Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Review

February 14, 2020 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel Super Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 8Mb.

The Olympus OMD EM1 Mark III produced images of excellent quality during the review period. It produces noise-free images at ISO 64 up to 1600, with limited noise starting to appear at ISO 3200.

ISO 6400 exhibits quite visible noise and loss of fine detail, and the fastest settings of ISO 12800 and 25600 are even noisier but still usable for small prints and web use. The corresponding raw files are inevitably more noisy at lower ISOs.

The image stabilisation system works amazingly well for both stills and video, even when hand-holding the camera at very slow shutter speeds.

The High Res Shot mode can create a 50 megapixel JPEG or an 80 megapixel RAW file, and you can now hand-hold the camera and still get sharp results, although it only really works for non-moving subjects.

The various Art Filters and Picture Styles produce special effects that would otherwise require you to spend a lot of time in the digital darkroom.

Noise

There are 10 ISO settings available on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III. The base sensitivity is ISO 200 but there is an expanded low sensitivity setting equivalent to ISO 64. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and the RAW equivalent on the right.

JPEG RAW

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

iso64.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

File Quality

The file quality settings available on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III include Normal, Fine and Superfine for JPEGs, and you can also shoot in Olympus’s proprietary ORF raw file format.

SuperFine (100% Crop) Fine (100% Crop)
quality_superfine.jpg quality_fine.jpg
Normal (100% Crop) RAW (100% Crop)
quality_normal.jpg quality_raw.jpg

Night

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III offers exposure times as long as 60 second in a metered exposure or up to 30 minutes in bulb mode, which is excellent news for anyone seriously interested in night photography.

Live Bulb mode allows you to view the progression of exposure during a bulb exposure in real-time and a live view histogram shows how the exposure is built-up across all points of the image.

The following image was taken handheld at a shutter speed of 1/60 second, aperture of f/2.8 at ISO 3200.

Night

night.jpg

Image Stabilisation

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III comes with a five-axis sensor-shift image stabilisation (IS) system, which allows you to take sharp hand-held photos at slower shutter speeds than with cameras that lack this feature, up to an incredible 7.5 shutter speed steps of correction.

The following 100% crops are taken from images taken with the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-100mm 1:4.0 IS PRO lens at a shutter speed of 1/15th of a second, with and without IS. The image stabilisation system also works during video capture, producing remarkably steady hand-held footage most of the time.

Focal Length / Shutter Speed

Off (100% Crop)

On (100% Crop)

12mm / 1/15th Second antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
100mm / 1/15th Second antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

High Resolution Shot

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III can create a 50 megapixel JPEG or an 80 megapixel RAW file in the High Resolution Shot mode, achieved by shifting the sensor in half-pixel steps and capturing eight images over a period of one second.

Olympus have added a new handheld High Resolution Shot mode to the E-M1 Mark III, so you no longer have to mount the camera on a tripod or other stable surface to obtain sharp results.

Off (100% Crop) On (100% Crop)
high_res1.jpg high_res1a.jpg
Off (100% Crop) On (100% Crop)
high_res2.jpg high_res2a.jpg

Picture Modes

Olympus' Picture Modes are essentially pre-set combinations of saturation, contrast and sharpness, except for the i-Enhance mode that aims to optimise each photo individually. You can tailor each Picture Mode to your needs.

i-Enhance

Vivid

picture_modes_01.jpg picture_modes_02.jpg

Natural

Muted

picture_modes_03.jpg picture_modes_04.jpg

Portrait

Monochrome

picture_modes_05.jpg picture_modes_06.jpg

Art Filters

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III offers 16 ‘art filters’, which allow you to quickly apply an artistic effect to a photo before taking it.

Pop Art

Soft Focus

art_filters_01.jpg art_filters_02.jpg

Pale&Light Color

Light Tone

art_filters_03.jpg art_filters_04.jpg

Grainy Film

Pin Hole

art_filters_05.jpg art_filters_06.jpg
Diorama Cross Process
art_filters_07.jpg art_filters_08.jpg
Gentle Sepia Dramatic Tone
art_filters_09.jpg art_filters_10.jpg
Key Line Watercolor
art_filters_11.jpg art_filters_12.jpg
Vintage Partial Color
art_filters_13.jpg art_filters_14.jpg
Bleach Bypass Instant Film
art_filters_15.jpg art_filters_16.jpg