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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III bets on a new newbie interface

The update to the Mark II has some design tweaks, but the biggest change is a move away from its odd "easy" operating mode.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin

Olympus' followup to its excellent OM-D E-M10 Mark II, a mirrorless model for newbies who want a viewfinder, is more of a Mark II-plus than a Mark III. There are a few tweaks to the design and a new effects filter, but the biggest change is the updated interface for beginners -- intended to be easier to use than the old supposedly easier-to-use interface.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is slated to ship at the end of September in a body-only version for $650 and with a kit including the 14-42mm EZ lens for $800. I don't have UK or Australian pricing, but those directly convert to about £500/£620 and AU$820/AU$1,010.

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Olympus' step-up camera's interface now looks and operates similarly to most of its competitors. It's a nice switch from the old interface, with its multiple slide-out panels and cryptic icons. I could never really get the hang of it.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Thanks to an update to a more recent version of Olympus' processing engine, there are minor improvements in performance, such as an increase from 4 to 4.8fps in continuous shooting with autofocus, a higher ISO sensitivity available when using auto ISO and improved autofocus.

For ease of use, Olympus has broken out some of the less frequently used modes into a new Advanced Photo mode and revamped the basic interface so that it now looks like the guided-by-pictures type that's used by most entry-level cameras these days. Sadly, I think the most welcome change after the grip is the addition of a shortcut button, which takes you back up a level in the menu system when you're in the settings.