1970's Olympus

Olympus OM-10

Olympus OM-10

If you’ve been hunting for a camera that’ll give an intimate and nostalgic feel to photography without you having to break the bank, the Olympus OM-10 is the perfect camera for you.

Cheap and easy to find, the OM-10 was the first camera in the OM double-digit series.

First introduced in 1979, the OM-10 was Olympus’s effort at pricing down the single-digit OMs. Initially meant for entry-level consumers, the OM-10 was a massive success despite it being less hardy than its predecessors.

So, what made this camera unique? Let’s find out.

Features of the OM-10

One feature that made the OM-10 sell so much was its everyday usability.

For starters, the OM-10 was lighter than any of its predecessors. At 606g, it was 100g lighter than the OM-2. This lightweight feature was mainly because most of the body was not metal.

Its lightweight nature makes the OM-10 the perfect camera for everyday use.

And that’s not all

The camera came at a reasonably low price. Unlike single digit OM cameras which are mainly collectables, the OM-10 is relatively easy to find. You don’t have to worry about being too careful when using it.

Even if you broke it, you’d still be able to get another one at a fairly reasonable price.

Another feature that made the OM-10 so famous was the ease of use.

The OM-10 was a manual focus aperture priority camera. When using it, all you had to do was manually set the focus, and aperture and the camera would determine the perfect shutter speed.

With the OM-10, there’s no need to worry about the perfect shutter speed; the camera does all the heavy lifting for you.

What about the Optics?

The OM-10 comes with the standard 50mm Zuiko lens, which is perfect for shooting portraits and general photos.

And like other OM cameras, the OM-10 allows you to use a wide array of breathtaking Zuiko lenses and other third-party accessories.

Design and Physical Layout

Like other cameras in the OM series, the OM-10 featured an exceptional and minimalist design.

For starters, the camera was small and compact, with most of the buttons being located on the top plate.

On the right, you have the

  • Film advance crank
  • ISO dial
  • Exposure compensation dial.

On the left side, you have the

  • Film rewind crank
  • Self-timer
  • On and off mode button that also acts as a battery check

The OM-10 features a bulb, auto, and manual adapter mode button below the ISO dial. The button for these options is below the ISO dial.

After attaching the manual adapter, you can select the manual adapter mode, and this will allow you to choose the shutter speed. The auto option enables you to use the aperture- priority metering.  The bulb mode will let you take shots as long as the shutter is pushed down. It also has an extension for the release cable.

Shortcomings of the Olympus OM-10

One of the most noticeable flaws of the OM-10 is the lack of a manual mode.

If you’re one of those people who “feel naked” without the manual mode, you can attach an external adapter to the camera to allow you to use manual mode.

And that’s not all…

In a bid to make the OM-10 cheaper, Olympus compromised on several quality aspects. This includes building the camera with a less durable body, which made the camera more susceptible to damage.

The OM-10 also lacked certain features including an elaborate dampening system. This made the shutter extra noisy.

The all-electronic feature of the OM-10 also meant you couldn’t use without batteries. However, it uses the LR44 or the AG13 button batteries, which are easy to find.

Final Thoughts

If you’d love to try the classic SLR’s without breaking the bank, the OM-10 is your go-to camera.

It’s also more inclined towards aperture-priority metering, making it ideal for beginning photographers.

It’s inexpensive nature, and ease of use also makes it the perfect camera for everyday use and not just a decorative piece.

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