Best Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020:
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II benefits from major developments: new ergonomics, new 20 MP sensor, new processor, surprising burst modes, 4K video mode, 5-axis stabilization, etc. Improvements that once again promise a bright future for Olympus’ high-end hybrid.
Presented at Photokina 2016, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II was one of the most striking announcements. Three years after the release of the top-of-the-range hybrid M-1, the sacred update of the Mark II already seems to propel it at the top of the table of the best devices with 4/3 “sensor. We can feel it, this hybrid wants to play in the big leagues and shake up the world of SLR a little.
Best Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
4. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Micro Four Thirds System Camera, 16 Megapixels. 5-Axis Image Stabilizer, Electronic Viewfinder, Black
Despite the many developments, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II does not grow too much: barely 90 g separate the two versions. We immediately notice the new grip, wider and more hollow, designed to adapt to large hands. The new screen, now swiveling on a ball joint, fits perfectly. The two SD card slots do not affect the height of the device too much. Finally, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II remains a particularly compact hybrid. With its appearance of small reflex, it takes again the excellent manufacture of M-1, conceived to resist the bad weather, humidity and dust. It is truly a success.
The new BLH-1 lithium battery is expected to improve autonomy by 40%. It is quite difficult to accurately assess this gain, which depends on how to use the APN, especially since the new burst modes and ProCapture are particularly energy consuming. However, the gain seems very real during conventional use, but limited for optimal use of the device.
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II retains the excellent 2.36 Mpx electronic viewfinder of the first version, an essential element to compete with the optical aiming of SLRs. The screen on ball head is much more practical to handle than the previous one, but still not tactile to navigate in the menus, for example. It is, however, single-point touchscreen, and therefore allows you to select the focus directly via the screen.
In terms of menus, we are disappointed to discover a structure that is still as complex and not very intuitive. It is often necessary to go to great lengths to reach a sometimes harmless setting, in submenus hidden by other submenus, themselves hidden by other submenus. It only remains for Olympus engineers to correct to make this hybrid perfect. Still, the options are teeming and it will take time to locate them. Fortunately, the customization of the different knobs and Fn functions allows easy access to the main settings. Regulars of the first version will in any case not be lost. For others, Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II will be necessary to know how to show a little patience before fully appreciating the device.
The two SD card slots will be of particular interest to professionals who want a large storage capacity or save duplicate photos, for example. Among the settings, it is possible to record on a defined card only or to record on both cards, to switch automatically from one card to another.
Wi-Fi is always required to control remotely or share images quickly on a smartphone. However, we note the absence of NFC and GPS.
The new TruPic VIII processor coupled with a Dual Fast AF system with phase and contrast detection as well as 5-axis stabilization make this OM-D E-M1 Mark II a real war machine. Already excellent on the previous version, the reactivity results are taking off. The most impressive is probably its burst mode announced at 18 fps in AF-C. Even if our laboratory has rather verified 15.7 fps JPG and RAW + JPG, it is a sensational rate. It is a real pleasure to use in the field, especially in sports photography.
One of our editors, however, criticizes the camera for doing too much and has the feeling that the photographer is no longer really involved in photography. It is true that at such a rate, it suffices to trigger and select one of the sharp images.autofocus tracking does wonders. For optimal use, however, provide a fast card (minimum UHS-II), otherwise the buffer quickly becomes saturated and requires patience before being able to photograph again.
And if you don’t have enough, Olympus offers a new mode called Capture Pro which allows you to record up to 14 images halfway before pressing the shutter button completely; the aim being to memorize the few seconds preceding a quick and precise action, to break down the movement, or to extract an image from the series. The frame rate can reach 60 fps and it is possible to record up to 99 images … provided you browse through the menus. Unlike the standard burst, once the shutter release is activated, there is no return in the viewfinder and tracking is less easy on a lively and moving subject. Better to use this mode with the camera on a tripod, for example, and for very specific and very fast subjects.
At this level, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II would be worth six stars.
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II’s 4/3 “sensor gains in definition and increases to 20 Mpx (16 Mpx for its predecessor). The arrival of the new TruPic VIII processor also gives new impetus to the quality of image and ISO rise which ranges from ISO 64 to ISO 25 600. Unlike the OM-D E-M1, the Mark II suddenly goes from ISO 64 to 200 and skips the ISO 100.
During this test, we carried out the ISO rise with the new M.Zuiko 12-100 mm f / 4 ISO PRO , announced at the same time as the hybrid. The advantage of this lens is of course its versatility, but also its constant f / 4 aperture, which is rather bright when the focal length is equivalent to 200 mm.
We observe a generally very homogeneous rise which allows to climb up to 1600, even 3200 ISO without ulterior motive. From ISO 3200, smoothing appears, then electronic noise at ISO 12 800.
Finally, the only limit, inherent to the brand, remains the 4/3 “sensor size which prevents the camera from climbing into very high sensitivities and to offer even more details. The question that arises is ultimately the following: Can such a high-performance device, incorporating this type of sensor, appeal to a real audience of professionals? In any case, at the time of writing, opinions diverge and depend very much on usage.
The arrival of 5-axis stabilization and 4K 4096 x 2160 24p and UHD 3840 x 2160 30p, 25p, 24p recording gives the video mode a facelift. Stabilization is particularly effective and greatly limits movement. Here is an example of stabilization on a video that we borrowed from our Digital Focus comrades
The continuous autofocus is particularly quiet, but is not as fast as we would have liked and is a little more difficult to find the point than in the photo. In addition, the focus peaking is disengageable and allows to assist the manual focusing. The gain in 4K / UHD is visible, especially in terms of micro-contrasts. We always appreciate being able to use the creative filters on video, unless we can configure the aperture, speed and sensitivity settings during recording.
The presence of headphone and microphone jacks is welcome and improves sound reproduction. The 180 ° swiveling screen could then not be used optimally, hampered by this external connection.
The video mode eventually evolves significantly, but Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II confines itself to the classic and somewhat limits the possibilities.
- Manufacturing quality.
- Two SD card slots.
- New Battery.
- Screen can be turned 180 °.
- Compactness of the device.
- Stabilization on 5 axes.
- Impressive burst modes.
- Pro Capture mode.
- Image quality up to ISO 3200.
- 4K video.
- Complex menu structure.
- Limits of the micro 4/3 sensor in high sensitivities.
- Touchscreen limited to certain uses (no menu navigation)
- No NFC.
- Non-disengageable video mode.
No doubt, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is a remarkable hybrid that excels in its responsiveness and offers enough evolutions compared to its predecessor to convince us. Its 20 MP sensor, its impressive burst modes, the arrival of 5-axis stabilization, its 4K video mode, its new processor and its tropicalization are all arguments that he puts forward. Its only limit may be the size of its sensor, a limit specific to certain uses only. The Mark II is a device that you have to get to know to appreciate it for its true value.
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