Looking for the best Olympus camera? Here are our picks, including both older Olympus cameras and newer models released under OM System.

We’re here to help you find the best Olympus camera to buy – and that includes OM System cameras too! If you don’t follow photo news as religiously as we do (fair), you may not have been aware that Olympus sold its imaging division to OM Digital Solutions in 2021, resulting in a reinvention of the brand as ‘OM System’. There are two new cameras in the system, based on older Olympus models. And don’t worry – they still use the Micro Four Thirds lens mount, so will all take the same lenses.

OM System cameras also owe a great debt to their Olympus forebears too – the OM-5 even uses the same menu system as the older models. Olympus-branded cameras are also plentifully available to buy, and many of them are some of our favourites – so don’t feel beholden to the newer models. Our top ten list of the best Olympus cameras contains plenty from the old guard, including some that are sold for bargain prices on the second-hand market.

Not sure how to go about picking the best Olympus camera for you? Before we get into it, let’s quickly run through the key features you’ll want to look out for.

How to choose the best Olympus camera

When choosing the best Olympus camera or OM-System camera (from here we’ll just use Olympus for simplicity), you are generally choosing a Micro Four Thirds mirrorless option. There is one exception to this rule, which we’ll get to, but first, what do we mean by Micro Four Thirds mirrorless?

A Micro Four Thirds camera uses a sensor that measures 17.3mm x 13mm and produces images with a 4:3 aspect ratio. This is a smaller sensor size than full-frame (36mm x 24mm) or APS-C (23.6mm x 15.7mm). This means there’s a limit on how much resolution the sensor can effectively handle without images becoming too noisy, and also has an impact on dynamic range.

So why would one choose a Micro Four Thirds sensor? Well, for one, a physically smaller sensor means a physically smaller camera body. For two, the sensor incurs a 2x crop factor, meaning it effectively doubles the focal length of a lens attached to it. A 100mm lens mounted to an MFT camera behaves like a 200mm lens, while being both smaller and more affordable. And, for three, the Micro Four Thirds system is a co-op between Olympus and Panasonic, meaning cameras and lenses from both brands work interchangeably with each other.

Olympus has evolved a few distinct lines of digital mirrorless cameras. The OM-D series includes the beginner-friendly E-M10 cameras, as well a the more advanced E-M1 and E-M5 cameras designed for enthusiasts and professionals. There’s also the PEN series of slim, fashionable mirrorless cameras for more casual users. Under the OM-System name, there’s the OM-1, which is probably the best Micro Four Thirds camera ever made. And finally – remember that exception to the rule we mentioned? Olympus also has its Tough TG line of waterproof compact cameras, the latest of which is the excellent Tough TG-6.

Every one of these cameras has its own advantages and disadvantages, and will be well-suited to a different user. We’ll be guiding you through them all as we count off the ten best. And once you’ve picked your camera, don’t miss our guides to the best Micro Four Thirds lenses and best Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses.

So now, let’s get started with the best Olympus and OM-System cameras you can buy, for all users and budgets

1. OM System Olympus OM-1

OM System Olympus OM-1 in hand

The OM System Olympus OM-1 – our pick of the best Olympus cameras out there. Credit: Joshua Waller

At a glance:  

  • 20MP Four Thirds Stacked BSI Live MOS sensor
  • 50fps with C-AF, up to 120fps fixed AF
  • ISO80 – ISO102400 (extended)
  • 1053-point AI detect Quad Pixel AF
  • 76m-dot electronic viewfinder, 1.65/0.825x magnification
  • 62m-dot 3in vari-angle touchscreen
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation (upto 8EV)
  • IP53 rating with specific lenses
  • Price £1,999 / $2,199

How much do we love the OM-System OM-1? Well, first we gave it the full five stars in our review. We came away from our time with this camera seriously impressed, praising its super-fast shooting speeds and sophisticated AF enabled by its new BSI stacked live MOS sensor. Absolutely packed with features, this camera had a lot to live up to given that it was the first representative of the new OM-System range, following the sale of Olympus to OM Digital Solutions. It passed with flying colours.

We then wanted to see how the OM-1 would cope with high-speed bird photography and getting bird-in-flight images, so we took it out for a bird photography field test with wildlife photographer Tesni Ward. The camera performed extremely well, with the blackout-free burst shooting making it easy to get super-sharp images of fleeting moments. Then there’s the weatherproofing, the superb image quality, the high-resolution viewfinder… we could go on. Suffice to say, the OM-1 is not just the best ‘Olympus’ camera, but is possibly the best Micro Four Thirds camera ever made.


