Picking a Camera

I’ve been thinking about buying a camera.

I had pretty much convinced myself that the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mk II was the right camera to buy, until I stumbled on a $670 price for a new OM-D E-M1 body. Now I’m conflicted. The E-M10 Mk II is a brand-new design, while the E-M1 was announced in September of 2013, though it’s still actively receiving firmware updates (here’s a Youtube video explaining the new features). Also, a Mk II version of the E-M1 is expected imminently (though it will be well outside of my price range).

In the < $1000 price range, the OM-D E-M10 Mk II is regarded as the top pick by The Wirecutter, and is the ‘also consider’ choice of DPReview in their 2015 Roundup of $500-800 cameras1. The Wirecutter has picked the E-M1 as its runner-up for overall Best Mirrorless Camera, after the $1,700 (with kit lens) Fujifilm X-T1.

I’ve found it hard to find a direct comparison of the E-M10 Mk II against E-M1, since they’re usually regarded as existing at wildly different price points. This is my attempt to compare the two, but it’s actually tough to find modern data on the E-M1 as so much has been improved via firmware updates. Unless otherwise noted, this data has come from the DPReview reviews of the E-M10 Mk II and the E-M1.

OM-D E-M10 Mk II OM-D E-M1
Price2 $750 $870 ($670 + $199)
Sensor 16.1 MP Live MOS (Four Thirds)
Processor TruePIC VII
Image Stabilization 5-axis (4 stops) 5-axis (???)
Electronic Shutter Yes Yes (v4 firmware)
ISO Range 100-25600
Max Burst Rate 8.5fps 10fps
LCD Type Tilting
LCD size/resolution 3” / 1.04M-dot
EVF type/resolution 2.36M-dot OLED 2.36M-dot LCD(?)
EVF size (35mm equiv.) 0.62x 0.74x
AF targeting pad Yes No
Built-in flash Yes No
Video resolution 1080/60p/30p/24p 1080/30p/24p
4K time-lapse Yes Yes
Weather-sealing No Yes
Mic Jack No Yes
Battery life 320 shots 350 shots
Dimensions 120 x 83 x 47mm 130 x 94 x 63 mm
Weight (loaded) 390 g 497 g
Focus Contrast Detect Contrast + Phase Detect

I’m leaning heavily toward the E-M1, though I’m a little worried that the heavier and larger body may not be ideal - but the Phase-Detect Continuous Auto-Focus would be very welcome with our poorly-behaved dogs.

I haven’t settled on anything yet, but I’ll post when I do. These are some other links I’ve found useful:

  1. After the Sony a6000, which I’ve ruled out, mostly based on a lack of enthusiasm in my research. 

  2. Including the 14-42mm EZ Kit Lens, which is what I would be starting with.