As a satisfied owner of OM-D E-M5 camera, I keep recommending people to buy E-M10, which offers performance that nearly approaches E-M5, while adding new functional features as well as being cheaper. However, one thing is not clear from the specifications: whether it has a Low Pass Filter / Anti-Alias (AA) Filter (like E-M5) or not (like E-M1).
What Camera Review Websites Said
Camera review websites do not state this consistently. Notably, Richard Butler of dpreview commented “we’ve seen nor heard anything to suggest it doesn’t [have an AA filter]”. However, William Brawley of Imaging Resource states that “When we were briefed on this camera by Olympus, they told us there is no anti-aliasing filter on the E-M10”. Mat of MirrorLessons also states that “The E-M10 has no AA filter, like the E-M1. It is an info that I got from Olympus directly.”
What Olympus Said
The right thing to do, of course, is to ask Olympus for an answer. Since Robin Wong of Olympus Malaysia is quite responsive to reader questions, I asked him twice but did not get an answer. So I can only ask Olympus directly. However, even regional offices may get wrong information as demonstrated in the E-PL5 AA filter misunderstanding. Therefore I asked four Olympus offices:
- Olympus Japan
- Olympus Hong Kong
- Olympus USA
- Olympus Europe
Olympus USA did not give me a reply even after a week. The other three offices gave me a reply reasonably quickly, but I got three different answers!
Answer 1: “E-M10 sensor has AA filter.”
Answer 2: “As for today we have no information about low-pass filters used on E-M10 sensor.”
Answer 3: “The E-M10 is a low-pass filter less product.” (He referred me to the specifications, which said TruePic VII is optimized for low-pass filter less sensor. I know that E-M10 uses TruePic VII, but I don’t think it logically implies E-M10 must have no AA filter.)
Obviously one of the offices got it wrong. I do not want to cause any trouble to any staff who kindly replied me, regardless of whether they know the right answer or not, so I’m not stating which office gave me which answer.
I fully understand that customer support does not necessarily know every detail of a sophisticated product. As a last resort, I asked someone who speaks for Olympus in product launches in a certain region, and teaches camera courses at that Olympus office. So I believe him more than any customer support. This is what I got:
“E-M10 and E-M5 the sensor is the same, so, do you think that there is no AA Filter?!”
It also makes sense to me. E-M10 is positioned as a low-cost alternative to E-M5. There is not much reason to increase its production cost by changing (instead of reusing) the E-M5 sensor. However, after this article is published, Olympus Germany says E-M10 has no AA Filter.