Olympus PEN E-PL10 Review

February 10, 2020 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 7Mb.

Olympus’ images tend to err on the side of the naturalistic when it comes to colours – which is fine when there is plenty of blue sky around, but can occasionally make for drab results if not.

Fortunately, when equipped with our fast aperture wide-angle 12mm lens we were able to focus in on detail and create some attractively defocused backgrounds with it, while our also deployed alternative of a 14-42mm zoom, in matching what is supplied with the camera in its bundle deal, is a good ‘catch all’ option.

Being able to zoom in slightly on those occasions when it’s inconvenient or impossible to simply take a few steps forward, is always going to come in useful.

Both lenses deliver plenty of detail – with the 12mm prime, for us, just having a slight edge over the zoom, which is fairly predictable – and most would be hard pressed to tell the difference between results from the E-PL10 and a DSLR, which is a selling point in itself.

For low light work, it’s really only in the top sextet of selectable ISO settings that we’re really beginning to see a degradation in the image. In short, this is a competent, pocket sized image creator with very few shortcomings, given its target market and its price point.

Noise

Like its predecessor, there are nine ISO settings in the E-PL10, with a native ISO 200 to ISO 6400 range that can be extended down to ISO 100 and up to ISO 25,600.

We’ve included 100% crops from identical images that show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEGs on the left and the RAW versions on the right.

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600.jpg iso25600raw.jpg

Flash

As mentioned before, the E-PL10 has a built-in flash, which has a power output of 7.6GN at ISO 200.

Flash Off

flash_wide_off.jpg

Flash On

flash_wide_on.jpg

Flash Off

flash_tele_off.jpg

Flash On

flash_tele_on.jpg
Flash On
flash_on.jpg
Flash Red-eye Reduction
flash_redeye.jpg

Night

Low-light shooters will find the Olympus PEN E-PL10 particularly accommodating. There is a maximum 60 seconds shutter speed, plus Bulb Mode for exposure times up to 30 minutes, with exposure times up to 8 minutes available in the menu. There are also those low light shooting modes, such as Live Composite.

night.jpg

Art Filters

Art Filters have their own place on the shooting mode dial. There are a total of 16 different styles, some of which have up to three options.

ISO 64 ISO 64
ISO 64 ISO 64
ISO 64 ISO 64
ISO 64 ISO 64
ISO 64 ISO 64
ISO 64 ISO 64
ISO 64 ISO 64
ISO 64 ISO 64