It’s Time for You to Upgrade to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II [Review]
If you are looking for a state of the art camera with all the bells and whistles, look no further. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is perfect for whatever adventure life throws at you. From beautiful portraits to catching stunning wildlife photos, the OMD EM1 will not disappoint.
This article will review the OM-D E-M1 Mark II’s specifications and any other questions you may be asking yourself. The surprisingly user-friendly controls in a lightweight, micro four thirds mirrorless body will have you falling in love with photography if you aren’t already. If you own the predecessor or an older camera, it may be time to upgrade to this beauty.
Sold already? Check it out on Amazon now by clicking here.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What Are the Specifications?
- 20 Megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live MOS Sensor. Take photos in motion that are clear and crisp, making the viewer feel as if they were really there.
- 15 fps Sequential Shooting (Mechanical). To grab a full resolution hard to get shot.
- Cinema 4K Video. Get truly smooth video worthy of the big screen with this new feature. Click here to view our picks for the best 4k digital cameras.
- 50 Megapixel High-Resolution Shot Mode. This feature allows you to combine 8 consecutive shots in 1 second to make one ultra beautiful photo.
- 121-Point Dual FAST Autofocus. Fast and accurate focusing so you never miss the perfect photo opportunity.
- 60 fps Sequential Shooting (Electronic). Silent and wicked fast for an amazing shot without distraction.
- Advanced 5-Axis Image Stabilization. Truly incredible technology for steady shots without a tripod.
- Lightweight, Weatherproof Body. Dust, splash, and freeze proof. Ready for any journey anywhere.
- Fully-Articulating 3.0″ Touch Monitor. Move the screen to your liking while being able to easily adjust settings.
- Built-In Wi-Fi. No more wires needed to move photos from your camera to your laptop.
What’s the Difference Between the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II?
There are quite a few differences between the two models. So far, it seems like most upgrades are for the better. However, there may be a couple tweaks that some users aren’t happy with. Let’s cover the important differences.
- The OM-D E-M1 Mark I had a maximum output resolution of 16MP while the Mark II boasts 20 MP. This increase in resolution allows for greater print sizes and post-processing crop allowances.
- The Mark II is better suited to shooting action shots by using shooting speeds up to 3x faster than the Mark I.
- The OM-D E-M1 had great AF but it has nothing on the Mark II’s 121 on-sensor phase-detection AF points that cover 75% of the image area! This allows for more stunning shots with moving subjects.
- Full resolution shooting was pretty spectacular at 9 fps with AF with the first model, but the new version offers double that at 18 fps with AF.
- The OM-D E-M1 Mark II has a deeper grip making it easier to handle than the Mark 1. However, when you add in the new articulating screen, things get a little tricky. If you are going to use headphones, a mic, or a tripod, your articulating screen is going to push and maybe even unplug the cables. If you aren’t using these items, the Mark II is better to handle, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind.
- Both models have 5-axis in-body image stabilization (I.B.I.S.) but the Mark II offers a whopping 5.5 EV vs the Mark I’s 4EV.
- Speaking of video, the video mode on the Mark II has been seriously upgraded. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is capable of 4K video at up to 30p! This is incredible compared to the Mark I. The Mark I is capable of 4K video, but only in time-lapse mode. The E-M1 II also is capable of a maximum bitrate of 237 Mbps during DCI 4k/24p capture. So, what’s this all mean for you? Basically, the Mark II has a better video taking quality than it’s first model.
- The mechanical shutter on the Mark II improves upon its predecessor by 33%. This allows for a longer lifespan backed by a one year warranty.
- Battery life is so important when you are on the go. Luckily, Olympus stepped it up yet again with the Mark II. It has maximum endurance of 440 shots in normal use while the Mark I has 350.
The differences between these two models are profound over so many different categories. No one’s doubting that the Mark I isn’t a great camera. The Mark II is just a step up. If you are looking for the next level camera, then the OMD EM1 Mark II is your guy.
Where Can I Buy This Camera and How Much Will It Cost?
Olympus currently has this camera listed at $1,999.99 MSRP. However, Amazon’s reputation for product fulfillment in a timely manner while maintaining a great return policy is unprecedented.
Get your camera quick and if it’s not for you, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund. Amazon also has impeccable customer service to help you through any complications. They will be competitive in price with all other vendors as well.
Are the lenses interchangeable?
Yes! The lenses are interchangeable. In fact, there are actually 70 different lenses available. These consist of 35 Olympus Zuiko and M. Zuiko lenses as well as 35 lenses from other Four Thirds Consortium members.
