Moving from OMD EM10ii to OMD EM1ii... comparison and first impressions

Started Aug 21, 2019 | User reviews thread
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Lichtspiel Senior Member • Posts: 2,494
Moving from OMD EM10ii to OMD EM1ii... comparison and first impressions

After many years with my trusty EM10(ii) I recently acquired an EM1ii, mostly after realizing that with the 3rd party grip (which is always attached to my EM10), the weight difference between the two is negligible, and size is the same as well (with grip on the 10)

So I thought I'd share a few first impressions/comparisons between the two...

Please ignore the weird colors - all camera shots taken in infrared.

First, the least important... looks: The silver 10 looks "classic" to me, combined with silver lenses it reminds me fondly of some film SLRs I used a long time ago. The black 1 looks pretty much like a "regular" small DSLR, not that there is anything wrong with that!
However, small, silver lenses I own, like the 15/1.7 and 45/1.8, look slightly silly on the bigger black camera. Oh well.

Ergonomics... Having used a (Neewer) 3rd party grip for years, handling the 10 now feels like putting on a glove. Will need a bit time to get used to the beefier built-in grip of the 1. For some reason, it is a bit harder to reach the two top Fn buttons next to the shutter release with my index finger. Spinning the more streamlined front wheel of the 1 isn't as easy as the very protruding one of the 10. Most likely a matter of getting used to it. Power switch works much nicer on the 1.

Tilt vs FAS... there are endless discussions about that. I am firmly in the tilt screen camp, for many reasons I won't repeat here. Blah.

EVF... the 10 has a smaller, but very contrasty OLED monitor, the 1 a larger view, but blacks looks more like gray. Both are really fine!

Buttons... the 1 has two more in front, next to the lens mount, one more on the back, plus the left top split button where the 10 has Fn3. Both cameras really don't lack customizable buttons. I am still discovering some of the intricacies with the lever on the 1. For the time being I turned it off so I don't confuse myself.

The left top split button of the 1 is nice, but I wish it could be customized more... for ex, I don't care about white balance, but would like to assign ISO selection to one of them. No go... there is just some flipping of control wheels that can be adjusted here. (I could be wrong about that, still exploring and discovering).

The 10 allows 4 custom "MySets" to be saved to the mode dial. The 1 only does 3. Meh.

Features... both cameras are very feature-rich. The 1 has a few additional goodies - most notably High Res, for 80MP raw files. This was one of the reasons I wanted this camera. Focus stacking (in camera) sounded good, but only a few lenses work with that. The only one I own at the moment is the 8mm Fisheye, which is the one needing focus stacking the very least. Not even the 17/1.2 Pro? OK...

One neat thing is AF micro-adjustment which made the AF of some of my adapted lenses (for ex Sigma 30/1.4 was wayyy off, Canon 50/1.8 slightly) finally usable. 10 has a flash built in, capable of wirelessly triggering others. Separate deal with the 1.

There are many other features the 1 adds, some of them come in very handy (like faster shutter... 1/8000 and 1/32000 respectively). Lower ISO (64). Etc. Other I don't necessarily care about, at the moment, like weather-proofing and 4K video. Lot's of future potential though, like the improved C-AF which I have not explored much yet. BIFs here I come... one day.

High Resolution - going from 16MP to 80MP is quite a shocker, file sizes and all. When exporting the full size Raw to uncompressed 16bit Tiff the resulting file eats up almost half a Gigabyte. Wow! And that definitely slows some things down a bit in the processing department.

High-Res adding some movement

I am sure as the novelty wears off I will use HR much less, but it is nice to have. I am not even that opposed to some movement in my photos, on the contrary. But one has to find a really, really solid base for good results.

One of the questions I asked myself: How does a 20MP crop of the 80MP file compare to a 20MP file of the same scene. In other words, if I have a 17mm lens, and opportunity to shoot High Res, would the cropped result look similar, better, or worse than if I took that same scene with a 35mm lens in normal mode? Can I leave that 35mm lens at home now and just crop??

To answer that, I did a quick test under controlled conditions:

Single shot, cropped to match the high res and the zoomed in version. Clearly not clear.

High Res version, cropped from 80MP to match the zoomed in version.

Zoomed in single shot. These 3 examples are best compared by clicking "Original size" and then switching between browser tabs.

The first shot is just as a comparison on how much the HR resolution adds to the detail. Comparing the HR shot to the zoomed in shot there is a distinct smoothness to the HR version. Some of the finer details disappear, for example the pattern on the PSU box next to the large CX. However, most of the small text is very comparable. So... there.

As I have not owned the EM1 for an extended time I am going to skip a conclusion/summary. Feel free to comment/add your findings/correct me!

 Lichtspiel's gear list:Lichtspiel's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus 8mm F1.8 Fisheye Pro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R +3 more
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
20 megapixels • 3 screen • Four Thirds sensor
Announced: Sep 19, 2016
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Olympus E-M1 II Olympus OM-D E-M10 II
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