src="http://www.mirrorlessons.com/wp-content/themes/mirrorlessons Olympus OM-D E-M5 II review - Part II - MirrorLessons
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Date: 06/07/2015 | By: Mathieu

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 mark II review, Chapter II – The traveller’s ideal companion

AGING, 1/50, f/ 56/10, ISO 200

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 mark II review, Chapter II – The traveller’s ideal companion

Five months have passed since my first review of the OM-D E-M5 mark II. I had the chance to test it before its official announcement and as such, I decided to concentrate on the many new features that camera has to offer. Being among the first to review a new product has its obvious advantages, but it is nice to come back to it a second time to check other aspects I didn’t have time to test in the first place. It is also an opportunity to reconsider one’s first impressions after reading feedback from other users. Indeed, it is something we’d like to do with every camera we test here at MirrorLessons.

When Olympus sent us the new 8mm and 7-14mm Pro lenses, I asked if an E-M5 II was available so that I could use it during my three-week trip to Canada. Using it regularly like it was my own camera while concentrating on other things (i.e. the two new lenses) was an excellent way to give it a second evaluation.

In the first chapter, I wrote about the design/ergonomics, the new High Res Mode, the improved 5-axis stabilisation and video mode. You can also read our E-M5 II vs E-M1 comparison. In this second chapter, I will add some extra thoughts about topics I’ve already covered, mention the more relevant differences between the mark II and the first E-M5, and concentrate on other things such as overall image quality, autofocus performance and the overall feel of using it for the second time.

E-M5 II, 1/200, f/ 5.6, ISO 200 – 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye
olympus omd em5 mark ii review
E-M5 II, 1/15, f/ 1.8, ISO 800 – 75mm f/1.8
olympus omd em5 mark ii review
E-M5 II, 1/2000, f/ 2.8, ISO 200 – 75mm f/1.8

 

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 mark II Main Specs
  • Sensor: 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live Mos
  • Lens system: micro four thirds
  • Weatherproof: Yes (Splash, dust and freeze proof down to -10°C)
  • Internal Stabilisation: Yes (5-axis)
  • Autofocus: Contrast detection AF with 81 autofocus areas
  • Continuous shooting: 10 fps (AF-S), 5 fps (AF-C)
  • ISO Sensitivity: 200 – 25600 ISO (extended 100)
  • Shutter Speeds: 1/8000s to 60 seconds, 1/16000s with electronic shutter
  • Viewfinder: XGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 2,360k dots, approx. 100% FOV coverage and 1.48x magnification
  • LCD Screen: flipping/rotating 3″ LCD monitor (1037k dots) with touch controls
  • Movie recording: ALL-I and IPB compressions up to 77mbps, 24fps to 60fps, slow motion, Movie Clips
  • Built-in Flash: No (external FL-LM3 included)
  • Extra Features: High Res Shot, Timelapse, HDR, Multiple exposure, Wifi
  • Dimensions: 123.7 x 85 x 38mm
  • Weight: 496g (including battery and memory card)

 



The perfect design for small lenses

In Canada I used the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II with the new 7-14mm f/2.8 most of the time. It is a great combo and a good example of the maximum lens weight/bulk this camera can handle, unless you want to consider the optional landscape grip. (For me, the vertical grip isn’t really an option because I prefer to keep my kit as small as possible.) The grip is good but with bigger lenses you definitely miss a more prominent grip on the front.

olympus omd em5 mark ii review
The new 7-14mm f/2.8 attached to the E-M5 II

When I compared the 7-14mm f/2.8 to the Panasonic competitor f/4, I realised how much of a better match the latter was for the E-M5 II’s design.

It was a more balanced and lightweight combo. It reminded me how great this system can be with small lenses. I also used the compact 25mm f/1.4, and of course the new 8mm fisheye lens which is small and compact as well.

Perhaps I am too accustomed to the ergonomics of the OM-D E-M1 but if I were to purchase the E-M5 II, I would use it with a set of small zooms or primes. It would bring me back to the days when all I used to shoot with were the original E-M5, the 12mm f/2 and 45mm f/1.8.

olympus omd em5 mark ii review

Another note is about the articulated LCD screen. I admit I have a love/hate relationship with it. There is nothing wrong with the one on the E-M5 II, but most of the time I prefer the classic tilting LCD screen for stills. I found myself having to turn and twist it every which way depending on the shot I wanted, while with the other one you just tilt it up or down. It isn’t a big deal of course, and it is true that it is more convenient for video.

