Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review Extension: 40MP High Res Shot Questions Answered, High ISO Shooting and More Samples Images

Important Note:
1. I am an Olympus Malaysia employee. 
2. This is a user experience based review, based on my personal opinion which can be subjective.
3. All images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG (High Quality) via Olympus Viewer 3, with exception of 40MP High Res Shot which were straight out of camera JPEG (Super Fine)
4. General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
5. Minimal post-processing applied to the images, with slight brightness/contrast balance tweak. All images were almost as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation.

This blog entry serves as an extension to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review which I have posted last week here, hence if you have not read that blog post kindly do so before continuing with this extension. In this particular extension I am looking specifically into the items pertaining to the OM-D E-M5 Mark II:
1) 40MP High Resolution Shot - answers to many questions, with sample images as well as comparison with the native 16MP shot
2) Bundled Flash unit FL-LM3 - capable of bounce flash
3) Video Recording Sample in challenging lighting situation
4) High ISO Shooting - tortured the camera in difficult low light condition




40MP HIGH RESOLUTION - QUESTIONS ANSWERED

(Important Note: If you have not read my explanation of how the 40MP High Resolution Shot works, and all the limitation and practical restrictions which you should be aware of, please read my original blog review here.)

Although Olympus did not highlight this feature as their main selling point of the OM-D E-M5 Mark II, the 40MP High Res Shot has turned many heads, and become the most discussed topic of the E-M5 Mark II, consequently resulting in the highest asked questions regarding this topic. I have received the questions from my own blog comments, emails as well as comments to my Facebook Page posting. I have also spent some time reading the online discussion happening everywhere, especially at DPReview.com forums (yes I do read what you people talk there, though I chose to remain silent and not participate). I will do my best to address the questions here. 

1) Can I shoot a human portrait with this 40MP High Res Shot? I can get my model to stay very still and not move. 
No, you cannot, and it is impossible to achieve a 40MP High Res Shot shooting people. I have tried, over 20 attempts, to shoot a friend of mine, ignoring my understanding of how the feature works, and thought I could push the boundary and perhaps get a usable human portrait. I failed miserably. Humans can stay still, very still, but not still enough for 2 seconds at the variance of half a pixels distance movement. This distance, is measure in microns. So for those of you who want to shoot people with this feature, forget it. It is NOT going to work. 

2) Can I use Flash or Studio Strobes with the 40MP High Rest Shot? How is the flash going to fire so rapidly within 2 seconds of capture time?
Yes, you can use flash and Studio Strobes. There is a setting to set interval delays between all the 8 shots captured, to allow for flash recycle/recharge time after each time a shot is taken. Take note that the flash sync with the electronic shutter used is limited at 1/20sec fastest. Careful consideration of ambient light (or how to control/reduce it) is important. 

3) Do I get to keep all 8 shots captured by the camera? Can I do my own stitching/stacking with other softwares, eg Photoshop?
In order to answer this question you have to understand how the 40MP High Res Shot works. Bear in mind this is not a simple panorama trick, by stitching multiple images, which creates a field of view wider than the original shot. The image sensor is moved only by half a pixel distance each time. As far as I know, there is no external software capable to reproducing the final combined image output as for now (lets hope there is a new development for the future, it is not impossible). What happens in real life shooting is that, all you have to do is just click the shutter button ONCE, that is all. You do NOT get to keep all the indvidual images, you get either 40MP JPEG or 64MP RAW (or both), with a backup of first frame of 16MP RAW if high resolution shot is used. 

4) Can we see some comparison between the 40MP High Res Shot against the original 16MP images? How is the High Res Shot different from a simple software interpolation technique?
Ok, lets jump right into image samples now. I do not see a huge necessity to compare, we all know that a true 40MP image file will always contain more fine details in comparison to 16MP. However, I also believe that there are many who do doubt, or would want to "see to believe" the benefits of the 40MP files, or to verify the claim of "true 40MP" rather than simple interpolation trick. 

So here you go! On the left of the comparisons are 100% crop of 40MP High Res Shots, on the right the original 16MP images, upsized to match the size of the larger 40MP images. If you disagree with this method then kindly download the full size images provided and kindly do your own comparison. 

As I have mentioned in my older review entries, I shall not be doing any comparison with other cameras. Please do not ask me to do so, and I am sure there already are, and will be many of such comparisons available. 

