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Camera Reviews

Date: 25/08/2015 | By: Mathieu

Compact and powerful – The Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II Review

E-M1, 1/25, f/ 4/1, ISO 200

Compact and powerful – The Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II Review

When a company introduces a new camera, it usually fits into one of the following three categories: a) a brand new camera that inaugurates a new line-up (E-M1, E-M10), b) a substantial upgrade from the predecessor with lots of new features (E-M5 II) or c) a refined version of an already existing model.

A year and a half ago, Olympus expanded its OM-D range with an entry level model, the E-M10. Now, the company has refined this model with a “mark II” version that inherits most of its principle characteristics from two other OM-D cameras, the flagship E-M1 and the recent E-M5 II. The result is a new OM-D that for the first time doesn’t have any substantial improvements or new features. Olympus has instead tried to perfect the previous model.

How good is the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II? Let’s check it out!

olympus omd em10 mark II review
E-M10 II, 1/50, f/9, ISO 200 – 25mm f/1.8 – OOC JPG
olympus omd em10 mark II review
E-M10 II, 1/640, f/6.3, ISO 200 – 25mm f/1.8 – OOC JPG

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II Main Specs

  • Sensor: 16 megapixel four thirds Live MOS
  • Lens system: micro four thirds mount
  • Weatherproof: None
  • Internal Stabilisation: Yes (5-axis stabilisation)
  • Autofocus: Contrast detection AF with 81 autofocus areas
  • Continuous shooting: 8.5 fps (AF-S), 4 fps (AF-C)
  • ISO Sensitivity: 200 – 25600 ISO (pull 100)
  • Shutter Speeds: 1/4000 to 60 seconds
  • Viewfinder: OLED electronic viewfinder with 2,360k dots, approx. 100% FOV coverage and 1.23x magnification
  • LCD Screen: articulated 3″ touch sensitive LCD monitor (1,037k dots)
  • Movie recording: Full HD up to 60fps, 72mbps All-Intra
  • Built-in Flash: Yes
  • Extra Features: WiFi, 4K Timelapse, HDR, Multiple exposure, Live Time/Composite
  • Dimensions: 119.5 x 83.1 x 46.7mm
  • Weight: 390g (including battery and memory card)

A brief comparison: OM-D E-M10 vs OM-D E-M10 mark II

At the heart of the camera we find the same 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor found on the E-M10 and E-M5 mark II. The autofocus system is the same with 81 contrast detection points. The ISO sensitivity goes from 200 to 25600 with the extended “pull” option of 100. The bracketing, live composite/time and WiFi options all remain the same as well.

However there are other aspects that have been improved or changed. Many of these characteristics come from the E-M1 and E-M5 mark II. Before digging in-depth, I’ve listed all the differences between the E-M10 mark II and the previous model below, from the most important specs to the smallest changes in the Menu.

OM-D E-M10 mark II: what’s new or improved

  • Ergonomics: Re-designed dials, on/off switch (placed on top) and thumb rest on the rear, 1 extra function button
  • EVF: Higher resolution (2,360k dots vs 1,440k dots on the previous model) and slightly larger (1.23x magnification). There is a new mode called S-OVF that “emulates” an optical viewfinder by disabling the real time exposure preview.
  • Stabilisation: 5 axis instead of 3 axis for both stills and video, it can also be deactivated when shooting in continuous mode.
  • AF: Improved algorithm in continuous AF (like the E-M5 II)
  • Shutter: electronic shutter with silent mode and fast shutter speed up to 1/16000s (like the E-M5 II)
  • Drive: slightly faster continuous shooting speed with 8.5fps in High mode and 4fps in Low mode (E-M10 was 8fps/3.5fps). With the electronic shutter, it goes up to 11fps/5fps respectively.
  • Video: the same as the E-M5 mark II. You can choose different bitrates including 72mbps with the All-I codec, various frame rates (60,50,30,25,24) and timecode settings.
  • Time-lapse: 4K and 1080p time-lapse movie in Motion JPEG (the E-M10 can only do it at 720p)
  • Touch screen: new AF Targeting PAD option that keeps the touch LCD active when using the EVF. You can use your finger to change the position of the focus point while composing with the viewfinder (as with some Panasonic cameras).
  • Focus Peaking: same options as the E-M5 II including 4 colours, highlight intensity and brightness adjustments
  • Menu: same Menu recall option found on the E-M5 II
  • Live view boost: can be activated only for certain shooting modes (like on the E-M5 II)

Hands-on video

In addition to this written review, you can also watch our video review below where I share some sample movie footage that shows the Full HD quality and the stabilisation performance for video.

Design and Ergonomics

The design of the E-M10 was already good and pretty functional. The smaller size and entry-level label made it of course simpler and less complete than the most advanced OM-D cameras, but at the time I found the camera nice to use especially with the optional grip.

The E-M10 mark II gets a facelift with the two new dials on top.