Are the batteries interchangeable?
This camera model offers a 1720 mAh BLH-1 lithium-ion battery. This battery is 440 shots rated and charges faster than the previous model. Beyond that, a HLD-9 Power Battery Holder is available. It can hold an extra BLH-1 Lithium-Ion Battery! What does that mean in layman’s terms? You just doubled your battery life!
Does it have Wi-Fi built-in?
Yes! The OMD M1 Mark II has built-in Wi-Fi. The demands have been heard from photographers for Wi-Fi and Olympus delivered. You don’t have to be so tied down to your studio or even your home for that matter. This new feature has allowed you to go exploring without the fear of running out of room for more pictures.
Wi-Fi in your camera means not having to connect directly to your computer. It’s easy to quickly upload photos via the web to wherever you want them to go. This is especially convenient for on the go photographers and bloggers.
Does it have a flip-out screen?
Yes, the screen does flip out but it is so much more than a flip-out screen. It fully articulates wherever you want it to go. This is a huge advantage while shooting video as well as portraits. Simply flip your screen back to protect it when you are done.
However, as stated in the upgrades from the Mark I, there are some disadvantages to this. There have been complaints that the screen gets in the way when you want to use the outputs or the tripod. This can be troublesome if you are buying this camera to use for mostly video use. If not, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Can I make videos?
As discussed previously, the OMD EM1 Mark II is great for cinematography! It’s handheld 4K video can capture Cinema 4K video up to max bit rate of 237 Mbps at a 24P frame rate. That’s practically unheard of!
The 5-Axis Image Stabilization is optimized for video. You no longer have to worry about your hand shaking while trying to capture video. Leave the tripod at home and go rogue with this new technology.
Another great feature Olympus added is having two HDMI output modes, Monitor Mode and Recording Mode. Monitor Mode allows for an external monitor display. Recording mode actually records to an external monitor recorder.
Does it have video autofocus?
The AF is way before it’s time in this little number as far as photography goes. We’ve discussed how big of an area it can autofocus on in stills.
When it comes to movies, it does a pretty good job at continuous autofocusing as well. Although, as stated before if you are using a mic or headphones while recording, the screen may get in the way when you are trying to select where you want to autofocus.
Does it have image stabilization?
This camera has some of the best image stabilization around. It’s 5-axis image stabilization is revolutionary. No matter which way the camera moves, the 5.5 shutter speed steps keeps your images clear and clean.
If you want to get really crazy, you can even go with the M.Zuiko PRO lens that features in-lens stabilization. Combined, the two provide up to 6.5 shutter speed steps!
So go out on the dusty road. Take some wild pictures while bumping along in a jalopy. Get those shots that all other photographers will be drooling over. It’s all possible with this awesome image stabilization.
Does it have a full-frame sensor?
No, it is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Mirrorless cameras are different than the DSLR cameras in several different ways.
- DSLR cameras are bulkier. They just are a bigger camera due to the lens. The mirrorless are usually more compact.
- Autofocus speed used to be better in the DSLR but the OM-D EM-1 Mark II far surpassed expectations with it’s 121 on-sensor phase-detection AF points that cover 75% of the image area.
- Shutter speed is faster in mirrorless cameras because of the ability to have an electronic shutter.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a good DSLR camera to compare to the Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II. There are advantages and disadvantages to both but if you are going to go with the mirrorless camera, the OM-D EM-1 Mark II takes the cake.
Is this a good camera for beginners?
This is a great question with a not so simple answer. It really depends on what you want to do with it.
The Mark II has a comprehensive feature list and pro-level controls. This makes it more suited for the seasoned shooter. It’s also suited for the photographer just starting out but willing to take on the challenge of using it to its fullest potential.
For most people, a competent camera for your needs can be had for much less, perhaps with the predecessor Mark I body. However for those wanting to remove all handicaps and go all-in, it’s difficult to argue against the Mark II so long as you’re comfortable with the price.
What is the Verdict on the Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II?
The OM-D EM-1 Mark II is a breakthrough camera. It surpassed all expectations from the Mark I. This delightful machine is leaving other brands in the dust with its shutter speed, 5-axis stabilization, and brilliant autofocusing.
You will be hard pressed to find another camera that excels in this many fields while staying lightweight and travel friendly. Grab that tripod. Get out on the open road. Start your adventure today. Get the OM-D EM-1 Mark II and start wowing people today with your expert photography skills.