45mm F1.8, 2.5sec, F8, ISO200 - LED Light used


25mm F1.8, 1/6sec, F8, ISO200


25mm F1.8 1/13sec, F8, ISO200


25mm F1.8, 1/15sec, F8, ISO200


25mm F1.8, 1/3sec, F8, ISO200



5) Is the 40MP High Res Shot lens dependent? Do I need a higher grade lens to resolve more details?
A better lens will resolve greater amount of fine detail, this will especially be more crucial when more megapixels are at play. The sharper lens will be able to resolve higher pixel quality, subsequently better pixel quality will render better high resolution images. Yes, you will be getting much more out of the 40MP high resolution shot with Olympus M.Zuiko higher grade lenses, such as the 12-40mm F2.8 Pro, 25mm F1.8, 45mm F1.8, etc. 

6) Is tethered shooting supported by Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II? If yes, can the 40MP High Res Shot be used in tethered shooting?
The Olympus Capture (computer software to enable tethered shooting, connected via USB to camera) is supported by OM-D E-M5 Mark II. However, at this moment, the 40MP High Res Shot is not available in the Olympus Capture yet.

7) Why is the JPEG high res shot only 40MP? Why is the RAW 64MP instead?
The full resolution captured is 64MP, hence the RAW file is 64MP. Simple calculation steps: 8 images of 16MP yield 128MP in total, but images were moved at half a pixel pitch, hence we get effectively half of the 128MP, resulting in recorded 64MP RAW file, which should be compatible with Adobe RAW when the plug-in is released. Why is the JPEG only 40MP? Olympus R&D has found out that the optimum resolution would be 40MP, and that extra 24MP in the 64MP RAW file will not give you any more useful detail. We can verify this once the official support for 64MP RAW is released. Currently all my high res shot were taken with JPEG, hence I am showing the default 40MP shots, straight out of camera. 

8) So there must not be any movement in the 40MP High Res Shot. Can you show us what are the consequences? What will happen to the images?

If the camera is being shaken, and no tripod is used to capture the 40MP High Res Shot, or if the subject is not completely still, you will see that the area of movement showing strange pixels patterns, and do not match up to what the original image looks like. It is difficult to describe, how the pixel pattern looks like so let's just see the images as I have taken, below. 

Another thing I would like to re-iterate, is the use of sturdy tripod, as well absence of any kind of movement. If you are using a tabletop tripod, even a light tap on the table while the image is being taken will render shake in the image. I have also tried shooting with wireless flash, and guess what, the flash that is attached to the camera to fire as a commander, to trigger the other wireless flash, will cause a slight vibration when each shot is fired, and that extremely weak pulse is enough to result in unusable final image. 

I have noticed a number of responses indicating the usefulness of 40MP High Res Shot when shooting landscape and scenery, when more pixels will help in creating a more realistic final image. This is the tricky part, indeed the 40MP will give you great amount of fine detail, but can you really think of a situation with completely zero movement? Trees completely still, no grass swaying, no water rippling, obviously no waves, no leaves falling, basically you need to shoot in a world made of vacuum (no wind). Buildings and architectures would suffer less in this regard surely.  


12mm F2, 1/50sec, ISO200, F8

The escalator was moving, and the pixels do not match each properly. 

16MP shot crop, showing original shape of the escalator. 

This flower shot was taken on a table of a restaurant, and I accidentally picked up my phone from the table, causing minor vibration, which was enough to cause movement in the shot, as shown in the following photo

100% Crop from previous image


If you have not had enough pixel peeping from the above image samples and respective 40MP 100% crops vs the enlarged crops from 16MP shots, you may download the full size samples here (including the high ISO samples):



NEW EXTERNAL FLASH: FL-LM3

Alright, enough of megapixel talk, lets move on to something very unique and a good improvement, the new bundled flash FL-LM3 external flash. 

This new FL-LM3 flash is introduced as a bundled unit to the OM-D E-M5 Mark II, since the camera does not have built in flash. The unique thing about the FL-LM3, being a default, bundled flash that comes together with the camera in a package, has bounce capability. The head of the flash can be turned and tilted, just like a normal bounce head. It does not take any batteries, hence drawing power from the E-M5 Mark II. Also, interestingly this FL-LM3 does not require the accessories port to work either, and the acesories port is absent in the E-M5 Mark II (it is built into all other latest OM-D and PEN models, except E-M10). 

The FL-LM3 is ONLY compatible with E-M5 Mark II for now, and won't work with any older Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras (eg, E-M1, E-PL7). The FL-LM3, being an E-M5 Mark II bundled flash, is also fully weather sealed. 

