E-M 10 Mark IV, what a confusing name convention for the lineup of cameras in Olympus. When Olympus sold off its imaging unit, I decided to read-up on its lineup and and models history, almost paying the company the last respect. Those reading led me to inquire for a unit of the latest E-M 10 Mark IV from a local shop in Kuala lumpur. There are two reasons for this :
a. Almost nobody took a deep look of the E-M 10 Mark IV in 2021 whether in blogs or in youtube. It is as people are just interested to get a copy of it during the launch, write something surface level about it and left it. There are no users that used it beyond the first few months?.
b. I am curious, if this was the last camera you know you will produce before your dept is sold off, what would you do. This angle of thought, a fun conjecture, would take hold of my thoughts and I concluded that it would be worth exploring with an actual unit. I do own a PEN-F, arguably the most beautiful Olympus digital camera albeit designed with a cheap plastic battery door. (The only other camera with such a contrasting build and even worse quality battery door is the Nikon CoolpixA)
How was the camera? I must concur it is the most basic digital camera I have seen since the Leica TL. There are 3 large dials that controls the mode, the aperture / shutter and the mode. The body reminds me of the Olympus film cameras that was produced before digital took over but in a much better build and heft (yes, those film cameras like om-10, om-20, om-30 produced by cosinas are more similar to this camera than the venerable OM-1, but E-M10 Mark IV has a borderline assuring quality that makes you second guess its position of an entry level OMD)
Overall the camera size and weight is just beautiful. Something that you will bring out and replace your Iphone. Thats about the best line of argument you can use to justify buying such a camera. M43 doesn’t have the DOF creativity that FF grants you, inferior lowlight quality output and there are better options out there like the new Fujifilm XE4 that is also entry level and minimalism approach. Fujifilm however is a company that sells presets as upgrades and I totally abhor such direction.
The video on this camera is far better than those from the Sony A6400 in terms of rolling shutter effect and that moves it above the entry level value. Locally I noticed that Olympus gears are being dumped by many hobbyist as they freaked out on Olympus exit news and if you ever wanted camera you can bring anywhere and yet have the option to change lens without bringing out a gunny sack, this is the time.
In my previous blogs, I have shared on my decision to downsize my gears count, stop reading reviews and pursue the count reduction approach. I have never met a person that has more items and stayed happy, but I have met many that have minimal or singular items and extremely happy with it. If you were happy with A, you would not have bought B or C for that matter. A simplistic view of our desire mapped by kindergarten maths.
I am now down to the revered D3, 645Z and this E-M 10 Mark IV. A distinct use for each of them. On a final note, the biggest con I found on this camera, is the focusing is still contrast based and the AF touch focus is too big to be of any use. Perhaps Olympus still has that stubborn echo chamber team in place.
For some inspirational use and images taken by this camera, I found this flickr user to be exceptional. You can see his gallery of images taken on E-M10 Mark Iv.