Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Review

Important Notes:
1) I am an Olympus Malaysia employee. 
2) This is a user experience based approach review of a camera. I spent considerable amount of time shooting, and I am writing this blog review based on that shooting experience, with plenty of sample photographs to show and support my findings. 
3) This is not a full technical analysis review site. There are many of such sites out there, I am not equipped with sufficient expertise and equipment to perform elaborate technical tests. 
4)I may be biased (who isn't?) but that does not mean I cannot shoot photographs, share them, and write about my experience using the camera, all which are still valid. Do not just rely solely on my review alone, there will be plenty others available for you to make a more rounded conclusion. 
5) All images were shot in RAW and converted to JPEG directly via Olympus Viewer 3 software. Very minimal post-processing were applied (minor exposure compensation, white balance tweak, etc). 
6) Important image parameters: White Balance Auto (warm color off), Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation = 0, Noise Filter = OFF, Gradation = Normal

Today, Olympus is launching the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, the second generation of the premium compact E-M10 series in the OM-D system line-up.

The OM-D series is aimed at professional and serious enthusiasts wanting more from their camera and expect the best of the best that the system can offer. Characteristics that define an OM-D include large Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), powerful image stabilization system, DSLR like controls and features (twin dials, plenty of shortcut customizeable function buttons, good ergonomics and handling etc), high performance in terms of AF speed/camera response, as well as the final image quality results delivered by the camera. E-M1 and E-M5 series are weather-sealed, while the E-M10 series, including the new E-M10 Mark II is not. It is crucial to note that the OM-D E-M10 Mark II is not a direct replacement of E-M10, and sits comfortably between E-M5 Mark II and E-M10.

The key highlights of the OM-D E-M10 Mark II:

1) Powerful 5-Axis Image Stabilization 
Continuing the tradition of the OM-D strength, now the E-M10 Mark II has 5-Axis Image Stabilization, much like the elder siblings E-M5 Mark II and E-M1. The Image Stabilization works in both still and movie recordings.

2) Small, light-weight, premium quality construction
E-M10/E-M10 Mark II is the smallest of the OM-D series, but still fully built in metal body and high grade material.

3) Large Electronic Viewfinder (new OLED design)
E-M5 Mark II and E-M1 share the same LCD viewfinder (0.74x magnification), but the E-M10 Mark II is slightly smaller at 0.62x, with high resolution of 2.36 Million Dots and 100% frame coverage.

4) High Performance (fast AF, OM-D image quality)
Olympus AF system has been known to be super fast and accurate and this continues in the E-M10 Mark II. The E-M10 Mark II also uses the similar image sensor and processing engine (Truepic 7) as the E-M5 Mark II, so I am expecting the camera to deliver very similar image quality.

5) Creative Shooting Features 
Art Filters, HDR Mode, Color Creator, etc

For full specifications please visit the official product page here (click). 

I like the new design of the E-M10 Mark II. It looks cleaner, simpler and more straight to the point. I'd pick silver if I were to choose one. 



The first thing you will notice that made E-M10 Mark II stood out from all other OM-D cameras is the dial knob designs. The knobs are thicker, with rougher texturing all around, and this is also on the Mode Dial as well. The dials are almost built "on top" of the camera top plate, which made them look like large, dialable buttons. The shutter button is placed directly on top of the front dial. I like how the Mode Dial is placed close together with the two main control dials, so that I can see and control everything in the same spot, rather than having to move my fingers elsewhere. 

The power button is also redesigned, and has a stiffer clutch to it. You will need to assert significant amount of force to turn the power on and off, which would prevent accidental switching when the camera is in the bag. Another interesting observation is that, you will need to turn the camera on to be able to raise the built in pop up flash (rotate  counter-clockwise to power on from off, and the rotate further along the same direction to raise the pop up flash). This also prevents the built in flash from being accidentally raised up. Very clever design I must say. 

I treasure the beefier thumb-hook, which added a good amount of thickness to the overall hand-holding of E-M10 Mark II. The resting of thumb area helped stabilize the camera better, and improved the handling of the E-M10 Mark II significantly. 


IMAGE QUALITY

Let us get the obvious stuff out of the way. 

During the course of shooting with the E-M10 Mark II and coming home with hundreds (possibly more than a thousand) photographs of various photography subjects, scrutinizing the images at different ISO settings and lighting conditions, I can safely say that the image quality from the E-M10 Mark II is similar to E-M5 Mark II/E-M1. Considering the E-M10 Mark II is sharing the same sensor as the E-M5 Mark II, with similar image processing engine Truepic 7, there is no noticeable improvement (if there is any) in the E-M10 Mark II. 

Nonetheless, the E-M10 Mark II is not created to replace or surpass the E-M1 or the E-M5 Mark II, hence we should not be expecting it to do so. While competing manufacturers have released newer cameras with newer and improved image sensor with dramatically increased image quality, the E-M10, priced lower than the higher end range of cameras, delivers head to head with what the competitors at the similar range can offer. It is also true that the 16MP image sensor is getting old, and the good news of a new sensor used in the Panasonic GX8 brought hope of better performing image sensor. I personally would expect such sensor, or even a better one, to be fitted in the coming successors of E-M1 or E-P5 (whenever they will happen). 

Since the image quality is the same, I did my image quality tests slightly differently this time. Instead of using all the high performing lenses, such as PRO lenses and the super sharp prime lenses all the time, I purposely decided to use the most basic of all Olympus M.Zuiko lenses as my primary set up: the original ket lens, M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake Zoom lens, as well as the versatile, and budget friendly M.Zuiko 40-150mm F4-5.6 R lens. I have used these two lenses on the E-M10 Mark II for the majority of the images shown in this blog review entry. I have also used M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8, 45mm F1.8 and 75mm F1.8, in situations when I do need the larger aperture (eg, low light). 

As expected from OM-D Image Quality, the 16MP sensor may be old now, but still delivers. I was pleased to see the detail rich results, beautiful colours and good contrast in the photographs. Even by using merely the kit lens and the basic telephoto zoom lens, I was able to produce excellent results. 

45mm f1.8 lens, 1/640sec, F1.8, ISO400

40-150mm R lens, 150mm, 1/20sec, F5.6, ISO1600
This image was taken at full zoom 150mm, at 1/20sec hand-held. The 5-Axis Image Stabilization works well in long telephoto shots. 

Crop from previous image

40-150mm R lens at 116mm, 1/200sec, F5.3, ISO1600

Crop from previous image. Even at ISO1600, the fine details are fully intact. 


CAMERA HANDLING

There is an external grip ECG-3 which is built specifcically for the E-M10 Mark II, which adds beefier hand gripping area, suitable for larger hands, or if you are handling larger and heavier lenses. Adding the ECG-3, you get better stability and more comfortable handling, this is in fact a highly recommended add-on accessory if you intend to shoot long hours with the E-M10 Mark II. 

Considering I was using mostly the 14-42mm EZ and 40-150mm R lenses, I decided NOT to use the ECG-3 grip. I want to experience how the handling of the original camera without the additional grip is. To do that I purposefully shoot insect macro, the worst torture test for camera handling. In case you do not know how I shoot my insect macro, I hold the camera with lens attached on my right hand, shooting single handedly, while my left hand is holding the external flash with a diffuser attached. For full information about my macro shooting techniques please read the blog entries here and here. 

For the macro shots, instead of just using all M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8, I intentionally shot quite a few insects with the mere M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ kit lens, with the Macro Converter MCON-P02 attached. For higher magnification photographs, I used the venerable 60mm f2.8 macro lens, and this was my ultimate test for camera handling. 

Thanks to Tian Chad, an awesome photography blogger who helped shoot this behind the scene image.


Another shot taken by Tian Chad. 


The handling of the E-M10 Mark II is surprisingly good. It is noticeably better than the original older E-M10. I remember I did try shooting macro with the old E-M10 once, which I forgot to bring out the ECG-1 (external camera grip for the older E-M10) and it was NOT a comfortable shooting experience, and I struggled in balancing the lens and camera while executing my single handed shooting technique on the insect macro shots. This did not happen when I was using the E-M10 Mark II.  On the whole, everything felt more balanced and I can hold the camera steadier this time. Even without the aid of the external grip!

