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We've been digging around under the hood of the Nikon Z50. We look at what Nikon's first APS-C mirrorless camera does and doesn't offer.
9 Conclusion and Sample Gallery
The Olympus E-M10 II is the follow-up to the company's already very capable entry-level OM-D, the E-M10. This Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera offers a time-tested 16MP sensor, a stylish body with highly customizable controls, a host of features for all levels of photographer, and a very nice electronic viewfinder. It finds itself among some very tough competitors, namely the Fujifilm X-T10, Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7, and Sony a6000 mirrorless cameras and the Nikon D5500 DSLR - and it keeps up pretty well in most respects.
While neither as rugged nor or weatherproof as its more expensive OM-D cousins, the E-M10 II is still a solid camera, the design of which has been well thought out. It has the same DSLR-style design as the E-M5 II, though what makes the E-M10 II stand out from that camera are the three dials on its top plate. These three dials (two control, one mode) are tiered, so they're distinguishable by touch, and right where you need them. The rear thumb rest is not as well placed though, and feels quite plasticky compared to the rest of the camera.
The power switch has a very long 'throw', and your finger can sometimes get in the way when you're trying to raise the pop-up flash. One thing that the majority of the DPR editorial staff agreed on is that the E-M10 II is a lot more comfortable to hold with the optional (and smartly designed) EGM-3 grip attached.
|ISO 200, 1/160 sec, F3.5, 80mm equiv. Converted from Raw. Highlights -100, sharpening 33/0.8, luminance NR 8.|
Olympus' mirrorless cameras have always been very customizable and the E-M10 II is no exception. If a body element can be pushed or rotated, odds are that you can change its function. Where the camera really gets difficult to use - especially considering the E-M10 II's target audience - is if and when you need to dive into its menus. The normal shooting tabs contain less commonly-used functions, while the good stuff is hidden in a multi-level, difficult to navigation custom settings menu. The custom settings menu is not for the faint of heart, even causing confusion (still) among several grizzled DPReview staffers.
One of the nicest improvements compared to the original E-M10 is a larger, higher resolution OLED electronic viewfinder. Its resolution of 2.36 million dots and vivid colors make the EVF a pleasure to shoot with. The tilting LCD, which has good outdoor visibility, also came in handy for shooting over crowds. The LCD is touch-enabled and allows you to take a photo, focus (even with your eye to the EVF), navigate menus, and review images you've taken.
Another new addition is a 5-axis image stabilization system. While not quite as robust as the one on the E-M5 II, the IS system did an impressive job, especially in movie mode (and even more so with added digital stabilization).
The shooting experience is very positive in nearly all respects. The E-M10 II starts up very quickly and focuses with very little delay. We were especially impressed with how well the face and eye detection worked, especially when shooting portraits with a telephoto prime. There's a catch though: it doesn't work as remarkably well for moving subjects as we're seeing with some of the camera's competitors. And in general, although the E-M10 II does a decent job of tracking subjects (like faces or eyes) across and around the frame, it does not do very well when tracking in depth, which is to say it's not as good at actually focusing on that subject continuously. The camera can shoot continuously at 8.5 fps with single AF and 4 fps with continuous AF.
Feature-wise you'll find a ton of special effect modes as well as full control over exposure. You can bracket to your heart's content, adjust highlights and shadows using a clever interface, and edit Raw images right from playback mode. Something that didn't impress us quite as much is the E-M10 II's Auto ISO implementation, which isn't very programmable (no easy way to bias the minimum allowed shutter speed), is challenging to set up, and does not offer the ability to adjust exposure compensation in manual (M) mode.
|ISO 200, 1/320 sec, F3.5, 80mm equiv. Photo: Jeff Keller|
The E-M10 II is well-suited to street photography as well, partly thanks to its fully electronic shutter. This allows for silent shooting and shutter speeds as fast as 1/16000 sec. However, there's a noise penalty accompanied by the electronic shutter at high ISOs, and rolling shutter may be an issue when panning. We recommend using the camera's electronic first-curtain shutter (illustrated by a diamond symbol in the menus), which reduces the risk of blurry photos caused by shutter vibration, and offers little to no noise penalty.
