Olympus E-M1 III Comparison Review
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in February 2020 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 20.2 megapixel.
Is the Olympus E-M1 III a good camera? The E-M1 III has a Camera Elo of 3230. This very strong rating puts it among the elite group of camera grand masters. The E-M1 III ranks among the top 20 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the E-M1 III ranks among the top 10 percent.
|Olympus E-M1 III|
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|ISO 200 - 25 600|
|Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 1037k dots|
|18 shutter flaps per second|
|420 shots per battery charge|
|134 x 91 x 69 mm, 580 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Olympus E-M1 III vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Olympus E-M1 III alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Olympus E-M1 III||134 mm||91 mm||69 mm||580 g||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,799|
|Fujifilm X-H1||140 mm||97 mm||86 mm||673 g||310||Y||Feb 2018||1,899|
|Nikon Z6 II||134 mm||101 mm||70 mm||705 g||410||Y||Oct 2020||1,999|
|Olympus E-M5 III||125 mm||85 mm||50 mm||414 g||310||Y||Oct 2019||1,199|
|Olympus E-M1X||144 mm||147 mm||75 mm||997 g||870||Y||Jan 2019||2,999|
|Olympus E-M1 II||134 mm||91 mm||67 mm||574 g||440||Y||Sep 2016||1,999|
|Panasonic G90||130 mm||94 mm||77 mm||536 g||290||Y||Apr 2019||999|
|Panasonic G9||137 mm||97 mm||92 mm||658 g||400||Y||Nov 2017||1,699|
|Panasonic GH5||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||725 g||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999|
|Sony A7C||124 mm||71 mm||60 mm||509 g||740||Y||Sep 2020||1,799|
|Sony A7 III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Olympus E-M1 III was launched in the US market at a price of $1,799. 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.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Olympus E-M1 III features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Olympus E-M1 III among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Olympus E-M1 III||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Nikon Z6 II||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-M5 III||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4k/24p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-M1X||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-M1 II||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.7||12.8||1312||80|
|Panasonic G90||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic G9||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic GH5||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77|
|Sony A7C||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The E-M1 III indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the E-M1 III can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the E-M1 III has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2360k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.83x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus E-M1 III and comparable cameras.
|Olympus E-M1 III||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||18.0||n||Y|
|Nikon Z6 II||3690||Y||3.2||2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||14.0||n||Y|
|Olympus E-M5 III||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Olympus E-M1 II||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||18.0||n||Y|
|Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
One feature that differentiates the E-M1 III from many other cameras is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-M1 III reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while cameras without IBIS have to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.
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 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Olympus E-M1 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|Nikon Z6 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|Olympus E-M5 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|Olympus E-M1 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|Sony A7 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the E-M1 III has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the E-M1 III in practical situations. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Olympus E-M1 III||..||83/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Feb 2020||1,799|
|Fujifilm X-H1||+||86/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Feb 2018||1,899|
|Nikon Z6 II||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2020||1,999|
|Olympus E-M5 III||+||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2019||1,199|
|Olympus E-M1X||o||..||4.5/5||5/5||..||Jan 2019||2,999|
|Olympus E-M1 II||+ +||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||1,999|
|Panasonic G90||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2019||999|
|Panasonic G9||+ +||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Nov 2017||1,699|
|Panasonic GH5||+ +||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2017||1,999|
|Sony A7C||..||..||..||..||4/5||Sep 2020||1,799|
|Sony A7 III||+ +||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Olympus E-M1 III FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the E-M1 III.
What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the E-M1 III?
The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Olympus equipped the E-M1 III with the TruePic IX image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the E-M1 III?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 64-25600.
Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?
Yes, the LCD-screen of the E-M1 III is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III?
Olympus mentions a shutter rating of 400 000 actuations for the E-M1 III. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the E-M1 III over, say, three years, one would have to take about 400 pictures each and every day.
Is completely silent shooting possible with the Olympus E-M1 III?
The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?
No, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Olympus E-M1 III?
The E-M1 III offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the Olympus E-M1 III feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The E-M1 III's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.
Does the Olympus E-M1 III support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?
Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-II cards (data transfer speed of up to 312 MB/s) in its first slot, and UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s) in its second slot.
Which battery does the E-M1 III use?
The camera gets its power from the BLH-1 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Is there a vertical grip available for the E-M1 III?
Yes, Olympus offers the HLD-9 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D vs Olympus E-M1 III
- Canon 200D vs Olympus E-M1 III
- Canon M50 Mark II vs Olympus E-M1 III
- Canon SX70 vs Olympus E-M1 III
- Fujifilm GFX 50R vs Olympus E-M1 III
- Fujifilm X-H1 vs Olympus E-M1 III
- Nikon D3500 vs Olympus E-M1 III
- Nikon D750 vs Olympus E-M1 III
- Olympus E-M1 III vs Panasonic G85
- Olympus E-M1 III vs Panasonic S5
- Olympus E-M1 III vs Sony A6000
- Olympus E-M1 III vs Sony A9 II
|Camera Model||Olympus E-M1 III|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2020|
|Launch Price||USD 1 799|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||225 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5 184 x 3 888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.34 μm|
|Pixel Density||8.96 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 25 600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||64 - 25 600 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic IX|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||18 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||400 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||Single UHS-II|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||BLH-1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||420 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
134 x 91 x 69 mm
(5.3 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
|Camera Weight||580 g (20.5 oz)|
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