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:

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: High-resolution composite mode

25MP High resolution composite mode. 1/1000sec f/4.5 ISO 200. M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 Pro

25MP High resolution composite mode. 1/1000sec f/4.5 ISO 200. M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 Pro

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.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II high resolution composite comparison: 20MP vs 25MP vs 50MP

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II high resolution composite comparison: 20MP vs 25MP vs 50MP

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.

  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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