I think it is great that Olympus added the bounce function to the bundled unit, it opens up a lot more practical use! Being able to bounce added more flexibility in creating usable, decent looking flash photographs. One important rule that many photographers observe, is to avoid direct flash whenever necessary, to prevent harsh light on subjects with deep and ugly shadows, something not very flattering on people/portrait shots. Tilting the bounce head of the flash upward to the ceiling can create a completely different and improved flash output in the image. 

Also worth noting is that, having a tillable and rotatable head (both horizontal and vertical axis), wireless flash control now (via optical trigger) can be made easier. Previously I would have issues triggering Olympus external flash units wirelessly if the external flash off camera units are being places behind me (where there is no direct line of sight from the triggering on camera flash unit to the slaves). Now the commander unit has flexible head that I can tilt to any direction!

While the flash is useful with bounce, drawing power from the camera does have it's downside. At full power GN9, the flash is not exactly that powerful. The flash recharge time at full power was around 5 seconds, which is not bad, but surely not suitable for fast action shooting. For portraits and still life, or subjects that do not require quick reaction from the photographer, 5 seconds wait is not an issue at all. 

Olympus FL-LM3 external flash unit, on E-M5 Mark II

Say hi to Kevin!
FL-LM3 used, with bounce directly off ceiling


FL-LM3 used, fired directly.


MORE THOUGHTS ON E-M5 Mark II VIDEO RECORDING PERFORMANCE


I caught Kyoto Protocol performing live last Saturday for the launch of their latest album, and I took this opportunity to further test the video performance of the E-M5 Mark II. Again, I would like to emphasize that I am no expert when it comes to video recording, in fact I have very little knowledge and completely zero experience in film making. Therefore, if you notice any fault it was mainly due to my own careless mistake, or some mistakes I do not even know I need to pay attention to. The reason I recorded the video was to serve as another sample and give my feedback as a photographer who may be one day interested in dabbling into the video making world. After all, OM-D E-M5 Mark II has many improvements in video shooting in comparison to Olympus' older Micro Four Thirds models. 

The following video is recorded in 1080HD50P (I did not check this before recording, else I would have set to 60P), set at P (programme) exposure mode, Continuous AF (C-AF), quality Fine, 5-Axis IS enabled, handheld (obviously) and recording volume set to the lowest -10 setting. White Balance was Auto. Lens used: Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8. 


KYOTO PROTOCOL 
(please view the video in full 1080HD50P setting)

Here are my comments and finding on the video:

1) Continuous Autofocus performance
The lighting condition was horrendous, with blinking striking bright light happening many times for a few seconds, and that caused the camera to lose focus. However, you will also noticed that once that blinking light stopped, and the light was constant, the camera immediately picked up focus and it happened VERY accurately. This happened multiple times, I left the option to touch any area of the screen to change focusing area (via touch AF) and that helped me with the live band's active movement throughout the performance. I understand that the experts would go full manual AF in situations like these, but if I did manual recording, we would not know how the AF works, and it was just a simple test, which many people, including myself who are not too crazy about video making, would find useful. 

2) 5-Axis Image Stabilization
Again, the ability of the camera to be used in video recording hand-held is nothing short of amazing. This time, I stayed with a shorter focal length, using the 25mm F1.8 (50mm in 35mm format), and almost all shake was reduced and controlled. If there was sudden jump or jerking, it was due to the crowd pushing and going crazy to the tunes banging their heads on me (just kidding, that was an exaggeration but you get the point). It was a huge contrast to my previous video in the blog review, because then I used to zoom in all the way to 150mm (equivalent to 300mm in 35mm format), hence some shake and jumpiness were expected when shooting hand-held. 

3) Audio Quality
While the serious film makers and videographers would invest in external microphones and record the sound either separately or via input mic jack of the E-M5 Mark II, I, as a complete noob just relied on the camera's built in microphone. Anticipating the live music to be extremely loud, and myself standing just a few feet away from one of the main gigantic speakers, I expected the sound to be clipped and distorted, in many situations I have recorded live performance before. I decided to set the recording volume to the lowest -10 setting and as I monitored the sound bars (live feedback on audio levels), it clearly showed at maximum, indicating high chance of audio being distorted and clipped. However when I reviewed the footage on my PC I was pleased to find that the audio was not clipped even at very loud volume. While the audio quality is nothing to write home about, it was actually usable, for simple journalistic and documentary purposes. 


