Looks can be deceptive: Olympus OM-D EM1 II

Olympus OM-D EM1: Familar But Different

The time is nearly upon us when the new Olympus OM-D EM1 II will be readily available.

Whilst the new model looks superficially very similar to the EM1 deleve into the specification and you’ll see Olympus has honed, tweaked and improved every major aspect of the earlier model even re-shaping the finger grip to allow better traction when the new camera is used with the bigger M43 lenses like the m.Zuiko 300mm f4 and m.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.9 Pro Telephoto.

There’s been much talk about its price point ( around ¬£1800 body only) and whether this new Micro Four Thirds ( M43) power-house can really take the fight to APS-C cameras like the Nikon¬† D500 (they will retail at a similar cost) let alone compete with other mirrorless cameras like Fuji’s wonderfully sublime Fujifilm X-T2 which I’d argue sets the bench mark for not only CSC’s / mirrorless cameras in general but high end enthusiast cameras period.

Well time will tell but one thing is for sure spec wise the new EM1 looks like a dream M43 camera, in fact it looks like a dream camera full stop so here’s a a reminder of its general specs:

Core Specification: Olympus OM-D EM1 II

New 20mp Four Third CMOS sensor

2.36M dor EVF with improved refresh rate

On chip phase detection points

121-point AF system

New TruePic VIII processing engine

Dual quad core processors ( one for auto-focus the other for imaging)

Fully articulated touch-screen

Dual UHS-II compatible SD slots

Continous shooting up to 60 fps at full resolution

Up to 18 fps in tracking mode (Electronic Shutter)

15 fps (fixed focus) using the mechanical shutter

10 fps with focus tracking using the mechanical shutter

Up to 5.5 stops of in-body stabilisation ( up from 5 in the EM5II)

Sync IS rate of 6.5 stop stabilisation with certain “Pro” lenses

4K video at 24fps & a bit rate of 237Mbs

Built-in microphone and headphone sockets

Revised menu system

And all the above will be wrapped into a properly rugged weather sealed body.

That is one hell of a spec list and a few years back only a pro camera would have come close to sporting them.

If Olympus has managed to squeeze even a little bit more image quality at high ISO from the new sensor & processor the new EM1 II may well end up finally being the M43 camera that matches ( for the most part) APS-DSLR’s?

Fingers crossed

Mark Baynham ( November 2016)

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