Olympus cameras are taking the world by a storm with their excellent image stabilization and focus. They might not look as sophisticated as your DSLR, but when it comes to taking high-resolution photos with an impeccable color rendition, mirrorless cameras rise to the occasion.
Choosing the best Olympus camera is a bit difficult because each of them excels in something extraordinary. We're talking about sparkling cityscapes and starry nights, wildlife photography, portraits, and more. These wonderful micro four-thirds open doors for you to shoot 4K videos without the hassle of stabilizing rigs.
Now, let's get on with our Olympus camera reviews!
Table of Contents
TL;DR – Top 3 Olympus Cameras
Here, you will find five terrific four-thirds by Olympus and us telling you what we think about them!
1. Olympus Tough TG-6
Securing a 15-meter waterproof rating and a high-resolution F2.0 lens, the Olympus TG-6 is the best camera for our extreme backpackers, wildlife, and underwater photographers alike.
Olympus sure went the extra mile to make the TG-6 as sturdy as possible. At the same time, it's brilliantly shockproof up to 2.1 meters, crushproof under 100kgf, and freezeproof up to 14 degrees in the winter.
The anti-fog feature makes certain that the back-illuminated CMOS image sensor is working fine in demanding weather conditions.
This camera supports five underwater shooting modes alongside four macro shooting modes to give you the best of both worlds. Now, you can capture stellar 4k movies on a lightweight travel camera like the TG-6. Recording full HD, 120-fps videos will feel the best.
Thanks to its crazy photo stabilization and phase detection quality, shooting clear clips of subjects in motion has never felt better.
Additionally, its point-and-shoot technique locks a fast-moving subject in focus and keeps background noise to a minimum to match the ways of professional cinematography.
Its wide-angle lens, coupled with a high-speed sensor, grabs a lot of detail in videos that were previously impossible with a DSLR. If you have always wanted to feel the finesse of macro photography, you are going to love its dedicated Microscope Control Mode.
It allows you to magnify the scene up to 44 times. Even when you are on the basic Program or Aperture mode, you can shoot tantalizing stills from only a 1 cm. distance.
Olympus Tough TG-6
2. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV
If you’re anything like us, taking selfies with the Trevi Fountain in the background feels like a dream not only because we can't afford a trip to Rome right now, but also because the best selfie camera is incredibly hard to find.
In that case, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV features a flip-down display and a Selfie mode, which you should definitely try out once in your life.
One of the top-selling points of micro four-thirds is that they produce unmatched clarity and image quality. The Mark IV is no exception; it has a 3-inch touch-screen interface with a brilliant control panel to help your photography reach sublimity.
It offers a 4.5 shutter speed, steps of compensation. The camera includes an Instant Film feature for a vintage feel.
Additionally, it has sixteen shooting modes for indoors, close-ups, people, motion, scenery, and nightscape. The Scenery option, however, is a treat within itself. It optimizes the camera controls matching the scene sensor and the subject.
Just because "scenery" might give the notion that you're shooting dandelions in bright daylight, you have no reason to think that the Olympus Mark IV will slump the shutter speed and augment the f-stops for a tragically washed-out sunset. It still is one of the most brilliant and well-stabilized four thirds we have used to date.
The built-in image stabilization process of the Olympus Mark IV left no stone unturned to deliver clear shots in motion. We rarely get this stable performance from standalone, handheld systems.
It beautifully captures 15 frames a second for the best quality videos. The camera shoots authentic 4K videos and offers you always-on Bluetooth connection to your smartphone or laptop.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV
3. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
When was the last time you took an immaculate, long exposure shot of a cityscape at night without having to worry about overexposure? With the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III, you have the opportunity to shoot in diverse light conditions for flawless photographs every time.
For starters, the Olympus Mark III features three modes- Live Time, Live Composite, and Live Bulb for long-exposure shots. It also features a brand-new face priority and eye priority autofocus as a whole. Needless to say, it helps you take exceptional, studio-quality portraits with ground-breaking detail.
What we liked about the Olympus Mark III is its AF Target Modes. The six modes allow you to try nature and portrait photography at their finest. From single to a 121-point focus, its precision targeting is a rarity, and very few micro four thirds in the world have achieved this amount of finesse for the price.
The background and foreground will be subtly out of focus on these dedicated modes to bring out the colors of your still/ in-motion subject.
If astrophotography is something you have been meaning to try, consider the E-M1 Mark III the best lens camera for shooting the Milky Way and starry skies. It comes with a dedicated Starry Sky Auto Focus mode for acing the highlights and shadows.
The kit lens, obviously, has its limitations in magnifying the night sky. Even so, you have nothing to worry about. Olympus flaunts a premium assortment of M. Zuiko lenses to try out for every photography genre.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
4. Olympus OM-D E-M1X
When pinpoint clarity is desired, an Olympus camera is a foolproof way of perfecting your shots for the better. The OM-D E-M1X is a great one for outdoor photography, especially when it's half the size of a corresponding DSLR; carrying it to places is never a problem.
First of all, the E-M1X is not going to blur your shots in any way. In fact, this mirrorless cam is so well-known that any professional photographer you know has either tried it themselves or heard of it.
Its high-speed composition allows you to take multiple shots in one second for a super hi-res 50 Megapixel shot. You can preview the effects in the viewfinder before pressing the shutter. Thanks to its Live ND mode, you no longer require ND filters to modify color wavelengths in your shots.
Usually, when you are using long shutter speeds for nature photography, the excess light can wash out the colors, and it's no news. That is why photographers cannot do without ND filters for their cameras. But the OM-D E-M1X requires no such thing and still produces high-quality images with superior color rendition just the same.
The in-camera focusing of this Olympus camera is the best in every way. Apart from capturing fascinating 4K videos from all angles, it helps you take professional macro shots with different focus points and a large depth of field as well.