The camera’s design remains basically the same and features an all-metal build. It is available in silver or black. Unfortunately the body is not weather-sealed.

omd em10 mark II review

The dials on top are now slightly smaller and chunkier and the mode dial has been moved to the top right along with the aperture/speed dials. This means that you can easily use the three dials with the same hand. In the place of the old mode dial, we now have a new on/off switch that also activates the pop-up flash built in the fake pentaprism. This new solution is definitely nicer to use than the flash button on the E-M10, as it was smaller and more awkward to reach. (Though if you are overzealous when turning on the camera, you might sometimes activate the flash by accident.) The extra space also allows for an additional function button (three in total).

The new dials are definitely a nice improvement. They are easy to find even when looking through the viewfinder and the new texture gives you a good tactile experience. What I like less is that the Fn2 and movie recording buttons are placed so close to each other. I would have preferred to see one of them moved to the front.

omd em10 mark II review

On the rear, the button layout is almost the same except for the playback button that has been moved to the bottom. The arrow pad has also been redesigned. The thumb rest incorporates the Fn1 button and is more prominent which gives the camera a slightly better feel than the first E-M10. However, your hold on the camera only becomes perfect if you use the optional landscape grip designed for the camera.

Note about the ECG-1 and new ECG-3 grip

Unfortunately, despite the almost non-existent changes in dimension, the first ECG-1 grip released with the E-M10 is not compatible with the E-M10 mark II. Olympus released a new grip called Olympus ECG-3 Grip for the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II which, as a consequence, isn’t compatible with the mark I camera. It is unfortunate as the incompatibility comes down to a few millimetres of difference.

omd em10 mark II review


The original E-M10 also has a very tight mount and it was quite hard to mount and turn the lens to lock it in place. The E-M10 II has definitely improved in this regard; mounting/unmounting the lens requires less force.

Below you can see a side-by-side image comparison of the new and old E-M10 models.

Ease of use

The E-M10 mark II offers a good level of customisation. We have four Function buttons including the movie recording button. The arrow pad on the rear can be programmed to change the position of the focus point with the four arrows or to have a different option assigned to each direction. The two main dials on top can be programmed differently according to the shooting mode and can also be used to navigate the menu and change the options within. You can also invert their functionality. If there is a shooting mode you never use on the main mode dial (for example the Art Filters), you can assign one of your saved custom settings (Myset) to that specific mode dial function instead.

olympus omd em10 II review

In addition to the various buttons and dials, you can activate the Quick Menu with the OK button. I always find it very useful not only to change my settings but also to check at a glance the settings I am currently using. It is easier to read than the various icons at the edge of the LCD screen.

The LCD screen can be tilted up or down, has a good resolution and nice brightness. It has touch sensitive capabilities that allow you to change your focus point, magnify an area and take a shot by simply touching the screen.

olympus omd em10 II review

One feature that makes its debut on an Olympus cameras is the new AF Targeting Pad function.

Found in the AF/MF sub-menu, the LCD blacks out when it is activated but the touch area remains active so you can use your finger to change the focus point. The same function was first introduced by Panasonic with the GX7. You can double tap to activate or deactivate this feature, which is very helpful because sometimes my nose inadvertently touches the screen and changes the focus point. You can also change from single to multi AF by dragging the focus point to the edges. This new implementation is a welcome feature but I often found that it wasn’t precise enough. Sometimes you have to touch the screen more than once to activate it. It is a nice extra but I wouldn’t rely on it to change my focus point all the time.

olympus omd em10 II review

The EVF is an improvement over the previous E-M10. We get more resolution (2,360k dots instead of 1,440k dots) and a slightly larger magnification factor of 1.23x (previously it was 1.25x). The EVF has a short time lag and an excellent refresh rate. There are also different options you can program for the EVF and Live View.

First there is a new S-OVF option that basically emulates a DSLR optical viewfinder: it disables your exposure and picture setting preview. So if for example you set the picture profile to monochrome and overexpose by 2Ev, the LCD will preview these settings while the EVF will show you a balanced and neutral colour image instead. Another option is called live view boost and it works for both the EVF and LCD screen. It shows you the brightest image possible regardless of your settings (useful in studio environments or for long exposures) and you can set it according to the shooting mode (manual, live time/bulb, live composite, others).

Image Quality

The E-M10 mark II has the same 16 megapixel sensor and TruePic VII processor found on the E-M10 and E-M5 mark II. As such, the difference in image quality is basically non-existent. You get good dynamic range, and good low-light performance up to 3200 ISO or 6400 ISO depending on your level of acceptance.

olympus omd em10 mark II review
E-M10 II, 1/320, f/3.5, ISO 200 – 60mm f/2.8 Macro – OOC JPG

The colour reproduction is faithful to what other Olympus cameras deliver and is certainly one the characteristics I like the most. While we don’t get the same depth or natural-looking rendition as a Leica M or Q, or a more organic look like the one produced by Fujifilm cameras, Olympus colours are definitely pleasant and modern with well-balanced saturation and contrast. Auto WB works well and you can choose to have warmer colours. The latter definitely works better indoors with natural light (the kind coming from a window) – otherwise the camera tends to produce a much cooler rendition.

