The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II refreshes its predecessor with a range of improvements. Matt Golowczynski investigates the difference these make
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II review: Build and handling
While the spec sheet reveals minor differences in size and weight between the E-M10 and the Mark II version, these are small enough to be imperceptible. The key thing is that, like the E-M10, the new model is remarkably compact and portable, especially when it’s partnered with the pancake M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ kit option or one of the company’s small prime lenses.
The body is made from metal, with plastic around the sides, back and display, and a textured plastic covers much of the front-plate. The latter looks smart and provides a little extra purchase, although the softer, faux-leather coverings of models from other manufacturers feel a touch nicer in the hand. Although this combination of materials helps to keep weight below 400g, the camera still feels solid.
With the exception of the OM-D E-M1, I haven’t found previous OM-D models to have provided quite the handling or shooting experience of other compact system cameras, with controls generally on the small and stiff side, and some awkwardly recessed in very angular bodies. However, the E-M10 Mark II has been tweaked very much for the better. The on/off switch has been relocated from a corner of the back-plate to a more prominent spot on the top-plate, its position and styling now making it slightly easier to turn than before.
While the E-M10’s twin command dials have been maintained, they’ve been styled much like the E-M5 Mark II’s, with smartly milled edges and a two-tone finish. They have also shifted a little – ostensibly to accommodate the repositioned mode dial – and stand much prouder from the top-plate than before, which in turn makes them easier to operate than the E-M10’s flat dials. Together with their slackness, however, they can be knocked a little too easily and I often found myself shooting with the exposure compensation unintentionally adjusted. Their proximity to the mode dial also meant they would turn when the exposure mode was changed.
Olympus has gently restyled the E-M10’s grip for the E-M10 Mark II and made the thumb rest on the rear a little more substantial, too, with the result being a camera that feels positive when held with either one hand or both. Its light weight and small size mean it can be used successfully with one hand when low to the ground and the screen angled upwards, with the benefit of the effective IS system helping to keep things steady here. The camera can also be used with the optional ECG-3 grip that has been specifically designed for it.