Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

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The OM-D E-M1 has always represented the pinnacle of Olympus’ Micro Four Thirds portfolio. In fact, it was the first camera from the company to that came with phase detection autofocus, AA filter-less sensor, focus peaking and higher frame rates to boot.

However, in the three years since its introduction other cameras have risen to prominence. The Panasonic Lumix GH4 has gained a foothold in the video sector, while Sony has impressed us with A6000-line’s laser quick AF as well as introducing the A7 range of full-frame mirrorless cameras. Then there’s Fujifilm, which with the X-T2 is our favorite mirrorless camera to date.

Now with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Olympus is attempting to even the odds. The result is a completely overhauled camera with a higher-resolution 20.4MP sensor, greatly improved 121-point cross-type AF system, enhanced in-body image stabilization, plus 4K video and Olympus’ best video-shooting features to date. 

Consequently, these improvements have come with a higher $1,999 or £1849 (about AU$2,610) price for just the camera body alone – whereas the first OM-D E-M1 originally retailed for $1,399 (£1,299, AU$1,599). 

While it’s an unattractive price point for the enthusiast to casual photographers Olympus usually attracts, it’s clear it means to cater to the needs of professional photographers with this fully featured camera and a growing line of Pro lenses – several of which were announced alongside the initial debut of the E-M1 Mark II.

Features

  • 20.4 megapixel Live MOS MFT sensor
  • 3-inch 1,037K dot tilt-angle screen
  • 2.36M dot EVF 1.48x magnification
  • Cinema 4K (4096 × 2060) 24p; 4K (3840 × 2160) 30p; FHD (1920 x 1080) 60p video

 The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is the second camera to feature Olympus’ new 20.4MP sensor since its debut in the Pen-F. While the resolution is the same, Olympus has tweaked the image sensor for better noise reduction and 121 cross-type AF on-chip phase detection points spread across the entire frame.

The company claims the autofocus system is completely new and programmed with a new algorithm tuned for better tracking. Overall we find the Mark II to be even more accurate and faster than ever when it comes to autofocusing – and speediness really is one word to describe the new E-M1.

The higher-resolution 2.36M dot EVF now operates at a maximum 120 frames-per-second with a delay of only 5ms. This upgraded viewfinder pairs well with the 30% reduced shutter lag and Olympus new ProCapture mode designed to capture split-second moments.

Of course, if you want to slow things down the OM-D E-M1 can oblige with as well. Its enhanced on-sensor image stabilization system now offers 5.5 steps of shake reduction.

The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is also Olympus first camera to shoot 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video recording at 30, 25 or 24fps. What’s more, the Japanese camera company is leap-frogging over Sony and Panasonic by being the first to introduce Cinema 4K, which captures 4,096 x 2,060 pixel footage – a slightly wider aspect ratio than the traditional 16:9 frame – at a bitrate of up to 237mbps.

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