As for the dials and button layout, I have nothing more to add. They are cleverly designed, work fine, are solid and the touch sensitive functions are great. You can’t really ask for anything more.

OMD E-M5 vs OM-D E-M5 mark II: ergonomics

The improvements over the original E-M5 are many as far as ergonomics are concerned:

  • The mark II is freeze proof in addition to being weather sealed against dust and water
  • More solid and precise buttons, thicker dials
  • The on/off switch has been moved on top of the camera
  • The mode dial on top has a lock button at the centre
  • Larger viewfinder with more resolution and faster refresh rate
  • The LCD screen is also sharper with more resolution and of course can be flipped to the side instead of only being tilted
  • More function buttons including one on the front and the lever on the rear
  • Microphone input

Image Quality: Micro Four Thirds keeps pace

My trip to Canada was actually the third time I used the E-M5 mark II. The second opportunity came during the official launch event in Prague held by Olympus Europe. Of course it was a promotional event but they managed to create some interesting scenes to photograph, much like the Castle Leslie event two years ago for the E-M1 launch. I must admit that the company really knows how to create interesting press events.

Prague was a simple confirmation of everything good about the camera that I had revealed in the first chapter of my review. The 5-axis stabilisation is by far my favourite feature. The E-M5 mark II allows you to reduce your shutter speed like no other camera. Even with a telephoto lens like the 75mm f/1.8, it proves very effective.

olympus omd em5 mark ii review
E-M5 II, 1/10, f/ 1.8, ISO 1600 – 75mm f/1.8, hand held

The image quality is on par with the E-M10 and E-M1. If there are some differences, there are minimal. The sensor works very well. Every time I read articles by users who dislike the Micro Four Thirds sensor, I always wonder how well the camera has been tested. Of course I don’t deny that a larger sensor has its advantages. I test many cameras and many lenses and I know the difference. But when I go back to using the E-M1, the LX100 or a new MFT camera, I am always surprised by how versatile the sensor is from an image quality point of view.

olympus omd em5 mark ii review
E-M5 II, 1/320, f/ 4, ISO 200 – 7-14mm f/2.8

I have often talked about the capabilities of Olympus cameras when it comes to colours, dynamic range and low light performance. The Olympus colours are among my favourite in the mirrorless realm, along with Fujifilm and Leica. They are natural and vibrant and although they inevitably have a digital look, they never feel artificial.

omd em5 mark ii review
E-M5 II, 1/400, f/ 8, ISO 200 – 7-14mm f/2.8

As for dynamic range, my conclusion is always the same: it is excellent but you need to pay more attention to the highlights than the shadows. This is true with every digital camera but certainly the Micro Four Thirds sensor is a little bit weaker in the highlights.

Quick tip

I usually set metering to Centre-Weight and expose properly or under-expose by 1/3 to be sure. Another good solution is to use the histogram and expose towards the right without reaching the limit. That way you can record as much information as possible but you won’t clip the highlights.

 

olympus omd em5 mark ii review
E-M5 II, 1/160, f/ 1.8, ISO 3200 – 75mm f/1.8

As for low light, to me the images look usable up to 6400 ISO. Of course it is always better to work with the Raw files. Regarding this topic, I can also mention something that might prove useful to many Olympus users.

Wedding photographer Luca Bertolaso shared some interesting settings for those who use Adobe Lightroom in the “Olympus OM-D Italia” Facebook group.

He also wrote a dedicated post in the Micro43 forum community that you can read here. Luca uses the E-M1 but his settings can be applied to all OM-D cameras. They are also a starting point: you can edit them according to your own personal taste and the camera you own. Luca says that for the original E-M5 for example you don’t have to tweak the colours as much. I tried his settings myself not only with the new E-M5 mark II but also some older files including a few wedding shots taken with the E-M1. They do an excellent job at reducing noise without eliminating too much detail.

E-M5 II, 1/60, f/ 4, ISO 6400 – Before: Default Lightroom settings, After: Luca’s settings. You can also compare the two crop versions by visiting the links here (before) and here (after).

 

 

You might like/dislike these settings but my point here is that you never know how well a camera can perform until you take advantage of every little instrument you have at your disposal. Looking at and listening to what others do or suggest can be very informative as well.

