Andy Westlake puts Olympus’s super-fast mirrorless flagship camera through its paces

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Features:
Build/Handling:
Metering:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
Image quality:
LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • + Extraordinary in-body image stabilisation system allows handholding at unprecedented shutter speeds
  • + Class-leading continuous shooting performance
  • + Impressive continuous autofocus and tracking
  • + Superb build quality and handling

Cons:

  • - Menus and configuration hugely over-complicated
  • - Image quality lags behind APS-C peers
  • - High price compared to its closest rivals

Product:

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review

Manufacturer:

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: Performance

Pro capture mode, 1/1600sec f/2.8 ISO 200. 40-150mm f/2.8 at 150mm

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.

here the E-M1 II has done a good job shooting into the rising sun. 1/2500 sec f/5.6 ISO 200

Here the E-M1 II has done a good job shooting into the rising sun. 1/2500 sec f/5.6 ISO 200

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.

  1. 1. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review
  2. 2. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Review: Features
  3. 3. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Review: Build and handling
  4. 4. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: Viewfinder and screen
  5. 5. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Review: Autofocus
  6. 6. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: 5-axis in-body IS
  7. 7. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: High-resolution composite mode
  8. 8. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: Video
  9. 9. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: Performance
  10. 10. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: Image quality
  11. 11. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: Our verdict
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