Overall Rating:

5

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II


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  • Metering:
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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

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

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

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: 5-axis in-body IS

Handheld at 1 second using the M.Zuiko Digital 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro

Handheld at 1 second using the M.Zuiko Digital 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro

Olympus’s 5-axis in-body image stabilisation was already class leading, but it has been refined further to give a claimed 5.5 stops of benefit when using unstabilised lenses – the majority of Olympus’s range. Mount one of its recent optically stabilised lenses, such as the new M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO, and a Sync IS system comes into play, employing both in-body and in-lens systems together to give an extraordinary 6.5 stops of stabilisation.

100% crop from image above

100% crop from image above, handheld at 1 second

It’s difficult to overstate just how good the image stabilisation really is. The E-M1 II routinely enabled me to shoot at shutter speeds slower than any other camera, even using unstabilised lenses. At wideangle, it’s completely feasible to use speeds of a second or so. Just as impressively, I was also able to shoot at speeds around 1/15sec with the 40-150mm f/2.8 at its telephoto end.

1.3sec f/2.8 ISO64, 12-40mm f/2.8 at 23mm

1.3sec f/2.8 ISO64, M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO at 23mm

Switch to the new 12-100mm f/4 IS and things get into completely unprecedented territory: up to 2 seconds at wideangle, and 1/6sec at telephoto; other systems would usually manage around 1/2sec and 1/30sec respectively. These aren’t occasional one-offs, either; the E-M1 II delivers time after time. Not every picture will be pixel sharp, but shoot a few replicates and one will. This opens up new options for using slow shutter speeds creatively.

100% crop from image above, handheld at 1.3 seconds

  • 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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