Another option worth looking into are the Huelight Camera Profiles made by Colin Walker. They offer an alternative to the Adobe Standard and Olympus profiles you can find in Camera RAW/Lightroom. I’ve mentioned them before in several of my camera reviews. With the E-M5 mark II, they tend to give less contrast and saturation than the Olympus natural or vivid profiles. Personally I find them very interesting for low-light shots especially when I want to preserve colour details in the highlights as shown in the example below.

E-M5 II, 1/60, f/ 1.8, ISO 3200 – Before: Adobe Standard, After: Camera Natural

 

E-M5 II, 1/60, f/ 1.8, ISO 3200 – Before: Adobe Standard, After: Hulight Low V100

 

OMD E-M5 vs OM-D E-M5 mark II: image quality

To me one of the only differences between the two E-M5s has to do with high ISO performance. The E-M5 mark II retains more detail and has less colour shift from 6400 ISO upward than the original E-M5.


High Res Shot: further considerations

Fellow photographer Mike Hendren shared some interesting thoughts in our Google+ community about the High Res Shot shifting capabilities of the E-M5 II. I quote below:

As I thought about this process of moving the sensor to capture 8 images, some only moved by ½ pixel, I began to try and imagine just how small those movements must be. Olympus executive, Setsuya Kataoka, stated that the sensor is moved just 0.0002mm for the half pixel moves (my math works out different, but lets use his numbers). A sheet of paper averages about 0.1mm in thickness. This means that the E-M5II process must precisely move the sensor approximately 1/500th of the thickness of a sheet of paper, and it has to do this 8 times in as little as one second. An incredible feat, I think!

olympus omd em5 mark ii high res shot review
E-M5 II, 0.4s, f/ 4, ISO 200 – High Res shot from RAW (64mp) – 40-150mm f/2.8 Click to open the full size image.
om-d e-m5 mark ii high res shot review
E-M5 II, 0.4s, f/ 4, ISO 200 – High Res shot from RAW (64mp) – 100% Crop

The High Res shot feature introduced on the E-M5 mark II is certainly an exciting technology. To be able to take 40 or 64 megapixel shots with a Four Thirds sensor is an interesting option and also improves the image quality (better colour rendering) even when downsampled to 16MP (the original size of the sensor). In the first chapter I showed you what the limits of this technology are: since the camera takes 8 shots in a row and then merges them together, any small movements during this operation will result in a loss of detail.

In a real world situation, I found this function more limiting that I had thought initially.

Even a slight breeze that makes the leaves rustle is enough to cause a considerable loss in detail, so there won’t be many occasions where you can really take advantage of this function, unless we are talking about studio work with still objects. For landscape photography, water, wind and clouds are the enemy. While you can fix the clouds more easily with a little help from Photoshop, leaves and other elements are more difficult.

om-d e-m5 mark ii high res shot review
E-M5 II, 1/400, f/ 5.6, ISO 200 – HRS – Lumix 7-14mm f/4
om-d e-m5 mark ii high res shot review
E-M5 II, 1/400, f/ 5.6, ISO 200 – HRS – Lumix 7-14mm f/4 – 100% Crop

There can also be a loss of sharpness even when something appears to be dead still but actually isn’t. In the example below, I had my tripod and the E-M5 II with the 60mm macro set to capture the butterfly. It looked absolutely and perfectly still. I set a delay of 4s for the HRS function so that I wouldn’t risk having involuntary micro shakes when I pressed the shutter release button. However the result is not 100% perfect because the butterfly was probably moving even though it seemed perfectly still to my eyes.

om-d e-m5 mark ii high res shot review
E-M5 II, 1/30, f/ 8, ISO 800 – HRS – 60mm f/2.8 Macro
om-d e-m5 mark ii high res shot review
E-M5 II, 1/30, f/ 8, ISO 800 – HRS – 100% Crop

The HRS is limited to 1600 ISO. I took a quick test shot at that sensitivity that you can see below. The result is very clean and of course very sharp. You can also change the noise reduction setting but it will only affect the JPGs. Applying less NR will give you a sharper JPG and the amount of noise at 1600 is acceptable.

om-d e-m5 mark ii high res shot review
E-M5 II, 0.4s, f/ 5.6, ISO 1600 – Leica 25mm f/1.4
om-d e-m5 mark ii high res shot review
E-M5 II, 0.4s, f/ 5.6, ISO 1600 – 100% Crop

I was also curious to see what differences I would find with a large print between the HRS shot (64mp from Raw) and the 16mp version. I ordered two 16×12 inch prints of the same exact photograph. The two files were post-processed in the same way. No surprises here: more megapixels result in sharper details. While you will only notice it clearly when looking at the prints closely, you still have the feeling that the 16MP version is softer. So certainly for large prints (even larger than 16×12), it is an advantage.