HIGH ISO SHOOTING

As usual, one key factor in determining a camera performance would be the ability to shoot in low light conditions, and how the high ISO images turn out. I was at the Kyoto Protocol live performance and I have recorded 5 video clips (one shown above) and almost a thousand images. 

The lighting condition, as shown in the video, was not ideal. Almost all the time, images came out purplish/pinkish. I had to do some tweaking in white balance setting (done in Olympus Viewer 3) to get the skin color that I felt is acceptable to human eyes. Other than that, no other settings were changed or tweaked. 

The E-M5 Mark II has no surprises when it comes to high ISO shooting. I was expecting similar results seen in some of latest Olympus cameras, such as E-PL7 and E-M10, and I was not wrong. ISO3,200 is very usable, and ISO6400 must be taken with caution, and I would avoid anything higher than that. The suppression of chromatic noise was good, and good amount of detail is preserved even. 


40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/200sec, F2.8, ISO8000

100% Crop from previous image

40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/250sec, F2.8, ISO4000


100% crop from previous image

40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/80sec, F2.8, ISO12800


40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/200sec, F2.8, ISO8000


40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/250sec, F2.8, ISO8000


40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/320sec, F2.8, ISO3200


40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/250sec, F2.8, ISO10000


100% Crop from previous image

12mm F2, 1/80sec, F2.8, ISO800


40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/125sec, F2.8, ISO2500


40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/80sec, F2.8, ISO1600


40-150mm F2.8 PRO, 1/250sec, F2.8, ISO4000


Oh with that swivel screen, let's take a selfie! Vintage Art Filter applied


To cap off this review extension, I am leaving you with images taken from a shutter therapy session, a street photography outing at Pudu KL. 

The best that I can hope for is able to just bring the E-M5 Mark II out and shoot just for the fun of it, without taking in too many technical consideration and thoughts. This was the session that I enjoyed the most. 

45mm F1.8, 1/800sec, F1.8, ISO200

45mm F1.8, 1/160sec, F1.8, ISO500

45mm F1.8, 1/250sec, F1.8, ISO200

45mm F1.8, 1/125, F1.8, ISO250

12mm F2, 1/40sec, F2, ISO500

45mm F1.8, 1/320sec, F1.8, ISO500

45mm F1.8, 1/5sec, F10, ISO200

45mm F1.8, 1/250sec, F2.8, ISO1000

100% Crop from previous image

45mm F1.8, 1/250sec, F1.8, ISO200

25mm F1.8, 1/30sec, F1.8, ISO200

14-150mm F4-5.6 II, 1/250sec, F5.5, ISO12800

100% Crop from previous image

25mm F1.8, 1/15sec, F7.1, ISO200

The next item I do want to follow up, is a review of the newly released M.Zuiko 14-150mm F4-5.6 II lens. 

Unfortunately I won't be able to follow up on this review immediately, as I will be fully occupied for the coming two weeks. 

That also means my blog will be slightly inactive until much later this month. 

Nonetheless, I will make the review of the 14-150mm II happen, and I will also use E-M5 Mark II with the lens, thus more sample images will be shown here in the future, and chances to test out anything else that I may be requested to. 

If you have questions, comments or requests kindly say so in the comments section!

Please support this site by liking my Facebook Page. 

91 comments :

  1. Love the comparison photos =D Robin throw me one Mark2 pls hahaha!!

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    1. Tian Chad, thanks for the kind words. Do not worry, I will make something happen for you soon. Shall keep you updated.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Oh, I'll take one too, please :)

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    4. The line is getting very long

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  2. It does seem to work quite well in lower light. I've been testing the Panasonic/Leica 15mm f/1.7 with the E-M1 and it has done reasonable well outdoors in the dark. Then again, the GH4 with the 12-40mm f/2.8 lens did well shooting stills and video at a small concert--naturally, without stabilization.

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    1. Hi Nobuyuki San,
      Are you referring to the video recording or 40MP? I assume it is video. Yes, in low light it was alright, and I am not experienced with video, so under better videographer's supervision I think the camera would fare better.

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    2. The various photos look good at high ISO. I didn't look at the video yet because of the bandwidth.

      The 40 MP mode photos look good in most cases. I wouldn't think anyone would believe that the mode would replace the Nikon D810 for most work, but it does seem impressive for product photos. If the E-M1 could be modified to do this, it would be amazing.

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    3. Oh dear you were referring to the images, my bad. Indeed the high ISO images are looking good. But nothing extraordinary or different from E-M1 or E-M10.