I believe it has something to do with the raised shutter button The position of the shutter button in the E-M10 Mark II is higher (by at least a few centimeters) than the older E-M10, and also the the "thumb-hook" is beefier. The added width and depth for thumb-resting area added much needed grip, in combination with the earlier mentioned higher position of the shutter button, somehow worked. This is extremely difficult to describe but you just have to hold BOTH E-M10 and E-M10 Mark II together, side by side and you will immediately tell the big difference in terms of handling. It may not look obvious, but once the camera is in your hand you can immediately feel the effect. And yes, all the subsequent macro photographs were taken with the E-M10 Mark II without the added ECG-3 grip. 

In comparison with all OM-D cameras, I would rank E-M1 to be the best in terms of ergonomics and handling, followed by E-M5 Mark II together with E-M10 Mark II. Both felt good, but not as good as the E-M1 with significantly beefier hand-holding area. However it is also worth noting that E-M1 is also larger and heavier than the other two cameras. 

60mm Macro lens , 1/100sec, F5.6, ISO200

14-42mm EZ lens, 42mm, 1/100sec, F7.1, ISO500

60mm Macro lens at full 1:1 magnification, 1/125sec, F11, ISO200, Wireless Flash used

60mm Macro lens at 1:1 magnification, 1/125sec, F10, ISO200, Wireless Flash used

60mm Macro lens at 1:1 Magnification, 1/125sec, F13, ISO200, Wireless Flash Fired

60mm Macro lens at 1:1 magnification, 1/125sec, F123, ISO200, Wireless Flash fired

60mm macro lens at 1:1 magnification, 1/160sec, F13, ISO200, Wireless Flash fired
I know this dragon fly eye shot is getting redundant after so many times I have done so, hence no 100% crop for this time. We shall do 100% crop on other subjects. 


The camera handles well for general shooting conditions, besides macro. I have brought the camera out for several days of shooting. For a full day outing, from early morning till late night, I never felt that the camera was a burden. The fact that the camera was small and light allowed it to be carried around easily. I felt no strain on my neck or shoulder (I use the provided default strap) and I did not feel any pain in my wrist either. I used the smaller lenses which match the size of the E-M10 Mark II camera of course. 

THE ELECTRONIC VIEWFINDER

I used the EVF for 80% of my shooting, and I find it to be large, comfortable and very useful. The colours look a little different than the older LCD panels used for all OM-D EVF before. The colours are more vivid, but not to the overly saturated point. While shooting insect macro, the EVF was crisp and clear enough for me to judge areas in focus while I was pulling off full 1:1 magnification. 

S-OVF - SIMULATED OPTICAL VIEWFINDER

There are two additions of new features to the new Electronic Viewfinder, though not revolutionary, may work well to improve overall shooting experience. These two features were implemented in response to what the users/photographers have requested. 

In my initial coimments on the electronic viewfinder implementation in my E-M5 Review 3 years ago, I did mention that at times I do wish I have an optical viewfinder, an ability to actually see what my eyes see, not what the camera sees. Yes, the new "what you see is what you get", previewing the end results of the images even before pressing the shutter button can help mitigating and minimizing the mistakes in exposure and white balance settings, and have saved many lives (including my own), helpful in so many situations. However, the electronic viewfinder always appear too bright, vivid and processed, that when you pull your eyes away from the viewfinder, the reality as your eyes see it suddenly appear less dramatic, with duller colour and darker overall appearance. 

There are also situations when exposure and white balance is not the priority, but seeing what is happening is crucial. When I am in a  dark environment, say a pub or bar, I want to know that the scene is actually dark, and be able to respond to that accordingly, rather than the super bright result which the LCD screen or electronic viewfinder provideds. Hence the Simulated OVF is a new option that simulates as closely as what the eyes can see in real life. That includes the colors as seen with naked eye, which I find can be quite a good experience. Often one main issue is that when photographers view through electronic viewfinder they see corrected white balance, thus looking natural and disconnected from what they were shooting. The S-OVF shows very close to the colors before the white balance correction, as well as the brightness/darkness of the ambient conditions. 

If you do not like this, it can be turned off, and the S-OVF can be assigned to one of the many shortcut buttons. 

When did I choose to use the S-OVF function? I activated it throughout my insect macro shooting session. It is one scenario when I do not need "what you see is what you get", and by using flash the live preview of exposure was not needed (at F13, 1/160 seconds, ISO200, the live preview will give a difficult to see dark image). Hence I have always mentioned I preferred an optical viewfinder when shooting insect macro with extreme magnification, and the S-OVF worked well in this regard. 

AF TARGETING PAD



Normally when shooting through the EVF, the back LCD screen will be switched off (either automatically by eye sensor, or you have to switch to EVF manually). Now you can make full use of the LCD screen even while shooting with the electronic viewfinder.  Enabling the AF targeting pad, you can use the back LCD screen to change focusing points while shooting through the EVF. You can use your finger to trace along the screen to move the focusing points around the frame. 

The main purpose of having this feature is to minimize pulling away from framing through the EVF, hence having less chance of missing a shot while shooting. 

14-42mm EZ lens at 42mm, 1/40sec, F5.6, ISO1600

14-42mm EZ lens at 42mm, 1/250sec, F5.6, ISO200

14-42mm EZ at 20mm, 1/50sec, F4.1, ISO400

14-42mm EZ lens at 1/60sec, F5.6, ISO200

25mm F1.8 lens, 1/125sec, F2.8, ISO200

40-150mm R lens at 62mm, 1/320sec, F6.3, ISO200


5-AXIS IMAGE STABILIZATION: POWERFUL AND USEFUL

In comparison to the older E-M10 (3-Axis IS), the new E-M10 Mark II is a huge upgrade when it comes to the built in body image stabilization system, which stabilizes in full 5-Axis. I am sure many will ask if the image stabilization is similar to the E-M1 or E-M5 Mark II. In the official specification sheets, the E-M5 Mark II has full 5 Steps EV stabilization, while the E-M10 Mark II, though having 5-Axis IS as well, is rated at 4 Steps EV compensation. There is that one step EV difference. However, to be entirely honest, when I was out shooting and torturing the camera, deliberately slowing down the shutter speed, I did not particularly notice any difference, or lacking of stabilization than what I experienced previously shooting with the E-M5 Mark II. The E-M10 Mark II may not be as powerful on paper but in piratical shooting conditions, it was more than sufficient. 

I tested the Image Stabilization in all 4 areas of critical shooting conditions that require extra steadying of the camera: long telephoto zoom shooting (I shot hand-held the opening Owl shot at full 150mm with 1/20sec shutter speed), Macro/Close up shooting (plenty of samples, you will know how bad the shake is at 1:1 magnification), night scenes especially city skyline, and slow shutter creative shots (eg panning, slow motion blur shots, etc). 

One important aspect of the 5-Axis Image Stabilization I did not test in this blog review is the use in Movie Recording. I understand that the 5-Axis Image Stabilization works just as well as the E-M5 Mark II, providing smooth, shake-free, cinematic quality movie recording without the aid of any stabilization equipment or rigs, and everything done fully hand-held. I acknowledge my own shortcoming when it comes to video recording, which is not exactly my forte, and whatever I am doing in showing the capabilities of the video recording may not be the best representative of what the camera can do. Thus, I shall leave the movie recording part of those who know what they are doing. 

OM-D MOVIE on E-M10 Mark II
Speaking of video recording, I shall describe based on my limited experience shooting video with the camera and my understanding of the product. The video specifications are very similar to E-M5 Mark II, having multi framerate options 24p, 25p, 30p, 50p and 60p recording in full 1080 HD quality. The 5-Axis Image Stabilization works just as well as the E-M5 Mark II, with similar video output. However, the E-M10 Mark II is missing audio input, as well as audio output for monitoring purpose. 

Coming back to what the 5-Axis Image Stabilization can do for still shooting, I was impressed, and it almost felt like I was using either the E-M1 or E-M5 Mark II. 

How important is image stabilization? 