Quick tip: the hidden ORI file

When using the HRS, the camera saves two Raw files (ORF and ORI). The ORI is a 16mp version of your shot and corresponds to the first of the 8 frames the camera merges in the high res picture. ORI files can’t be opened by Lightroom or Camera Raw but there is a simple trick: change the extension from ORI to ORF and Lightroom will accept it as a normal file. However beware if you import your files directly from your SD card to Lightroom: since the software won’t recognise the ORI files, it won’t import them. You have to manually transfer them from the SD card.

Quick tip: processing the 64mp RAW file

The latest version of Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw can open the High Res shot Raw files. However they can’t keep up with all the details and sharpness the file possesses. I tried to post-process them like I do the normal 16MP files but the output isn’t as sharp. So the best way to deal with the Raw 64mp file is through the Olympus plugin designed for Photoshop.

Before: Camera Raw rendering, After: Olympus plugin rendering

 

However the plugin doesn’t offer much in terms of settings and the exposure/DR is limited to +-2Ev. You can also use Olympus Viewer 3 to open the files (version 1.5.0) but you cannot edit them. Personally I don’t like the Olympus software that much because it is slower and less powerful than the Adobe software.

 

Finally, for those who like to admire lots of pixels strung together, the image below is a panorama I stitched with 8 different HRS images. It is 64MP x 8 with some minor cropping and adjusting, so you are actually looking at a 300 million pixel photograph of Turin, its Mole Antonelliana and the Alps in the background. Click on it to access the full-sized version on Flickr!

om-d e-m5 mark ii high res shot panorama
E-M5 II, 1/640, f/ 8, ISO 200 – 12-40mm f/2.8 7 HR shots merged with Photoshop – Click to open the full size JPG!

Autofocus: is the E-M1 still better?

In the first review of the camera, I don’t talk about the autofocus performance at all, but of course it is a relevant chapter. The E-M5 mark II inherits the same autofocus system as the E-M10, which is based on the one found on the E-M1 as far as contrast detection technology is concerned. The E-M5 II lacks phase detection AF which makes it less fast with Four Thirds lenses. But is it also less effective with M4/3 lenses?

In AF single mode, I didn’t see any relevant differences. I can only say it is fast and among the most reliable AF systems on the mirrorless market. The only limit I found has to do with specular highlights in the background that can confuse the AF system but it is something that I noticed on the E-M1 as well. There is a slight improvement in low light as long as I set the smallest AF points (which I do with all the OM-D cameras). The example below is a good one: low-light and the subject is behind out-of-focus pipes and other machines (we were in an abandoned factory). The camera nailed it perfectly in all the shots I took from this angle. Heather didn’t have any problems either while using the camera for the The Retrievers concert we shot in Toronto.

olympus omd em5 mark ii review
E-M5 II 1/20, f/ 2, ISO 400 – 75mm f/1.8
olympus omd em5 mark ii review
E-M5 II, 1/20, f/ 1.8, ISO 800 – 75mm f/1.8

I’ve often seen original E-M5 users say that the AF is good in single mode but isn’t in continuous or tracking mode. While the E-M1 is a significant improvement because of its phase detection sensor, I never found the original E-M5 that bad. It wasn’t perfect but I always managed even in difficult situations. With the E-M5 mark II, Olympus states that there has been an improvement in the AF algorithm so I decided to jump at a good opportunity to put both the AF-C and AF tracking to the test. Luckily for me, the Persechini Easter Seals marathon was on while we were staying in the town of Newmarket. The only telephoto I had with me was the compact 75mm f/1.8 and that’s the one I used for the shots above.

olympus omd em5 mark ii autofocus
E-M5 II, 1/1600, f/ 2.8, ISO 200 – 75mm f/1.8 – OOC JPG

The best combination for this kind of sport is Continuous AF, the smallest AF point and the low burst mode that provides a decent 5fps of continuous shooting speed. If I set the burst mode to high (10fps), the camera will lock the focus on the first frame. With this combination the camera did really well and the percentage of out of focus images was around 10/15%.

