Olympus E-M10 III versus Sony RX10 IV
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2017 and September 2017. The E-M10 III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX10 IV is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (E-M10 III) and an one-inch (RX10 IV) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 15.9 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 20 MP. 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 Sony RX10 IV
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-M10 III and the Sony RX10 IV. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth 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 – the E-M10 III – represents 100 percent 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 Sony RX10 IV is notably larger (22 percent) than the Olympus E-M10 III. It is noteworthy in this context that the RX10 IV is splash and dust-proof, while the E-M10 III does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX10 IV has a lens build in, whereas the E-M10 III is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the E-M10 III and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
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»||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.0 in||14.5 oz||330||n||Aug 2017||649|
|Sony RX10 IV«||5.2 in||3.7 in||5.7 in||38.6 oz||400||Y||Sep 2017||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||5.6 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||17.5 oz||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-T2« »||5.2 in||3.6 in||1.9 in||17.9 oz||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599|
|Nikon D500« »||5.8 in||4.5 in||3.2 in||30.3 oz||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999|
|Olympus E-PL9« »||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||13.4 oz||350||n||Feb 2018||549|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||4.9 in||2.8 in||1.5 in||15.1 oz||330||n||Jan 2016||1,199|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||12.6 oz||350||n||Sep 2016||549||-|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||4.7 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.8 oz||320||n||Aug 2015||799||-|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||12.6 oz||350||n||Aug 2014||599||-|
|Olympus E-M10« »||4.7 in||3.2 in||1.8 in||14.0 oz||320||n||Jan 2014||699||-|
|Olympus E-PL6« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.5 oz||360||n||May 2013||599||-|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.5 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||599||-|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||12.8 oz||280||n||Jan 2011||599||-|
|Panasonic GX85« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||15.0 oz||290||n||Apr 2016||799|
|Sony A6300« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||14.3 oz||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||-|
|Sony RX10 III« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||5.0 in||37.1 oz||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499||-|
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. 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 Sony RX10 IV
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 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-M10 III features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony RX10 IV an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX10 IV is 48 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 2.7. The sensor in the E-M10 III has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the RX10 IV offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the RX10 IV offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 15.9 MP of the E-M10 III. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 3.76μm for the E-M10 III). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the E-M10 III has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Olympus E-M10 III»||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Sony RX10 IV«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-T2« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Nikon D500« »||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||24.0||14.0||1324||83|
|Olympus E-PL9« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||23.1||12.4||894||74|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72|
|Olympus E-M10« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72|
|Olympus E-PL6« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||889||72|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55|
|Panasonic GX85« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||22.9||12.6||662||71|
|Sony A6300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85|
|Sony RX10 III« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Feature comparison: Olympus E-M10 III vs Sony RX10 IV
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the E-M10 III offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the RX10 IV (2360k vs 2359k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus E-M10 III, the Sony RX10 IV, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Olympus E-M10 III»||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.6||Y||Y|
|Sony RX10 IV«||2359||Y||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||2000||24.0||Y||Y|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||2360||n||3.0||1620||fixed||n||8000||8.0||n||n|
|Fujifilm X-T2« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||n||8000||14.0||n||n|
|Nikon D500« »||optical||Y||3.2||2359||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||n|
|Olympus E-PL9« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.6||Y||Y|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y|
|Olympus E-M10« »||1440||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y|
|Olympus E-PL6« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||Y|
|Panasonic GX85« »||2765||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y|
|Sony A6300« »||2300||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX10 III« »||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||14.0||Y||Y|
Both the E-M10 III and the RX10 IV are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The E-M10 III replaced the earlier Olympus E-M10 II, while the RX10 IV followed on from the Sony RX10 III.
Review summary: Olympus E-M10 III vs Sony RX10 IV
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-M10 III or the Sony RX10 IV – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- More compact: Is smaller (122x84mm vs 133x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 14%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 1040k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (24 vs 8.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the E-M10 III necessitates an extra lens.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 330) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX10 IV emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 5 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-M10 III or the RX10 IV. 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 adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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»||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2017||649|
|Sony RX10 IV«||Rec||84/100||4.5/5||-||5/5||Sep 2017||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699|
|Fujifilm X-T2« »||HiRec||86/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jul 2016||1,599|
|Nikon D500« »||HiRec||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999|
|Olympus E-PL9« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||Feb 2018||549|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,199|
|Olympus E-PL8« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4/5||Sep 2016||549||-|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||799||-|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Rec||-||5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||599||-|
|Olympus E-M10« »||-||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699||-|
|Olympus E-PL6« »||-||-||-||-||-||May 2013||599||-|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599||-|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599||-|
|Panasonic GX85« »||HiRec||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2016||799|
|Sony A6300« »||Rec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||-|
|Sony RX10 III« »||Rec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2016||1,499||-|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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