  • Incredible burst capabilities
  • Streamlined handling
  • IP53 weather-rating


  • Menus not touch sensitive

Best for: Professional photographers, wildlife, and high-speed shooting

We gave the OM System Olympus OM-1 5 Stars – read our review

OM System OM-5

OM System OM-5 with 45mm f1.8 lens, photo: Joshua Waller

OM System OM-5 with 45mm f1.8 lens. Photo credit: Joshua Waller

At a glance:

  • 20.4MP Four Thirds sensor
  • ISO 200-6400 (extended: L64-25600)
  • 30fps shooting
  • 4K 30p video
  • 2.36m-dot EVF
  • 3in, 1.04m-dot vari-angle LCD
  • Price: £1,199 / $1,199

After the success of the ‘Olympus’ OM-1, the OM SYSTEM OM-5 represented the difficult second album. The revitalised brand had shown promise under its new hands, but consistency would be the key to seeing if there was a long-term future. Fears proved unfounded – the OM System OM-5 has turned out to be a delight and triumph. As a replacement for the E-M5 series, it represents the middle of the range, and so delivers a lightweight build with high-speed shooting, and comes at a significantly lower price than the OM-1.

One key advantage the OM-5 brings compared to the previous E-M5 cameras is its significantly improved weather-sealing. The OM-5 is IP53 rated, and is the most affordable camera with that rating currently available. It means you can venture fearlessly into nature without worrying about a sudden downpour ruining your camera. Image quality is terrific too, with the OM-5 producing great-looking JPEGs that need minimal editing to look fantastic – perfect for those who’d rather be behind a camera than in front of a computer.

We do wish OM System could have found room to include the newer style of menus brought in with the OM-1, rather than relying on the old Olympus menu system, in which features can often be maddeningly difficult to find. Softening the blow a little is the MyMenu section, which does make it easier to jump to your preferred functions.

Fast, high-quality and robust, the OM System OM-5 heralds great things for the future of the brand, and injects some real life into the Micro Four Thirds system. We’re huge fans, and gave it the full five stars in our review.


  • Robust, IP53 weather sealing
  • Exceptionally good stabilisation
  • Terrific JPEG output


  • Uses old-style Olympus menus
  • Buffer fills up fast at 30fps

Read our full review of the OM SYSTEM OM-5

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with a rugged weather-sealed body. Credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:  

  • 20.4MP Four Thirds Live MOS sensor
  • 2.36M-dot EVF
  • 121-point phase detection AF
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation
  • Movie 4K
  • 18fps shooting with C-AF
  • ISO 64-25,600 (extended)
  • Weight: 504g
  • Price £1,349 / $1,599

Released in February 2020 the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III upgraded the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II that was released three years prior. At first glance we found the Mark III to look very similar to its predecessor but with the welcome addition of a joystick for selecting the AF area.

The biggest upgrade though was inside because the E-M1 Mark III debuted a new processor, the TruePic IX. This new processor allowed features from the E-M1X, including LiveND that mimics the effect of neutral density filters up to 5 stops, and a hand-held high-resolution multi-shot mode that outputs 50MP images. Essentially the E-M1 Mark III was the camera the E-M1X should have been all along!

Other impressive features the E-M1 Mark III includes are a 4K movie shooting mode, 121-point  superfast phase detection AF and an incredibly effective 5-axis in-body stabilisation. For those photographers whose profession takes them out and about such as wildlife and sport we also found the sturdy extensive weather sealed body to live up to its promise.


  • Good control layout with AF joystick
  • Effective in-body stabilisation
  • Loads of shooting options


  • Menus can be hard to navigate
  • Relatively low resolution viewfinder

Best for: Wildlife and sports photographers

Read our review of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M1X

Olympus OM-D E-M1X

Olympus OM-D E-M1X – you’ll need to hunt around for this model on the second-hand market. Credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:  

  • 20.4MP Four Thirds MOS sensor
  • 121-point phase-detection AF
  • 15fps shooting (10fps with C-AF)
  • 36m-dot EVF, 0.83x magnification
  • 3-in fully-articulated touchscreen
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation
  • Weight: 997g (with batteries and cards)
  • Price £1,499 / $1899

Announced back in January 2019 the Olympus OM-D E-M1X was well received and included some great specs and influential technology, however since its launch other Olympus cameras (such as the E-M1 Mark III) have outperformed the E-M1X pushing it down the pecking order.