olympus omd em5 mark ii autofocus
E-M5 II 1/2000, f/ 2.8, ISO 200 – 75mm f/1.8 – OOC JPG

It is a shame that the few times it didn’t lock properly is when the girl smiled and gave me the peace sign. The photo below is the best I got while the others that came after were focused on the background.

olympus omd em5 mark ii autofocus
E-M5 II, 1/2500, f/ 2.8, ISO 200 – 75mm f/1.8 – OOC JPG

Of course with one single AF point you have to make sure to be very precise with your tracking. You can also try the Group Target option (the cameras chooses the best AF point within the 9 available in the group). It works but I find it less precise than the smallest single point. The ALL-Target mode (the camera chooses from the 81 areas) is less reliable. Below you can see an entire sequence shot in Low burst, C-AF and single/smallest AF point.

Using AF tracking is your third best solution, as the camera can track your subject according to its colour and contrast. However more than once the E-M5 mark II confused the runner with another behind him or insisted on focusing on the background instead, especially for those wearing a green t-shirt. A lot of runners wearing different colours with green grass behind them can confuse the camera. I did obtain a good series of shots but the hit rate was lower at around 70%.

olympus omd em5 mark ii autofocus
E-M5 II 1/3200, f/ 2.8, ISO 200 – 75mm f/1.8 – OOC JPG

OMD E-M5 vs OM-D E-M5 mark II: autofocus:

The E-M5 mark II has more AF points (81 instead of 35) and an updated algorithm for continuous AF. In single mode the performance is similar but I can see an overall improvement for both S-AF and C-AF. The various options including face and eye detection are the same on both cameras.


Video mode: what can be improved

The improvement in video capabilities was something Olympus users had been awaiting for quite some time. The E-M5 mark II offers a good series of settings that improve on the previous OM-D series especially if we take into account the 5-axis stabilisation that makes your footage almost as good as steadicam shots.

I used the camera for a few hands-on videos about other products while I was in Canada and I found it very comfortable to use for this type of application. I even listed the camera on my best mirrorless camera for video list because I think that the stabilisation can make a difference with for certain jobs. However there is still a lot to be done in my opinion before it can begin to rival the direct competitor Panasonic.

From an image quality point of view, aliasing and moiré can be quite present as shown in my first review and videos taken with the camera. Moiré is not something you can get rid of easily. It can be more or less an issue depending on the kind of shots you record but it is definitely worth mentioning. Also, it would be nice to have dedicate picture profiles for video. 4K is also an option that should be considered for further releases.

olympus omd em5 mark ii review
Grabbed frame from Full HD footage shows some significant moiré

OMD E-M5 vs OM-D E-M5 mark II: video:

The E-M5 mark II brings several improvements listed below:

  • All-I compression up to 77mbps
  • 24, 25, 50 and 60fps
  • 5-axis stabilisation also for video
  • timecode
  • audio phantom Power
  • audio meters on screen

The next OM-D: what to expect

I have no idea what the next release will be, so this is all supposition on my behalf. I think we will see another camera this year. At the end of last summer, they released the E-PL7 so it could be the successor to the E-P5 that inherits some if not all the new features of the E-M5 mark II. (Let’s not forget that OM-D and Pen cameras are two separate markets.) Plus, lately there have been some rumours about a possible E-M10 mark II.

I am sure there is an E-M1 successor in the works but it could be for next year. I see two solutions for an E-M1 mark II or E-M2. First, I am guessing it will have the same features as the E-M5 mark II (better video, high res shot, same stabilisation hardware) and perhaps an updated phase detection system. It could also have a brand new sensor (more megapixels?) and a few features of its own. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a brand new sensor as it would make the camera a more relevant flagship model.


The OM-D E-M5 mark II as a travel camera

olympus omd em5 mark ii review
E-M5 II, 5s, f/ 6.3, ISO 100 – Having fun at the Prague event

Of many genres this camera can suit, travel photography is its best application in my opinion. Nearly all its features can come in handy at one point or another during a trip. The excellent 5-axis stabilisation allows you to take shots inside a building  where tripods aren’t allowed or you simply don’t want to be intrusive, and you can use the optimal settings (closed aperture, low ISO). If you don’t want to be heard, you just use the silent shutter. The camera doesn’t really lack anything.

