Let's take a first look at Olympus's three latest offerings, the Olympus OM-D EM10 budget-priced Micro Four Thirds camera, the Olympus Tough Stylus TG-850 compact, and the Olympus SP-100 50x Superzoom EVF compact digital camera.
Olympus today announced three new compact digital cameras, including the almost DSLR-like, mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera with an electronic viewfinder, the Olympus OM-D EM-10, the least expensive of its growing lineup of MILCs. Along with the camera Olympus introduced a pancake-sized 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ zoom lens and a 25mm f/1.8 standard prime lens, for a total of 15 lenses in the Olympus MFT lineup.
Note: The Olympus OM-D EM-10 Tough Stylus TG-850, and SP-100 can be pre-ordered now from Adorama and will be shipped on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit cards will not be charged until camera ships.
In addition, Olympus announced two more cameras:
The Olympus Tough Stylus TG-850, the latest in the company's lineup of rugged, underwater cameras, with a few new tricks up its sleeve
The Olympus SP-100, a 50x superzoom EVF compact with a 24-1200mm (35mm equivalent) zoom range and a built-in dot-sight that makes it easier to achieve focus on active far distant subjects when shooting with the longer focal lengths.
Let's look at all three of the new cameras, starting with the OM-D EM-10.
Olympus OM-D EM-10 Key Features
- 16MP 4/3 Live MOS Sensor
- RAW + JPEG
- 3-axis image stabilization
- 1.44-dot EVF with 100% coverage
- 3-inch 1037k dot touchscreen LCD
- 81-area multiple AF
- Manual focus/Manual focus assist
- ISO range 100-25,600
- Exposure compensation +/- 5 EV
- Shutter speeds 1/4000-60 sec
- Built-in Flash, Hot Shoe, 1/200 sec synch speed
- Wireless flash control
- Up to 8 fps burst rate
- 19 Art Filters and Effects
- Photo Story auto multi image collage
- Full 1080/30p HD Video
- Stereo built-in mic
- Can be controlled wirelessly
- RAW picture editing
Key differences at a glance: Olympus OM-D EM-10 vs. EM-5 and EM-1
|Top Shutter Speed
||1/200 or 1/250 sec
|Built-in Wi Fi
|Top burst mode
The Olympus OM-D EM-10: EVF MILC On a Budget
The Olympus EM-10 is the most affordable camera in the Olympus OM-D lineup of Micro Four Thirds interchangeable-lens cameras with electronic viewfinders. While it has much technology under the hood in common with the high-end OM-D EM-1 (such as a more advanced image processing engine, Wi-Fi technology and fast AF, its simplified control layout, strong but not weather-resistant design, and stripped-down but still effective image stabilization help to bring down the cost. Like the other cameras in the lineup the EM-1 has the same 16MP sensor, which has outperformed the competition in DxOMark Labs' sensor image quality tests. The autofocus system is said to be Olympus's fastest ever, based on 81 target areas that cover the entire frame. All this in an all-metal body with a design that hearkens back to Olympus's compact film SLR days.
The electronic viewfinder, at 1.44 million dot resolution, promises crisp, clear viewing through the eye-level viewfinder, while a 3-inch flip-out touchscreen lets you control most of the camera's key features with the touch of a finger. Wi-Fi technology is built in, and lets you control the camera remotely by replicating the live view that you see on the LCD on a smart phone. This lets you use your smartphone's LCD as the touch screen with the added benefit of being able to upload images to image sharing and networking sites.
The most frequently-used camera settings can be controlled via the touchscreen interface, while you can deep-dive the menu using the four-way toggle switch in the back. Despite its simplified layout the camera has sophisticated features such as histogram display, art filters, creative controls, and a level gauge, all of which are displayed both on the LCD and in the viewfinder. New features include Live Composite Mode and Photo & Movie Capture, which lets you simultaneously shoot high-resolution stills while shooting video. Three HDR capture modes give you a choice of dynamic ranges.
Video provided by Olympus.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is available body only in black or silver, and in configurations including the non-pancake 14-42mm kit lens or the 25mm f/1.8 Micro (see below).
