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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark 3 The third-generation entry-level OM-D

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Old 13th September 2017
KeithL KeithL is offline
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M10 Mark III review

Have you read the Oly M10 Mk III review in AP or DP Review? Sounds very much as though it's achieved a very neat sideways step. I thought I would read the usual rave review, but no. AP didn't even seem fazed by the price.

Has it reached the point where the magazines would express shock horror if the price DIDN'T go up with a bang every time a new model comes out? On DPR, I saw a bit of surprised comment about it having a plastic body (really?) and the lack of improvement in picture quality due to still having a mere 16 MP sensor. Garish colours when set to iEnhance (Enhance???) didn't go down too well either.

Will we soon see a similar form of update to E-M1 Mk III? E-M5 Mk III? I wouldn't be in the least surprised - and that could see the price for an E-M1 going well over £2000. If Olympus keeps up this game, it could well kill the golden goose. Trusted Reviews said, "Itís designed for budding photographers who want to take a step up from their smartphone camera" At that price, it's one helluva step up from most smartphones, unless you are a very top end phone addict!
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Old 13th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

The Mk III is one big yawn as far as I am concerned, a rather weak excuse to put the price up.
The next one due an update is the E-M5 so I await that one with some trepidation now.
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Old 13th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

When comparing the price of the MKIII with the MKII you have to take into account that due to the dreaded Brexit the exchange rate for Sterling has gone down the tubes.

When I bought my MKII in Sept 2015 it was £549, body only. The MKIII is £630 body only. So, two years on plus the exchange rate crash the price is £81 higher (14.75%). Not sure that there is a "weak excuse" to put the price up, just economic reality and the consequences of asking the electorate an over simplified question and getting the wrong answer.
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Old 13th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

OK I stand corrected on the price increase The worrying thing is that Brexit has not really hit yet.
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Old 13th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

Seems to me that the E-M10iii is a backward step for anyone who has "real photographer" pretensions. Dumbed down features via firmware. Sad...
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Old 14th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

Discussing exposure with Steve Ricoh over on "Looking for Improvement", I made a similar point. Have a careful listen to DAB radios, and compare with good quality FM; the digital processing for most DAB radios that I've heard is odd. When they are combined with a CD player, the digital processing is shared, and the CD sound is also odd. I bought a new 'hifi' a bit ago with DAB; and I've given up on it, and bought myself a second hand system without DAB that is about 15 years old. There is just no comparison in sound quality.

I think the same thing is at play with cameras. The designers/developers are so besotted with the notion of giving us load of bells and whistles that we're never going to use - but add "showroom appeal" - that they quality of the processing engine is compromised. Maybe even compromised IN ORDER to give us those bells and whistles in some cases.

Regardless of Brexit (and I agree with the sentiments here) camera makers have relentlessly jacked up prices for some time now for new models that offer little more than those they replace. There is an impact due to currency movements, not so much against the dollar or Euro, but against the Yen and Rinminbi. And the costs of Japanese makers have gone up due to storms, tsunamis, and other disasters, and of course they want to recoup their losses.

I would love to see a camera that left out most of the bells and whistles, let you pick what software add-ons you wanted later, but concentrated instead on producing truly optimized sensor and processing engine. OOPS - was that a striped pig flying past out there...?
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Old 14th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

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Originally Posted by PeterBirder View Post
When I bought my MKII in Sept 2015 it was £549, body only. The MKIII is £630 body only.r.
I didn't realise that the M10 Mk II cost that much. I thought the Mk I was about £449 body only?
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Old 14th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

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Discussing exposure with Steve Ricoh over on "Looking for Improvement", I made a similar point. Have a careful listen to DAB radios, and compare with good quality FM; the digital processing for most DAB radios that I've heard is odd.
I agree with you, but that's not the problem of the DAB technology per se. The problem is that the broadcasters, showing disdain for the ability of their listeners to tell the difference, compress the data streams beyond the point of maintaining top audio quality. I suppose the rationale is to fit more channels into the bandwidth. High bit rate DAB is just as good as analogue FM in terms of dynamic range and sound resolution. It also avoids the problems of background hiss and other interference.
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Old 14th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

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I agree with you, but that's not the problem of the DAB technology per se. The problem is that the broadcasters, showing disdain for the ability of their listeners to tell the difference, compress the data streams beyond the point of maintaining top audio quality. I suppose the rationale is to fit more channels into the bandwidth. High bit rate DAB is just as good as analogue FM in terms of dynamic range and sound resolution. It also avoids the problems of background hiss and other interference.
When the sound has over boosted high frequencies, weak bass and poor mid tones, that has to be due to processing. Obviously not the basic DAB technology, but digital technology gives designers/developers the chance to indulge their own fantasies/likes and dislikes rather than producing genuinely good quality sound. The only way i could get half reasonable sound from the 'hifi' that I bought was to set the tone to "flat" (which it can't have been!) and boost the bass as much as it would go. I suppose the tonality suited a lot of today's pop music, but not much else.

Good FM shouldn't have any background noise or interference problems; and, like digital TV, if there is signal dropout, or some form of excessive noise, you lose blocks of picture or sound, rather than a relatively smooth increase in noise. Which is actually much more noticeable than an increase in analogue noise. At certain times of year or with certain weather conditions, we often lose big chunks of picture, and sometimes sound as well (with a huge squawk as it goes), on some TV channels - and we're only half a mile from the antenna!

