The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II was without a doubt one of the big stars at the Photokina 2016. It was primarily the remarkable speed of the camera that drew attention. The E-M1 Mark II can photograph at 60 frames per second in full resolution in RAW and jpeg. This astronomical speed is only possible with single auto focus, and the camera only keeps that up for a short time before the buffer fills up. But with continuous auto focus, the OM-D E-M1 mk2 still achieves 18 shots per second. These are speeds that even the most expensive and fastest SLR cameras for professional sports photographers do not achieve. And there is more. Much more.
OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 MARK II: SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED & SPEED TRIUMPH
Even with an extremely long focal length (in this case the Panasonic 100-400mm @ 400mm, 1/640 sec, 200 ISO), it’s possible to catch birds in flight thanks to the fast, continuous AF and the fantastic image stabilization with the OM-D E-M1 mk2.
OM-D E-M1 vs OM-D E-M1 MK2: Switch pays off for lots of reasons
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is improved in many respects relative to the previous model. The camera has a new 20 megapixel sensor. The Mark II, just like the Mark I, has no anti-alias filter. The difference of 4 megapixels relative to the Mark I is small, but under favorable conditions you can just barely see it in practice. The new sensor ensures that the camera keeps a reasonable pace with the competition in terms of resolution. The improvements to the auto focus system are bigger. The E-M1 Mark II has 121 phase detection auto focus points, which cover practically the entire image. All those auto focus points are cross-type. The camera can shoot 18 images per second in C-AF with the electronic shutter. That is with auto focus in between. With the—incidentally remarkably faster—S-AF, so with advance focusing on a fixed point, the camera can take pictures at 60 images per second. And we’re not talking about a processed film mode in 4K, but about full-resolution 20-megapixel images in RAW+jpeg. To be able to deliver those unbelievable performances, the camera has a double quad-core processor. The camera has two card slots, one of which is suitable for both UHS-I and the faster UHS-II cards. Another important point is that the screen of the E-M1 can only tilt, while on the Mark 2, you can both rotate and tilt the screen. The new viewfinder has the same resolution, but a higher refresh frequency (120 fps) and a "response rate" of 6 instead of 16 ms. The 5-axis image stabilization of the Mark 2 is also a spectacular improvement relative to the OM-D E-M1. With the OM-D E-M1, you now also have 4K video and in-body image stabilization. The ergonomics are improved, so that the camera sits in the hand better, and the battery lasts longer. The only "minus points" on the Mark2 relative to the original Olympus OMD E-M1 mk2 are that the camera is larger (due to the ergonomics) and is 75 grams heavier. The switch to a Mark 2 results, in short, in so many improvements that naming this new camera Mark 2 sells is short.
In low light, I prefer a low ISO setting (in this case, even 64 ISO) and a relatively long shutter time (1/20 sec) over a higher ISO value (400 ISO or more).
12-40mm oR 12-100mm?
The E-M1 mk2 comes as a kit with the extremely good 12-40mm f/2.8 lens, but for a traveler who wants to change lenses as little as possible, the 12-100mm f/4 is a surprisingly good alternative.