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    4. I have not had good luck with high ISO images at all. I throw away anything past ISO 3200, from the GH3, GH4, or E-M1, unless there is something extraordinary.

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    5. I think E-M1's ISO6400 is OK. Just do not underexpose them and then lift the shadow back up in post processing. That is a nightmare.

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  3. Replies
    1. No problem! Glad you find it useful.

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  4. Impressive that IBIS in video. The poor guy at right of the stage was required to use a monopod :(
    And considering You could shoot just handheld that made it even more impressive.
    What raises the next question, with improved gyro, does the IBIS work better now with monopod so it doesn't start shaking itself?

    As while the IBIS does amazing work to replace tripod and monopod for recording, but handhelding even OM-D for couple songs will result tired hands. So monopod is great way to just rest the camera on it.

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    Replies
    1. I am not sure myself as I do not have a monopod. I am sure someone else will test it!

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  5. Can we use braketing exposure with 40Mpx mode ? to make HDR

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    1. Bracketing is disabled. However you can adjust frames of different exposures variation manually, hence manual bracketing. Nothing to stop you from stitching HDR in post processing

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  6. Thanks for the follow-up! In the high-ISO section, you said ISOs of 6400 and up need to be approached with caution. Yet your ISO 8000 photo of the guitar head, and even the ISO 12,800 photo of the mannequin's necktie, look impressively detailed -- I would have no hesitation about using them! So is it really just in underexposed shadow areas that the problems come out?

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    Replies
    1. You were right, the shadow area, hence do not underexpose.

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  7. Hi Robin,

    I have been reading your reviews for the last 6
    months since I decided to swap from the classic Canon dslr to Olympus EM-10 along with some lenses (lumix 8mm fe, lumix 7-14, lumix 20mm, oly 45mm and oly 40-150 2.8). I am so happy and satisfied with this system. I was initially swapped because my main interest of photography is underwater with no tanks so a lighter housing and camera was among my needs (this is my website www.pallse.gr). Soon I've noticed that EM-10 was so fun to shoot on land too so I've started taking more seriously the "dry" photography.

    The above review meets your standards as always, great work again! I have a question, if you have some time. I was initially processing my raw files with the adobe camera raw and I was satisfied. I have however some inability to get good high ISO photos out of there. So I recently search again and re-read your articles of how you processing your files. So, I decided to give a chance to Olympus viewer 3 as u suggested. I played a lot (although its running quite slow on my computer) and especially I made some tests on the high ISO photos with the noise filter (Off, Low, Standard, High). I've read that you always shoot with noise filter off or low and then depending of the file you change this on the post processing to manage the noise. So here is my question. What are the approximate covering ISO ranges that every one of the available automatic choices when you edit your files?

    For instance, do you think these are correct?:

    iso200 to iso800 = off noise filter
    iso800 to iso1600 = low noise filter
    iso1600 to iso4000 = standard noise filter
    iso4000 to max = high noise filter

    That’s my only point of confuse up to date. Otherwise, I am very pleased and satisfied with my mirrorless equipment and I am planning to go for my next body the EM-1 or EM-5II to take their 5 axis and weatherproof advantages for my land photography.

    Thank you for your time,

    Dimitris

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    1. Hi Dimitris,
      welcome to the world of Micro Four Thrids and thanks so much for the kind support to my blog! Appreciate that a lot.
      I usually just leave the noise filter to low for all my usual shooting, and OFF only when I am shooting review. I would avoid Standard or high settings even when I am shooting high ISO, I would rather have the noise than losing more useful fine details in my shots.

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    2. Thanks for your response Robin. Seriously, I cannot believe that these 8000 or 10000 ISO photos are with the noise filter set to off (as you mentioned you leave noise filter to off on your review photos). I guess you swapped to noise filter to low or standard during raw post processing on OV3?

      My doubts are because my shots with my 40-150mm 2.8 are not so good and useable as yours despite the exceptional lens performance. I dont think that EM-5II is so much better performer than the EM-10 at high ISO levels.

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    3. Update: Last night I went out with the 40-150 2.8 to take shots from central Athens, parliament, protest against euro policy. Almost all of my shots where between 4000 and 6800 iso., with low filter on. Upon my return at home for processing I saved and export these from OV3 to PS for further filtering effects. The results are magnificent with very usable pictures. You are right, standard or high filter should be avoided. Low with OV3 works like charm!

