Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II 4K Mirrorless Camera Body, 20.4 Megapixels, 5-Axis IS, 60fps, 3-Inch Touch LCD, Black
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|The Olympus E-M1 MkII Menu System Simplified
by David Thorpe
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The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is an advanced system of innovative technology and features designed to forever change your photography: up to 18 frames per second sequential shooting with precision C-AF Tracking, 121 Cross-Type On-Chip Phase Detection AF points, up to 5.5 shutter speed steps of compensation with powerful in-body image stabilization, plus a 50MP High-Res Shot Mode. It’s all enclosed in a lightweight magnesium alloy weatherproof body. Paired with the superior resolution of Olympus M.Zuiko PRO lenses, the E-M1 Mark II will deliver brilliant imagery that’s coveted by professionals everywhere.
Most helpful customer reviews
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Top of the line camera compared to almost any camera out there
I've been using M4/3rds since 2012, ever since the release of the glorious E-M5. I was so excited when all the rumors were coming out that I pre-ordered as soon as it was released. I sold off my Canon 30D with 24-70mm and went all in.
5 years later, it was time for an upgrade even though the E-M5 continues to work just like it did day 1. I now have different needs with more low light photography with a fast moving object (baby). I gave the E-M5 a try for 1 year, but I missed a lot of shots because they came out blurry or it was stuck buffering.
I'm just a casual shooter, mainly taking pictures of my baby, family events, and get togethers. Every now and then I'll shoot an event for a friend at no charge just as a way to challenge my skills, and because it's fun. I considered keeping the E-M5 and buying a Leica Q, but for the $4k asking price without good video, tracking and baby drool/splash proof, it just wasn't worth it to me.
The biggest selling factor for me was the dual quad-core TruePic processors that makes the camera work really fast. The faster it processes, the more chances I have at getting the shots at an instant. I'm usually shooting in Low burst mode with Raw + L SF and the E-M1 II takes almost no time buffering before I'm ready to shoot again. One of the processors is actually reserved for RAW shooting if that's how you're shooting. The new and better tracking feature was also a big plus, and while in practice it's not 100% accurate, it's pretty close and I'm happy with that.
While the camera has a ton of other features and it's super well built, I bought it because it would allow me to capture better pictures in low-light and of a baby running around compared to my E-M5 or E-M5 II.
Lenses wise, I like to keep my kit as small as possible so I carry my Olympus 12mm, 25mm, and 45mm. I considered some of the Olympus PRO lenses but man they're much bigger and heavier for slightly better IQ and faster aperture.
I can highly recommend this camera because it's the best camera I've ever used, period. My decision wasn't based on price but rather the value it brings. Looking back at the great photos I've captured with the E-M1 in the month I've had it, I don't even think about the price I paid but rather how fun it is to shoot and the awesome shots I was able to get with it.
55 of 60 people found the following review helpful.
Early impressions are excellent
I'm an Oly E-M10 Mk I shooter, so this is a huge upgrade. These are only preliminary impressions, which I'll edit as time goes by with longer term tests. Currently testing some of the more vaunted features with my 12-40 F/2.8 Pro lens while waiting on the 12-100 to be in stock somewhere. I'm writing from a perspective of a somewhat experienced photographer. Not a master by any means, but I shoot in manual, raw, and do a lot of OCF work, mostly portraits. It may also amuse you to read my older camera reviews and see my, er, growth (?) as a photographer over the years. :) Onto the review!
The exterior is very solid. The grip is much, much improved. There's no gap between my fingers and the grip like there was with the M10, and I know with the M1-I. Everything feels more solid too. I know it's weather sealed, and have seen many reviews and videos of early, promo shooters in Iceland, dropping their body & lens in freezing water with no ill effects. The M10 always felt a bit flimsy to me, and in fact have had some parts come off/fall apart (eye piece, hot shoe plate). All the flaps for the battery, SD Cards (2! Thank you, Olympus!), USB 3 (and type C), mic & headphone (again, thank you , Olympus!) jacks have a good feel to them, as is the fully articulated (3rd thanks!) LCD screen. Only potential downside is if you have the mic and/or headphones plugged in, you won't be able to flip the screen over for selfie-mode on the fly.
