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Olympus PEN E-PL10 Review ~ ROBIN WONG

Olympus PEN E-PL10 was initially launched in November 2019, nevertheless it was solely not too long ago on sale in Malaysia in March 2021. I received curious and determined to take a more in-depth look on the E-PL10. Olympus maintained their system of creating a simplistic, compact and classy newbie pleasant PEN Lite digital camera within the E-PL10, but it affords interchangeable lens functionality and contains a full sized Micro 4 Thirds picture sensor. I introduced the E-PL10 out for a couple of rounds of taking pictures periods, together with a full reside theatre present in Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Heart, and I’m sharing loads of contemporary pictures taken with the E-PL10 in addition to my expertise utilizing the digital camera right here on this weblog entry. 


I’m an Olympus Visionary, an envoy to the Olympus model. The Olympus E-PL10 was on mortgage from OMD World Imaging and can be returned to them after this assessment objective. I used to be not requested to assessment the digital camera, I did this willingly, and nobody is influencing my opinion or ideas being shared on this article in addition to my video. This isn’t a technical assessment, I’m sharing my expertise utilizing the E-PL10 from knowledgeable photographer’s viewpoint. All photos have been shot in RAW and post-processed in Seize One Professional with very minimal changes. 


16MP Micro 4 Thirds picture sensor

Truepic eight Engine

Three-Axis Picture Stabilization 

Tilt-Display with Selfie mode

4K video succesful with picture stabilization

Superior taking pictures options – Dwell Composite, Keystone Compensation, HDR


The Olympus E-PL10 sits on the lowest stage of all Olympus Micro 4 Thirds digital camera, and is designed to be newbie pleasant, and made to be as compact and light-weight as doable. Subsequently, the digital camera is stripped of many controls and options, and look like minimalist in nature. There isn’t a digital viewfinder, there may be solely a singular command management dial, there are only a few buttons on the digital camera and positively not many shortcuts and customizations. The simplistic structure is intentional to not scare non-professionals or informal customers away simply by trying on the digital camera. The LCD display screen is tilt-able (up, down, and selfie mode) and has contact operations too. There’s a in-built/pop-up flash on the prime of the digital camera, and a hotshoe that accepts exterior flash attachment. 

I personally just like the simplistic design of E-PL10, but it’s trying tremendous elegant. The digital camera doesn’t really feel low cost in hand, the leather-like texture that wraps across the digital camera physique gave the digital camera a premium really feel. Whereas that is an entry stage digital camera and is made from plastic, the E-PL10 feels strong and strong when held in hand, and I by no means as soon as felt I used to be utilizing an affordable digital camera. I do treasure the small footprint of the digital camera and the lightweight – I extremely recommend pairing this digital camera with smaller lenses, particularly prime lenses, eg 25mm F1.eight, 45mm F1.eight. The E-PL10 could appear like a non-serious digital camera by design and first impression, nevertheless it makes use of a 16MP Micro 4 Thirds picture sensor that may nonetheless pack fairly a punch. 

Dealing with on E-PL10 is pretty good. I do miss the beefier grip of OM-D cameras, particularly my very own E-M1 Mark II, however the E-PL10 was not meant for use professionally. I went to shoot KLPAC’s reside theatre efficiency, it was a 2 hours plus present, and I used to be utilizing the E-PL10 with M.Zuiko 40-150mm F4-5.6 R lens hooked up always, taking pictures continuous for that full 2 hours period. I didn’t really feel any pressure on my wrist, or any discomfort on some other elements of my physique. The E-PL10 does have some additional gripping space on the entrance physique, and a very good thumb-rest/hook on the again, offering safer hand-holding when the digital camera is in use. If you happen to intend to shoot with a lot bigger lenses, eg 12-100mm PRO, or 40-150mm PRO, I might advocate utilizing these on full sized E-M1 collection our bodies. 