I even found a good opportunity to use the Wifi functionalities. By remotely controlling it using the iOS app on my iPhone, I took this family photo after setting the camera up on the tripod. (Nobody was around to take the picture for us.) I didn’t even have to bother with self timer because I was able to check my composition on my smartphone screen!

olympus omd em5 mark ii review
E-M5 II 1/60, f/ 5.6, ISO 200

thumb-up What I like about the OM-D E-M5 mark II:

  • The best stabilisation system of any camera I’ve ever tested
  • Excellent image quality
  • Features such as the High Res shot and Live Composite/Time make it one of the most advanced Micro Four Thirds camera around
  • Beautiful design and easy to use button layout

thumb-down What I don’t like about the OM-D E-M5 mark II:

  • Moiré and aliasing for video can be quite significant
  • With larger lenses, you need the optional landscape grip

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About the author: Mathieu Gasquet

Mathieu Gasquet is a professional photographer with French and Italian origins. Besides running his own video and photography studio 3Dit Lab, he is also the official photographer for the National Cinema Museum in Turin. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    I agree about the E-M1 having the best built but the E-M5 II is not far behind. It is weatherproof as well and doesn’t feel cheap or plasticky. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it for serious photography.

  • NightPhotographer

    I wanted to buy this camera but some users’ comments made me pause. Since internet trolls are active at all websites, I have no idea how hones those comments were. I have read that the dials and buttons are flimsy and the build quality is not on par with that of the E-M1. Is that true? Could this body paired with the grip be used for serious photography?

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    So I tested Adobe DNG converter and I got the same softer result as with Camera RAW.

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    It would be very interesting indeed, we could use it hand held basically.

  • soundimageplus

    Rumour has it a new firmware update will speed up the 8-shot high-res mode. Possibly to shoot all 8 in 1/80th. sec. Could be very interesting.

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    DR is similar, Fuji has some slight advantage especially in the highlights. Colours are different. I like Fuji colours because they often have a less “digital” look, especially when you use some of its film simulation profiles like “Classic Chrome”. Olympus colours are more “classic” for a digital camera but still excellent and among my favourite in the mirrorless segment.

  • Pepou81

    Is there a difference about Fuji and Olympus colours, DR and IQ ? Or it’s negligible ?

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    The latest version of Olympus Viewer (1.5.0) lets you open the high res files but you cannot edit them (sorry I forgot to mention that). The previous version actually allowed for editing but then the software would crash all the time. I haven’t tried Adobe DNG Converter, I’ll give it a try today.

  • T N Args

    Hi, your review says we can access the high-res raw files using Olympus Viewer 3. How? I tried and I can’t see them.

    Also, looking at the comments about using the PS Plug-in vs ACR, have you tried using the Adobe DNG Converter? How does it compare for detail etc? I tried it and it seems to work well, but I don’t have PS so cannot compare.

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    I just wish that the plugin would give more advanced settings, then it would be a nicer alternative to ACR.

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    Thanks Chas. Have you tried to skip the ACR RAW processing step?

  • Chas

    Mathieu: Great review as always. A couple of comments on high-res mode processing; the file does indeed look more crisp (at 100%) when imported into PS via the plug-in and before any processing is applied. However, after applying various processing filters including ACR Raw and Un-sharp mask, the final result is far less appealing than that of an ACR imported file. In the final analysis, PS doesn’t play nice with these hi-res .orf files imported via the plug-in -you get a much better FINAL result with ACR IMHO.

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    Hehe, that’s a tough one. Actually I am planning a dedicated comparison article between the two cameras. Both deliver great IQ and excellent performance. But I would suggest the E-M5 II. It really has everything you need, better video quality and the 5-axis stabilisation can make a big difference. With good and small lenses you can shoot everything while keeping your bag light and compact. For example the 45mm 1.8 is an excellent portrait lens for your baby and when you see how small it is and how great if fits on the camera, you realize all the benefits of the MFT system.

  • Pepou81

    I’m in the dilemma : Olympus om-d e-m5 markII or Fujifilm X-T10 ?
    Which one for the user experience and joy of photography for street, baby and travel. Have you some tips ? ^^

  • Mike Hendren

    I guess I’d better check to make sure I have the latest FW update, too.

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    Yes I noticed the noise as well, but I took these pictures before the firmware update that should reduce that issue.

