Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Review

Mirrorless cameras offer the quality, capabilities, and controls of DSLR cameras in a smaller compact. The OM-D E-M10 is one of the tiniest cameras yet delivers the DSLR feel. Mirrorless cameras have been gaining popularity in recent years. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is a camera I like very much, and I’ve used it frequently since it was first released in January 2014. In addition to having a body that has a sturdy feeling, provides a lot of control, and produces high-quality images, I like it so much.

It is an excellent “carry-everywhere” camera combined with a compact lens such as the M.ZUIKO 14-42mm f/3.5-5,6 EZ. It has a wealth of simple controls, and most importantly, it has an excellent viewfinder that allows you to see the image you are composing even when the sun is shining directly on it. It’s not just me that thinks it’s great; it’s been such an enormous success for Olympus that it’s outsold all of the company’s previous OM-D models.

Compared to the previous camera, the newly released OM-D E-M10 Mark II is more of a refresh than a significant update (which continues in the range for now). It is designed for amateur photographers who want creative possibilities but don’t want the weight or complexity of a traditional single-lens reflex camera (SLR) or one of Olympus’ more sophisticated OM-D cameras. On the other hand, the new model has a few updates that should make it easier to compete in the existing market.

See: Best Lenses for Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II | Best Memory Cards for Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Build Quality

A camera’s image quality is one of the most critical factors in determining its market success; nonetheless, the high build quality and intuitive control layout of Olympus’s OM-D line are also contributing factors.

The OM-D E-M10 Mark II, like the other OM-D cameras, is made out of magnesium alloy and has a robust and sturdy feel. However, unlike the OM-D E-M1, OM-D E-M5, and OM-D E-M5 Mark II, it does not have waterproof sealing.

A grip similar in size and design to that seen on Mark I may be found on the front of Mark II. However, the thumb grip on the camera’s rear has been modified somewhat, so I no longer have as much faith in it as I once did. As a result, I have been using the camera with a strap, switching between the Peak Design Cuff and Leash depending on the circumstances of the session.

In all honesty, I can honestly say that the camera has never escaped my hands, but I did feel the need for the additional security that a strap provides. Additionally, the thumb rest now contains one of the three function buttons that may be customized on this camera; the E-M10 only has two.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Performance

Olympus has not disclosed whether the sensor housed within the OM-D E-M10 Mark II is the same as the one housed within the E-M10, although it is probable that it is very comparable to the sensor housed within the E-M10. The TruePic VII technology is utilized once again as the processing engine.

According to our in-house tests, the photos produced by the OM-D E-M10 Mark II are comparable to those produced by the Mark I. Still, the more recent camera has a little higher detail resolution.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Image Quality

Throughout the test, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 II generated photographs of an exceptionally high standard. The Natural image option produces vivid colors without being gaudy or too saturated, and the dynamic range is excellent in this setting.

Noise is exceptionally well controlled from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, and it does not often become an issue until ISO 3200, which is an exceptional performance for a Micro Four Thirds camera. Only the two fastest settings, ISO 12800 and 25600, are suffering from noise. However, ISO 3200 and 6400 may still be used.

Even when the camera is held by hand at prolonged shutter speeds, the enhanced image stabilization technology performs exceptionally well for still images and video. This is true even when the shutter speed is plodding. If you wanted to get the same special effects without using the Art Filters, you would have to spend a significant amount of time in the digital darkroom.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Image ratio w h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorTruePic VII
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 200 – 25600, expands to 100-25600
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes5-axis image stabilization (yaw/pitch/roll/vertical/horizontal)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsSuper fine, fine, normal, basic
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points81
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
Touch screenYes (Focus, shutter release, AF point selection, menus, image playback)
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.23× (0.62× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modesProgram AEAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Scene modesPortraite-PortraitLandscapeLandscape + PortraitSportHand-held StarlightNight sceneNight + PortraitChildrenHigh KeyLow KeyDIS modeMacroNature MacroCandleSunsetDocumentsPanoramaFireworksBeach & SnowFisheye Conv.Wide Conv.Macro Conv.Panning3D
Built-in flashYes (Olympus Wireless RC Flash system compatible)
Flash Range5.80 m (ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe or wirelessly)
Flash modesAuto, redeye reduction, fill flash, flash off, 1st-curtain slow sync w/redeye, 1st-curtain slow sync, 2nd-curtain slow sync, manual.
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Continuous drive8.0 fps
Self-timerYes (12 sec., 2 sec, custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p/30p/24p), 1280 x 720 (60p/30p/24p), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatH.264, Motion JPEG
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with a smartphone app
Remote controlYes (Optional Remote cable RM-UC1)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionBLS-50 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)320
Weight (inc. batteries)390 g (0.86 lb / 13.76 oz)
Dimensions120 x 83 x 47 mm (4.72 x 3.27 x 1.85″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (Up to 999 shots. Can create 4K / 5 fps video)
GPS notesvia smartphone

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Verdict

Olympus has had a lot of success with the original OM-D E-M10. While the OM-D E-M10 Mark II does not represent a substantial update, it does have enough to make it appealing to those searching for their first compact severe system camera (CSC).

However, the market is more competitive than ever, with Panasonic’s (much more expensive) GX8 pushing the Micro Four Thirds pixel count to 20 million and Fuji’s X-T10 offering a solid SLR-like CSC with traditional controls at a beautiful price point. As a result, both cameras are in direct competition with one another.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Adaptable, with a wide variety of possible customizations
  • Small size
  • Excellent EVF
Need Improvements
  • The screen that tilts rather than a variable-angle one
  • A sensor that is relatively small in size
  • 4K time-lapse playback at five frames per second.

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