It's been more than two years since Olympus unveiled its OM-D E-M5, but that camera's retro-inspired design is clearly here to stay. The latest model in the series, the E-M10, is priced more like a step-up camera than a flagship, but it hardly skimps on features, with the same 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor and classic good looks as 2012's flavor. There's also a very nice collapsable 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens with an integrated cap, a sharp 3-inch tilting touchscreen, an integrated 1.44-megapixel EVF and built-in WiFi with a unique QR-code interface for easy pairing with the Olympus Image Share companion app. You also get an 8 fps (single autofocus) burst mode, 1080/30p video shooting, a 25,600 top ISO and 3-axis sensor-shift image stabilization (down from the 5-axis version included with the E-M5).
We had quite a bit of fun shooting at Olympus' CP+ booth, where models and large floral displays joined forces to pose for a dozen or so E-M10s. The camera's control layout and functionality is very similar to what we experienced with the E-M5, and the device performed well, with the speedy focusing we've come to expect from Olympus. We especially liked the collapsable power-zoom lens, which nearly triples in size once you power on the camera to provide a healthy zoom range with quick and consistent performance. The E-M10 seems like a great option for photographers that don't already own on OM-D, but with specs similar to the E-M5, there's not much incentive to upgrade. Additionally, we'd suggest considering the Sony A6000 as well, which is priced identically at $800 with a lens, yet offers a larger, high-resolution sensor and generally higher specifications. The E-M10 will arrive within a week or two, however, while the Alpha will ship in April, so if you need a new camera now, that's worth noting, too.