Olympus PEN E-PL10 Review

3.5 rating

When Olympus released the PEN E-PL10 in October 2019, many photographers were left scratching their heads. The changes were minor, to say the least. 

The Olympus PEN collection contains mirrorless Micro Four Thirds cameras. Overall, The Olympus PEN E-PL10, as is the entire PEN collection, offers excellent image quality, and a variety of shooting features. 

Like previous models in the PEN collection, the E-PL10 maintains a striking vintage design. The camera is compact and full of functions. 

The E-PL10 introduces a “Fine Tune” option allowing for more flexibility when using the included art filters. Fine Tune and art filters are managed on a 1040k-dot touchscreen. 

Capture your pictures and share them on-the-go with the E-PL10. This lightweight camera with Bluetooth capability is perfect for photographers on the move, especially travelers who wish to chronicle their journey on social media. 

Features

Style

The E-PL10 did break away from previous models in the naming convention of the available colors. The camera colors are listed in Japanese; Kuro (black), Mocha (brown), and Shiro (white). For the first time, the black camera also features black metal detailing.

Released in the E-PL9 model, the  E-PL10 also contains a built-in pop-up flash. 

Furthermore, the PEN E-PL10 is constructed with leather and brushed aluminum. 

Compact Size

Featuring a comfortable grip, the E-PL9 is a lightweight camera weighing in at 380 g (11.5 oz) when the battery and memory card is installed.

Utilize the included camera strap, or upgrade to coordinating genuine leather strap to take this compact camera everywhere you go.  The size and weight are perfect for travel and sight-seeing adventures. 

LCD Touchscreen Monitor

The touchscreen monitor allows you to operate in Auto Mode, Scene Mode, or Manual Mode.

Auto Mode detects the scene, lighting, subject, and camera motion to provide the perfect shot every time. 

Pinpoint your Scene (people, motion, indoors, nightscape, scenery, or close-ups) to optimize the camera’s potential. 

Adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO in Manual Mode. Experiment with Manual Mode to capture truly unique images. 

The user interface on the touchscreen of the E-PL10 makes it easier than ever to change settings.

The live view touch screen tilts 180° activating Selfie Mode for pictures and video. The e-Portrait filter smooths skin producing the perfect selfie. 

Shoot and Share

After selecting your desired mode, preview your picture using one of 16 built-in filters available in the Art Filter option.

The variety of mode options make it possible to capture the perfect photo without needing to edit in Photoshop. Following experimentation of modes, use the shortcut button on the top of the camera to quickly return to the primary settings. 

Share photos from the camera to your phone with the Olympus Image Share app. The E-PL10 is equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to transfer photos and videos to your smartphone or tablet. 

“If you see something that moves you, and then snap it, you keep a moment.”
Linda McCartney

Compatible Lenses

Additionally, the E-PL10 is compatible with M.Zuiko lenses. Olympus M.Zuiko lenses are available in a variety of sizes for beginner level photographers. 

  • 14-42mm IIR general-purpose, beginning lens
  • 14-42mm EZ compact size 
  • 40-150mm R zoom range 
  • 12-50mm Macro close-ups and portraits

Experiment with fisheye, macro, telephoto as your photography skills increase. M.Zuiko Premium lenses are ideal for landscape photography. Advanced photographers will appreciate the fast apertures and weather sealing of lenses in the M.Zuiko PRO line.

Lithium-ion Battery

The E-PL10 includes a BLS-50 lithium-ion battery and charger. Lithium-ion batteries do not lose power when left in the charger. The battery, fully charged, will last for 350 photos and 80 minutes of video (standard usage).

For your added convenience, this is the same battery used in previous PEN models.

Specifications

  • 16.1 Megapixel 
  • Focusing systems with 121 Focus Points
  • 3-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization
  • 3.0″ Tilting Touch LCD
  • 8.6 frames per second sequential shooting speed
  • 1/16,000sec electronic shutter speed / 1/4000sec mechanical shutter
  • Built-in pop-up flash (with an option for hot shoe attachment)
  • 3 video clips
  • Touch Autofocus (AF) and shutter release
  • 4K Ultra HD Video
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Silent Shooting Mode

In the Box

The E-PL10 standard package does not include a lens. 

  • Camera body
  • Black shoulder strap
  • USB cable CB-USB6 for downloading
  • Instruction manual and warranty card
  • Lithium-ion battery BLS-50 and Lithium-ion charger BCS-5

Olympus and authorized dealers currently offer an E-PL10 that includes a lens and memory card. 

  • Camera Body, 
  • M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Lens,
  • Quilted Slim Camera Case, 
  • Premium Lens Cloth 
  • 16 GB UHS-1 SD Memory Card
  • Quick Tip Card and Quick Start Guide, 
  • Micro USB Cable to manually transfer photos to a computer
  • Instruction manual and warranty card
  • Lithium-ion battery BLS-50 and Lithium-ion charger BCS-5

Olympus offers numerous videos on YouTube showcasing how to use the features of the Pen E-PL10.

Pros and Cons of the Olympus Pen E-PL10

Pros:

  • 180° tilt touch screen
  • Silent shutter option
  • Connects to lenses of previous PEN models
  • 16 built-in camera art filters available for stills and 1080 HD movies
  • Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia, Dramatic Tone, Key Line, WaterColor, Vintage, Partial Color, Bleach Bypass, Instant Film
  • Compact size and weight for travel
  • Bundled with a charger unit
  • Geotagging available on the Olympus OI Track app
  • Built-in microphone offers wind noise reduction and audio dubbing for still pictures (up to 30 sec.)
  • Capture panoramic images and wide-angle shots
  • Customize with matching leather neck straps, lens covers, and body jackets

Cons:

  • Very little difference between the E-PL10 and E-PL9
  • Memory card not included in the base-level package
  • The battery cannot be charged by a USB cable plugged into a computer
  • Not weather sealed
  • No accessory port to attach an electronic viewfinder, external microphone, or shutter release cable

Get the Most Out of Your Olympus Pen E-PL10

  • Become familiar with the vast assortments of auto and manual options available on the touchscreen.
  • Watch tutorials produced by Olympus that highlight available modes and art filters.
  • Set-up the wireless connection between your camera and smartphone. Watch the Olympus video for tips and tricks. 
  • Take chances. Experiment. Have fun!

Alternatives

If considering the Olympus Pen E-PL10 as your next travel companion camera review these alternatives as well.

Olympus-Pen-E-PL9

The Olympus Pen E-PL10, and all 3 alternatives, feature 3-inch display screens, image stabilization, and 16 Megapixel optical resolution. 

The E-M10 Mark II, also manufactured by Olympus, features advanced settings (think “manual mode”) making it a better fit for experienced photographers. 

The Panasonic Lumix GX85 4K boasts similar video resolution to the E-PL10 but boasts a higher 12x optical zoom. However, this camera lacks an LCD viewfinder available in comparable products. Nevertheless, the Panasonic Lumix GX85 4K is considerably more affordable than Olympus cameras discussed.

As previously discussed, the Olympus Pen E-PL9 is virtually identical to the E-PL10. The subtle differences make the E-PL9 a viable contender. 

Conclusion

The E-PL10 has minor enhancements over the E-PL9. Both are sophisticated, compact, and user-friendly.

If the price is no issue, the Olympus Pen E-PL10 is the obvious choice. However, the steep price increase for the latest model does make it difficult to justify the E-PL10 and its few enhancements. 

John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling and photography. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of Micro Four Thirds photography. Discover the advantages of carrying a small yet powerful camera system.

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