To me, powerful IS is very important, as most of my shooting needs are hand-held. I can understand if you shoot mostly in studio with tripod setup, or landscape shooters with tripod and long exposure shooting. For many photographers who move with minimal gear setup, like myself, who almost never brought along a tripod, having powerful IS can help stabilize my shots, without having to worry about too slow of shutter speed, or need to bump up ISO settings unnecessarily. Having steady shots at slower shutter and keeping the ISO lower both work hand in hand in producing better quality image quality! Once you have experienced how effective and beneficial the 5-Axis Image Stabilization is, there is no turning back. It just works so well it has become an integral part of what creates great image quality. 

14-42mm EZ at 28mm, 1/15sec, F10, ISO200
  
14-42mm EZ at 1/10sec, F3.5, ISO200

Crop from previous image

14-42mm EZ at 14mm, 1/2sec, F5.6, ISO400

14-42mm EZ at 14mm, 1/2sec, F3.5, ISO400

Crop from previous image

25mm F1.8 lens, 1/10sec, F5.6, ISO640

Crop from previous image

45mm F1.8 lens, 1/8sec, F11, ISO3200

Crop from previous image

AUTOFOCUS PERFORMANCE

The AF was fast, responds immediately, and I never had any issues with fast click to capture situations. I did not test the continuous AF, and I only use Single-AF, which worked for me in most situations. I do not observe any improvements in terms of speed over E-M5 Mark II or E-M1.

PACKED WITH FEATURES, FEATURES AND MORE FEATURES

The thing about Olympus OM-D system is that the cameras may look small, light-weight, and we expect the OM-D to deliver fast performance and high image quality. However, it is often overlooked that in comparison to competitors, Olympus offers a long list of photography features, creative shooting options, and some one of its kind capabilities, unique shooting functions. I am listing the features/shooting functions down, as far as I can remember:

Live Time/Live Bulb 
the ability to preview long exposure shooting on your live view LCD screen, as the image develops during shooting. very useful tool for light painting. 

Live Composite
Image stacking done in camera, and previewed live on LCD screen as it happens, much like live time/bulb

Live View Boost 2
Even in near pitch darkness, as shooting the night sky, the stars are visible when this setting is enabled, allowing for easy composition even in very dark situations. 

Built in Wifi
For remote control of the camera via smart devices, and quick transfer of images

Art Filter
Olympus were the pioneers of Art Filters, which is popularized by Instagram filters now. 

Color Creator
Built in color selector, for creative control and effects. 

Highlight & Shadow Control
Ability to tweak highlight and shadow of the S-Cirve live while shooting

Tilt Screen with Touch AF Shutter
Not a unique feature now as many cameras have tilt or swivel screen now, but the touch AF is still the fastest and most responsive in class, and can be very useful in many situations. 

Built in Wireless TTL Flash Control
The intenal flash built into the E-M10 Mark II serves as a commander for multiple wireless external flash units, with full TTL capabilities. In fact, the opening product photographs of the E-M10 Mark II were shot with multiple wireless flash set up, creating a mini studio effect. 

SSWF (Super Sonic Wave Filter) Dust Reduction
Amongst many cameras Olympus boasts to have the best SSWF dust filter on sensor. 

RAW Converter built into camera
Olympus already has ability to convert RAW files inside the camera since many years ago. Some other manufacturers only started to include this. 

Optimized JPEG Output
Olympus has been known to have the one of the best JPEG engines, producing optimized images, corrected from lens flaws (distortion, colour aberrations, softness due to diffraction correction, compensation of sharpness for different lenses, etc). 

Full electronic shutter (silent mode), and first curtain electronic shutter options
The full electronic shutter can be enabled for fully quiet operation, and first curtain electronic shutter to mitigate shutter shock issue. 

Having all the features packed into such a small camera makes it more than just an ordinary camera, it can do a lot more than most other cameras in the similar class. 

14-42mm EZ lens at 35mm, 1/13sec, F5.6, ISO320

14-42mm EZ lens at 31mm, 1/10sec, F5.6, ISO400

14-42mm EZ at 42mm, 1/25sec, F5.6, ISO1250


OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ

I have shot so much with this kit lens 14-42mm EZ pancake zoom lens I can do a whole separate review just for this lens alone. 

The lens, designed to be super slim, compact and light, is the perfect companion to the E-M10 Mark II. The size fits the camera perfectly, making the camera and lens combo a truly compact and portable system. 

A kit lens is still a kit lens, and these days, with the internet screaming everyone to upgrade to better lenses, The kit lens has always been neglected. I always find it sad when this happens, especially to many people who are very new to photography, who has not much experience handling the camera and immediately decided the kit lens is not good enough and jumped into more expensive lenses. 

For learning photographers, even hobbyst like myself I have no issues picking up the kit lens and shoot. This may go against what Olympus and many other manufacturers who will pressure you to buy and upgrade to more expensive lenses, but I do believe a kit lens is a good lens. Especially this M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ lens, I am perfectly happy with the image quality. Combining the capabilities of the 5-Axis Image Stabilization and high ISO shooting, I am quite pleased with the results of the lens. The images come out sharp and detailed. The versatility to zoom from 14mm to 42mm made it such a useful lens in many situations. 

Yes, we will all upgrade and buy better lenses at some point, but to many first time system camera users (upgrades from compact or smartphone camera) please do not give up on the kit lens too soon. It is a wonderful lens, capable of delivering great results, and a good point to start photography from. 

If you do not believe me, then take a look at this blog entry and see that most of the images were taken with the 14-42mm EZ lens. Yes, some even in very dimly lit situations!


HIGH ISO SHOOTING WITH E-M10 MARK II

One of the main questions that many will ask would be how the camera performs in dimly lit situations. Yes the E-M10 Mark II can shoot in low light, in fact it can deliver good results, up to ISO6400. I will shoot up to ISO3200 comfortably and stretch to ISO6400 without hesitation if needed, but would not go further than that. The high ISO capability is closely similar to what I have expected from the E-M5 Mark II. The chroma (colour) noise is well supressed even at higher ISO settings, but details started to degrade dramatically from ISO6400 onward. 

I shot these Marvel Hero legos (fake ones) in a very dark cafe. It was so dim that even at ISO6,400, with widest open aperture of F5.6 for 42mm tele end of the kit lens, I can only get about 1/20seconds shutter speed. As usual, for my high ISO tests, I did not just shoot my subjects at ordinary conditions and raise the ISO numbers unnecessarily. I test my subjects in rather difficult lighting situations and use the high ISO numbers accordingly. 

14-42mm EZ lens at 42mm, 1.6sec, F5.6, ISO200
Starting image, at ISO200, raised incrementally up to ISO12800, as compiled in the collages below. 




 The color integrity is well maintained up to ISO6400, with minimal desaturation occurring. The colors appear duller/less saturated in ISO12800 image, but almost no color shift or color bleeding. Fine details are very good even at ISO3200, but dropped noticeably at ISO6400. Images are soft and noise is destructive at ISO12800. 

Yes Olympus OM-D may not be a champion when it comes to high ISO shooting, but having a wide range of F1.8 prime lenses (with f1.4 and F1.2 offerings from Panasonic which are fully compatible), shooting at ISO3200 and occasionally ISO6400, there is rarely a need to go beyond what the system can do. Surely, if you have to push further, the Micro Four Third system at this time is not for you. 

I am perfectly happy with what the camera can do at high ISO. For my shooting needs? More than sufficient I dare day. 

I went to shoot Ariff AB performing at Gaslight Cafe at Plaza Damansara. That place was seriously dark! Perfect location to test out the E-M10 Mark II and push the ISO. 


25mm F1.8 lens, 1/6sec, F1.8, ISO3200

25mm F1.8 lens, 1/20sec, F5.6, ISO6400

Crop from previous image

25mm F1.8 lens, 1/50sec, F1.8, ISO12800

25mm F1.8 lens, 1/80sec, F1.8, ISO6400

25mm F1.8 lens, 1/80sec, F1.8, ISO6400

75mm F1.8 lens, 1/80sec, F1.8, ISO6400

25mm F1.8 lens, 1/80sec, F1.8, ISO6400

As I was shooting the acoustic solo performance by the amazing Ariff AB, I decided to use "Silent Shutter" mode, enabling the full electronic shutter. The environment was quiet, even with the soft mechanical shutter sound of the E-M10 Mark II, it would have been a distraction as I was shooting. The silent shutter worked well and I can continue shooting without worrying about contributing the sound pollution. 


