Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II review

March 6, 2015

Overall Rating:


Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

  • Metering:
  • Autofocus:
  • Features:
  • LCD viewfinder:
  • Build/Handling:
  • AWB Colour:
  • Dynamic Range:


  • - 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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Viewfinder and screen

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II tilt screen

The OM-D E-M5 Mark II’s screen is now fully articulated

Both the viewfinder and rear screen gain significant updates compared to the E-M5. The electronic viewfinder is superb; large and high resolution, in real-world use it’s a match for any other premium compact system camera, and indeed as large and sharp as the optical viewfinders of full frame SLRs. One feature I appreciate is how it adapts its display brightness to match the ambient light conditions. A viewfinder eye sensor automatically switches from the LCD to the EVF when you bring the camera up to your eye. It’s disabled when the screen is folded out, at which point the EVF can’t be used.

The 1.06M dot rear screen is both higher in resolution than the E-M5’s and visibly more colour-accurate, but the biggest change is that it’s now fully articulated. This makes it useable as a waist-level finder when shooting in portrait format, which I like a lot. But the catch is that it interferes with the microphone, HDMI and remote release ports on the camera’s left hand side. To be fair, given the camera’s tiny size there’s not a lot Olympus could do about this, short of pointing all of the connectors out of the front of the camera instead.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II remote screen clash

One problem with the articulated screen is that can clash with a remote release. Using a remote cable or microphone also compromises weathersealing, as opening the shared cover exposes all three connectors

Olympus has obviously been working hard on making the most of fully-electronic viewing as a tool for pre-visualising your images, to offset any perceived disadvantages compared to optical viewfinders. Exposure, depth of field and any chosen picture effects can all be previewed live, and the display can be overlaid with a wealth of information including electronic levels and a live histogram. You can even preview the effects of the camera’s built-in HDR and perspective correction modes. This is hugely useful while shooting, taking the guesswork out of changing exposure settings, and something DSLRs simply can’t match.

  • 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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