Whereas the E-PL10 makes use of an older era 16MP picture sensor, I by no means as soon as felt the picture high quality was inadequate. Capturing in good mild, the E-PL10, coupled with even the fundamental equipment lens M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 gave me photos which might be persistently sharp. This humble mixture managed to resolve good quantity of fantastic particulars, rendering lifelike trying photos with loads of pop, and really true to life colours. The distinction can also be excellent, and I used to be consistently impressed by per-pixel sharpness that the Olympus cameras can produce. It doesn’t matter if in case you have 100MP picture sensor (I’m taking a look at some smartphones) but when the pixels are usually not optimized, they will not appear like excessive decision high quality. Even decrease decision photos however every pixel is totally optimized and also you get actually sharp, and pictures that look extra three-dimensional, with good depth. 

Dynamic vary is greater than ample, even within the harshest situations I used to be in a position to pull again a number of stops of spotlight and shadow restoration. After all, it’s best taking pictures at ISO200 (native, base ISO)  should you intend to maximise the dynamic vary seize out of your Olympus cameras. The dynamic vary of the E-PL10 seems pleasing and easy, far more pure trying than “over-processed”, “over-baked” photos from smartphones, that tries too arduous to tone down the highlights and shadows, creating an over-painterly, water-color final result. Typically, it isn’t about how a lot shadow and spotlight retention is within the picture – the picture has to look considerably lifelike too – one thing smartphone producers has but to study digital camera making. 


To check the low mild efficiency of E-PL10, I introduced it to shoot KLPAC’s reside theatre present. The stage was dim, lighting was consistently altering and the actors have been dancing and shifting round on a regular basis. I had to make use of ISO6400 more often than not to attain sufficiently quick shutter pace to freeze movement. There have been additionally a couple of situations that I went as much as ISO12800 and even 25600 to get my pictures. After all, I used to be solely utilizing the common-or-garden M.Zuiko 40-150mm R, and was seated fairly distant from the stage (about 10 rows from the entrance). 

Autofocus labored successfully, even in such dim mild, and taking pictures topics consistently in movement. I had very excessive hit-rates, about 70-80%, and the failures have been principally my very own fault (unsuitable focusing space, clicking the shutter too late, and many others). I used to be really anticipating extra bother and difficulties dealing with the low mild stage, however the E-PL10 exceeded my expectations in terms of nailing the pictures, and capturing important moments. 

By way of picture output, at ISO1600, photos look very clear, and has virtually no hint of noise. ISO3200 might be the restrict for most individuals, you get some noise, which shouldn’t be a problem and may be tolerated. Personally I’ve no subject taking pictures as much as ISO6400, I admit there may be noise within the photos however they weren’t damaging, they added construction, and so they nonetheless look nice, with loads of fantastic particulars totally intact, good colours and distinction being nicely preserved. I might recommend to not stretch past ISO6400, as something increased, you’re going to get extreme noise, and noise discount will degrade the pixel integrity of the pictures. If it was a job, I might be taking pictures with my E-M1 Mark II which might simply give me not less than 2 stops cleaner ISO (ISO6400 no subject) and I might use brighter lenses corresponding to 40-150mm PRO, and several other prime lenses. 


Crop from earlier picture

Spotlight & Shadow recovered in publish
Dynamic vary is spectacular

Earlier shot, straight out of digital camera with out adjustment





Crop from earlier picture





Crop from earlier picture


Crop from earlier picture


After taking pictures at KLPAC, I had a realization that I couldn’t obtain even 10% of what I might shoot with the Olympus E-PL10, if I have been taking pictures with a smartphone digital camera as an alternative. The Olympus E-PL10, being the common-or-garden, entry stage mirrorless compact digital camera, nonetheless outperforms smartphone cameras in just about all points of pictures. 

