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Olympus E-M1 III Review: Fast, But Way Behind Flagship Camera Rivals

JOE KE

March. 11, 2020

Amid the excitement of so many new and interesting camera models, one company has been left out of the discussion: Olympus. Unlike its main rival, Panasonic, it has stuck to the Micro Four Thirds sensor and not jumped on the full-frame bandwagon. And while it released the larger, more professionally oriented E-M1X camera, it didn't represent a major upgrade on the 2016 E-M1 Mark II model.
Now, Olympus finally has a genuine successor. Like the E-M1X, the E-M1 Mark III promises even more speed and top-notch in-body stabilization, this time all packed into a much smaller and even more rugged body.
Disappointingly, though, it has the same 20.4-megapixel sensor as before, and for an $1,800 camera, it's lagging behind rivals from Sony, Panasonic and Fujifilm in certain features. On top of that, Olympus has had a tough time financially of late. I'm in Costa Rica with the E-M1 Mark III, and I'm going to find out if Olympus is doing enough to survive.
Pros
Excellent image stabilization
Fast shooting speeds
Compact weather-proof body
Flip-out screen
Accurate colors
Cons
Mediocre low-light capability
Autofocus can’t keep up to shooting speeds
Sub-par video features
Dated sensor
Summary
Olympus’ latest flagship camera, the O-MD E-M1 Mark III isn’t particularly exciting. It is a bit faster than the last model, and has improved and more versatile autofocus. It also features a class-leading 5-axis image stabilization system that makes handheld photography better. However, the autofocus system doesn’t hold up to rivals, especially Sony, and it’s not great for low-light shooting. It also falls short of similarly-priced rivals like the Panasonic GH5 when it comes to video. While it’s great for wildlife and action photography, for everyone else, there are better cameras out there.
~endgadget
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