Its not a secret that in the next few weeks that the Olympus OM-D EM1 replacement will break cover.
Its no secret because it has to. Whilst the EM1 is still a good camera is in truthbegining to look a tad bit out gunned in some aspects by the likes of the Olympus Pen-F and the Panasonic GX8 in a particular. In fact in some ways the supposed mid-range OM-D model, the EM5II is a in reality a better camera than the current EM1.
But what specs / features will the new OM-D EM1 II sport?
Well common sense suggest that we should expect a version of the Sony manufactured 20mp 4/3rd CMOS sensor. I say version because I’d be amazed if the new sensor doesn’t have on sensor phase-detection – PDAF ( as on the current EM1). The 20mp will bring a very, very slight resolution improvement but more significantly a slightly improved high ISO performance over the current 16mp sensor in the EM1. I would be very surprise if a new TruePic processing engine is not introduced, TruePic VIII?
The new camera will have an improved AF performance and it will have the AF targetting pad feature as found in the EM10 II annd Pen-F.
I’ll have a pint the new camera will be capable of 12fps shooting with fixed AF and maybe as high as 7fps with auto-focus?
The presence of a higher resolution EVF has been rumoured for a while now, expect something in the 3M dot region maybe even a Leica matching 4M dot?
There have been really strong hints that Olympus has managed to hone and refined the high-res mode ( as found in the EM5II) to finally allow the mode to be used handheld. If this capacity really does materialise it will really open up the possibilities of the EM1 II and allow the m43 system to truly compete (for resolution) with their bigger sensor brethren.
Its also rumoured that dual SD slots will make their debut.
I don’t expect many changes when it comes to the rear screen but I’d like to see the touch capacity expanded and improved. Ideally I’d love a more resolute rear screen ( 2M dot?) but I am not confident that my wishes will be fulfilled.
Built in flash? Other than the OM-D EM10 II Olympus has shown a reluctance to include built in flashes on its OMD models , a logic which doesn’t register with me. I’d love the EM1 II to have a built in flash but if history is anything to go back its looking doubtful.
4K video? Although Olympus has shown a reluctance to introduce 4K video to its cameras (partly due to copy right issues) I do expect a light version of 4K video to debut in the EM1 II. I Don’t expect anything like the extensive 4K modes as found in some Sony and Panasonic models, no I’d anticipate an implementation more akin to that in the Fuji X-T2?
And that’s about it? I don’t personally expect anything too radical to come with the EM1 II , its much more likely to represent a pragmatic evolution and blending of the EM5II / Pen-F features.
I have no doubt the EM1 II will focus on handling, robustness (it will be weather sealed) and snappy AF performance. The improved sensor and EVF performance will simply make the user experience more rewarding.
I’d want Olympus to keep the same battery design ( to allow backward compatability) but would appreciate better battery life.
Lenses? Eell expect Olympus to announce possibly two (2) f1.2 Pro primes and a new pro zoom to accompany the EM1 II?
So all in all the the EM1 II could or should (fingers crossed) represent the very best in current digital technology and in the process end up being the best micro four thirds camera yet?
I am really looking forward to the EM1 II, as a Micro Four Thirds user / owner I have placed a lot of faith ( and expense) with Olympus and I hope they don’t disappoint.
Mark Baynham ( July 2016)