Olympus E-M1 Mark II
Olympus’ new mirrorless micro four-thirds digital camera, the E-M1 Mark II started shipping in December 2017.
The Olympus E-M1 Mark II began a new chapter in the fight for survivability of the micro four-thirds segment.
Already large sensor mirrorless cameras are eating into the DSLR segment.
To counter that traditional DSLR camera manufacturers like Nikon and Canon are increasingly coming up with new and better features, borrowing generously from their top of the line models.
In this two-way fight, the mirrorless micro four-thirds is somewhat of an outsider, trying to become a distant third. With the launch of the E-M1 Mark II Olympus hopes to consolidate that position. Let’s take a closer look at the camera and its' features vis-à-vis the outgoing model.
Sensor of the New Olympus E-M1 Mark II
The Olympus E-M1 Mark II replaces the original OM-D E-M1, another hugely popular micro four-thirds camera. Compared to the outgoing model, which had only 16.3 megapixels, the new model features a new 20.4 megapixel Live MOS sensor.
The high resolution 17.4 x 13.0 mm sensor is capable of producing large fine JPEGs and RAW frames of the size 5184 x 3888 pixels.
It also features Olympus’ TruePic VIII Dual Quad Core processor that takes care of image processing.
The dual auto-focusing system on the OM-D E-M1 Mark II is pretty exciting. It features 121 on-chip phase detection cross-type autofocus points.
Along with those the camera also has a total of 121 contrast-detection AF points. Together, the performance of this dual type AF system is extremely quick.
Continuous Shooting Speed
The mirrorless design is ideal for fast continuous shooting speeds. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is capable of shooting at a mind-boggling speed of 60 fps when using the electronic shutter.
In the pro-Capture Mode, you can shoot by only half-depressing the shutter release button while using the electronic shutter to shoot at this phenomenal speed continuously.
With full auto-focus, the continuous shooting speed is 18 fps. If you use the mechanical shutter, continuous shooting speed is still a respectable 15 fps. This is a big jump over what the original OM-D E-M1 shot.
- New 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
- New TruePic VIII Dual Quad Core Image Processor
- 60 frames per second S-AF, 18 frames per second C-AF (silent electronic shutter)
- 15 frames per second S-AF, 10 frames per second C-AF (mechanical shutter)
- 121-Point Dual Fast AF with Cross-Type On-Chip Phase Detection focusing
Pro Capture Mode
An interesting feature of the E-M1 Mark II is its new Pro Capture Mode. This mode is designed to work as an assist for the buffer. In this mode, the camera starts to record an image even before the shutter release is fully depressed. The image is finally saved when you do press down the shutter release.
The E-M1 Mark II comes with an ISO rating of 200-6400. It can be further extended from 64 – 25600.
Olympus, like Sony, uses the sensor-shift type image stabilization system. The 5-axis sensor-shift type image stabilization system works like a charm giving added stabilization when shooting hand-held.
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is a capable video shooter. True cinematic 4K 4096 x 2160p clips can be shot at 24 fps. Alternatively, you can also choose to shoot in UltraHD (3840 x 2160p) at 29.97 (30) fps.
Built-in stereo mic captures great quality sound. For better sound quality you can alternatively plug in an external stereo mic.
An electronic viewfinder with 2360k display resolution is the primary shooting tool. This 120 fps viewfinder gives 100% frame coverage, the entire view that you see on your screen with practically no lag time.
The back of the camera is dominated by a 3” LCD screen with Touchscreen and Swiveling properties. The LCD screen has a resolution of 1,037,000 dots, and the screen gives 100% frame coverage.
For many photographers, the rear LCD screen is probably going to be the tool of choice for composing the images. The swiveling screen allows you to shoot over the head or from low down and around those tight corners where standard viewfinder based shooting is impossible.
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is designed to be a real outdoor camera. Magnesium alloy chassis gives it high strength. Plus, hermetically sealed design means that the camera has excellent weather sealing and can perform without issues in extreme temperatures as well as in dusty environments. The camera is rated to work even at a temperature down to 14 ˚F (-10°C).
The Olympus E-M1 Mark II comes with built-in Wi-Fi capability. Built-in Wi-Fi ensures that you can connect your camera to any available wireless network to transfer images and videos easily. Apart from that the camera also has USB slot for plugging in a USB cable.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II has two memory card slots. Both slots support UHS-1 SDXC cards which give the camera an extended run in the field even when you don’t have a laptop to download the images immediately.
For one the Olympus E-M1 Mark II isn’t priced keeping in mind the entry-level audience.
At around $2,000 a piece, sans a lens, the E-M1 Mark II is certainly expensive. Add to that a lens such as the M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm and all of a sudden your budget zooms over $3K.
- Extensive zoom range of 24-200mm (35mm equivalent)
- 17 elements in 11 groups for outstanding resolution
- In-Lens Image Stabilization for 5-Axis Sync IS (with applicable cameras)
- Z Coating Nano (advanced Zuiko extra low reflection optical coating)
- Weatherproof construction
At that price, you can get decent enough full-frame DSLR complete with a wide-medium telephoto zoom lens and still save a few dollars.
To sum it up, watch this Youtube video review:
So far, the reviews of the Olympus E-M1 Mark II on Amazon have been positive. Here is one excerpt of a positive review:
Best camera I've ever owned. IQ is amazing. Easy shooting experience. Love the speed and dual cards and dynamic range […] Recent Amazon Review, see all.
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Wanderlust at heart and a shutterbug who loves to document his travels via his lenses; his two passions compliment each other perfectly.
He has been writing for over 7 years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favorite pursuits.