On the plus side we found this camera to support a huge range of useful additional photographic features like its in-body stabilisation (up to 7.5 stops), support an efficient continuous autofocus and subject detection mode, and put out excellent JPEGs that are accurate in colour exposure. However on the down side the lower ISO range compared to its peers was disappointing as well as its bulky and heavier body build compared with other Micro Four Thirds cameras in the Olympus range.

If you have a shop around on the second hand market you can pick up a model in good condition for around £750 or a reconditioned one directly from Olympus for £1,049 saving you a few quid.


  • Very effective stabilisation
  • Attractive, colour-accurate JPEGs
  • Available at a good price second-hand


  • Big for MFT
  • Expensive when new

Best for: Second hand buyers

Our review of the Olympus OM-D E-M1X.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III – a perfect option for those after lightweight camera. Credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance: 

  • 20.4MP Four Thirds sensor
  • 121-point phase detection autofocus
  • 10fps shooting with continuous AF
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation
  • ISO sensitivity (extended): 64-25,600
  • Cinema 4K video recording
  • Weight: 414g
  • Price £1,049 / $999 body only

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is another 5 star AP awarded camera that houses some impressive features. These include its small and lightweight body build that is also weather sealed, 121 AF point phase detection that we found to perform quickly and accurately, and its effective 5 -axis in-body stabilisation that delivers sharper images when hand-held. This means you can reduce the shutter speed to a lower setting compared with previous models rather than pushing up the ISO and risking more noise.

If you like the sound of a camera that’s small, handles well and gives attractive images, and works out as excellent value for money, then the E-M5 MK III should certainly be high on your shortlist. Paired with a compact Micro Four Thirds lens, you have a great travel system.


  • Lightweight build
  • Good weather-sealing
  • Very effective stabilisation


  • No AF-point joystick
  • Small grip won’t suit everyone

Best for: Travel, enthusiasts and hobbyists photographers

Read our review of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV – a great option for beginners. Credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:  

  • 20MP Four Thirds sensor
  • ISO 200-6400, ISO 80-25,600 (extended)
  • Up to 15 frames per second shooting
  • 121-point contrast-detect AF
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation
  • 4K video
  • Price £649 / $699

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV sits at the entry point level of the OM-D range and in our review we found it to be ideally suited to photographers who are just starting out and want to build upon their skill set.

The camera comes with plenty to offer including an upgraded 20MP Four Thirds sensor from its 16MP predecessor – the E-M10 Mark III. The image quality produced from the E-M10 MK IV got a good 4 stars and the ISO test results up to 6400 were usable. Other upgrades from the MK III included the screen flipping down to face forwards beneath the camera for selfies, and an improved handgrip, faster continuous shooting, and built-in Bluetooth to provide easier smartphone connectivity.

In terms of value for money this camera is one of the best for budding photographers and one of our favourite entry level cameras available on the market, especially if you’re looking for a compact mirrorless camera.


  • Optimised for beginners
  • Front-facing screen option
  • Well-made handgrip


  • Flip-screen doesn’t work with tripod
  • No mic socket

Best for: budding and emerging photographers

An almost perfect score – read our opinion on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

Olympus PEN E-P7

Olympus PEN E-P7

Olympus PEN E-P7 – a great choice for selfie addicts, thanks to its 3-inch tilting touchscreen. Credit: Joshua Waller

At a glance:  

  • 20.3MP Four Thirds Live MOS Sensor
  • ISO 100 – ISO 25600 (extended)
  • Up to 15fps with electronic shutter
  • 3inch 1037K-dot, tilting touchscreen
  • 4K UHD 30, 25, 24fps video recording
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation
  • Price £749 / $649 with lens

Like any camera from the PEN collection the Olympus PEN E-P7 is a stylish and attractive model that comes in a lightweight and compact body weighing a mere 337g. This camera however was noticeable as it was the first to be launched under OM Digital Solutions Corporation.

The E-P7 includes some impressive specs such as its 20MP Four Thirds sensor, 4K video recording, and a wealth of manual and advanced shooting modes. Its tilting 3 inch touchscreen can also be used as a selfie screen, plus a new colour/monochrome profile switch on the front is a nice touch.

