September 26, 2016

Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mark II

Or in Full, the Olympus Maitani Digital Evolt Micro 1 Mark II

Perhaps O-MD E-M2 would have been a tad better name than Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mark II. Still, this looks to be a remarkable camera packed full of decent features as you can see in the above video and specs below.

Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mark II
Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mark II

Enter your text here...The Olympus OM-D E-M1 II is a Micro Four Thirds (M43), interchangeable lens, mirrorless camera. It is actually smaller than it looks when in your hands.

For me, it brings a lot of nostalgia as the EM-1 closely resembles the Olympus OM-1 (left). 

This was the camera first released in 1973. It  was also the camera that I first used as a 13 year old in 1980 (it was my father's).

Olympus OM1 Front

It was the Olympus OM-1 that sparked the interest in photography that encouraged me to choose it as an option at school. To then do an apprenticeship with a local photographer whilst at business college and continue as part of my life ever since.

Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mark II – Specifications

Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mark II Rear

The Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mark II comes packed with some nifty upgrades that could most definitely give the Panasonic GH4/GH5 a run for their money:

  • 20 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
  • TruePic™ VIII Dual Quad Core Processor
  • Advanced 5-Axis Image Stabilization (Up to 5.5 shutter speed steps of compensation)
  • Lightweight, Weatherproof Body
  • 15fps Seq. Shooting (Mechanical)
  • 60fps Seq. Shooting (Electronic)
  • 1/8000s High-Speed Mechanical Shutter
  • Cinema 4K Video: 4K (3840×2160) and C4K (4096×2160) with max bit rate 237 Mbps
  • 4K Video at 30/25/24 fps
  • 1080/720p Video at up to 60fps
  • 121-Point Dual FAST AF
  • Fully-Articulating 3.0" Touch Monitor
  • 2.36m dot LCD Electronic Viewfinder
  • 50 Megapixel High-Res Shot Mode (combines 8 shots to give a single ultra-high res image)
  • Pro Capture Mode
  • Timelapse Movie
  • Focus Bracketing and Stacking
  • High-Speed Battery Charging in Max. 2 hours
  • Built-In Wi-Fi
  • Dual SD Card Slots
  • Connections: USB Type-C, Micro HDMI (type D), MIC Input Jack, Headphone Jack
  • Splashproof, Dustproof, and Freezeproof Down to 14°F (-10°C)
  • Weight (body only): 500g

That is a really impressive list with some exciting features with perhaps one of the most exciting being the new Pro Capture Mode.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II - Pro Capture Mode

Some may call this "lazy" photography. Others may call it utilizing advanced technology to ensure you capture the most creative and stunning images possible. I am in the latter camp ; )

The way Pro Capture Mode works, and is perfect for fast action photography, is similar to buffer mode in some video cameras.

You simply press the shutter half way and Pro Capture starts taking and buffering a running series of full resolution (JPEG / RAW) images. Then when you fully press the shutter, it will record another image and up to 14 previous frames.

If you keep your finger on the shutter, it will keep recording until you stop. This ensures you never miss those hard to catch photo. Superb!

Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mark II Top

O-MD E-M1 Mark II - Advanced Imaging Tools

Taken directly from the Olympus website:

Silent Shutter Mode completely eliminates shutter noise and all electronic sounds, perfect for wildlife, concert halls, or other quiet environments. With the Live Composite and Live Bulb Modes, you'll shoot beautiful nighttime compositions as you watch the image build up on the monitor, giving you full freedom of exposure adjustment.

Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mark II Stacking

Image Courtesy of

For incredible macro shots, Focus Bracketing and Stacking lets you take several photos of a subject and then stack them into a single image with edge-to-edge clarity. Olympus Capture provides seamless tethered shooting through the USB 3.0 Type C port.

Personally, this throws a bit of a spanner in the works with regards to my desire for the Panasonic GH5 when it is released next year. The GH5 is going to have to go some to match the Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mark II. Maybe this is why Panasonic have held off the full disclosure and release. To check out the competition?

All in all this looks like a superb camera but I would like to see more information on the video side of things. Plus I wish the frame rates were higher. Such as:

  • Is this 8 or 10 bit in video mode?
  • Does it shoot 4:2:2 in all resolutions…4K and HD?
  • Can I do a clean, 10-bit HDMI out at 4:2:2 to my Ninja Flame?
  • What is noise like in low light/high ISO?

Regardless of those points, this appears to be an exceptional stills camera with superb video features. Any Olympus/M43 fans should think seriously about this camera.

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