25mm F1.8 lens, 1/6sec, F4, ISO6400

As usual, for your pixel-peeping pleasures, you may download full resolution of selected images (18 in total) from this entry at the following link. The images for download are almost straight out of camera, with JPEG converted directly from Olympus Viewer 3 with no further adjustments. 


What I liked about E-M10 Mark II
Felt like a mini E-M5 Mark II, similar AF performance, image quality, and overall features
Powerful and effective 5-Axis Image Stabilization
Feature Packed, High Performing camera, in a small, light package
Improved handling and ergonomics, better than the older E-M10
Superb value for money!

What I wish can be improved
Poor overall battery life. I can shoot about 300 shots on a single battery charge. The battery life is even poorer than the older E-M10. 
The OLED electronic viewfinder has unnatural colors. The colors look better in the older LCD EVF on E-M1/E-M5 Mark II which I prefer.
Maximum mechanical shutter speed topped at 1/4000sec, instead of 1/8000sec.
(note: if electronic shutter is used, maximum shutter speed is 1/16000sec)
I hope this would be the last camera from Olympus using the same old image sensor.
I can understand generally some people will not be satisfied with similar image quality as older cameras, though the OM-D image quality is still very good by today's standards. 


Using the E-M10 Mark II to me felt like I was using the older, more expensive E-M5 Mark II, minus a few features (weather sealing, 40MP high res shot, swivel screen, and 1/8000sec mechanical shutter). You get similar image quality, camera performance, and basically all the unique and useful shooting functions. E-M10 Mark II now has 5-Axis Image Stabilization which benefits both image and video recording, In short, I would describe the E-M10 Mark II as a camera that can do anything a mid-level APS-C DSLR can do (low light shooting, interchangeable lens, rendering shallow depth of field, having large viewfinder, good handling and controls), with added bonus of powerful image stabilization system and packed with long list of useful shooting features. 

If you are looking for top of the line Full Frame DSLR image quality (shooting at ridiculously high ISO numbers) then this OM-D E-M10 Mark II is not the right camera for you, and was never intended to fit into that category. E-M10 Mark II may not qualify to be in the race of Megapixels and high ISO wars which are going rampant these days, but it is also a camera that will not fail you in almost all shooting conditions (except a few extreme cases). I would rather have a reliable camera that works well and deliver with confidence, exactly what E-M10 Mark II is.

If you want to get a mid level DSLR or mirrorless system camera with advanced shooting features and high performance, the E-M10 mark II should sit very high in your list of considerations. 

Do you have any requests or specific tests of the E-M10 Mark II you wish me to perform? Please do not hesitate to voice out. I should be able to do something this weekend. Nothing video related though, I am not the right person for the job when it comes to video. 

Please support by blog by liking and following me on my Facebook Page

159 comments :

  1. Hi Robin,
    New to your Blog. Really appreciate your advice on the Kit lens. In fact I was thinking of getting either a 25mm or a 45mm as my regular.
    Your shots with the kit lens are brilliant, especially the Etiqa night shot and the white flowers. Didn't realise the kit lens can take these two shots.
    Question: Do you shot fully manual? I'm setting my EPL6 on AP at the moment, and so far, all I've done are days and Taman shots.
    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Raison,
      Thanks for the kind words. I think either 25mm or 45mm can be a good choice, depending on what you want to do. I shoot mostly Aperture priority for usual shots, sometimes shutter priority if I need to control the shutter speed. For all the macro shots taken with flash I shot in full manual.

      Delete
    2. Robin -- I don't seem to get near the image quality you get with the 14-42mm EZ on an EM5 or EPL5. What do you think are the "sweet spots" for this lens?

      Delete
    3. If you are referring technical controls and camera settings, have shared all my settings after each image in the blog.
      I have no issues shooting with the 14-42mm EZ, wide open aperture, at any focal lengths (wide or tele end).

      Delete
  2. It looks as though it puts out great images, but you seem to be able to make magic with any camera. Our abilities are in different areas. I am always impressed with what you do with what you shoot.

    I've been thinking about buying the E-M10 Mk II, as I need to send my E-M1 away for repair, and my new Nikon D7200 is not working out the way I'd like. I'm thinking a lot about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words, Sakamoto. What is wrong with the D7200, is you don't mind sharing.

      Delete
    2. Image quality of the D7200 is not often what it should be, as it picks an ISO sensitivity much higher than the Panasonic GH4 or Olympus E-M1 so far. I was seeing ISO 14,400 in the same conditions this Saturday when the GH4 was showing me ISO 200 and ISO 400. (Even if the ISO sensitivity numbers are lower than reality in the E-M1 or GH4, I doubt the difference is that big.) I'm sure there must be firmware fixes in the works. Auto Focus doesn't seem all that accurate but I hope that it is a new user error. I also noticed how it isn't nearly as willing to take photos in low light compared to the E-M1 or GH4, even though it will focus down to -3 EV. Hopefully, they will produce fixes for the D7200.

      Delete
    3. Hi Sakaphoto,
      Thanks for the detailed explanation. I sure hope it is nothing serious, because Nikon D7000 series has very good reputation of being reliable and high performance DSLR.

      Delete
    4. When it works well, it's great. Olympus' Face Detection is so good that I tend to only use the E-M1 for portraits now, whereas the GH4's AF will pick the wall behind the person and the D7200 won't have focused when it took the shot. There is probably a D7200 setting to change that behaviour.

      Delete
    5. As good as what many people praised Olympus Face Recognition, I do not use it, as it always never successfully select the face that I want to be in focus (in a frame with several faces).

      Delete
    6. I've only seen it work on two faces at a time, so I haven't had a failure yet. Panasonic's Face Recognition is, like their still photo AF, poor. I haven't tried the LiveView Face Detection with the D7200, but it seemed to work on the Pentax K-50. You'd think that this point-and-shoot technology would be well sorted by now.

      Delete
  3. Excellent post Robin! I love the idea of the AF targeting pad, my only concern is that being a left eye shooter my nose might shift the focus around!
    How easy is it to move the front and rear dial by index finger (front dial) and thumb (rear dial) only - or does one need to use two fingers to rotate the dials ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can operate the dials with two fingers definitely, index finger for front and thumb for back dial.

      If you find that your nose is getting in the way you can always disable the AF Targeting Pad.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Robin - I can also train my nose to move the AF point where I want it ! :-)
      BTW - I love your images, I wish I can make mine look that good !

      Delete
    3. Hah! I should try using my nose as well!

      Delete
  4. Hi Robin, is the EM10ii using the same battery as EM5 Mark2?

    ReplyDelete
  5. OLYMPUS, if you read this, I am begging you to update the EM5 II firmware to add the touch pad focus and 4k time lapse features! Please...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Robin,
    great review again! Thanks für sharing!

    Do you know if S-OVF and AF Targeting Pad will be coming to E-M5II and E-M1 via firmware update?
    Both seem to be quite nice features.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliments, it was my pleasure to share. I too wish those features can be made available for other cameras

      Delete
  7. Hi Robin
    Great review and great photos as always. I am currently using two OM D10 cameras and I am very happy with them. I have been using Olympus cameras in pairs since OM 4. Next I went to 620's then EP-2's.
    I look forward to the new OM D-1 mark 2.
    Olympus cameras really rock.
    Hello from Maui.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Richard, thanks for the kind comments.
      Indeed, Olympus rocks.

      Delete
  8. Thorough, thoughtful, honest, open and very capable review -- just like your photography. Obviously, this is a very capable camera (system) and a great deal, considering the price. Bravo, Oly!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice review. Small body but all the functions inside.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Another good review, thank you for taking the time to do this. I'm interested in your new flash diffuser for macro - is this a home made solution?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This time it is not home made. It is a Gamilight diffuser.

