Andy Westlake puts Olympus’s super-fast mirrorless flagship camera through its paces
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: High-resolution composite mode
Like other recent Olympus cameras, the E-M1 II comes with a multi-shot high-resolution composite mode. This takes eight exposures, using the in-body stabilisation system to move the sensor fractionally between each to build up a more detailed view of the scene, including full colour sampling at each pixel location. As before, the camera has to be locked on a tripod for this to work.
The process takes a second or so to shoot, then about 12 more to generate the composite output. JPEG files can be output at either 25MP or 50MP resolution, while raw files take up around 64MB (a conventional 20MP single-shot raw is also recorded with an ORI extension). New on this model is the ability to compensate for subjects that move between exposures, which previously gave unsightly ghosting artefacts; now they’re rendered with a more natural-looking blur.
When the stars align, with a sharp lens and nothing to move the camera or subject, high-res composite gives stunning levels of detail, easily sufficient to print up to A2 in size (16x24in). But if you’re only making A3 prints, the benefits are less clear-cut. But even the 25MP composite JPEGs can show more fine detail, and distinctly less colour moiré than the standard 20MP output.
The crops above illustrate what the mode can do. The 25Mp high resolution composite shot is clearly better than the standard 20MP single-shot version: fine detail is rendered much more convincingly, and moire is effectively eliminated. The 50MP version is even better, but you’d have to be printing very large indeed to see the difference.