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
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.
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.
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.