      Delete
    2. Which flash are you using and is this your preferred choice?

      Delete
    3. I have always been using the Olympus FL-50R. I don't have any experience with other flash, so I can't answer your question. but the FL-50R worked well for what I shoot

      Delete
  11. Nice review Robin, and amazing work with the kit lens. I've got the "better" lenses and have never taken the kit lenses seriously - you show that I'm a little short sighted :-) The touch pad focusing is such a great addition - I'm addicted to it on the GX7 and every time I pick up my E-M5 I find myself really wishing it had it. The E-M10 goes on my list as a good candidate to replace my E-M5... thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliments mpresley, appreciate it! Yes I too am guilty in neglecting the kit lens. More than often (since I shoot outdoors under plenty of light) the kit lens is more than enough for what I shoot.

      Delete
  12. My Olympus Experience would not be complete without you Robin. Thru you I found this amazing system.
    Very exciting.

    by the way I really love your Product shots. Proves how versatile a photographer you are. Whether its street, food, macro, landscape. Your Style is very recognizable. I can browse in Olympus Sphere and i can identify your photos from the crowd.

    I wish there is a touch and try event. Would like to try the 4K feature :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Robert,
      you are free to join my shutter therapy sessions any weekend. Do contact me via my facebook. I can bring out the camera for you.

      Delete
  13. I have the same shot :)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/robert_evangelista/20248926664/in/dateposted-public/
    very nice subject :) If I remember it correctly it is on Pasar Seni :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, the same shot! I like the strong colors

      Delete
  14. Just to add, Olympus Kit lens is very underrated. It is the best kit lens I ever owned :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have often been surprised by what the kit lens can do!

      Delete
  15. Hi Robin, is there any replacement plan for EP-5? Care to share abit? :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not have any info but I would think there should be. It is a successful line of camera

      Delete
  16. No comment aboout the focus bracketing feature? I would have thought with your love for macro work this would have been a given :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't apply it to my hand-holding insect macro. And I've never done focus stacking before. I'm sure better qualified reviewers will comment on this.

      Delete
    2. DPReview appears to have overlooked it! Im not sure how this feature has been implemented (which is precisely why I was seeking further information) but it has potential to be of great value to landscape as well as macro photography (provided focus ranges can be user configured). I'm not aware of any other camera system which has brought a one-step solution to market?

      Delete
    3. There is. Olympus Tough TG-4 has in camera focus stacking available, even for their microscope (super macro) mode.

      Delete
  17. Thanks for a great review, Robin. Amazing pictures! Did you notice any significant difference between OM-D EM-10 Mark II 5-axis IS and the 3-axis IS of the old OM-D EM-10? I purchased OM-D EM-10 couple of weeks ago (did not expected that Mark II was coming). Liked it a lot and invested in lenses. The seller is ready to exchange the camera for Mark II for $150 premium. Main advantage for me could be 5-axis image stabilization if it makes a difference, AF targeting pad could be useful, not sure I will like the new viewfinder. From your point of view, is it worth to upgrade?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Xela
      Yes the 5-Axis is noticeably better and more effective than the older 3-Axis IS, especially when shooting macro.
      I'd think it is well worth the money considering better EVF(shooting experience improved) newer features as well as overall better handling.

      Delete
  18. Thanks for the review Robin, much more real world useful. Disappointing that the EM-10 II has the improved video modes we need in Australia, ie 25 and 50 frame rates (to stop flicker from lighting) that my new, expensive EM-1 does not (deliberately crippled as the sensor is the same as Panasonic GH3), but has no external mic port. Sad to see Olympus playing the usual corporate games of crippling models to get people to pay for more expensive options! I don't see the logic of having 77Mbs video quality and use inbuilt mics, crazy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't agree wth the way you see E-M10 Mark II. Think of a Nikon 5000, you would not expect it to be able to do much of what a D800 can. However E-M10 Mark II can basically do everything that the E-M5 Mark II can, minus just a few things. If you feel that those few missing features are important, well, then there is no stopping you in getting the E-M5 Mark II.

      E-M1 was never designed to be a video shooting camera and never being marketed as such. I hope you can at least understand the product positioning.

      Delete
    2. Hi Robin, I understand what you are saying but I'm not sure I agree. The EM-1 is marketed as a Pro level camera and like it or not these days, good quality HD video is expected, on Canons, Nikons etc. pro cameras. Don't get me wrong, I love my Olympus gear, but is there really a necessity for 5 OMD's? Here in Aus you can still get the EM-5, EM-5 mk 2, EM-1, EM-10 and EM-10 mk 2. I can see your point on the new EM-10 mk 2 yet, how much to add a mic port, a $1? Panasonic and others are just as guilty, do we need so many variations, I think it is hurting the market to have so many models, it confuses buyers and means that no model sells in huge numbers. Anyway, thats my spin on it, thanks again for the great review, it's appreciated. Cheers.

      Delete
    3. E-M1 was marketed as a Pro level camera, stills camera, and NEVER was it advertised as super capable in video recording. In fact, for what it does, it does very well in HD quality recording, as positively reviewed by Andrew Reid in eoshd.com. It was NOT a bad camera for video recording, and you must understand that it was never meant to be stellar either.

      If you have not, please read http://www.eoshd.com/2014/02/olympus-om-d-e-m1-review/

      Delete
    4. The main concept behind the design of the E-M10 series, is being as small as possible, while still housing a viewfinder. The E-M5 mark II has an audio, in, and as a matter of fact everything was so cramped the engineers had no more space to fit the audio monitoring output slot, which was relocated to the HLD-8G grip, which is available separately. I was complaining that the audio monitoring should have been together with the main camera itself, and they mentioned it was just not possible, unless you make the camera bigger.

      Bigger, like Panasonic GX8 bigger, and Panasonic GH4 bigger.

      Do you really want the E-M10 Mark II to have such a huge size? If video is the main priority, is not the E-M5 Mark II a clearer choice?

      I would think the other Panasonic line of cameras which do not have the audio input, had the same reasons: making the camera as small as possible, being Micro Four Thirds.

      Delete
    5. Hi Robin, thanks for your response, I guess I am not explaining things well, I will clarify.

      I do not expect the EM-1 to be anything other than as advertised, where on the olympus aussie site it is shown as full 1080 HD with adjustable sound levels and an ext mic port. That is all I need and all I expected. My main use is still photos, video is now needed on websites to get up the google rankings, so I only need GOOD video not pro,

      Unfortunately, by only giving 30 frame rate it does not do that in Australia or a good part of the world as we use PAL (some countries use a variation called SECAM) which requires a frame rate of 25 or 50 frames a second. Thus, it does not meet the Australian HD standard. This means that recording under lighting causes a flicker that makes the video useless for my web clients. The problem for me is that I know the camera is able to do the right frame rates, the hardware is capable, the truepic Vii engine is capable yet Olympus after many Firmware updates have not allowed it.
      I understand that I should have looked closer into this but to my knowledge Olympus is the ONLY camera manufacturer that does not have a PAL version of their camera and as the non pro versions, ie em-5 mk ii now have these modes I do not understand why the Pro version does not.

      I don't want to cause you any trouble with your employer, just trying to get Olympus to understand that they are not looking after some of their loyal customers the way they could.

      I take on board your view of the EM-10 intentions and can see a point to it but why not a mic socket in the optional grip?

      Please don't take this personal, love your site and what you do!
      Cheers Larry

      Delete
    6. Hi Larry,
      No offence taken mate, no worries. And I love Australia (and the I have many Aussie friends from my UWA uni days) too much to make any enemies there.

      I understand your frustration, and E-M1 indeed was not perfect. Hence there was the E-M5 Mark II.

      It is not as simple as fixing it in firmware updates. Trust me, if it is, they would have done it. But for what it is worth, you do have to believe me that they are listening.

      Delete
    7. Thanks Robin, understand what you are saying and hope they are listening. You have a friend here and still a flat white waiting!

      I just assumed the E-M1 would have a PAL version and bought it over the E-M5 mk II because it was pro build and it was for work.

      Cheers

      Delete
    8. Oh yesss. I have missed Aussie coffee so much.