Firstly, normal pace of operations and AF efficiency – the E-PL10 wins. The smartphone cameras, even within the newest, most superior, most costly, flagship fashions at this time (2021) have every kind of lag and delays. There’s already a big delay on the smartphone’s show – you’ll be able to really feel it, what you see on the display screen is barely slower than what’s seen in actual life. Then there may be the AF subject – even the most effective smartphones at this time will battle in terms of low mild, and me having to go all the way in which as much as ISO25600 exhibits how dimly lit the stage was. Add the show lag and gradual AF to the shutter lag, which no smartphone cameras managed to unravel but, regardless of how briskly and highly effective the core processor is and the way a lot RAM they cramped in, you mainly will not have the ability to seize significant moments. You’ll miss the pictures repeatedly. The Olympus E-PL10 nevertheless, has none of these points. The LCD display screen was silky easy and lag-free even within the darkest lighting on stage, the AF was fast, responsive and more often than not, instantaneous, and what shutter lag? For Olympus Micro 4 Thirds cameras, there was virtually zero shutter lag!

Secondly, the flexibility to alter lens is important for photographers. Most smartphone cameras are nonetheless caught at vast angle, and even the telephoto lenses don’t give that a lot attain. Sure, some smartphones at this time have 10x zoom, or 100x digital zoom, however let’s face it – the standard cannot even contact what a devoted true telephoto zoom lens from Olympus M.Zuiko can do, even the common-or-garden 40-150mm R. There’s simply no contest – with out the attain, you might be caught with vast angle, and you can’t shoot significant pictures with out bodily having the ability to get close to. Even so, the stage is vast, and you’ll’t step onto it to get your pictures. 

Thirdly, excessive ISO low mild taking pictures – smartphone cameras are nonetheless manner behind. Some will argue the “AI/Computational” pictures having the digital camera taking a number of pictures and merge them for cleaner output – you critically assume that case is relevant right here? You maintain your smartphone for 1-2 seconds whereas the dancers have been flying round on stage? You seize nothing that manner! You haven’t any selection however to make use of excessive ISO, and guess what, ISO400 on smartphone cameras even the most effective of the most effective is already trying fairly unhealthy – maybe worse than even ISO6400 on Olympus E-PL10! And should you stretch to ISO800-1600 in your smartphones, you get even higher outcomes taking pictures at ISO25600 on Olympus E-PL10. 

Combining all these three components – gradual operations/AF, inadequate attain and poor excessive ISO, the smartphone cameras will fail to ship any good pictures, taking pictures at a stage, low mild surroundings. The E-PL10 simply outperforms any smartphones at this time, for individuals who do critically care about picture output, and getting the pictures, nailing the moments. 










So, who’s the Olympus PEN E-PL10 made for? 

For individuals who need to step up their pictures recreation from smartphone cameras, but don’t need to break a financial institution, and nonetheless desires one thing actually transportable and straightforward to result in each day. 

For informal on a regular basis shooters who need the efficiency of a DSLR however not the majority and heft. 

For learners and entry-level customers who need to discover the world of pictures. 

For individuals who care about fashion, and having a very good trying digital camera with trendy, trendy design (let’s face it, DSLR design is black and many ugly). 

I acknowledge that this isn’t a full assessment, I didn’t do the take a look at for video (I’m not a videographer), or contact on different points of the digital camera, however hey, the E-PL10 can also be not a brand new digital camera, and a number of the options are additionally already present in different present Olympus fashions, corresponding to Wi-Fi operate, and taking pictures options like Artwork Filters, and Dwell Composite, so I do not need to repeat them. 

I did get pleasure from myself tremendously for the previous one full week, taking pictures virtually on daily basis with the Olympus PEN E-PL10. It’s a actually succesful digital camera regardless of its small measurement, and is able to delivering nice outcomes, far surpassing what even the most effective smartphone digital camera can do. The E-PL10 could not provide the most effective in any class, however it’s made to be actually compact/transportable, simplistic to make use of and classy in design. 

My complains? 

1. Have a full swivel/articulated LCD display screen as an alternative of tilt display screen. 

2. Embody an audio mic in jack. 

Three. A number of contact on the LCD display screen please! E-PL10 nonetheless makes use of the outdated, single contact operation display screen. 

four. Convey again the EVF attachment!

I hope you might have loved the pictures that I’ve shared, and my brief assessment. You probably have owned the E-PL10, and even the predecessor E-PL9, please do share your ideas and expertise utilizing these cameras!

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