13.||Olympus E-M10 III||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.6||Y||Y|
|14.||Olympus E-PL8||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||Y|
|15.||Olympus E-M10 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Olympus E-M10||1440||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony A5000||none||n||3.0 / 461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
One feature that differentiates the E-PL9 and the M10 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-PL9 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the M10 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the E-PL9 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Olympus E-PL9 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the M10 and the E-PL9 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 PEN E-PL9 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon M10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Olympus E-PL9||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Canon M100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon T6||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon M3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Canon T5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon SL1||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon M||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon T3i||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Olympus E-PL10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|13.||Olympus E-M10 III||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Olympus E-PL8||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|15.||Olympus E-M10 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Olympus E-M10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Sony A5000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the E-PL9 has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The M10 does not feature such an accessory-socket.
Both the M10 and the E-PL9 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The M10 was replaced by the Canon M100, while the E-PL9 was followed by the Olympus E-PL10. 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-PL9 – 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 15.9MP) with a 8% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 79g or 21 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in October 2015).
Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-PL9:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8.6 vs 4.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 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.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 3 months of technical progress since the M10 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M10 comes out slightly ahead of the E-PL9 (10 : 9 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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-PL9 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing 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-PL9. 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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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-PL9||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2018||599|
|3.||Canon M100||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|4.||Canon T6||4/5||o||4/5||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-PL10||..||..||4/5||77/100||..||4/5||Oct 2019||599|
|13.||Olympus E-M10 III||..||+||5/5||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2017||649|
|14.||Olympus E-PL8||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||549|
|15.||Olympus E-M10 II||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||649|
|16.||Olympus E-M10||4/5||..||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699|
|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 assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods 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
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 650D vs Canon M10
- Canon 77D vs Canon M10
- Canon M10 vs Canon SX70
- Canon M10 vs Canon T6s
- Canon M10 vs Leica Q Typ 116
- Canon M10 vs Nikon B700
- Canon M100 vs Olympus E-PL9
- Canon SX70 vs Olympus E-PL9
- Epson R-D1 vs Olympus E-PL9
- Fujifilm GFX 50R vs Olympus E-PL9
- Nikon D80 vs Olympus E-PL9
- Olympus E-PL9 vs Pentax K-5 II
Specifications: Canon M10 vs Olympus E-PL9
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-PL9|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2015||February 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon M10||Olympus E-PL9|
|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||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3456 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.31 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.39 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||200 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||TruePic VIII|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||65||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.2||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.4||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||753||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon M10||Olympus E-PL9|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon M10||Olympus E-PL9|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4.6 shutter flaps/s||8.6 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon M10||Olympus E-PL9|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon M10||Olympus E-PL9|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||255 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
108 x 67 x 35 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 in)
117 x 68 x 39 mm
(4.6 x 2.7 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||301 g (10.6 oz)||380 g (13.4 oz)|
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