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    4. Thanks for the verification! For this review I shot with the Noise Filter Off, so that you can see all details. But for real life practical use I would apply Noise Filter Low, you know, just to smoothen the images out a little so they do not look so grainy.

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    5. Here are some high ISO shots with the 40-150 2.8 (some with my 7-14mm). http://www.pallse.gr/athens-protest-against-austerity/#.VN4fFyyLXMg
      Most of them at 150mm.

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  8. That sharpness even wide open... incredible.

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  9. It's possible to use Manual Focus Lenses in 40MP High Res Shot Mode to avoid the F8 Aperture limit? I so it will be interesting to see the results, like blur backgrounds and with faster shutter speeds we're closer to hand held shooting.
    What do you think?

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    1. You can actually shoot wider than F8. You cannot stop down further like F11 or F16.
      Faster shutter speed does not help with hand-held shooting. In case you have not read everything I have written, it is the variance of half a pixel distance that made hand-held impossible.
      I actually do not have the answer to manual lenses usage. Currently all the test units of E-M5 mark II is away from us. Will have to get back to you a week or more later when I have the camera in hand.

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  10. Hi Robin, how did you create high ISO jpeg pictures, direct raw file transfer in camera? Also, will you compare E-M1 and E-M5II in the future and make recommendations for which to buy?
    Thank you,
    Yang

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    1. I shot everything in RAW and developed through Olympus Viewer 3. I wont do any comparisons, it requires too much work for now. Also I have done exhaustive reviews for E-M1 with plenty of image samples available for download.

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    2. Thank you Robin. It is always fun and informative reading your blogs.

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  11. I bought the EM-5 after reading your review and have loved that camera. It was stolen least year and now after reading your review I am going to buy the New MK-2. Thank you for your great reviews and images.

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    1. So sorry to hear about the loss of your E-M5! And yes, the new E-M5 Mark II will be a worthwhile upgrade.

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  12. Hi Robin, thanks again for the review and pictures. It makes me think that the OM D-1 will be upgraded with even better features in the near future. I don't know how much you can discuss, but do you think any of these new features can be gained in the other camera with a firmware upgrade? Also, was really stunned seeing the resolution side by side differences between the 40 and 16 mpx. Did that give you any thought about wanting a higher rez sensor after seeing these tests? They were pretty startling.

    Hope you're well and happy.

    Steve

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    Replies
    1. Honestly, not that I am hiding anything, I have not heard of anything about the E-M1 replacement! I am very far away from Japan, in a small country in South East Asia, working in the Marketing of Olympus Malaysia so yeah, I do not get all the info.

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  13. I have to disagree with you Robin. Your pictures at 6400 and above are completely useable, if not excellent. Shooting high ISO is not everyone's plan but the m4/3 can do it without losing much detail and it's better than getting motion blur because of being afraid of going high on ISO. I used to not go above 1600 but now it's not a problem. You're explanation to another reader is right on: As long as it's not underexposed when shot, it will be fine.
    I shoot mostly JPG and use low on the noise filter. Thanks for your excellent work.

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    1. One other thing: you mention it takes two seconds to expose for the 40-64MP size image. Why wouldn't it take about 4/5 of a second since it can shoot 10 fps.?

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    2. Hi Bryce,
      If it was shooting 10 frames per second, the image sensor was static and not moving. for this high res shot of 40MP, the sensor needs to be moved from one position to another, by a distance of half a pixel. That movement is controlled by the 5-Axis IS mechanism (though IS is disabled), and requires time. And in total there are 8 movements! Hence about 2 seconds just to capture the images, and about 2 seconds more to process.

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  14. Thanks for the very informative and visually inspiring reviews! With High Res capture, what is the maximum delay that can be set between exposures (sensor shifts) to allow flash to recycle? Also, will Olympus Viewer 3 process the 64 MPx RAW files instead of Photoshop/Lightroom?

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    1. Please kindly leave your name when you comment next time, for purpose of remembering what you have commented and the history of your discussion here.
      The longest flash delay available is 30sec, Yes, of course the RAW file of the high res shot can be developed through Olympus' own Viewer 3!

      Delete
  15. Sweet Googly moogly that was an awesome follow up to your original review/thoughts on the E-M5II! I really enjoyed seeing the photo comparisons as well as the escalator photo. I was really wondering about the pixel shift usability handheld and it seems like tripod use is the only way to conventionally use the feature. I'm also really excited to see the segment on the FL-LM3 which was also great. I was really surprised that it was weatherproof. Keep up the good work Robin, and again thank you for answering all of my questions.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Alexander!

