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).
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
|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||799||discont.||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||549||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.5 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||12.6 oz||350||no||2014||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.7 in||3.2 in||1.8 in||14.0 oz||320||no||2014||699||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.5 oz||360||no||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.5 oz||360||no||2012||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||12.8 oz||280||no||2011||599||discont.||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.
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.
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.
|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.
|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.
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.
|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||799||discont.||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||549||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL7 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||-||5/5||4.5/5||4/5||2014||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-M10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||80/100 Gold||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||2014||699||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL6 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||-||-||-||2013||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2012||599||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-PL2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||83/100||71/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2011||599||discont.||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.
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