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Best Olympus Cameras

Updated October 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 16 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 80 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best olympus cameras

    Last Updated October 2018

    While smartphones contain some pretty impressive cameras these days, if you’re serious about photography, you’ll want a dedicated camera to capture truly striking images. There are several well-known camera brands, but for many photographers – including professionals and hobbyists – it’s hard to top Olympus cameras for quality and performance.

    But when you consider the wide array of models and features offered by Olympus, choosing the right camera can be daunting. For starters, you have to decide on the type of camera that best fits your needs, and then find one with the features that will help you capture the best photos possible. Considering all the options Olympus cameras have available, that’s no easy feat.

    At BestReviews, our goal is to take the stress out of shopping. We’re able to provide you with the essential information you need to narrow down your options and choose the right products for your needs. If you’re shopping for a Olympus camera, take a look at the matrix above for our top recommendations. For advice on Olympus cameras in general, our shopping guide has plenty of helpful tips for you.

    Some Olympus cameras have leather accents, giving them a stylish retro look. Olympus rugged cameras are available in a variety of colors, including black and red.

    Olympus camera types

    Dslr cameras

    Olympus digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras have a mirror inside the housing that reflects light from the lens. Depending on the model, the light is then sent through a prism or series of mirrors until it reaches the optical viewfinder.

    When you press the shutter, the mirror flips up and sends the light through to the sensor. There isn’t any lag, as there often is with other types of cameras, so you to see the exact image you will capture.

    Pros:

    • Better battery life than other models.

    • Compatible with interchangeable lenses.

    • Superior autofocus.
       

    Price: Olympus DSLR cameras usually range from $549 to $1,299.

    Many Olympus cameras have WiFi. You can use the Olympus app to operate and shoot with your camera from your phone and wirelessly transfer images from your camera to your phone.

    Mirrorless cameras

    Olympus mirrorless cameras don’t have a reflex mirror like the DSLR cameras, so light isn’t reflected to an optical viewfinder.

    The camera’s imaging sensor receives constant exposure to the light and provides a preview of the image that you’ll capture.

    Pros:

    • Image preview on electronic viewfinder or LCD screen.

    • Compact.

    • Compatible with wider range of interchangeable lenses.
       

    Price: Olympus mirrorless cameras usually range from $549 to $1,999.

    Olympus mirrorless cameras are lighter than other models because they don’t have a mirror box in the camera housing.

    Rugged cameras

    If you lead an active lifestyle that includes a variety of outdoor activities, including water sports, an Olympus rugged camera can be the ideal option.

    These models feature airtight housings to keep out water, dust, and other debris.

    Pros:

    • Special lenses for unique outdoor conditions.

    • Shockproof.

    • Compact and lightweight.

    • Waterproof, dustproof, and freeze-proof models.
       

    Price: Rugged Olympus cameras that are designed for outdoor use range from $349 to $449.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Olympus rugged cameras don’t just hold up well to the elements – they also take extremely crisp photos in low light.

    Olympus camera features to consider

    Construction

    Most Olympus cameras are made of some type of metal – some models use lightweight magnesium, while others are made of a magnesium-aluminum alloy.

    The metal construction helps make the cameras more durable than models that use a plastic housing because it won’t crack if dropped. The magnesium-aluminum alloy also resists corrosion, which often allows you to use those Olympus models in the rain or near water.

    It also means the cameras can be used in extreme temperatures, whereas other cameras may get too hot or too cold to operate depending on the ambient temperature.

    Many Olympus models have at least one button you can customize to make using the camera more convenient.

    Sensor

    The sensor is the component that enables a digital camera to capture an image without film. In general, the larger a camera’s sensor, the higher the image quality, especially if you’re shooting in low light. Olympus offers cameras with sensors in a range of sizes. For the best performance, choose a model with a sensor of at least one inch. If you want the highest-quality photos, opt for an Olympus camera with a full-frame sensor, the largest sensor available for consumer cameras.

    Video

    If you also want to use your camera to record video, look for an Olympus model that offers 4K video, also known as ultra-high definition (UHD), and offers higher-resolution images than standard HD video. Only select Olympus models offer this feature, so be sure to read product specifications carefully to choose the right camera for your video needs.

    Always make sure that an Olympus mirrorless camera is turned off and facing downward when you change the lens to keep dust from getting inside.

    Image stabilization

    Image stabilization (IS) is the system that prevents blurry photos, which typically result from camera movement. The camera uses techniques, such as automatically moving the lens to compensate for movement of the camera, to stabilize the image so your photos turn out as crisp and clear as possible.

    The Olympus camera IS system is built into the camera body. It allows the image sensor to move quickly to counteract any type of camera shake that might affect the quality of your images. All Olympus models feature multiple settings, so you can choose the ideal IS option based on the subject and how you’re holding the camera.

    The cameras usually stabilize the image around a specific axis. Some models have three-axis stabilization, while others have five-axis stabilization for the sharpest, clearest images.

    Purchase a wide-angle lens if you want to be able to capture very large images with your Olympus camera.

    Autofocus system

    An autofocus system enables the camera to adjust the lens using a specific number of autofocus points to achieve the sharpest focus on a subject. In general, the more autofocus points, the sharper the focus.

    All Olympus cameras utilize at least 25 autofocus points, but some models use more than 120.

    Olympus cameras typically feature either a phase detection (PD) autofocus, contrast detect (CD) autofocus, or a combination of the two.

    • PD autofocus is usually found in DSLR cameras. Many professional photographers prefer it because of its speed.

    • CD autofocus is usually found in mirrorless cameras.

    • Hybrid autofocus gives you the best of both worlds.

    Olympus cameras offer warranty protection for at least one year after purchase.

    Weather resistance

    If you’re going to use your camera outdoors, it’s important to choose an Olympus model that can hold up to the elements.

    • Splash-Proof

    Many Olympus cameras are splash-proof, so you don’t have to worry about shooting in light rain or around water.

    • Waterproof

    Some Olympus cameras are waterproof to depths of 100 feet. Unless you plan to take underwater photos, a fully waterproof camera probably isn’t necessary.

    • Freeze-proof

    Some Olympus cameras can be used in temperatures as low as 14°F without worrying about damage to the camera.

    • Dustproof

    If you plan to use your Olympus camera in windy outdoor locations, it’s a good idea to choose an airtight dustproof model, so dust, dirt, or other microscopic debris can’t find its way inside the housing and damage the components.

    Store your Olympus camera in a dry, well-ventilated area. If you aren’t going to use it for a month or longer, place it in a case with a desiccant like silica gel.

    FAQ

    Q. What type of Olympus camera is easiest to take on the go?

    A. Olympus mirrorless cameras are more compact than DSLR cameras, so you often don’t need a separate bag for them. That makes it very easy to take the camera with you when you’re traveling. Olympus rugged cameras are also designed to be lightweight and might be a better option if you plan to take a lot of outdoor shots.

    Q. What type of Olympus camera is best if I plan to take action shots?

    A. The Olympus DSLR cameras have superior autofocus, which means they are ideal for taking clean, clear action shots of, for example, your children playing sports or dancing.

    Q. Does Olympus offer accessories for their cameras?

    A. Olympus offers a wide range of lenses that work with their DSLR and mirrorless cameras, enabling you to play with the types of shots that you take. The brand also has an array of lens accessories, including lens caps, cases, hoods, and adapters. If you want to take underwater photos, Olympus also has fully waterproof housings that you can use to protect your existing camera.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Kyle
      Kyle
      Writer

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