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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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II low light portrait

With its reliable face detection autofocus, the E-M5 Mark II has no trouble focusing on off-centre subjects. This example was shot using the relatively inexpensive Olympus m.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 lens wide open.

We’ve become used to CSCs offering fast, accurate autofocus, and the E-M5 Mark II is no exception. Its 81-point contrast-detect AF system covers most of the frame, and can automatically switch to face detection when it detects a human subject. At this point it will even detect and focus on the closer eye, which is usually what we want to do. When using the EVF, the focus area can be set using the D-pad on the back of the camera; with the LCD it can be selected by simply tapping the screen.

Traditionally CSCs have not been so great at following moving subjects, but the manufacturers have made great strides here in recent years. The Mark II isn’t top of the class, as it has no phase detection elements on the sensor and therefore can’t match the likes of the Samsung NX1, Sony Alpha 6000 or its big brother the E-M1. Instead it can ‘only’ shoot at 5fps with continuous AF, which will likely satisfy many users. But if you spend a lot of time shooting fast-moving subjects, it might not be your best choice.

For manual focus, both an image-stabilised magnified view and a focus peaking display (that detects and highlights high contrast edges) are on hand to help with critical focusing. The two can be combined, and the latter is nicely customisable, with a choice of highlight colours and intensities. I found peaking worked well both with modern, native primes and older manual focus optics – but magnified view gives the very best accuracy.

  • 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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