Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

20MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor | 5-axis image stabilization | Hybrid AF system

What we like:

  • Advanced autofocus system
  • Extremely fast burst shooting
  • In-body image stabilization
  • DCI/UHD 4K video capture

What we don't:

  • Pricey
  • Controls can be overwhelming
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is Olympus' top-end camera, designed to go toe-to-toe with the best enthusiast mirrorless and DSLR cameras on the market. It uses a 20MP sensor with hybrid autofocus, up to 60 fps burst shooting, in-body image stabilization and 4K video capture. It also offers a High-Res Shot mode which shifts the sensor in order to produce 50MP stills, though it's for stationary subjects only.
Its lightweight magnesium alloy body is weather-sealed and comfortable to hold. There are twin control dials and that can be extensively customized. The Mark II's 5-axis in-body image stabilization reduces shake by up to 5.5 stops. It has a fully articulating 3" touchscreen display or a large electronic viewfinder. The E-M1 II also offers dual SD memory card slots and a USB-C jack.
The E-M1 II is probably the most all-round capable mirrorless cameras we've yet encountered
The Mark II has an advanced autofocus system that on-sensor phase detection, with 121 cross-type points. The camera is capable of shooting at 18 frames per second with continuous autofocus, which places it at the top of its class. Our impressions are very positive; the camera's ability to nearly instantaneously lock onto a subject and follow it, even as it moves around the frame, is downright impressive, though it can occasionally refocus on the background. If you're not using continuous AF then the camera can shoot bursts at 60 fps – even Raw. A Pro Capture mode saves up to 14 shots before the shutter release is pressed, to possibly 'save your shot.'
As we've come to expert from Olympus, the Mark II's JPEGs have pleasing color and exposure, though default noise reduction is a bit too harsh at higher ISO settings. Raw files themselves are highly detailed have a decent amount of latitude for pulling detail out of shadows.
The E-M1 II isn't just for stills shooters - it offers a lot for videophiles, as well. It can capture both DCI and UHD 4K with a maximum bitrate of 237Mbps. It offers focus peaking, audio level adjustment, time code control and 4:2:2 output over HDMI. Given those specs it's no surprise that the Mark II has both microphone and headphone jacks.
Olympus has made a virtue of the E-M1 II's Four Thirds sensor by focusing on an advantage of smaller sensors: readout speed. This helps autofocus and video quality as well as providing that headline 60 fps shooting rate. The provision of a large buffer, bigger battery and solid, sealed construction help justify the E-M1 II's flagship status and help make it one of the most all-round capable mirrorless cameras we've yet encountered.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared


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