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

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
Image quality:
LCD viewfinder:


  • + 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


Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review


Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review: Video


Olympus OM-D E-M1 II microphone

The E-M1 II accepts external microphones for sound recording during video

Olympus has also joined the ranks of manufacturers offering 4K video, with 4096×2160 Cinema 4K at 24fps and an impressively high bit-rate of 237Mbps. It’s also possible to shoot at 3840 x 2160 at 30fps and 102Mbps, alongside a large array of FullHD options up to 60p and 52Mbps. This is backed up by built-in microphone and headphone sockets, although using the latter severely obstructs movement of the screen. Despite this, the combination of 4K recording and in-body IS should make the E-M1 II interesting for filmmakers who work without a tripod.

Set the mode dial to video and the camera will display a 16:9 preview and video-specific information display, including such things as a microphone volume display. You can use the touchscreen to change settings during recording, including shutter speed, exposure compensation, and even powerzoom on compatible lenses, which avoids spoiling your soundtrack with the clicking of control dials. Clean footage can be output to an external recorder over HDMI.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 II mic + headphones

Plugging in headphones prevents free movement of the screen

One significant change on the E-M1 II is that all of the camera’s video-related settings are now grouped together in a new video menu, rather than being hidden a level further down in Olympus’s sprawling Custom menu. From here you can engage a video-specific ‘flat’ picture mode, although Olympus’s well-judged colour processing means that you may not feel the need to bother. It’s possible to configure the camera’s setup for video entirely independently of photo shooting, including AF and IS settings, and button and dial configuration.

4K video is recorded from a native-resolution crop in the middle of the sensor, which results in a noticeable crop of around 1.3x. But the footage is highly-detailed with attractive colours, and the image stabilisation system does an remarkable job of smoothing out hand-held pans. It’s a huge advance on Olympus’s previous models.

  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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