The E-M10 is the first new M43 camera to genuinely tempt me to upgrade from my E-PL5 which I’ve had for about a year and a half now.

I’ve rented both the E-M5 and the E-P5 but wasn’t blown away by either of them in such a way as to upgrade my current camera. Though I was initially very excited about the E-P5, after renting it I didn’t feel that it was a significant enough upgrade from my E-PL5 — and at nearly twice the price, I felt that was money better spent on a good lens.

However, after reading a few reviews, my first impressions of the E-M10 may be a different story — this may be my next camera.

Here’s what is compelling to me about the new E-M10:

  • Price: $700 for the body, which is a bit more than I paid new for my E-PL5 and is $300 less than the list price of the E-M5 and E-P5 (though the latter two cameras are both 20-percent off on Amazon at the moment, making them just $100 more expensive than the E-M10).

  • Size: the E-M10 looks stellar, and is just slightly larger than the E-PL5, and smaller than the E-P5, E-M5, and E-M1.

  • Manual Controls: after size, having a few manual dials to quickly adjust aperture and shutter speed is what I most wish the E-PL5 had.

  • Viewfinder: Though I don’t long for a viewfinder, I’d welcome having one.

  • Image Stabilization: the E-M10 has 3-axis in-body image stabilization (for pitch, yaw, and roll) compared to the 5-axis of the E-M5 and E-M1. My E-PL5 has 2-axis IBIS (pitch and yaw only). In usage, I never found myself in deep need of the 5-axis IBIS when renting the E-M5 and E-P5. I always felt able to get just as good of images from my E-PL5 and its “measly” 2-axis IBIS as I was with the nicer cameras and their 5-axis IBIS.

In short, the E-M10 looks to have enough compelling features, in a camera body that is still small enough, at a price that is still low enough, to be exciting to me. But we’ll have to see. Once it’s out (Feb 12th), I hope to rent one from Lens Rentals and give it a spin to find out for sure if it’s as exciting as it looks.

Mathieu Gasquet’s First Impressions of the new Olympus E-M10