Body & Design

At first glance, the E-M10 is a veritable doppelgänger for its older, higher-tier sibling, the E-M5. Despite this, there aren't huge differences in the apparent build quality of the two cameras. The E-M10's dials feel a little less substantial than the E-M5's - both in terms of the materials used and the ease with which they're operated. Beyond that, the body has a similarly dense and solid feel to it.

The camera's ports (a micro-HDMI socket and combined USB/AV output) move to the right flank, where they're covered by a distinctly flimsy-feeling rubber door. These aren't ports we use a lot, and we've not heard of many E-M5 owners decrying the similarly disappointing example on their camera.

In your hand

The E-M10, despite its small size, fits nicely in the hand (there's an add-on grip if you prefer something more substantial to hold on to). To compensate for the E-M10's slightly lower body, the rear dial sits on a slightly raised platform - helping to provide a bit more space between controls.

Side-by-side

Olympus E-M5 Fujifilm X-M1 Nikon D5300

The E-M10 mirrors the E-M5's control layout, but the similarities are cosmetic. The E-M10's buttons are slightly larger, requiring less of the fingernail push. They also have a better feel - the weather-sealed E-M5's buttons had an unsatisfying 'mushy' feel when pressed. The slight size difference between the two cameras is also evident in the head-on comparison above.

A glance at the Fujifilm X-M1 beside the E-M1 shows their most obvious difference - the X-M1's lack of built-in viewfinder. Aside from that, they're quite close in size and control arrangement, though the X-M1's second command dial is tucked above the thumb rest.

Finally, the E-M10 is pictured next to the D5300 (with its larger 18-140mm kit zoom). While the size differences speak for themselves, the DSLR clearly has a larger sculpted grip that makes the bigger camera feel well-balanced in the hand. However, the E-M10 outmatches it for direct controls. The D5300's lone command dial is on the back panel, and its only function button is on the front near the lens mount. Looking at them side-by-side the E-M10 doesn't appear to have any more buttons than the D5300, but it's worth remembering that many of the E-M10's controls can be customized, and the touch screen can assist here.

As you can see, the E-M10 is a small camera by any sensible measure. Olympus points out that, with the 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ ED MSC power zoom launched alongside the camera, the E-M10 and lens are slimmer than Canon's 'Smallest, lightest DSLR in the World,' the EOS SL1/100D. Despite this, the E-M10 finds room to fit the level of direct control you would expect of a camera several price levels higher.

LCD and Viewfinder

The E-M10 offers the same viewfinder as offered in the E-M5 - a 1.44m dot LCD panel that provides an 800x600 pixel view of the world. It's not in the same league, either in terms of size or resolution, as the finder in the company's flagship E-M1, though.

This diagram should make it clear how comparatively large the E-M10's viewfinder is - the Pentax K-50 is one of the few cameras in this class to offer a larger finder. The E-M10 has two viewfinder modes, and this illustrates the larger of them. A second mode separates the shooting info, rather than overlaying it on the preview image; the trade-off is a smaller preview display.

The E-M10's LCD is hinged to tilt upward by 80 degrees and downard by 50 degrees.

Meanwhile the rear screen improves on the VGA-equivalent OLED display that featured on the E-M5 - instead the E-M10 gets a 720 x 480 pixel (1.04m dot) LCD. It's still a tilting, touch-sensitive panel, but it's a little more detailed and a bit nicer to use in bright light.