In the video department the E-M10 II records 1080/60p and 24p video at bit rates as high as 77Mbps. As with still shooting, exposure can be adjusted but there's no way to adjust brightness using Auto ISO in manual mode. There aren't any more 'pro' video features such as zebra pattern or audio level adjustment, and the camera also lacks an external mic jack.
The E-M10 II ostensibly uses the same sensor as the original E-M10 (and E-M5 II) and a similar image processor, so its image quality didn't come as too much of a surprise. The camera exposes accurately, produces pleasant, punchy colors, and keeps noise levels down. JPEG output opts for smooth, low noise results at the cost of the very finest detail, but never to a degree we were unhappy with.
Shutter speeds around 1/100th of a second are prone to shutter shock, which can result in soft images. This is solved by using the 0sec Anti-shock setting which appears to have very little downside, so we'd recommend leaving this feature switched on.
|ISO 200, 1/320 sec, F2.8, 64mm equiv. Photo: Dan Bracaglia|
Raw dynamic range performance is very solid, with the camera adding very little noise of its own, meaning that you get a good degree of processing latitude at low ISOs and no more noise than necessary at higher ISO settings.
With respect to low-light performance, the E-M10 II performs similarly to its micro four-thirds siblings. This means there's a noise cost to be paid compared to larger sensor cameras since the M10 II's sensor is smaller than that of, say, its APS-C rivals. However, as we noted in our review of the E-M5 II, its sensor is good enough that it performs competitively against some of them: the E-M10 II nearly catches up to the low-light performance of the Sony a6000, for example. Overall, you can expect slightly better ISO performance than smaller 1"-type sensor cameras like the Nikon 1 J5, around a stop worse performance compared to class-leading APS-C cameras like the Nikon D5500, and around two stops worse performance than the best full-frame cameras. Read our in-depth analysis on our studio page.
As with its predecessor, the Olympus E-M10 II brings the best features from its more expensive siblings and puts them into a reasonably priced (albeit less robust) package. It doesn't feel as much as a traditional photographic tool as its main competitor, the Fujifilm X-T10, nor can't it track moving subjects as well as DSLRs like the Nikon D5500, but in most respects the E-M10 II keeps up nicely.
The E-M10 II is well-suited for those moving up to a more capable mirrorless camera and don't need the weather-sealing of the E-M5 II. The E-M10 II is also an attractive choice for those seeking a lightweight second camera. Either way, the E-M10 II offers a lot of camera for the money, and is well worth considering.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II
Category: Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 II is an inexpensive yet well-specified mirrorless camera whose design, image quality, performance and feature set make it a compelling choice. That said, the E-M10 II's menus can be confusing, the lack of 4K video is disappointing, and subject tracking needs improvement.
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A brown and chrome version of the OM-D E-M10 II compact system camera, first announced in January, has been launched worldwide by Olympus. The new version is a limited edition, of which only 3500 will be made and distributed. Read more
Along with the launch of the new PEN-F, Olympus has announced a limited edition OM-D E-M10 II. Wrapped in a tan faux leather, it comes with a matching leather neck strap and a collapsible 14-42mm EZ electronic zoom. Read more
In early September, Olympus announced a pause in sales of the OM-D E-M10 Mark II due to an issue with the lens mount locking pin preventing some lenses from attaching to the camera body properly. Now the company has announced that the wait will soon be over - sales will begin again on November 7. Read more
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Around here it was a week of 'twos' - Olympus debuted the second generation of its OM-D E-M10 camera, Canon introduced version two of its popular 35mm F1.4L lens, and we published our thoughts on shooting with Sony's RX10 II. We'll sum it all up for you just in case you missed any of the action this week. Read more
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a 20MP Micro Four Thirds camera aimed at enthusiast photographers. It shares the same sensor, AF system and 4K-video capture as the flagship E-M1 II and E-M1 X, in a considerably smaller and lighter package.
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