Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II: The Next King of DSLRs

The charm of the older cameras was resurrected from the dead. Olympus continued its legacy in the OM-D series, generating the same style of its contemporaries with much more powerful features for both hobbyists and professionals. It is packed with qualities found in different units housed into one. This marks an innovation worth the investment as Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II is the next king of DSLRs.

Unparalleled heritage through its design

As one of the pioneers in the imaging industry, Olympus retained the look and feel of the old-time SLRs but less bulkier than the traditional ones. It is handy and lightweight — a perfect companion for daily history capturing. In addition, its sealed magnesium alloy body creates a sturdy feel resistant to sudden weather condition changes such as rain similar to the earlier version.

  • Grip is small and a bit flat, thanks to its vintage camera look. People with big hands might feel uncomfortable with this.
  • Shutter is as quiet as it can be. It also has an additional function for silent electronic shutter that can be activated.
  • Measurements of 5 x 3.4 x 1.8 inches make this DSLR handy and easy to tag along especially with smaller lenses attached to the body.

Images looking real

This is terrific in bringing out the natural accurate beauty of subjects as how you see it in real life. In addition, JPEG and raw files almost look similar for the same setting up to ISO 6400. It delivers a crisp color without noise on good lighting situations. It also adapts to low lighting situations through various modes and manual adjustments you can make using a few menu items. However, noise can be seen as the camera tries to capture the image clearly on low light. This noise is more refined using Mark II compared to its predecessors and other brands.

Home videos looking more professional

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II improved its movie capabilities with new features introduced such as the microphone input socket, uncompressed HDMI output, its five-axis image stabilization technology, and video options for 24 up to 60 FPS. Combination of these features makes the camera desirable in any type of shooting situations for a smooth-looking video output. However, its image stabilization technology affects the camera panning, which results in a less desirable effect such as earthquake-like movements. Movie parts will look jumpy as the camera tries to maintain is autofocus on the subject. But for typical settings in which panning can be avoided, this camera performs its job decently.

Controls not intuitive

Controls were rearranged, giving a hard time for users who upgraded to this model to be accustomed with the new buttons. You definitely need the manual beside you while taking your first few shots using Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. The small buttons are too small to press for people with larger-than-average-size fingers. Near the hot shoe contains controls for Live View, shutter, HDR, movie function, and FN buttons for customized settings suitable for different subjects and scenes. The other basic controls are beside the electronic viewfinder such as delete, playback, menu, and info.

Mobile LCDs

Let the LCD screen move for your comfort. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II respects the limitations of LCDs to poor lighting conditions creating eye strain for the viewer of the image. With its tilting and flipping electronic viewfinder screen, it is easier to find an angle which you will be able to clearly see the subject without sacrificing the camera’s best positioning for capturing moments.

Enhanced viewfinder

It may just be a simple screen for playback, but viewfinders are necessary in your decision making whether to take another shot or go for what just did. For the Mark II model, its electronic viewfinder delivers sharper and more accurate colors with a little over 2.3-million-dot resolution. Shooting is also more precise due to built-in effects that can be previewed in the enhanced viewfinder. All that can make your images better are in this improved 3-inch screen.

Five-axis stabilization

Eliminate if not minimize the blur on the subject. The five-axis stabilization lets you create and maintain a focus to your slightly moving or leaping subjects for a precise action shot. This was exemplary in both manual and auto focus, depending on the how the movement of the subject is. It is recommended to use manual focus for slow-moving subjects and the auto focus for the faster ones.

Extra batteries needed

As expected, battery life of the camera suffers due to all of its added features consuming more power compared to its predecessors. A fully charged battery can generate a little more than 320 shots and a few minutes of video.

Real high- res shots

On its high-res mode, this DSLR can capture 40-million-pixel images which can either be JPEG or raw files. Each file format has different tolerances in SO, shutter speed, and aperture levels. High-res mode and a tripod is a marriage that produces more image stability as its offspring provided the subject is still. This mode is perfect for still life and landscape photography.

Your new best friend is the next king

How can something be small deliver something bigger and better image output? Olympus did a great job in delivering exceptional quality with features to match the needs of both amateur and professional photographers. Improvements in its video-capturing mode will increase productivity of those who do both photography and video-graphy, bringing fewer gadgets but accomplishing more tasks. Although its limitations come from familiarizing yourself with all the controls to use it to its full potential, it is a forgiving device helping you correct your capturing mistakes with its built-in customizations. It creates the best images compared to the other 16MP cameras out there. Still, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II is the best companion for any shooting activities.


Originally published at streamleaf.com on April 27, 2016.

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