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  16. hi robin, i love your photos, i appreciate you for your reviews, and i need to know a thing...when i had a em5 I had a lot of purple fringing with 20mm 1.7, so i switched to Gx7. I want to buy the new one but the rumors tell that the sensor is the same (sony). the markII have a stronger UV filter than the previous?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ema, UV filters are used for lenses not on image sensors. Unless you are referring to AA Filter or IR filter.

      Delete
  17. great review, as usual Robin. Anywhere I can find good tutorials on using OV3?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may refer to my blog entry here http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2014/01/my-post-processing-for-blogging-purposes.html

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  18. Hi Robin, just wonder would E-M5 MkII produce a better still image quality than my current E-M10 (apart from 40MP and Video features)
    I am considering the switch if it would.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would say it is quite similar.

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  19. Anyways, thanks for a great reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi there, Does the E-M5 Mk II have plug-in power on the external microphone jack?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I dont think there is a plug in power but yes there is an external mic jack.

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    2. It does have plug-in power, yes.

      Delete
  21. Most reviewers and testing organizations give the EM-5 better grades for low-light photography than the EM-1. Many of them credit the EM-5's Sony-manufactured sensor over the EM-1's Panasonic-manufactured sensor. Which sensor is in the new EM-5 Mk 2?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used the E-m5 for nine months, and now the E-m1 since Nov 2013, I still have the raw files and it seems low light results for both cameras are comparable...

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    2. No, not really Allen. E-M1, based on my own comparison is faring better than E-M5 in terms of low light performance, E-M5 Mark II uses the same sensor as the older E-M5.

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  22. Thanks for another exceptional demonstration of the camera, great explanations and lots of wonderful images to view. I have my OM-D E-M5 Mark II on preorder, and might have it next week. Have already gotten my 12-40 F2.8 and an extra battery plus memory card. Haven't decide on other lenses yet, but the reality is I don't have a great need for very long lens (have my FZ1000 for that) so am thinking about getting the 75 F1.8 for a low light medium range telephoto. If the quality is on par with the current PRO lenses, then will get the 7-14 F2.8 when it is available. The OM-D E-M5 Mark II will be my premier shooting gear for those times when I want the best quality images. Am retiring to the Philippines come summer and will be spending a lot of my time photographing and writing about those incredible islands. After all, retirement is not when you stop working, it is when you do what you love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey David,
      Glad you have discovered the wonderful world of Micro Four Thirds system! And gosh I envy you, I wish I have more time shooting and writing as well.

      Delete
    2. Hey Robin, this is actually my return to m4/3 not my first discovery. I previously had 4/3 system E500, E510 and E-3, then Panasonic GH-1. But this will be my biggest jump and with all Pro lenses. No compromises. I'm excited that I will be able to really dedicate a lot of time to my phtography.

      Delete
  23. Hi Robin

    I've been following your blog for some time now and it's been instrumental in shaping my decision to swicth over from my Nikon D5100 to the OMD system. Was planning to buy the EM1 soon, but now after reading your two reviews on the EM5 Mk II - wondering which one I should go in for? - Any help there pls :) ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both are very different cameras. Do read up on both my E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II reviews. I dont think you will regret whichever decision. Either one is a huge step up from the D5100.

      Delete
  24. Robin, I was watching your pictures and did not believe that is possible when photographing sensitivity ISO 3200 and 6400. But here I bought the Olympus E-PL7 and found, that shooting with a sensitivity of 3200 real!.
    https://vk.com/photo289418829_360110319
    https://pp.vk.me/c624626/v624626829/1b490/jVA7RhvKLd8.jpg
    https://pp.vk.me/c624626/v624626829/1b487/jeHzmjRweHs.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nikolay,
      Indeed people often underestimate the capabilities of Olympus Micro Four Thirds system.

      Delete
  25. Hello Robin
    This is a wonderful and helpful review, and your photos are spectacular.
    Could you help me with this? I photograph birds and wildlife mostly, and am anxious to shift from Canon to the Oly mark 5 ii, but wondered if the OM-D E-M1 would be a better choice., considering the firmware upgrade 3.0? I like the new stabilization improvements you mention for the 5ii, but does this outweigh the AF performance of the omd e m1? thank you so much!

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  26. Those side-by-side images are very impressive. Not sure I really shoot subjects that would benefit from it, but it's nice to see it in action. I guess this would be great for product photographers and maybe people who do things like still-life/fine art type stuff.

