Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II review

March 6, 2015

Overall Rating:


Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

  • Metering:
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  • LCD viewfinder:
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  • - Excellent JPEG image quality
  • - Fast, responsive operation
  • - Robust, weather-resistant body
  • - Almost all controls can be customised to suit the user


  • - Complex menus are difficult to master
  • - Connectors interfere with articulated screen
  • - Raw image quality can't quite match larger sensor cameras



Price as Reviewed:

£899.00 (body only)

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II may at first glance look similar to its predecessor, but it's a very different camera underneath. Andy Westlake examines it in fine detail in our Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II review

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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II at a glance

  • 16-millon-pixel, Four Thirds sensor
  • 40-million-pixel high-resolution composite mode
  • ISO 100-25600 (extended)
  • 3in, 1.04M-dot LCD
  • 2.36M dot EVF, 0.74x equiv magnification
  • 1/8000sec max shutter speed
  • Price £900 body only

Three years ago Olympus turned the compact system camera market on its head with the launch of the OM-D E-M5. This enthusiast-oriented model packed a groundbreaking 5-axis image stabilisation system into its compact, weatherproof, and handsomely retro-styled body. With an improved sensor compared to previous Micro Four Thirds models, it also offered image quality competitive with most APS-C SLRs. It rapidly became a favourite among photographers looking for a high quality system without the weight and bulk of an SLR, and in both 2013 and 2014 it was the most popular CSC among users of the photo-sharing site Flickr.

With the OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Olympus is clearly attempting counter the threat of more recent competitors, such as the even-more-retro Fujifilm X-T1 and the full frame Sony Alpha 7 series. In the absence of a new sensor to play with, it still uses a 16-million-pixel Four Thirds MOS chip, but almost everything else about the camera has been tweaked, revised and updated.

The camera’s headline trick is a new 40-million-pixel composite shooting mode, although as we’ll see later, this comes with some serious limitations. Apart from that, the E-M5 Mark II gets a larger, clearer electronic viewfinder, a fully-articulated LCD, a vastly-improved control layout, and an improved super-quiet shutter. And that’s just the start of it.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Samples gallery

Take a look at our Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II image samples gallery

  • Sensor: 16.2-million-pixel, Four Thirds Live MOS sensor
  • Output size: 4608 x 3456
  • Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Focal-length magnification: 2x
  • Shutter speeds: 60-1/8000sec; 1/16000 sec electronic
  • ISO sensitivity: 100-25,600 extended
  • Exposure modes: PASM, iAuto, Scene, Art Filters
  • Metering system: Multi, average, spot, highlight spot, shadow spot
  • Exposure compensation: ±3EV in 1/3 steps
  • Drive mode: 10fps; 5fps with AF
  • LCD: 3in, 1.04M-dot fully- articulated LCD
  • Viewfinder: 2.36M-dot EVF, 100% coverage, 1.48x magnification
  • Image stabilisation: 5-axis in-body IS
  • AF points: 81-point contrast-detect
  • Video: Full HD, built-in stereo mic
  • External mic: Yes, 3.5mm stereo socket
  • Memory card: SDHC, SDXC
  • Power: BLN-1 rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Battery life: Approx 310 shots
  • Dimensions: 123.7 x 85 x 44.5mm
  • Weight: 469g with battery and card

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