Olympus OM10 35mm MF SLR Film Camera

Olympus OM10 35mm MF SLR Film Camera

Film Camera Review:

Olympus OM10 35mm MF SLR Film Camera

'A quick look review at the Olympus OM10, an entry-level AE 35mm SLR film camera for film photography enthusiasts'

Introduction and Overview

The Olympus OM10 35mm SLR Film Camera, a low cost and very affordable entry-level AE (automatic exposure) 35mm Film SLR camera from Olympus, is a highly recommended crank-and-wind SLR camera for those looking at going into film photography, or the newbie photographer.

Olympus OM10, Front left

Introduced in 1979 as the first of the 2-digit series OMs, the OM10 was designed and is designated for the consumer market. It was sold alongside its semi-professional counterpart, the 1-digit series OM SLRs.

This aperture-priority 35mm film SLR is also equipped with the OTF Direct Metering System, a highly regarded and unique light metering feature, as seen on the Olympus OM-2n, that still remains unmatched and hard to duplicate even to this day.

The main advantage of using the OM10 as a starter camera is the fact that the camera can be used with all of Olympus OM's series of lenses. This makes upgrades to the camera body an easier path to follow. The Zuiko's, as the lenses are commonly referred to, are renowned for their compactness and image quality, and unique in a way that each lens is designed with a built-in depth-of-field preview button which otherwise (with other camera makes) would have been found on the camera body itself.


Matthew Simpson, a subscriber to the channel, emailed me and suggested I make a review of the Olympus OM10 SLR Camera and offered to send me HIS OWN camera to try! I couldn't turn this down. I wanted to keep the review simple and also go and shoot a roll of film, develop and make a few prints.
The OM10 can also be fitted with the OM Autowinder 1 or Autowinder 2, making the body an integral part of the interchangeable OM system.

About The Camera

The Olympus OM10, weighing in at 430 gram, is an Aperture-Priority Auto exposure mode camera with a center-weighted light metering system. It is fitted with an electronically controlled focal-plane shutter with a shutter speed range from 2 to 1/1000 second. A manual adapter, with a full range of 11 manual shutter speeds (1 to 1/1000 second) is available as an option, which will permit the OM10 to be used in Shutter-Priority mode.

Olympus OM10, Black and chrome

The camera is also fitted with an electronically controlled self-timer, +2EV exposure compensation in 1/2 stops, a film ISO range from 25 to 1600 (which can be extended to 3200 via the exposure compensation method), battery check function, and connectivity to the Olympus Autowinder 1 or Autowinder 2.

Basic Camera Features

Whilst normally available in chrome, The OM10 does come with an upgrade to Quartz Date black body, and on a limited production scale, an all-black version, which remains high on collectors wish lists. The film backs on these cameras are non-interchangeable.

Olympus OM10, Front

The front of the camera is equally sparse with only the Manual Adapter socket on the right, and on the left, the rewind button (another innovation from Olympus), and the Piezo electronic for the Self Timer/Battery Check light and beeper.

The Film Rewind Release, a unique feature of Olympus's 35mm SLR camera bodies, is located on the top left of the front plane, near to where the location of the Shutter Release Button is.

Olympus OM10, Top

On the top plate, from left to right, is the film rewind lever which is integrated with the power switch system of the Olympus OM10 - Battery Check, ON, OFF, and Self-timer. A hot shoe is integrated on top of the pentaprism.

Olympus OM10, Auto mode selector
Hard to discern initially, unless you have been through with the instruction manual, is the Exposure Compensation dial, which is integrated and shares the same film ISO pointer.

A small slider switch, located on the opposite edge, partly hidden behind the film-advance lever, engages the Bulb and Manual setting mode.

The shutter release button, film advance crank, and film counter window make up for the rest of the top plate.

Olympus OM10, Back

The back of the OM10, with its non-interchangeable film back, is plain except for the huge viewfinder window located in the middle of the top planes back.

Olympus OM10, Bottom

On the bottom plate, the battery chamber cover, Autowinder coupling socket (exposed without a cover as opposed to the one on the 1-digit series), camera tripod socket, and a pair of electrical contact points.

Olympus OM10, Film box

The film box is a standard film load type with the film canister chamber, film guide rails, film frame opening, sprocket gear, and film take-up spool as normally seen on cameras of this era. Film forward to Frame 1 is the standard two-blank shots.

At the end of the roll, turn the Film Rewind Release switch to the left (in the direction of the arrow) before rewinding the film.

Viewfinder Readout

The stark and simple viewfinder, simplicity in itself, is fitted with a non-changeable matte type screen with microprism/split image focusing screen. Image coverage is 93%.

Olympus OM10, Viewfinder readout

The screen is bright and clear and comes with a pop-out style shutter speed and a flash ready indicator. A red LED is displayed alongside the indicated shutter speed selected by the camera at the lens aperture you set.

Aperture-Priority Auto exposure

Aperture-Priority Auto exposure is the way of the OM10. Turn the camera on, that the shooting mode you get into. You’re in charge of focusing and choosing the aperture setting, and the camera figures out what the shutter speed should be. This is the mode most useful for newbies or for those just getting in (film) photography.

Manual Exposure Control

Olympus OM10, Manual adapters
The manual adapter, which plugs into the right front of the camera, lets you capture images in shutter-priority mode, meaning that you first set the shutter speed, then as you frame the image, adjusts the aperture of the lens till the LED coincides with the manual speed you set. Press the shutter and the exposure will be spot on.

You might notice that there are two types of Manual Adapters available (see image). The two are identical actually, one being the optional item which was sold separately, and the other as part of a kit package codenamed Olympus OM10 FC.

Lens Compatibility

Zuiko OM manual focus lenses are compatible across all Olympus OM bodies,


Lo and behold!. The OM10 uses a couple standard readily available 1.5V LR or AR44 batteries. No worries here about having to hunt around for the discontinued 1.35V batteries as required for the OM-1.

Using The Camera

The compact OM10, fitted with, say, the Zuiko 50mm f/1.8, weighs in at only 606 grams. This should be light enough for you to carry around and not feel bothered by its bulk or weight. Although it may not have the same rugged build as those of the 1-digit series, the camera is a very capable performer, and should not in any way, hinder your interest in the analog.

Olympus OM10, View

One feature which you might find interesting about the OM10 is when used in self-timer mode, the mirror flips up the mirror as soon as you press the shutter. This is equivalent to having a camera with a mirror lockup ability. Good for landscape and macro shots, where you would expect camera and mirror vibrations to be at its minimum, using the timer may also save you the bother of carrying a cable release.


The Olympus OM10 remains as one of the most commercially successful models from Olympus, sold in millions, the reason for its easy availability and easy pricing low prices on the used market today. Starting with this camera means that you can start low, and as you step up your enthusiasm with additional Zuiko lenses, flash unit, and the autowinder, upscaling your system to that of the 1-digit OM series is equally painless.

Film Camera Sale, Malaysia:

Olympus OM 35mm SLR Film Cameras

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