And finally, the Pro Capture Mode enables you to capture a final, full-resolution photo with the previous 35 frames for a dramatic effect.
Olympus OM-D E-M1X
5. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 shows you what heights handheld photography can go in terms of clarity, focus, and sequential shooting. You can now capture super telephotos with your camera without setting up an intrusive tripod in your way.
If you think about it, the E-M5 not only increases your mobility with the camera but also improves your chances at rare, phenomenal shots.
For example, it has a Pro Capture Mode, as seen in the more advanced Olympus E-M1X. It enables you to capture split-second action since you can pull the previous 14 frames in a single shot on this mode.
Featuring a super-fast 1/8000 second mechanical shutter, the E-M5 is able to shoot brilliant shallow-depth-of-field photographs. It is, without a speck of doubt, one of the best four-thirds we got our hands on.
For sure, we have seen the E-M1 Mark III with its Face and Eye Priority Auto Focus. But the E-M5 comes at a price that is quite hard to beat.
The good news is, you can pair your Olympus E-M5 with any of their Sync IS lenses. They can offer you insane 6.5 shutter steps of compensation for a pristine motion picture recording. Camera shaking is generously compensated with its powerful stabilization.
And lastly, its 121-point cross-type phase-detection autofocus ensures flawless subject tracking with glorious precision. It helps you cover live sports events to animal chases in the wilderness.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
What to Look for Before You Buy
Olympus camera systems are one of the best at this moment in time. There are very few cutting-edge DSLR cameras that can compete with an Olympus.
The fact that these super-lightweight cams are mirrorless always keeps Olympus one step ahead in the battle of the bests. That brings us to our question- "What makes an Olympus camera the best?"
In our detailed buying guide below, we will try to answer this question in a few categories. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will know exactly what to look for in a mirrorless camera according to your photography niche and style.
4K Video Shooting
Who could have thought about shooting 4K videos in a handheld camera system, that too in a one-pound structure? Olympus has been making headway in the latest mirrorless camera technology, and we couldn’t be happier.
Take the Olympus OM-D E-M10 for example. It helps you shoot your videos in a powerful 4K video resolution even when you’re walking.
Then there's the high bit-rate recording option under the "Pro Video" name. It offers you the best 4K and C4K resolution results using nothing else but your camera. All Olympus four-thirds are equipped with an awesome phase detection feature. It locks on your moving subject fast and renders high-resolution clips only.
Shaky hands, bumpy roads, or simply shooting from a moving vehicle will no longer affect your videos as much. Olympus cameras are built with a 5- Axis Stabilization process and shot mode sensors. It will help you master sharp telephotos with the best clarity and resolution.
Moreover, there are multiple Photo Modes that allow you to calibrate the camera controls according to your scene. For amateur photographers, it helps a great deal to stabilize exposure and color rendition on-camera.
What the Olympus 5-Axis Stabilization basically does is provide up to 7.5 shutter speed, steps of compensation, which is the finest to date.
Olympus cameras, as lightweight as they are, have the best-in-class weather sealing for the rough outdoors. No matter what brand mirrorless cam you have your eyes on at the moment, make sure that it is at least 14°D freezeproof and has an IPX1 weatherproof rating.
The Olympus Tough TG-6 has excellent 15-meter waterproofing, making it the best mirrorless camera for underwater photoshoots.
Phase & Contrast Detection Auto Focus
What sets the mighty four-thirds apart from DSLRs is their top-notch phase-detection autofocusing, or, in simple words, their AF system. Apart from the weight, this is where DSLR cameras take a serious hit.
Luckily for you, Olympus cameras use easy targeting options such as 5-point or 9-point and cluster targeting. They are also equipped with Contrast Detection autofocus, which is similar to DSLRs. We specifically like the OM-D E-M1 for portraits because of its face and eye priority autofocus.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Olympus mirrorless cameras good?
It depends on your preference, usage, and choice. Olympus mirrorless devices are, in general, much lighter than similar cameras, they’re compact and portable as well.
So, if you’re a videographer and need to cover many areas, these can be a good option for you. But they don’t have as many lenses as the DSLRs. If you want it just for videography, Olympus mirrorless ones can be of help.
Can you do underwater photography with a mirrorless camera?
One of the best features of four-thirds is that they have acquired a balance of quality and practicality and a brilliant autofocus system. They’re more compact and lightweight than other types of cameras.
When you’re diving underwater, you’re already filled with a good lot of accessories, so a portable mirrorless camera would be the perfect fit to do underwater photography.
What makes micro four-thirds so good?
In the era of efficiency, even something as artistic as photography has become highly commercial. Gone are the days when you sit for hours to take that one perfect shot- this new age is for cameras that can click as many photos as possible within a short span of time with the highest image quality.
This is what makes four-thirds an excellent option. Higher shutter speed, compatibility, portability, and efficiency make it an excellent option.
Which Olympus camera is the best for nature photography?
Without a single doubt, the Olympus tough TG-6 wins the race for us. It’s waterproof, efficient, and mobile; it’s everything a nature photographer needs in a mirrorless camera.
With a variable macro system and five different settings underwater, there are simply no better options to capture the beauty of nature than this one.
Can micro four-thirds shoot 4K?
While the early four-thirds had an issue with 4K resolutions, many of the top micro four-thirds have adapted and improvised to support 4K video resolution, that too at 60 FPS. A few high-quality cameras on-site are trying to go beyond 60 FPS, but it’s safe to say that the most common 4K supported four-thirds support up to 30 FPS.
The debate on whether mirrorless cameras are better than DSLRs will go on for a while. But from what we have seen, the best Olympus camera has all the features to take your photography to new heights and introduce you to the comfort of handheld 4K shooting.