    And of course your streets shots are stunning as always.

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  27. Man, oh man what a beautifully designed camera it is. Soooo tempting. The side by side images do indeed show a marked improvement in IQ, which is of course not surprising with the excellent Oly lenses and truckloads of (quality) pixels. Then again, the last time I printed mural sized work is at least 20 years ago, if not more. Dang, I'm getting really old. But for commercial stills work, no doubt this is interesting. This is getting into medium format quality - technology is progressing rapidly.

    Wonderful (additional) review Robin! Keep up the good work!

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  28. great camera, not a best high iso camera but it's cheapest camera with all the quality image ... until now still using em5 .. .. but for em5 mk2 with the video and the new 5 axis stabilization .. i just pre order 2 pieces from OCCI indonesia ...

    ReplyDelete
  29. Great review. I purchased em5 ii few days ago with 12-40 pro lens, great camera and excellent lens. One thing i couldn't figure out is to shot in live composite mode. I follow the instruction manual step by step, but i only can get the live bulb and live time mode.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great review. I purchased em5 ii few days ago with 12-40 pro lens, great camera and excellent lens. One thing i couldn't figure out is to shot in live composite mode. I follow the instruction manual step by step, but i only can get the live bulb and live time mode.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Robin, love your photos, I was surprised to see you get so many amazing clean photos at high ISO's, I had the E10 and was disappointed at the photos I was taking in low light, I guess I am use to previously owning Fuji X cameras and a Sony A7 which has amazing ISO results. But after reading some of the comments and looking at your photos, I think maybe it's the way I am processing my photos in post? What are your thoughts on comparing the EM5 i I to the Sony A7, am I just stuck on the full frame bug or do I need lessons on tweaking high ISO photos in post. I have never been a raw shooter so probably should start from there, love your reviews, thanks Darrell

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Robin, is it possible to use self timer in High Res Shot mode? When I switch to High Res and try to activate self timer the camera doesn't let me do it. Is it me or you really can't delay the shot in hi-res?
    thanks
    Luis

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  33. Hey Robin,

    First of all, great article!!! Amazing pics and the VIDEO QUALITY IS INSANE!!! I do have a question, not sure if you can answer. I have the om ed m5, is there a way to capture live view on your laptop while recording? I've been looking for a solution.

    If you have any tips you can share, let me know.

    Thank you and keep up the great work!

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  34. Robin,

    Is there any official Olympus documentation on movie recording modes outside the manual? I find the manual is lacking in detail in this regard. Specifically, the audio monitoring levels. There are no numbers on the sliders just white bars, then red. Once it hits red is that 0db or the industry standard -12db? What level is represented when the bar goes all the way to the right into the red and off the line?

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  35. Hi Robin,

    How is the IQ if compare with Samsung nx600 and pentax k5sll? Hope this is not a stupid question for u :p.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Robin,

    How is the IQ if compare with Samsung nx600 and pentax k5sll? Hope this is not a stupid question for u :p.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Robin,

    How do you think this would handle astrophotography using hi-res mode? A typical shot is high iso (1600+) in very dark conditions with up to 30 second exposures.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Robbin,

    I would like to thank you for all your reviews !!!! I'm a pro photographer that's use Canon & Nikon Gear . I absolutely love the Olympus EM1 with 12 -40 f 2.8
    I look at all your reviews and images and truly believe , that Olympus is way ahead of the game ....

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi Robin,

    Love your reviews. Not sure if you still read the comments so may have to try your email but..i have a question regarding the flash.

    I discovered this blog as I'm considering buying a EM10 Mk2 with a 60mm f2.8 to shoot macro. I saw your macro shooting set-up and was going to buy a separate wireless flash unit to copy your method when I saw that the Em5 Mk2 comes with this LM-3. I assume that because it has to draw power from the camera, it can't function physically independent of the camera? But because it has swivel/bounce capabilities, maybe I can achieve similar macro lighting if I put a shoebox reflector or a flashbender on it? What do you think?

    The reason I ask is that I was going to pick up the cheaper Em-10 mk2 and the FL600R flash, but the extra cost of the flash makes it a similar price to getting the EM5 Mk2 alone.

    Thanks in advance,
    Richard

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks for this nice information shared by you.
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    ReplyDelete
  41. thank you for sharing nice picture. so good result. i want to buy this CCTV Camera.

    ReplyDelete
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