      Delete
  19. I was not at all excited by this camera when I saw the announcement, but as usual you manage to find out all of the good things about these new cameras. Thank you! I am particularly interested in the new finder options. I used to shoot insects with flash for many years with Canon DSLRs, and I am just now trying out your macro flash techniques with an E-M1. I have so far been very frustrated by the difficulty of being able clearly see and focus on subject in the shade (shooting manual, f11, 1/200, ISO 200). Perhaps this new camera would help, but I would hate to give up all of the other good things about the E-M1 to get that feature. How do you deal with this problem with the other Olympus cameras you have used for macro flash?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words FredT. For macro shooting with manual exposure make sure you have turned the live view boost ON. With the live view boost ON, the EVF ignores the exposure setting and you will get a bright view.

      Delete
    2. Robin, thank you so much for that information. It is another feature of the camera that I did not know exists! I'll have a go with it later today.

      Delete
  20. Thanks Robin, yet again a great balanced review!

    I own a EM5 MK1 and shot manily with the 17mm 2.8. Recently I have given myself a bad case of 'review fatigue' trying to decide on whether to swap to an Fuji x100T in an effort simplify to 'one camera-one lens' for my key focus on street shots in my travels. The release of the EM10 MKII have convinced me I should stay with Olympus platform and put a Summilux 15mm 1.7 on the EM5 (mainly due to the manual aperture ring, which I love about the 100T). The one-lens/one camera comes in by leaving all the other lens I own at home!

    However, I have one request. In your experience of the Olympus line up, and for the objective on a single prime street photography set up. Would you upgrade an EM5 to the EM5 MKII, or go with the EM10 MK II (with the consideration that I don;t like getting wet, so my camera shouldn't either, and I like a balance of day street shots and evening 'street lights with people')

    Would value your input...

    Malcolm (still a OMD fanboy!!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Malcolm,
      Choosing between E-M5 Mark II vs E-M10 Mark II comes down to this: Go for E-M5 Mark II if you need weather sealing, more advanced video controls (audio input and monitoring jack), 40MP high res shot (important to some people), tethered shooting capabilities. Otherwise having an E-M10 Mark II is a better option since it is cheaper.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Robin, that was my thinking and the simulated optical viewfinder sounds great. can't wait to test it out at my local dealer!

      Keep up the great work..

      Malcolm

      Delete
    3. The best way to experience the features, test it yourself! Could not have suggested otherwise.

      Delete
  21. I tend to take more of landscape and while your pictures are fantastic, I'd like to know what you think about buying a four thirds camera(slr is too clunky and slow for the same money) if I tend to take more landscapes since I am planning to camp and hike a lot this year. . If there are low cost dslrs that are fast enough please advise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any Olympus camera is capable of shooting landscape. If you are camping and hiking a lot, smaller camera makes more sense, hence Olympus OM-D is a good choice. The question is, do you need weather sealing against rain/humid weather? If you do then E-M5 Mark II or E-M1 is your choice.

      Delete
  22. Thanks for the review Robin,

    You are very generous in sharing your opinions, expertise, knowledge and photos. I'm richer for having discovered your blog.

    I really appreciate your take on the M10 V2's kit lens: Your photos most certainly demonstrate that there is no need, for a novice such as myself, to dismiss it.

    I'm just entering the world of photography and in the market for my first "real" camera. I was very close to purchasing the E-M5 MKII, when suddenly the E-M10 MKII was announced. This was great news to me as I was hoping to stay within a $1000 (Canadian) budget. I can't wait for my E-M10 Mark II (with kit lens) to be delivered.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    Best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ken,
      Thanks for the kind words, and indeed entering the world of photography E-M10 Mark II seems like one of the best options in the market at the moment! Happy shooting.

      Delete
  23. Robin,
    Thx for the detailed review. First time posting here. Have enjoyed your reviews in the past.
    I have a few questions:
    1. How does the shutter sound? No reviewer has mentioned it, I wonder whether it's the same used in EM5 II. Understanding there is the new e-shutter but still prefer to use the mechanical one.
    2. Is the raw file improved as dpreview claimed? I found the chroma noise of Mark II is less coarse than either the original or even the new GX8, using dprevies comparison tool, not sure whether it's real or due to different testing environment such as temperature (of the cameras). Would like to see your opinion.
    3. imaging-resource.com reports the Mark II has a highest bit rate for the full HD at 77mbs, that dwarfs 28mbs of the original. Any sign of significant improvement in video quality? I think that's the same bit rate used in EM5 II, but the actual video quality of the latter underwhelms in spite of the significant high rate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bostonc,

      Here are my answers:
      1) The shutter sounds nearer to the old E-M10. It is not the same as the E-M5 Mark II.
      2) My evaluation tells me there is no noticeable improvement, but I shall test this out by comparing the E-M10 Mark II against either E-M10 or E-M5 Mark II. I shall report this in my review extension.
      3) I will not comment on video related questions, I am quite clueless when it comes to video.

      Delete
    2. Thx for the quick reply.
      Do you know does the e-shutter produce 10bit file and degrade DR, as Panasonic GM1 G7 do? Can't find reference for EM10 II on this issue.
      TIA

      Delete
    3. I don't think the bit is being reduced, but according to DPreview there is "noise penalty" when shooting very high ISO.

      Delete
  24. Robin, right now I use a Panasonic G5 with both Oly (45mm my fav) and Lumix lenses. One feature I really like on the G5 is I have one of the function buttons set so I can use it to lock in exposure independent from focus ( for example, pointing towards bright area and locking exposure for faster shutter, then reframing and focusing of image I want to take). Could I do something similar with the m10-ll? Thanks. PS-another feature of the G5 I use all the time is the silent, electronic shutter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, I found the instruction manual online and read that the Fn1 button does just this - locking in exposure independent from focus. It actual 'locks' it in and you have to press again to unlock, which is slightly different than how m my G5 is set up, I think it would get me to the same result. I'm getting ready for a trip, But not sure. when it will be available in USA however.

      Delete
    2. Glad you have that sorted out!

      Delete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Robin
    Nice review! In your opinion, how much better is the Mk2 compared to the older Em-10?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would say yes, Larger higher resolution Viewfinder (improved shooting experience), 5-Axis IS from 3-Axis, better handling and newer improved features.

      Delete
  27. Hi Robin,

    nice review(as usual)! I only own the "old" E-M5 and i am seriously considering to buy the E-M10 Mark II as an upgrade. Olympus did the right improvements in my opinion. I mean despite the missing weather sealing there is everything in there that you need as an photographer. And the features are overall better than those of the E-M5. All in all you get a great cam for a more than reasonable price.

    greetings from Germany

    Curth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The E-M10 Mark II is a considerable upgrade from the older E-M5! Go for it.

      Delete
  28. Is the 14-150 R the same as the 14-150 II lens on sale by Oly for $399?

    Great review. Thanks I own OMD 10 AND EM1 and 12 - 40mm f2.8 pro and Pan/Leica 25 mm 1.4.
    Am selling 12 - 50mm kit for 14-150 II lens

    Bob gallagher at veggiepowerburgers.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. there is no 14-150 R. In my review I used 40-150mm F4-5.6 R lens.

      Delete
  29. Hi Robin,
    Thanks a lot for the review!
    I wanted to ask if you could coment on the additional value the M II offers compared to the M I.
    As a beginner coming from a Nikon D70 I wanted to go for a more compact solution (since the large body often stays at home simply because of the size) and the OM D E-10 seems to hit the spot right there. With the new model coming the local stores in my vicinity have started to discount the old one to about half the price, so I'm wondering if, for me as a beginner, the improvements are worth going for the new one. Do you think there is a considerable improvement, or will a beginner probably not even notice the differences?
    Thanks a lot an best regards,
    Thomas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Thomas,
      The E-M10 Mark II is a significant improvement over E-M10 Mark I. You get larger, higher resolution EVF, 5-Axis IS, improved handling/ergonomics and updated with all the newer features.
      Nonetheless, if you are working within a budget, the E-M10 Mark 1 is still a good buy, and can still deliver perfectly beautiful images. Whichever you decide to buy there will be no regrets.

