Olympus E-PL10 Underwater Camera & Housing Review


The Best Bang For Your Buck in Underwater Photography

Striking a balance between value, performance, and ease of use is the ideal trinity of underwater photography equipment. The Olympus PEN E-PL10 camera and limited edition Backscatter E-PL10 Octo Housing create a system that is not only more affordable than similar rigs, but also has outstanding shooting specs and image quality while staying compact and easy enough for even the first-time underwater photographer.

The Olympus E-PL10 can be shot like a point-and-shoot camera with external wet conversion lenses, or shot like an SLR with dedicated wide angle and macro lenses and ports. Keep it simple and versatile, or go for the best image quality possible – the choice is up to you.

Straight out of the box the system has everything needed to get started and can be upgraded and expanded to pull off any shot imaginable.

At only $699.99 for the camera with lens and $649.00 for the housing, it’s truly the best bang for the buck in underwater photography.

[product image: camera & housing with emphasis on tentacles]

[Glam Shot #40

The Olympus E-PL10 is the best bang for your buck when it comes to underwater photo gear. It’s a seamless blend of value for performance while staying simple to operate, and looking cool while doing so.

Two Cameras, One Housing

The Backscatter E-PL10 Octo Housing supports both the Olympus E-PL9 & Olympus E-PL10. There is effectively no difference between these cameras, as the only significant change is the inclusion of some built-in art filter modes which won’t be used for underwater photography anyway.

Small Enough to be Your Main Travel Rig

The interchangeable lens of the Olympus E-PL10 is the biggest variable in overall system size, ranging from pocket-sized when using the Olympus 14-42mm EZ kit lens to more SLR-like with lenses like the 8mm fisheye, Olympus 60mm macro or even topside telephoto zoom lenses like the Olympus 75-300mm lens.

[product photo: size comparison between E-PL10, GH5 D850

There’s a lot of shooting power tucked inside the pocket-sized Olympus E-PL10. When compared to similar Micro Four Thirds cameras it's compact size really sets it apart from the pack. Tired of lugging around an SLR? The combination of portability without sacrificing control is one of the best parts of the Olympus E-PL10.

Even when fully equipped with pro lenses and dual arms for lighting, the Backscatter E-PL10 Octo Housing is barely any bigger than a compact (such as the beginner-favorite Olympus TG-6). Considering the well-laid out ergonomics, interchangeable ports, included LED flash trigger, and vacuum and leak detection features, it’s pretty astonishing that the overall housing size of the Backscatter E-PL10 Octo Housing is so small. It’s easy to hold in the hand, or add the included extendable shutter release and operate it from a tray grip.

[Glam Shot #26

The Backscatter E-PL10 Octo Housing is about the same size as most point-and-shoot rigs, but features way more power and potential.

[product photo: size comparison between TG-6, E-PL10

There is a surprisingly minor size difference between the body of the mirrorless Olympus E-PL10 and the massively popular compact Olympus TG-6.

[product photo: underwater housing size comparison between PT-059 and AOI UHELP10]

Both the Backscatter E-PL10 Octo Housing and the Olympus PT-059 housing for Olympus TG-6 are remarkably similar in size, but the Olympus E-PL10 is an infinitely more capable camera.

An Ideal Upgrade from TG Cameras

If you’re one of the thousands of underwater photographers who have fallen in love with their Olympus TG-series compact camera but are now ready to take their gear to the next level then look no further than the Olympus E-PL10. Any Olympus user will feel right at home with the familiar menus, controls, and operation of the camera.

The ability to swap between such a wide variety of lenses is the standout feature of this camera when compared to the Olympus TG-6 because it allows the user to get wider shots, more macro working distance, and sharper overall results. When shooting macro with the Olympus 14-42mm EZ and a diopter you’ll have a much greater working distance to the subject than with the Olympus TG-6, which will make macro shots much easier to pull off.

©Tiago Peixoto - Olympus PEN E-PL10 Underwater - Stingray Taking Off

Fast-action scenes where rapid firing is required are much easier to pull-off with the Olympus E-PL10 than the Olympus TG-6.
Olympus E-PL10 | Backscatter E-PL10 Octo Housing | Olympus 8mm | 1/200 | ISO 400 | ƒ11

The Olympus E-PL10 offers full manual exposure control, which is a major advantage over the Olympus TG-6 when it comes to obtaining great underwater image results easily. This is especially helpful for wide angle background exposure control, which is where shutter speed control becomes essential. The Olympus TG-6 offers limited shutter speed control at best, and never without an Auto-ISO caveat. The Olympus E-PL10 can completely separate shutter speed from ISO just like any other fully manual camera providing the user with complete exposure control for the perfect image.

For shooters that are ready to graduate from their tried-and-true TG camera but aren’t quite ready to go all-in for a full-frame SLR, then the Olympus E-PL10 is the best choice for a major step up in performance at a fraction of the price of other options.

©Tiago Peixoto - Olympus PEN E-PL10 Underwater - Grouper Profile

Balancing perfect foreground and background exposures is made much easier thanks to the full manual control of the Olympus E-PL10.
Olympus E-PL10 | Backscatter E-PL10 Octo Housing | Olympus 8mm | 1/125 | ISO 400 | ƒ14


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