What's new and how it compares

While it's received a new processor and a bump in resolution, the most notable change to the E-M10 IV compared to earlier generations is its embrace of selfies, courtesy of a flip-down touchscreen. It also has improvements to its autofocus system and, more excitingly, USB charging.

Key takeaways

  • The E-M10 IV's 20MP sensor has reasonably low noise levels, though the larger sensors on its peers will have an advantage
  • JPEG colors are vibrant.
  • The LCD on the camera flips down by 180 degrees, and the camera offers several tools to make taking selfies easier
  • It took many years, but Olympus finally added USB charging to the E-M10 series

20 Megapixel sensor

The E-M10 IV has inherited what is likely the same 20MP Four Thirds sensor and TruePic VIII processor as the E-M5 Mark III. If it is indeed the 20MP sensor from the E-M5 III, it has noticeably less noise at high ISOs compared to the older 16 Megapixel chip found in previous generations.

JPEGs on Olympus cameras have always been pleasant, and the same is true on the E-M10 IV, as you can see in our sample gallery.

Improved continuous AF

The camera’s continuous AF has been re-worked, using algorithms from the E-M1X. These see the camera spend slightly longer checking that they have the correct subject before fine-tuning the focus. This should reduce the instances of the camera locking focus on the background and ignoring your intended subject.

Keep in mind that the E-M10 IV is still using a contrast-detect AF system, so there will be 'hunting' as it tries it fine-tune focus.

We'll take a closer look at both of those in our final review of the E-M10 IV.

Flip-down LCD and selfies

It's no surprise that Olympus swapped out the tilting display on the E-M10 III for one that flips down 180° for taking selfies. When this 3", 1.04 million-dot display is flipped down, the camera switches into a selfie mode, which puts virtual shutter release, movie capture and 'brightness' (exposure comp.) buttons on the screen. There's also a button that turns on a two second self-timer that takes three photos in a row.

Other design tweaks

You need a sharp eye to spot the differences between the E-M10 IV and its predecessor, but they do exist. The front grip has a more pronounced position for your middle finger, which gave us a bit more confidence when holding the camera with heavier lenses.

A very subtle change can be found on the rear, between the LCD and buttons. It's a small rubberized strip that gives you a little something to hold onto when you're holding the camera at arm's length taking selfies.

USB charging

A much more exciting addition is USB charging , something that has been missing from lower-end Olympus cameras for far too long. It takes hours to fully charge the battery, but being able to top up on the road is a must-have these days. We wish Olympus still included an external charger, which is now a $60 option.

The camera is not compatible with the USB PD standard, so you can't charge it with high-power chargers.

Updated Olympus Image Share app

The E-M10 IV supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and you'll use the Olympus Image Share app to shoot and transfer photos. As before, you can control the camera with full live view and access to settings, or just use your smartphone as a remote shutter release.

New to the app are how-to videos and a night (red) display mode, which you'll want to use while shooting stars and other celestial bodies. Your fellow photographers will appreciate it, as well.

Compared to...

The Canon EOS M50, Olympus E-M10 IV and Fujifilm X-T200

The E-M10 IV's most obvious competitors are the Canon EOS M50, Fujifilm X-T200 and Sony a6100. All three cameras are compact and offer electronic viewfinders, selfie-friendly LCDs and are relatively easy to use. They're all priced around the $800 mark with a kit lens. Here's how they compare in terms of specs:

Olympus E-M10 IV Canon EOS M50 Fujifilm X-T200 Sony a6100
MSRP (w/lens) $799 $899 $799 $849
Autofocus Contrast-detect Dual Pixel Hybrid Hybrid
Sensor 20MP Four Thirds 24MP APS-C 24MP APS-C 24MP APS-C
Image stab. In-body Lens only Lens only Lens only
LCD size (res.) 3" (1.04M-dot) 3" (1.04M-dot) 3.5" (2.8M-dot) 3" (921k-dot)
LCD type Tilting (45° up, 180° down) Fully articulating Fully articulating Tilting (180° up, 74° down)
EVF panel 2.36M-dot OLED 2.36M-dot OLED 2.36M-dot OLED 1.44M-dot OLED
EVF mag. 0.62x Unspecified 0.62x 0.71x
Burst rate (w/AF) 5 fps 7.4 fps 8 fps 11 fps
Max video 4K/30p 4K/30p 4K/30p 4K/30p
Mic/headphone socket No / No Yes / No Yes / Yes Yes / No
USB charging Yes No Yes Yes
Battery life (LCD) 360 shots 235 shots 270 shots 420 shots
Dimensions 122 x 84 x 49mm 116 x 88 x 59mm 121 x 84 x 55mm 120 x 67 x 59mm
Weight 383g 390g 370g 396g

In most respects the E-M10 IV doesn't stand out from the crowd. The real highlight is its in-body image stabilization, which reduces shake on any Micro Four Thirds lens you attach, and there are many to choose from. Battery life is above average, as well.