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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

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  • + 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


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




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

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review

At a glance:

  • £1,849.99 body only
  • £2,399.99 with 12-40mm lens
  • 20MP Four Thirds sensor
  • Up to 60fps continuous shooting
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation
  • 4K video recording
  • Fully articulated touchscreen
  • 2.36-million-dot EVF
Olympus OM-D E-M1 II front

From the front the camera is dominated by its prominent grip

At the Photokina trade show in September 2016, Olympus was one of several brands to announce it was developing a new flagship camera. Now the finished product has arrived, in the shape of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. But while the new model looks much like its predecessor, in reality it’s an entirely new camera, with some very impressive updates. But this comes at a high price: £1849.99 body only, or £2399.99 in a kit with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens.

Olympus E-M1 and E-M2 compared

The E-M1 II resembles its predecessor but has a notably larger grip

Probably the biggest headline-grabber is its startling continuous-shooting capability, of up to 60 frames per second at full resolution. This is backed up by an upgraded autofocus system, which uses on-chip phase detection to provide 121 focus points covering most of the image area. Other updates include a fully articulated, rather than tilt-only touchscreen, twin SD card slots, and a larger, quicker-charging battery. Along with the tough, weather-sealed body, this all promises to make the E-M1 II an interesting choice for sports and action shooters.

However, these capabilities come at a high price: £1,849.99 body only, or £2,399.99 in a kit with the 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens. This is more than some hugely capable cameras such as the Fujifilm X-T2, Nikon D500 or Pentax K-1. So does the E-M1 II offer enough to justify its cost?

See also our Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II image samples gallery 

  • Sensor: 20-million-pixel Four Thirds CMOS
  • Output size: 5184 x 3188
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Focal length magnification: 2x
  • Shutter speeds (mechanical): 60sec - 1/8000sec + Bulb
  • Shutter speeds (electronic): 60sec - 1/32000sec + Bulb
  • ISO sensitivity: ISO 200-25,600 (standard), extendable to ISO 64
  • Exposure modes: PASM, iAuto, Art, Movie
  • Metering modes: Pattern, centre weighted, spot, spot highlight, spot shadow
  • Exposure compensation: +/-5EV in 1/3 EV steps
  • Continuous shooting (mechanical shutter): 15fps (focus fixed); 10fps with AF
  • Continuous shooting (electronic shutter): 60fps (focus fixed); 18fps with AF
  • Screen: 3in 1.-037-million-dot fully-articulated touschscreen
  • Viewfinder: 2.36-million-dot, 0.74x magnification
  • AF points: 121-point
  • Video: Cinema 4K (4094 x 2160) 25fps 237Mbps
  • External mic: 3.5mm stereo
  • Memory card: 2x SD, SDHC, SDXC (1 UHS-II compatible)
  • Power: BLH-1 Li-ion, 1720 mAh
  • Battery life: 440 shots
  • Dimensions: 134 x 91 x 67 mm
  • Weight: 574g (including battery and card)

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