We found this particular model to be a little overpriced compared with market rivals and disappointingly the body build was not as sturdy as we would have liked meaning the camera dropped down to an overall 4 stars. We were however impressed by the pleasing image quality, and dual control dials meaning for those who want to use manual controls they can do so.


  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Very good image quality
  • Physical control dials


  • Body build a little flimsy
  • Expensive asking price (try second-hand)

Best for: Beginners

Olympus PEN E-P7 in-depth review

Olympus PEN E-PL10

Olympus PEN E-PL10

The Olympus PEN E-PL10, a slim choice for travelling light.

At a glance: 

  • 20.1 MP Four Thirds Live MOS sensor
  • ISO LOW – 25600 in 1/3 or 1 EV ISO steps
  • Tiltable LCD Touch Panel
  • Video: Up to 4K resolution
  • Price: kits from £649 / $649

The Olympus PEN E-PL10 has been designed very much with the amateur photographer in mind. It comes with lots of beginner friendly shooting modes as well as advanced helpful features like in-body image stabilisation and in-camera Raw editing. This camera also includes a silent shooting mode, tiltable LCD screen and 4K movie quality making it a desirable choice.

The Olympus E-PL10 is the upgrade to the E-PL9 and in all honesty there is little to distinguish the two although the image processor has been swapped to the faster TruePic VIII, which is found in many of Olympus higher end models. If you’re on a tight budget and you can find the now discontinued E-PL9 cheaper you’ll save yourself a few quid.


  • Silent shooting mode
  • In-camera Raw processing
  • Handy for beginners


  • Not much improvement on E-Pl9
  • No viewfinder

Best for: Beginners on a budget

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II – our Olympus choice for action photographers on a budget

At a glance: 

  • 20MP Four Thirds sensor
  • Up to 60fps continuous shooting
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation
  • 121 AF points
  • 4K video recording
  • 36-million-dot EVF
  • Battery life: 440 shots
  • Price: reconditioned £749 / $750

When the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II was announced back in 2016 the full retail price was a steep £1,850. Fast forward 8 years and look at the second hand market or buy a reconditioned one directly from Olympus and you’ll save yourself well over £1,000!

Although this camera is not the most recent, the features and technology included are still very much impressive. This includes its 5-axis in-body stabilisation, 4K video, fully articulated touchscreen and 121 AF point feature.

One of its major selling points however was its 60fps burst mode feature at full resolution which even by today’s standards is pretty impressive! At full speed the focus is fixed, but if you want the 121-point AF system to continue tracking the subject between frames, the E-M1 II is still capable of shooting at up to 18 frames per second. This on top of twin SD card slots, and a weather sealed body makes it a great choice for any action photographer.


  • Twin card slots
  • Capable burst shooting
  • Good second-hand price


  • Complicated, confusing menus

Best for: Wildlife and sports photographers on a budget

Our review of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Olympus Tough TG-6


Olympus-TG-6 – Rugged outdoor camera that’s waterproof down to 15 metres

At a glance:  

  • 12MP 1/2.33” CMOS image sensor
  • 4x optical zoom. 25-100mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Waterproof down to 15m
  • Shock resistant – 2.1m (dropping from height)
  • Crushproof (100kg)
  • Freezeproof (-10°C)
  • 4K video
  • Price: £369 / $499

The Olympus Tough TG-6 differs somewhat from the others on our list as it does not include a Micro Four Thirds sensor. It’s worthy of a mention as it’s a fantastic waterproof camera and one that has made a great impression since it was launched in 2019.

This camera is lightweight, agile and ideal for adventurous types. The camera is waterproof down to 15m and if you want to take it further additional waterproof casing can be purchased. The Olympus PT-059 Underwater Housing retails at £279 and enables the TG-06 to go down as far as 45m.

When it comes to features the Olympus TG-6 comes with a host of shooting options from 16 different scene modes to an aperture priority setting. The ISO ranges from ISO 100 to 12800, and the bright F2 lens enables faster shutter speeds for capturing moving subjects. The camera is also capable of recording 4K movies.

It’s also worth mentioning it made it onto our list of the Top 12 best waterproof and underwater cameras!


  • Incredibly tough
  • Optical zoom lens
  • Close-up modes


  • Small sensor impacts image quality

Best for: Amateurs and adventurous types

Further Reading

Best Micro Four Thirds lenses

APS-C Vs Full Frame (inc MFT) – which sensor size is best?

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