Andy Westlake puts Olympus’s super-fast mirrorless flagship camera through its paces
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: Performance
In real-world use, the E-M1 II is very impressive. It’s extremely fast in every aspect of its operation, and rarely leaves you waiting. The only exception is that you can’t enter playback while it’s writing a burst of images to the card.
Image quality is very good indeed, particularly when paired with Olympus’s high-end Pro zooms. It may not match its larger-sensored peers in absolute terms, but the 20MP sensor easily provides sufficient detail for A3 prints. You’ll inevitably see a bit more noise at any given ISO compared to APS-C cameras, but image files are eminently usable up to ISO 3200 at least. Remember that when you don’t need high shutter speeds, that remarkable image stabilisation lets you keep ISOs lower for longer.
Auto white balance is usually very well judged and the camera’s metering gets things right far more often than not; the accurate EVF and LCD also makes it easy to spot those occasions when you do need to override it. As usual, JPEG shooters will be delighted by Olympus’s signature colour rendition – warm and saturated, without being overblown. But equally they might find the default noise reduction a little too aggressive, and prefer to turn down the Noise Filter setting to Low, or even Off. Raw shooters will find it that it’s possible to bring up a decent amount of additional shadow detail at low ISOs, and of course will have more control over noise reduction at high ISO.