New Lenses and Accessories For Olympus E-M10
Olympus introduced two (or, depending on how you look at these things, three) lenses today:
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake zoom lens (shown above in silver). Measuring less than an inch thick, it is claimed to be the world's smallest standard zoom lens and is only a smidgeon thicker than Olympus's prime pancake lens. In addition, it can be zoomed remotely via a smartphone running Olympus's Image Share app. Also available in black. Price at Adorama: $349.99
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8 lens (shown in black), a prime lens with close focusing down to 9.8 inches away for portrait or close-up photography. With the 2x crop factor, it is the equivalent of a "normal" 50mm lens. Also available in Silver. Adorama price: $399.95
The f/8 Fish Eye Body Cap Lens, a fixed aperture 9mm optic with, surprisingly, 5 elements in 4 groups. 35mm equivalent angle of view is 18mm. A manual focus lever lets you focus as close as 8 inches. Its primary purpose in life is as a lens cap, but for street photographers and experimenters, it is definitely an inexpensive way to play, visually speaking. Adorama price: Only $99.
Other accessories include an ergonomic, removable grip that gives users a more comfortable way of holding the camera. A macro converter works with six Olympus MFT lenses, and an Automatic Opening Lens Cap fits over the lens and is closed when the camera is off. It is available for the M Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ kit lens.
Olympus Tough Stylus TG-850 Goes Wide
In an effort to challenge inroads made by action pocket camcorders, the new Olympus Tough Stylus TG-850 has an upgraded 5x zoom lens that starts at 21mm (35mm equivalent), which is the widest of any ruggedized camera. Also new is a 3-inch, 460k dot resolution LCD monitor that flips up 180 degrees, so you can do dramatic action selfies in extreme conditions. You can also more easily shoot "half submerged" images showing half above water and half underwater scenes using this feature.
Olympus Tough Stylus TG-850 rugged features
- Waterproof down to 33 feet
- Shockproof from 7 feet
- Crushproof to 220 pounds
- Freezeproof down to 14 degrees
Video features—important if this camera is to be considered as an alternative to pocket action camcorders—include 60p recording at 60fps in full 1080 HD, high-speed recording at 120fps in VGA quality and 240fps in 320x240 pixel resolution. Multi-motion movie image stabilization is said to compensate for blurring that occurs when shooting video when walking or panning a scene.
Photographic features include claimed fast autofocus, 7.1fps burst rate, an enlarged handgrip, and lens-shift image stabilization. There are 11 Art filters, an intervalometer that can shoot up to 99 frames at intervals of 10 seconds to 60 minutes. While the Olympus TG-850 doesn't have built-in Wi-Fi, it supports the Toshiba FlashAir SDHC card.
Video provided by Olympus.
The Olympus Stylus TG-850 is expected in March, and will be available at Adorama for $249.99 in silver, black, and white. You can pre-order it now and it will ship on a first-come, first-served basis.
Olympus SP-100 Superzoom Has Eagle's Eye
One of the problems I've found when using superzoom cameras is that the farther out you zoom, the more the camera struggles to find focus. Olympus has added several innovations to the Olympus SP-100, with its 50x zoom lens, to address this issue.
Borrowing a feature from gun sights, the Olympus SP-100 lets any long-range photographer become a sharp shooter when using the 50x lens's full 120mm (35mm equivalent) extension, thanks to a feature called "Eagle's Eye." This is a red dot sight that is mounted just above the EVF that offers a wide view of the scene on a semitransparent mirror. Get your active subject in the red dot and you have a much better shot of getting it in focus. Anyone who has searched a wide field and tried to achieve focus with a long tele lens will appreciate this feature.
The SP-100 uses a 16MP BSI CMOS sensor, powerful lens shift image stabilization, and a super macro function that lets you shoot as close as 1 cm even when zoomed out. A focus limit button lets you focus within a preset range, which will improve focus acquisition speed when shooting at longer focal lengths.
In addition to standard P/A/S/M exposure options and controls, the SP-100 records full 1080 HD video at 60p and slow motion at lower resolutions. It has 11 Art Filters, and supports the optional Toshiba FlashAir card for Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Olympus SP-100 will be available in March from Adorama for approximately $399.95. It can be pre-ordered now and will ship on a first-come, first-served basis.