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Olympus E-M10 III versus Olympus E-M10 II

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2017 and August 2015. Both the E-M10 III and the E-M10 II are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Olympus E-M10 III vs Olympus E-M10 II

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-M10 III and the Olympus E-M10 II is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the E-M10 III – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Olympus E-M10 III vs Olympus E-M10 II
E-M10 III versus E-M10 II top view
E-M10 III and E-M10 II rear side

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M10 II is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Olympus E-M10 III. Moreover, the E-M10 II is markedly lighter (5 percent) than the E-M10 III. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-M10 III nor the E-M10 II 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ rgt) 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.0 in 14.5 oz 330 no 2017 649 latest check
Olympus E-M10 II (⇒ lft) 4.7 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.8 oz 320 no 2015 799discont. check
Olympus E-PL9 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 13.4 oz 350 no 2018 549 latest check
Olympus PEN-F (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.5 in 15.1 oz 330 no 2016 1,199 latest check
Olympus E-PL8 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 no 2016 549discont. check
Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.5 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 12.6 oz 350 no 2014 599discont. check
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.7 in 3.2 in 1.8 in 14.0 oz 320 no 2014 699discont. check
Olympus E-PL6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 no 2013 599discont. check
Olympus E-PL5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.5 oz 360 no 2012 599discont. check
Olympus E-PL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 12.8 oz 280 no 2011 599discont. check
Panasonic GX85 (⇒ lft | rgt) 4.8 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 290 no 2016 799 latest check

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The E-M10 III was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 19 percent) than the E-M10 II, 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.

Sensor comparison: Olympus E-M10 III vs Olympus E-M10 II

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Olympus E-M10 III and Olympus E-M10 II sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.9 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the E-M10 III and the E-M10 II have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the E-M10 III is much more recent (by 2 years) than the E-M10 II, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

E-M10 III versus E-M10 II MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 4K/30p .. .. .. ..
Olympus E-M10 II (⇒ lft) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/60p 23.1 12.5 842 73
Olympus E-PL9 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 4K/30p - - - -
Olympus PEN-F (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 20.2 5184 3888 1080/60p 23.1 12.4 894 74
Olympus E-PL8 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/30p - - - -
Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/30p 22.7 12.4 873 72
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/30p 22.8 12.3 884 72
Olympus E-PL6 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/30p - - - -
Olympus E-PL5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.9 4608 3456 1080/30p 22.8 12.3 889 72
Olympus E-PL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024 720/30p 21.4 10.2 573 55
Panasonic GX85 (⇒ lft | rgt) Four Thirds 15.8 4592 3448 4K/30p 22.9 12.6 662 71

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the E-M10 III provides a higher video resolution than the E-M10 II. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the E-M10 II is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison: Olympus E-M10 III vs Olympus E-M10 II

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The E-M10 III and the E-M10 II are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2360k dots. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-M10 III and Olympus E-M10 II along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 8.6 5.8 YES
Olympus E-M10 II (⇒ lft) 2360 no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 8.0 5.8 YES
Olympus E-PL9 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 8.6 7.6 YES
Olympus PEN-F (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 1037 swivel YES 8000 10.0 no YES
Olympus E-PL8 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1037 tilting YES 4000 8.0 no YES
Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1037 tilting YES 4000 8.0 no YES
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) 1440 no 3.0 1037 tilting YES 4000 8.0 5.8 YES
Olympus E-PL6 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 460 tilting YES 4000 8.0 no YES
Olympus E-PL5 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 460 tilting YES 4000 8.0 no YES
Olympus E-PL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 460 fixed no 4000 3.0 10 YES
Panasonic GX85 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2765 no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 8.0 6 YES

The E-M10 III is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the E-M10 II has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-M10 II was succeeded by the Olympus E-M10 III.

Review summary: Olympus E-M10 III vs Olympus E-M10 II

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-M10 III or the Olympus E-M10 II – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (19 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the E-M10 II launch.

Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2015).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-M10 III emerges as the winner of the contest (3 : 1 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

E-M10 III 03:01 E-M10 II

In any case, 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-M10 III and the E-M10 II in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Olympus E-M10 III (⇒ rgt) Rec 80/100 4.5/5 .. 4.5/5 2017 649 latest check
Olympus E-M10 II (⇒ lft) HiRec 80/100 Silver 5/5 5/5 5/5 2015 799discont. check
Olympus E-PL9 (⇒ lft | rgt) .. .. 4.5/5 .. 4/5 2018 549 latest check
Olympus PEN-F (⇒ lft | rgt) - 82/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2016 1,199 latest check
Olympus E-PL8 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4.5/5 - 4/5 2016 549discont. check
Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec - 5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2014 599discont. check
Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 80/100 Gold 5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2014 699discont. check
Olympus E-PL6 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - - - 2013 599discont. check
Olympus E-PL5 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec - 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 599discont. check
Olympus E-PL2 (⇒ lft | rgt) 83/100 71/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2011 599discont. check
Panasonic GX85 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 82/100 Silver 5/5 4.5/5 5/5 2016 799 latest check

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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