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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.

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.

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.

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