Fair IQ tests will have to wait, since I don't have a raw converter yet (still on LR 5.7, LR CC has early support, no lens correction as of this writing). DxO Mark had some tests done, and it looks like a tiny increase in high ISO quality over the M1-I, nothing huge, but going from 16 MP to 20 MP will net you a bit more resolution. Maybe a bit more noise if you pixel peep, but if you compare, say, an 8x10 to 8x10, you'll find a better overall image. But I'm not too worried about high ISO shoots, because...
The stability is a giant leap over my M10, since it only had 3-axis IBIS. I can't say for sure how much better the M1-II is over the M1-I, but I did some 1 sec hand held exposures at 12mm no problem. (Edit: I've now pulled off an 8 sec (!!!) hand-held shot with my 25mm 1.8, while leaning against a doorframe). I've seen on YouTube a 10sec(!) and a 20sec(!!) hand held exposures with just the body braced against a wall. That latter was paired with the 12-100mm F/4, which gives you an extra stop of stability, but even with a "mere" 5.5 stops of stability, you should be able to get a 12mm, 1 sec exposure for still scenes just by following the reciprocal rule. That is frankly mind blowing. So maybe if you're shooting action in low light, you'll miss having a FF camera, but for still scenes or even portraits, I don't think you'll have issues with image quality.
The menu system is, well, it's Olympus. If you're used to previous Oly models, you'll be able to figure things out. The controls are fairly instinctive (again, for Oly shooters) and very customizable--far more than the M10. Some people complain about the mode dial lock, but I absolutely love it, since I rarely take it out of M, but sometimes I'll brush the dial by accident and then wonder why I can't set my shutter or aperture properly. I do have to get used to the power switch being in a new location. New battery is huge. Should last most people a day easily.I got a spare anyway.
I'll next update this review when I get a fully supported raw converter, and also when I can pair it with the 12-100mm for the added stability, especially for video shooting, but I'm expecting very good things. There's also a ton of action photography features I need to test, including the ludicrous 60 FPS shooting and the Pro Capture mode where it starts buffering when you press the shutter 1/2 way down. I'm planning on an ice skating shoot in late January (2017), so stay tuned. For now, my initial findings are:
Solid, weather sealed exterior
Ridiculous stability, makes up for the need for high ISO shooting for many situations
Dual SD slots
Video-friendliness: 4K, mic & headphone jacks, fully articulating LCD
Tons of excellent Olympus glass with which to pair, and now some combined lens stability too, Really looking forward to testing the 12-100mm F/4 and the 25mm F/1.2 (no lens stability though).
18 FPS with C-AF, 60(!) w/S-AF, all in raw.
Bigger, better battery. Faster charging too.
Price. Only you can determine if this camera is "worth it". To me, yes, absolutely. but $2K USD is a lot of money.
For this price, you may honestly expect better high ISO performance.
Base ISO is 200. There's extended, but I really wanted a 100 or even 64 base ISO.
Only 1 SD slot is UHS-II.
Kinda bad placement for the mic/headphone jacks for the articulating LCD.
Can't reuse old battery.
This is probably THE flagship micro 4/3 camera body, with maybe an edge for video to the Panasonic GH series, but for stills, or even combining stills & video, the M1-II is the new king. Whether M4/3 works for you is a different story, and way too long to write about here.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Great camera. Buy it.
Best current mft camera hands down. For stills. I have both this and a gh5 and a gx8. This Olympus puts the Panasonic cameras to shame on stills. Video... Its still good. Excellent for most. If you want a camera to do video the gh5 is your camera only because of all of the shooting options.