Photography News issue 25

Camera test 36

Photography News Issue 25 absolutephoto.com

OlympusOM-D E-M10Mark II Say hello to the new entry-level yet richly featured OM-D that’s sure to build on the success of the original model

Specs

Price £549 body only, £649 with

14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ pancake lens, £749 with 14-42mm and 40-150mm f/4-5.6, black or silver models available Sensor 16.1-megapixels, 4608x3456pixels with Supersonic Wave cleaning filter Sensor format MOS Micro Four Thirds 17.3x13mm, shooting 12-bit Raw ISO range 200-5000, expands to 100-25,600 Shutter range 60secs-1/4000sec; electronic shutter in silent mode 60secs- 1/16,000sec, flash sync at 1/250sec or 1/4000sec in Super FP mode. B 6-30mins selectable in the menu. Short delay and anti-shock mode Drivemodes Continuous, up to 8.5fps Metering system 324 zone Digital ESP, spot, centre- weighted, highlight, shadow Exposuremodes PASM, 25 scene modes, 14 art filters, photo story mode Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 0.3, 0.5 or 1EV steps, AE bracketing +/-5EV in 2, 3, 5 or 7 frames in 0.3, 0.7 or 1EV steps Monitor 3in tiltable touchscreen with 1040k dots, EVF with 100% view, 2360k dot resolution Focusing Contrast detection system with manual, single AF, continuous AF, single AF-MF, AF tracking. Face and eye detect Video 1920x1080 pixels, built-in stereo microphone Connectivity USB 2.0, Micro HDMI, wireless Storagemedia 1xSD/SDXC/SDHC Other key features Five axis IS, multiple exposure feature, level gauge, integral flash with 8.2 GN (ISO 200/metres) Dimensions (wxhxd) 120x83x47mm Weight 390g body only Contact olympus.co.uk

bearing in mind its price. The body feels robust andwhile it does not have the E-M5 Mark II ’s weather sealing, I’d be happy using it in poor weather, protecting it as much as possible. As is their wont nowadays, camera makers are designing bodies to make the purchase of an optional hand grip almost essential. For the Mark II the ECG-3 hand grip costs £60 and it gives improved grip, but the body’s default design is still sound with an angled finger grip on the front and a protruding thumb grip at the back so perhaps the optional hand grip is not vital – just a nice luxury. Olympus has waved its wand over the control layout to great effect. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the on/off switch – just like the OM-1’s circa 1972. On the Mark II there is a third position and that is to activate the pop-up flash. The biggest change is on the right side of the top-plate where we have the exposure mode dial as well as the front and rear dials. Olympus has gone for height on these controls and their knurled finish really helps handling, making these key controls usable evenwith gloves on. Scattered around the body are three function buttons that each give 28 options including off. But that’s not all because the movie record offers the same number of feature options and the two of the

four four-way controls also allow customisation. Some cameras have even more function buttons which makes them bewildering to use, Olympus has got the balance right here, offering enough flexibility but making it manageable to memorise which button does what. Moving to the camera’s back, here appearances are pretty conventional so nothing too unusual here. The touch-screen monitor angles out for shooting from above or from low- down – it doesn’t swing out which might disappoint selfie fans. Switchover to the EVF is automatic when the eye is placed at the viewfinder, and the EVF is greatly improved over the original E-M10. Doing a side-by-side test proved the new camera’s finder shows more detail as you would expect with the screen’s higher resolution, but the image has more contrast and the overall image has more ‘snap’. Handling and overall performance of the E-M10 Mark II rate highly. In fact, it was a real treat to use and I couldn’t find anymajor concerns. I shot nearly 1000 images mostly in program and aperture-priority AE using ESP multi-zone metering and I had the camera set to deliver JPEGs and Raws. The Raws were viewed and processed in Olympus Viewer 3 – Raws were not compatible with Lightroom at the time of writing. I

alsotriedavarietyofM.ZUIKOlenses including the new 8mm f/1.8 fisheye and 7-14mm ultra-wide, but also the 12mm f/2, 45mm f/1.8, 60mm f/2.8 macro and the original 14-150mm. In extreme against-the-light situations the camera seemed to opt for shadows so the highlights were burnt out and beyond recovery even in Raw. That’s not a failing but if you want a silhouette or a have a preference for the highlight details it’s worthrememberingduringmetering. Confrontedbystrongside-lighting, high-contrast or plain, flat lighting, the camera handles itself very capably indeed and even straight-out- of-the-camera JPEGs looked spot on. No problems either with autofocusing, which is typically fast, silent and responsive in all sorts of light. The AF sensors are arranged in a 9x9 grid filling most of the frame and these are individually selectable if preferred. In AF/MF mode you get speedy AF with manual fine- tuning with peaking and a magnified viewing image if you choose. Shutter noise is minimal and low- pitched. A silent option is available with the camera’s electronic shutter. The soft shutter action, smooth release and the five-axis stabilisation system means you can shoot shake- free handheld images in upright or horizontal formats with confidence at seriously slow shutter speeds.

Review by Will Cheung

Olympus seems to have struck a chord with its OM-D Micro Four Thirds family, and photographers of all ages and experience levels have been lapping themup. The E-M10 was a high-spec entry- level model and the first OM-D to sport an integral flash. It was well received and proved a big seller. The Mark II has a flash and continues on the theme of offering lots of features for your money so it seems set to follow in its predecessor’s footsteps. At the Mark II’s heart is a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor. Nothing new here and this sensor has been seen on previous OM-Ds so it has been tried and tested. The same goes for the processor, the TruePic VII engine, which has also been seen previously. What the Mark II has gained is five-axis image stabilisation, a much improved high-resolution EVF, video features like 4k time-lapse, 60p recording, and an electronic shutter. It has also had a significant stylingmake-over compared with the original E-M10 and that, in my view, has had significant benefits in the handling department. It is easy to get hung up on looks, but I think the Mark II looks the business and it feels great, too,

It is easy to get hung up on looks, but I think the Mark II looks the business and it feels great, too, bearing in mind its price

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