  • Mike Hendren

    Overall, Awesome! When you zoom in to 100% and scroll around, the amount of detail is just incredible. I was surprised that for ISO 200 the noise levels seemed a bit high, especially in the sky and haze area.
    But still, just amazing to get an image that size from just 7 originals. :-)

  • Vipul Kapadia

    Thank you! Got the files :-)

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    You can download some RAW files from the first review (Chapter I).

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    Thanks Mike, what do you think about the 300mp shot? :)

  • Mike Hendren

    Another excellent review, Mathieu. I’m looking forward to trying the NR and color tips you mentioned by Luca Bertolaso, too.
    Thanks for the mention in the HiRes section, I appreciate it.
    Now, I’m off to Flickr to check out that 300MP panorama you did. :-)

  • Vipul Kapadia

    I see – no problem. Do you have any of these EM5 Mark II images in original JPGs or RAWs that I can download? I am switching from dSLRs so just want to see how the images look from a small sensor in Lightroom and ability to adjust things inside Lr. I am tired of lugging around a bog of stuff so this might just be a perfect time to switch. Thanks again!

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    Thanks Jens, I figure that these presets would be helpful for some people :)
    E-M5 II + GX7, that’s a terrific combo!

  • http://fotoblog-reiseberichte.de Jens Koopmann

    Thanks so much for your Review. I own the E-M5 II myself (besides my GX7) and I am very happy with it too. M43 is in my eyes the most complete mirrorless system and although bigger sensors might give some advantages in certain areas, m43 still offers a lot given the small sensor and lightweight system.
    But my biggest thank you goes for pointing out the preset suggestion for handling noise and detail. I will definitely try that out! Greetings from Germany!

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    I only tried the 17mm so I can’t tell you how the 15mm is. I like the Olympus lens and the IQ is on par with the other small primes (12mm, 25mm, 45mm). The 15mm has a nice aperture ring that unfortunately won’t work on Olympus cameras.

  • Vipul Kapadia

    Thank you for your prompt reply. I appreciate it. I have the same exact gripe about the screen – I like the tilting screen of EM1 but I think all in all EM5 Mark II is a good camera (except for the grip, tilting screen and phase detect AF capabilities). Would you recommend Pany 15mm f/1.7 over Oly 17mm f/1.8 for image quality?

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    Well then I think that the E-M1 is a better choice especially if work is involved.

  • Dennis

    I would use it for everything, thats the problem! :/ Wedding, little bit of Sports, Travel….

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    Perhaps our comparison can help :)
    http://www.mirrorlessons.com/2015/03/04/olympus-om-d-e-m1-vs-om-d-e-m5-mark-ii/

    But I agree, it is not easy to choose. With the Pro lenses, the grip for me is important and the E-m1 has the advantage of the built-in grip. It is also better for intense sport shooting. But the E-M5 II is smaller and has some very powerful feature, For travel or street I would definitely choose the E-M5 II.

  • Dennis

    The Question remains is: Wich one to buy actually? The EM1 or the 5 MarkII?

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    The 12-40mm is ok with this camera. The size is not that different from the 7-14mm 2.8 but it is lighter. The 15mm is a perfect fit. With the bigger lenses I would advice to get the external grip HDL-8 to have a perfect grip on the camera. It helps if you are out all day shooting. Maybe you can buy the camera and lenses first and decide later if you need the grip (unless you find a nice deal).

  • Vipul Kapadia

    Excellent review, as always! Your practical approach sets you apart from the rest. I am considering to buy OM-D EM5 II with Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 and 42.5mm f/1.7. I like to travel light so this is was I am thinking and I am not sure if 12-40mm f/2.8 would be a little too big on this camera. Any input will be highly appreciated. Thanks again!
    – Vipul

  • http://www.rebabaskett.com/ Reba Baskett

    It just seems like they did not think that one through. I did not realize the GH3/GH4 had the same problem. Seems like you should put the SD card on that side somehow. No point in having a tilt screen for video if you can’t really use it.

  • http://www.mirrorlessons.com Mathieu

    Yes, that’s true. On the GH3/GH4 you have the same problem but with the headphone output.

  • http://www.rebabaskett.com/ Reba Baskett

    I am really liking the MKII. My EM1 has been sitting on a shelf. The only thing I am not crazy about which I hope they fix is that when using a mic the tilt screen becomes impossible to use which defeats the purpose of having better video in the camera.

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