      Delete
  30. Hi Robin,

    Thank you for your reviews! I'm just beginning to dive into photography, and I figured a MFTs camera would suit my needs of less bulk to carry around, yet offering a decent level of versatility in terms of interchangeable lenses. Been hearing about rave reviews about the OM-D series, in particular the E-M10's bang-for-the-buck performance. Your detailed reviews definitely push me towards committing to it!

    Been reading your reviews on BOTH the original EM10 and also, now, the Mk II. Do you mind providing a few comments in comparison/any suggestions as to why i should get which camera? Also, apologies in advance if you've already answered a similar question in the comments, they are less attractive to read than your blogpost! If you have, let me know and i will look at the comments instead. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi again Robin

    I look forward to your test to see if they really have improved RAW E-M10 respect to the E-M5 II as they say in dpreview. It would be sad if it were true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is not true, based on my quick test. I did not have the time last weekend due to the rally/protest which I have blogged about recently. Will do a blog entry if I can find time to do so.

      Delete
  32. Hi Robin,

    I just got the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II last night. One of the things I noticed is a very noticeable lag/jerk when using the EVF. I tried a couple of different lenses (the 14-42 kit lens and 45mm prime) and they both do this. The jerking/lagging goes away when I switch to the Simulated Optical Viewfinder. I'm wondering if this is an issue with the camera in general that may be fixed with some future firmware update or if its a specific defect that requires exchanging the camera, as the jerk/lag is very annoying when using the EVF. Did you notice this when you were using the EVF? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi PJS,
      nope, I did not notice any lag. That is very strange. It could be one of the settings of the EVF though, if you enable the 120 frames per second view, then it might look a bit choppy.

      Delete
  33. Robin, hope you don't mind a few questions, since you seem familiar with this camera--and I'm just switching over from lumix:

    It seems tha the default is set so that viewfinder activates when I put my eye to it, screen comes on when I move my eye away from eyepiece. Is there a way to shut off the the screen so only viewfinder/eyepiece is what you look at?

    Also, it seems the screen only tilts up and down, doesn't swing out and can't turn it around (so I can hide or protect it) -- is that correct?

    Best, David.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Found answer to first question: just had to find button to turn off evf switching. D

      Delete
  34. How much is the camera in Malaysia?
    I want to pair it with an affordable prime, what do you recommend? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi bro..
    Thanks for the review.
    I want to know your opinion about which one I must buy omd m5 mark 2 or omd em10 mark 2?
    I'm just a beginner..

    Thanks.

    I

    ReplyDelete
  36. Very useful review. I have a Panasonic G5 and wonder if this camera is better
    Also noted that RAW format is not compatible with Lightroom. What software shall I use for RAW files?
    The pictures in this article were taken in Jpeg or RAW format?
    You did not mentionned about focus stacking
    Also I heard a rumor that production was stopped for a technical problem

    ReplyDelete
  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi, do you have any news regarding the manufacturing problem on this camera for other regions? I've read the notice posted on olympus japan website and olympus NA website but not on asia outside japan, or UK region.

    for NA region they listed the affected serial numbers and offers free repair to fix the problem. Are they going to have this type of solution for those wanting to buy the camera and have it fixed so it'll work on affected lenses?

    ReplyDelete
  41. hi,
    very nice blog and great photos. congrats! :)
    do you think focus brackting will be availabe on E-M5 MK2? or it already is and i'm missing it?
    best from Portugal

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi
    I have been reading your blog for over 6 months- Brilliant - Thank you.
    I enjoy the pictures you post but most of all the reviews that are not all "technical speak'
    Great review of this Olympus OMD - going to try this week and may replace Canon 1100D -

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Robin, thank you for this review. Because of this, I already bought our E-M10 Mark II. Since I'm new to this, just wondering how can I get my flash working if I'm on A,P,S,M modes? I already popped up the flash and followed the instructions to adjust the flash in the menu but it's not working.

    Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Robin, If primary focus was best image stabilization and image, how would you rank em-1, em-5 K 11 or em-10 K II? Is there any significant difference? Difference answer if you factor in cost? Tempting to get the 10 and use the saved $$ on glass! The other factors I can weigh for myself but this first one is the sticking point for me in my decision process. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hi Robin,

    Regarding the viewfinder - would the fact that it's OLED rather than LCD mean the "viewfinder burn issue" (viewfinders spots) won't be happening? Would that make a difference?

    Thanks for the great review!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Robin,

    Here's something I'd like to ask; Given that it doesn't have the weather seal feature, how well do you think the E-M10 MkII can endure dust, splash, and moist?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi robin.. Can u solve my problem? I just bought e-mk10 mkii.. when capture fast object, image blur.. How can i set it?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi robin, I'm currently thinking of m5 ll or m10 ll as what i read both almost similar. Which of which is cheaper? However realised m5 ll video function is different as of m10 ll, but just wondering is it that m10 ll when I record video and play back in the camera does not have sound? Is it that apply no sound when play back in camera and computer? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thanks Robin!
    I decided definitely to the OM-D 10 2, the only doubt is whether the difference between the 14-42 II R and 14-42 EZ worth the 94 Euros for the difference (in Italy).
    Apart from the compactness of the EZ what can you tell me about it?
    You what would you take?
    Thanks again!
    Giovanni
    Italy

    ReplyDelete
  50. Another fine user’s report Robin! I’ve used the Panasonic LX100 rather extensively but despite the 4/3 sensor and the specs of the Leica-branded lens, I am somehow not quite as pleased with the IQ as I expect to be. Perhaps the EM-1 and the 12-40Pro have made my expectations unreasonable. So, I wonder about EM-10 II portability. I was able to jacket-pocket the LX100 and it looks like the same would be true for the EM-10 w/ 14-42 EZ and / or small prime (eg, Oly 17 or Panny 20)? Am looking for that elusive, ‘perfect’ compact yet high performance travel camera. Keep up the inspiring work!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Dear Robin,
    I am the proud owner of an OM-D E-M10 Mark II now :-) but I can't get the image quality of your test pictures taken with ISO 1600.
    The quality of the picture with the owl is and the one with the blue bird is great. If I take pictures with ISO 1600 they have dots - the qualtity of them can't compete with yours.
    Even ISO 3200 looks good on your testpictures.
    Do you use some special settings or did you make some postproduction in Lightroom or Photoshop?
    I want to make some of these great pictures too ;-)
    Greetings Tom

    ReplyDelete
  52. Robin,

    How would you compare this camera to the original EM5 not the mark 2? I'm interested in getting the mark 1 because there are some good deals out there. However, if the EM10 ii is worth a couple hundred more dollars then I may do that instead.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi Robin

    Thank you for your ongoing postings, makes a great resource for someone looking at m4/3 and Olympus.
    Presently I am a Canon APS-C user but even find all that kit far too heavy and so take less images than I should.
    I am a keen (when I can be bothered to take the kit) club photographer and print my images.
    We as a club had Damian McGillicuddy do a club evening (wow what a wonderful guy) earlier in the year and he convinced me on making the change, BUT
    My question remains in my head: will I notice the difference in image quality on sensor change to m4/3.

    I am looking at the OMD EM10 2 or the OMD EM5 2 but like the 10 due to its size and price.
    This will be mainly shot with primes.

    Thank you, Regards Alan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi again Robin
      Well I have gone for the One Em 10 mark 2 and 25 f1.8 zuiko and a used Panasonic 14 f2.5.
      Cannot wait to get it all.

      Delete
  54. Hi Robin, Great review. Many thanks for taking the time to provide this much detail. Love your photos too!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Here is another deal with all your needs. You should visit the link where you will get special discount.
    Canon Dealers in UK

    ReplyDelete
  56. Here is another deal with all your needs. You should visit the link where you will get special discount.
    Canon Dealers in UK

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi Robin,

    Great post, and am about to purchase this camera. I have a question on the lenses that come with Olympus OMD EM10 Mark II.

    I have the option of buying (package deal) either:
    1 Micro Zuiko ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6mm Lens
    OR
    1 Micro Zuiko ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6mm EZ Lens AND
    1 Micro Zuiko ED 40-150mm F4.0-5.6mm Lens.