One thing I do notice, however, is the poor sound quality on not just TV but also DVDs these days. I think your comment fits well with that! I guess with DVDs, the makers try to fit too much onto a DVD, and the sound has to suffer. We have Village Cinema; that uses commercial DVDs, and we have given up going to it, because we couldn't make out what the actors were saying. It wasn't BBC-style mumbling, simply that the sound was "minced"; and we've had the same problem on some commercial DVDs that we have bought ourselves.
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Old 16th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

The price hike doesn't surprise me it all. The cost of importing stuff as gone up.
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Old 17th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

DAB is ancient technology now, it still uses mp2 compression. I have given up on it for hi-fi, only Radio 3 has anything like a decent bit rate but listen to some (for example) complex choral music and compared to FM it's just a confused mush. I bought a decent quality DAB tuner early on (a PURE DRX601) but the fact that these fetch virtually nothing on eBay now suggests nobody is interested in them any more. Radio 3 sound via digital TV sounds a lot better to me than DAB.

Now "BBC Concert Sound" via the Internet, that was a different matter. The audio stream straight from the Beeb's sound desk broadcast as uncompressed FLAC. A pity it was just an experiment and no longer broadcast.

Compressing audio streams is akin to compressing pictures using jpg, the more compression the worse the result. Many DAB stations are squeezed so much that AM would probably sound better! Fine for listening via a phone's own speaker but don't put them anywhere near a decent hi-fi system. It's the same with many of the more obscure digital tv channels, their picture and sound quality are very poor compared to the main channels.
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Re: M10 Mark III review

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DAB is ancient technology now, it still uses mp2 compression. I have given up on it for hi-fi, only Radio 3 has anything like a decent bit rate but listen to some (for example) complex choral music and compared to FM it's just a confused mush. I bought a decent quality DAB tuner early on (a PURE DRX601) but the fact that these fetch virtually nothing on eBay now suggests nobody is interested in them any more. Radio 3 sound via digital TV sounds a lot better to me than DAB.

Now "BBC Concert Sound" via the Internet, that was a different matter. The audio stream straight from the Beeb's sound desk broadcast as uncompressed FLAC. A pity it was just an experiment and no longer broadcast.

Compressing audio streams is akin to compressing pictures using jpg, the more compression the worse the result. Many DAB stations are squeezed so much that AM would probably sound better! Fine for listening via a phone's own speaker but don't put them anywhere near a decent hi-fi system. It's the same with many of the more obscure digital tv channels, their picture and sound quality are very poor compared to the main channels.
That's a very good post - thanks. I assumed that the relatively poor DAB quality I've heard was down to over compression. I had noticed that Radio 3 was seemingly alone in using a decent bit rate, but TBH, I don't listen to it enough to know whether it's delivering compared to FM.

Where are we now with plans to retire FM? They was a plan in the late "noughties" to turn it off but I think that's been shelved. Given the aged nature of DAB, maybe the idea will be dropped entirely?
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Re: M10 Mark III review

If I remember correctly when DAB was launched Radio 3 was 256kb/s but has now dropped to 192kb/s. Radio 3's "HD Sound" via the Internet is (I think) 320kb/s AAC; AAC is a much more efficient compression algorithm which uses about half the number of bits.

Before FM can be switched off DAB will have to improve its coverage significantly. My car has a DAB receiver which doesn't work at all here in Wensleydale. From Leyburn east it does, but there are still dropouts. In parts of Europe there is DAB+ which is a newer and better system but not compatible. As usual we Brits do it first and then the rest of the world improves on it, which is why we're stuck with seven foot canals and a smaller loading gauge on our railways!
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Old 17th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

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Originally Posted by Otto View Post
If I remember correctly when DAB was launched Radio 3 was 256kb/s but has now dropped to 192kb/s. Radio 3's "HD Sound" via the Internet is (I think) 320kb/s AAC; AAC is a much more efficient compression algorithm which uses about half the number of bits.

Before FM can be switched off DAB will have to improve its coverage significantly. My car has a DAB receiver which doesn't work at all here in Wensleydale. From Leyburn east it does, but there are still dropouts. In parts of Europe there is DAB+ which is a newer and better system but not compatible. As usual we Brits do it first and then the rest of the world improves on it, which is why we're stuck with seven foot canals and a smaller loading gauge on our railways!
Yes, we have DAB+, but reception is only good on ideal days in the outer reaches of metropolitan Sydney (& due to the terrain of the Blue Mountains) so I get it OK on some days & other days with dropouts. In the inner suburbs it should be good.
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Old 17th September 2017
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Re: M10 Mark III review

The comments fit with what I've noticed. I have a DAB radio in my car, and music sounds reasonably OK, not bad tonality; but when the news comes on, the speech is poor quality, and I have to turn it up to hear it properly. (Suffice it to say that when Don Williams' demise was reported, I thought the news reader on Classic FM - on DAB - said Shirley Williams!)

We seem very good at taking a forward step in a very backwards manner! The irritating thing so far as hifi is concerned though is that, if you look at hifi system pricing now, there are either cheap systems that give poor sound quality or else very expensive systems; the mid-range, decent quality systems of a decade ago don't seem to be around any more. (Except s/hand.)

The comment about bit rate fits with poor sound quality on DVDs, too. Some years ago, if you bought a film on DVD, it was often on two discs; now it is always on one, regardless of film length. Since picture quality has supposedly improved (and this applies to Blu-Ray discs too) fitting it on one disc almost certainly results in reduced bit rate - or greater compression - for sound. When we watched "Captain Phillips" on Village Cinema, we could only make out the speech properly when the sub titles were on!

I'm wondering if this is a factor on the frequently reported issue of the "BBC mumble" on a lot of new series on TV? Would make sense! (Although, I have to say, "Spies of Warsaw", a very good drama, had speech drowned out with music for most of its length - another irritating 'feature' of dramas lately!)
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