Advanced features trickle down to the new budget Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

Olympus just gained a new entry-level mirrorless, and it’s the lightest in the series yet. About the weight of a bottle of water, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV downgrades the size while updating the sensor and adding features previously only found on more advanced models.

Sporting a 20-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, the Mark IV adds 4 megapixels over the previous generation while increasing the 5-axis image stabilization from 4 stops to 4.5. The camera’s processor remains unchanged, but the TruPic VIII is good for 15 frames per second with the electronic shutter and 8.7 fps with the mechanical shutter.

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Olympus has also integrated the face priority and eye priority autofocus originally introduced on the more advanced E-M1 Mark III. Autofocus tracking was also improved with the same algorithms used in the E-M1X. That’s a big perk considering the E-M10 Mark IV is a budget-conscious camera designed for non-photographers and beginners. 

Photography newbies will also find a range of scene modes, including live composites and a new sweep panorama option. Art filters (think in-camera Instagram filters)  can also now be adjusted in intensity with a simple slider, including a new instant film effect.

The upgraded features are designed in a body that’s the same size as the predecessor, but even lighter. The E-M10 weighs about 0.85 pounds and only a touch over a pound with the compact M.Zuikio Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens. The E-M1 Mark IV feels closer in size to a point-and-shoot than a DSLR.

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The camera’s silver and black exterior also house a high definition viewfinder and a tilting touchscreen that flips almost 180 degrees — although upside-down — for selfies. Olympus says the ergonomics of the camera, including a small grip, have improved from the Mark III.

In our early hands-on shooting, the E-M10 Mark IV delivers a positive first impression as a camera that’s simple to use yet captures some solid images. The stabilization, autofocus, and art filters are excellent for newbies. The small size makes the E-M10 Mark IV easily a solid point-and-shoot alternative — considering the best point-and-shoots such as the Sony RX100 VII cost $ 1,200. The Mark IV, however, likely won’t quite impress more advanced photographers. The smaller sensor and the questionable future with the Olympus Imaging division selling its assets make the camera difficult to recommend for photographers looking to grow into a more serious system.

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Also announced today, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS lens, a stabilized telephoto lens that’s also compatible with the company’s 2x and 1.4x teleconverters for up to a 1600mm full-frame equivalent reach. The lens also allows for close-ups, with a 4.2-foot minimum focusing distance throughout the zoom range, which is unaffected when using a teleconverter.

The 2.4-pound lens is designed with four ED lenses, two Super HR lenses, and two HR lenses, along with coating to reduce ghosting and flare and a rear focus system. The lens is also weather-sealed.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV will be available beginning September 25, with pre-orders starting on Tuesday, August 4. The body only retails for about $ 700, with the kit at about $ 800. The 100-400mm lens will be available on September 8, retailing for about $ 1,500.

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