    Of course, there is a price difference of RM230, but what I want to know is the difference in quality.

    Thank you.
    GOH

    ReplyDelete
  58. Can you check if your E-M10 Mk2 can perform S-AF in video mode? While my E-PL5 can, my brand new EM10 mk2 cannot and I found a few posts on line asking the same question. Can you check yours? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  59. With Price not being an issue would you choose the mark ii or the E-PL7? the mark ii is the most i can afford right now however.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Robin-
    As a novice photographer, what memory card would you recommend for the E-M10MarkII?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hi Robin, the image P8230645.jpg which shows coffee beans and what appear to be hazelnuts in the cooling tray of a roaster, fascinates me. Would you mind sharing with me where and why you took it? I have a curiosity as to why the two items are combined. Could it be to flavour the coffee or the nuts with the others aroma? The coffee beans appear to be burnt very dark, darker than I think would be approppriate (glossy black) but it's hard to tell for sure.

    As always, I thoroughly enjoy your amazing photographic skill as well as your excellent insights. Keep up the great work!

    Michael

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hi I'm using canon EOS 700D can I check whether this Olympus model suits me?

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hi I'm using canon EOS 700D can I check whether this Olympus model suits me?

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi Robin,

    How big is the difference between EM10 II and the old EM5? I was thinking of waiting for the next iteration before I buy a new one or should I upgrade now?

    ReplyDelete
  65. Robin
    Thanks for the preview. I picked up a couple of tips. I am looking forward to using the Mark II I just purchased for for my general travel photography. Have you tested the 14-150. I bought this lens as an all purpose carry one only on my trips! My Canon 70D was just getting to heavy on very hot days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you like the 14-150? I am considering this camera to replace my Nikon D5300 as I too just find myself unwilling to lug it around (I currently keep a Sigma 18-250 lens on). I thought about trying to just work with the kit lens and the 40-150 lens but wondering about this one. I mainly only take photos during out travels and of family gatherings.

      Delete
    2. I am very pleased. I can still shoot in Raw. If you shoot jprg only you can use your phone SD card as backup by using the Wifi connection. And then post to Facebook or Instagram. Also the different scene options are a lot of fun. I particularly like the drama setting. Get extra batteries. I bought generics online.

      Delete
  66. Hi Robin,

    I'm amazed by the sharpness of your photo, how do you do that?
    What should I do to achieve this Tack Sharp?

    Colin

    ReplyDelete
  67. I really enjoyed your review. I am wondering if there is a difference between the kit with EZ at the end vs none EZ. My local best buy has a black model without the EZ and a silver with EZ on the kit lens. Ex:14-42mm EZ Lens Kit vs 14-42mm Lens Kit.

    -Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  68. I bought a E-M10 II w/ kit zoom and the weather sealed Zuiko 14-150 in Sept 15. I think your review is quite accurate. My concern and question is really about battery life. I'm using BLS-50 and BLS-5 batteries from Olympus and the Wasabi equivalents. I did a few local hikes here in NH and then went the California for 3.5 weeks to hike in the High Sierra. I consistently got about 100 shots per battery. I even tried not using the pancake zoom for a whole charge, but the results were the same. Four batteries just barely made it through my first 7 day backcountry hike. The 2nd 5 day hike fared better, but just barely.

    I don't shoot raw, just LSF at low ISO using shutter priority. I do all my image editing on a computer. I don't use flash or shoot movies. I review shots once at night.

    I recently called tech support at Olympus USA and was essentially told that the problem was mine and not the camera's. The recommendation was to reset the camera to it's default settings and shoot a full battery to set a baseline. If I still got 100 shots per battery the problem could be in the capacitor. Perhaps.

    What I'd like to find out is if there are methods/settings to conserve battery life. There is little or no mention of how to do so in the product manual. Reason I write this post is that your review mentions battery life as being an issue.

    Thanks,
    Peter


    Any suggestions etc most welcome,

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hello sir... I like your review... Im thinking to buy omd em10 ... But im confius between mk i or mk ii...my budget is around 3000... Please advise.. Really appreciate your help... Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  70. Great review Robin! I have been thinking about getting this camera for my 2 weeks Europe trip in Jun as I do not want to bring my D7100, and was tossing between getting the kit zoom or a 17mm f1.8

    Your photos taken with the EZ kit lens look really sharp and colourful! I think I will go for the kit zoom which should also give me some versatility on the FL!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Wow, what a blog! I mean, you just have so much guts to go ahead and tell it like it is. Youre what blogging needs, an open minded superhero who isnt afraid to tell it like it is. This is definitely something people need to be up on. Good luck in the future, man
    caravan cleaning

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi this is very interesting article with allot of information i must really like it.
    AxiomGB

    ReplyDelete
  73. Wow!! what a great review!!! You answered all the answers I had about the Em-1, EM-10, Em5 plus all the mark 2s. I agree with you (from your Pen F review) about Olympus designations. They went overboard in creating confusion with these alpha-numerical names. They make no sense, the numbers are not sequential in order of when they were introduced, pricing, etc They are better served naming there cameras after flowers. A large percent of my confusion is based on the camera names. Aaaargh. Anyway, you've sold me on this camera. I have the original OM-D, E-5 and although the sensor remains the same, my camera is getting old and is ready to be delegated as my "vacation" or "back-up" camera. I need one for the animal photography I do in my studio. So many of the features you listed are ideal for my work, lightweight, stabilization, etc. Also thank you so much for your "bug photography setup" information. Even though I do not do macro photograhy (although sometimes for fun), I encounter the same juggling of camera in one hand, toys, treats and whistles in the other, so your advice is very helpful. I have only one concern, I'm worried Olympus will put out a camera in the near future with the new 20 mb sensor currently offered in their new Pen-F days or weeks after I purchase this one. Aaaargh!!! LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hi,
    Very nice review indeed but im really struggling to accept that these photos have been taken from this camera,
    That said as this kind of detail we see only from hi-end DSLRs
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  76. Still waiting the author to respond...

    ReplyDelete
  77. mariostouliatos, the author may not respond, as he is too busy shooting photographs, sharing them, and write about his experiences!

    By the way I missed on your post a link to own work? Are you able to share your content so the community can benefit from your obvious talents and experience....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Im not a professional photographer im an enthusiast,and also i am an owner of this camera.

      Delete
  78. Hello Robin

    An excellent review. I am considering upgrading from Mk l to Mk II, do you happen to know if the optional grip I already have will fit the Mk II?

    ReplyDelete
  79. Hi there,

    which external micorphone fits to em-10 mark ii?

    Best,
    Andreas

    ReplyDelete
  80. Thanks for your valuable information. It really gives me an insight on this topic. I'll visit here again for more information.
    Leica microscope Singapore

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hi Robin , i am looking to switch from Sony A5100 to this EM10 Mark ii , i read about EVF judder / Lag issue , is it true ?
    can it be fixed ? or already been fixed with firmware update ?
    about switching from sony a5100 to em10 , will i see noticeable result ? is it an upgrade or downgrade ?
    Thanks

    Jeffry

    ReplyDelete
  82. I’m really impressed with your article, such great & useful knowledge you mentioned here
    Microscope camera singapore

    ReplyDelete
  83. It's very awesome to see your post, i really enjoyed your article actually i'm your regular reader and love your posts. Every time you write something beneficial with a unique idea and explanation. It is very difficult to explain one product but your way of explanation is authentic and understandable. As i'm also running a photography blog with ecommerce platform named TRD Electronics, you can use it as a tutor because i often post posts likes "How to use Digital Cameras", "Best Lens for Wildlife Photography", "Essential Tips for Street Photography" and also you can purchase Photography Products and Electronics Gadgets.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Your blog has always been a good source for me to get quality tips on blogging. Thanks once again
    Leica microscope Singapore

    ReplyDelete
  85. Awesome review, as novice looking for first "real" camera, I found your pragmatic and user based experience most helpful of what actually matters. Thanks :) (from a fellow UWA civil grad)

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hey Robin,

    Thanks for the review. What is your setting when you shoot moving objects?

    ReplyDelete