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Olympus E-M10 vs E-PL10

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 and the Olympus PEN E-PL10 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2014 and October 2019. Both the E-M10 and the E-PL10 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-M10
versus
Olympus E-PL10
Olympus E-M10 Olympus E-PL10
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 200-25,600 ISO 200-6,400 (100 - 25,600)
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 1037k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
8 shutter flaps per second 8.6 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
320 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
119 x 82 x 46 mm, 396 g 117 x 68 x 39 mm, 380 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus OM-D E-M10 and the Olympus PEN E-PL10? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-M10 and the Olympus E-PL10 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The E-M10 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the E-PL10 is available in four color-versions (black, brown, blue, white).

Size Olympus E-M10 vs Olympus E-PL10
Compare E-M10 versus E-PL10 top
Comparison E-M10 or E-PL10 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-PL10 is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Olympus E-M10. Moreover, the E-PL10 is slightly lighter (4 percent) than the E-M10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-M10 nor the E-PL10 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 compare the optics available 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.

Concerning battery life, the E-M10 gets 320 shots out of its BLS-5 battery, while the E-PL10 can take 350 images on a single charge of its BLS-50 power pack.

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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-M10 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699 i
2.
 
Olympus E-PL10 117 mm 68 mm 39 mm 380 g 350 n Oct 2019 599 i
3.
 
Olympus E-PL9 117 mm 68 mm 39 mm 380 g 350 n Feb 2018 599 i
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 III 122 mm 84 mm 50 mm 410 g 330 n Aug 2017 649 i
5.
 
Olympus E-PL8 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Sep 2016 549 i
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 II 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 649 i
7.
 
Olympus E-PL7 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599 i
8.
 
Olympus E-P5 122 mm 69 mm 37 mm 420 g 330 n May 2013 999 i
9.
 
Olympus E-PL6 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n May 2013 599 i
10.
 
Olympus E-PL5 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n Sep 2012 599 i
11.
 
Panasonic GX85 122 mm 71 mm 44 mm 426 g 290 n Apr 2016 799 i
12.
 
Panasonic G6 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599 i
13.
 
Panasonic GX7 123 mm 71 mm 55 mm 402 g 350 n Aug 2013 999 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The E-PL10 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the E-M10, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

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Sensor comparison

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.

Technology-wise, the E-PL10 uses a more advanced image processing engine (TruePic VIII) than the E-M10 (TruePic VII), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Olympus E-M10 and Olympus E-PL10 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the E-M10 and the E-PL10 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the E-PL10 is much more recent (by 5 years and 8 months) than the E-M10, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the E-M10 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus PEN E-PL10 are ISO 200 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600.

E-M10 versus E-PL10 MP

For many 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Olympus E-M10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.3884 72
2.
 
Olympus E-PL10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p...... ..
3.
 
Olympus E-PL9 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p...... ..
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 III Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p...... ..
5.
 
Olympus E-PL8 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p...... ..
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.5842 73
7.
 
Olympus E-PL7 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.4873 72
8.
 
Olympus E-P5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.4895 72
9.
 
Olympus E-PL6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p...... ..
10.
 
Olympus E-PL5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.3889 72
11.
 
Panasonic GX85 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.912.6662 71
12.
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.5639 61
13.
 
Panasonic GX7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.2718 70

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-PL10 provides a better video resolution than the E-M10. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the E-M10 is limited to 1080/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-M10 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the E-PL10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-M10 and Olympus E-PL10 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Olympus E-M101440 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
2.
 
Olympus E-PL10none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
3.
 
Olympus E-PL9none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 III2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.6 Y Y
5.
 
Olympus E-PL8optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 II2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
7.
 
Olympus E-PL7optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
8.
 
Olympus E-P5optional n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y Y
9.
 
Olympus E-PL6optional n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
10.
 
Olympus E-PL5optional n 3.0 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y
11.
 
Panasonic GX852765 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
12.
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n
13.
 
Panasonic GX72760 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y
The E-PL10 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the E-M10 does not have a selfie-screen.

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-PL10 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-M10 and the Olympus E-PL10 both have 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 E-M10 and the E-PL10 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.

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Connectivity comparison

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-M10 and Olympus PEN E-PL10 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Olympus E-M10Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
2.
 
Olympus E-PL10Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
3.
 
Olympus E-PL9Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 IIIYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Olympus E-PL8Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 IIYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Olympus E-PL7Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
8.
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
9.
 
Olympus E-PL6Ystereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Olympus E-PL5Ystereomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic GX85Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
12.
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
13.
 
Panasonic GX7Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-

The E-PL10 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the E-M10 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-M10 was succeeded by the Olympus E-M10 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-M10 or the Olympus E-PL10 – 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.


Advantages of the Olympus OM-D E-M10:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2014).


Arguments in favor of the Olympus PEN E-PL10:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (TruePic VIII vs TruePic VII).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x68mm vs 119x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 8 months of technical progress since the E-M10 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-PL10 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 3 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. 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.

E-M10 03:09 E-PL10

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus E-M10 and the Olympus E-PL10 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the E-M10 and the E-PL10 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-M104/5..80/1005/55/5 Jan 2014 699 i
2.
 
Olympus E-PL10....77/100..4/5 Oct 2019 599 i
3.
 
Olympus E-PL9..+..4.5/54/5 Feb 2018 599 i
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 III..+80/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2017 649 i
5.
 
Olympus E-PL8......4.5/54/5 Sep 2016 549 i
6.
 
Olympus E-M10 II4.5/5+ +80/1005/55/5 Aug 2015 649 i
7.
 
Olympus E-PL74/5+..5/54/5 Aug 2014 599 i
8.
 
Olympus E-P55/5+ +78/1004.5/55/5 May 2013 999 i
9.
 
Olympus E-PL6.......... May 2013 599 i
10.
 
Olympus E-PL53/5+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599 i
11.
 
Panasonic GX854.5/5+ +82/1005/55/5 Apr 2016 799 i
12.
 
Panasonic G64/5+ +..5/54.5/5 Apr 2013 599 i
13.
 
Panasonic GX74/5+79/1005/55/5 Aug 2013 999 i
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. 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.

Olympus E-M10:
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Olympus E-PL10:
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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.

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    Specifications: Olympus E-M10 vs Olympus E-PL10

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Olympus E-M10 Olympus E-PL10
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2014 October 2019
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Olympus E-M10 Olympus E-PL10
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 25,600 ISO 200 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VII TruePic VIII
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 72 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.8 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.3 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 884 ..
    Screen Specs Olympus E-M10 Olympus E-PL10
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.58x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus E-M10 Olympus E-PL10
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s 8.6 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterno E-Shutterup to 1/16000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-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 Olympus E-M10 Olympus E-PL10
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Olympus E-M10 Olympus E-PL10
    Battery Type BLS-5 BLS-50
    Battery Life (CIPA)320 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 119 x 82 x 46 mm
    (4.7 x 3.2 x 1.8 in)
    117 x 68 x 39 mm
    (4.6 x 2.7 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 396 g (14.0 oz) 380 g (13.4 oz)

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