The JPG engine is excellent and images straight out of the camera are very usable. At high ISO values, I suggest leaving noise reduction to Low to preserve more detail.

olympus omd em10 mark II review
E-M10 II, 1/20, f/2.8, ISO 6400 – 25mm f/1.8

Update: other reports state that the E-M10 mark II has less noise and improved Raw quality. I uploaded a comparison between the E-M10 and E-M10 II from 800 to 25600 ISO to a Smugmug gallery (click here). Both cameras have the same exposure, white balance, picture profile, sharpness and NR. The images were converted from the ORF files to JPGs with Olympus Viewer 3 (since it can already read the E-M10 II Raw files) and with the NR turned off. I honestly see very little difference.

If you want to find out more about image quality, I suggest that you read our original E-M10 article or our E-M5 mark II review.

Below you can see a few additional sample images. Note that the Raw files aren’t yet compatible with Lightroom, but I managed to change the exif data (from E-M10 Mark II to E-M10) with exiftool so that Lightroom would read the files.

omd em10 II review
E-M10 II, 1/60, f/9, ISO 200 – 25mm f/1.8 – OOC JPG
omd em10 II review
E-M10 II, 1/1250, f/8, ISO 200 – 25mm f/1.8 – OOC JPG
omd em10 II review
E-M10 II, 1/320, f/10, ISO 200 – 25mm f/1.8 – OOC JPG
omd em10 II review
E-M10 II, 1/15, f/2.8, ISO 1600 – 25mm f/1.8

Autofocus, performance and 5-axis stabilisation

The E-M10 mark II has the exact same autofocus system found on the E-M5 mark II. It is contrast detection with 81 points and an updated algorithm for the continuous shooting mode. The AF is very fast and reliable in Single AF mode. It slows down a little in low light and can also suffer from specular highlights in the background. There are different area modes available. Multi Target will select any of the 81 areas available, Group Target will work with a group of 9 points and Single will use only one AF point. As with the other OM-D cameras, I find the single and smallest point options to be the most reliable.

omd em10 mark II review
E-M10 II, 1/1250, 3.5, ISO 200 – 60mm f/2.8 Macro – OOC JPG

Continuous AF is also excellent. We used the camera for the 2015 Race The Train marathon in Wales and the camera managed to keep up with the more expensive and advanced equipment used by other photographers at the event. The drive speed with focus priority in C-AF (Low) isn’t the fastest (around 4fps) but enough to capture good action shots when the subject moves at a medium speed. We also used AF Tracking a lot especially when tracking the runners that were coming towards us on a diagonal path.

omd em10 mark II review
E-M10 II, 1/2500, f/4, ISO 200 – 75mm f/1.8 – OOC JPG
omd em10 mark II review
E-M10 II, 1/1000, f/2.8, ISO 200 – 75mm f/1.8 – OOC JPG

In Single AF, you can select the High continuous shooting mode and go up to 8.5fps. If you decide to use the electronic shutter, you can increase this speed to 11fps and 5fps respectively in High and Low mode. However beware of rolling shutter issues (distorted vertical lines), a common problem with electronic shutters.

The buffer capabilities of the camera are decent. Of course the best performance can be achieved by only shooting JPGs. In High mode the camera maintains the fastest speed for approximately 5 seconds before slowing down (with Raw it is only 2/3 seconds and then the speed slows down considerably). In Low mode with JPGs, the speed never slows down and the camera doesn’t stop shooting.

Coming back to the electronic shutter, this is a characteristic that was first introduced on the E-M5 mark II. The camera can’t go higher than 1/4000s with the mechanical shutter but can go up to 1/16000s with the full electronic option. The camera is also completely silent.

In addition you also have the option of a first electronic curtain called Anti-Shock in the Menu. You can select 0s or delay its release to diminish the chance of shutter vibrations.

If you want to use manual focus instead, there are both the Magnification and Peaking MF assists. The latter inherits the same upgrade as the E-M5 II. You can choose between 4 different colours (white, black, red, yellow), adjust the highlight intensity of the peaking and choose if you want the camera to decrease the image brightness to make the peaking more visible.

Perhaps the best upgrade the E-M10 mark II has received is the 5-axis stabilisation.

The first E-M10 had only 3 axes and while the performance wasn’t bad, it feels a little bit like a limitation put on the camera to differentiate it from the high-end OM-D models. The E-M10 mark II inherits the same 5-axis sensor shift system found on the E-M1. The E-M5 II has the most recent stabilisation technology which means that it is still the best camera on the market when it comes to image stabilisation.

The test I usually perform is to use the slowest shutter speed possible and see how sharp the resulting image is. With the E-M,1 I managed to go as slow as 1 second hand-held in the past and I was able to do the same with the E-M10 II using the lightweight 25mm lens. With the E-M10, I managed to achieve optimal sharpness at 1/2s once but I would suggest the safe speed is around 1/4 or 1/5s.

omd em10 mark II review
E-M10, 1/2, f/4, ISO 400 – 25mmf/1.8 – Hand held
omd em10 mark II review
E-M10 II, 1s, f/5.6, ISO 400 – 25mm f/1.4 – Hand held

Like the E-M5 II, the stabilisation can be automatically deactivated when shooting in continuous burst mode.

Full HD Video, movie stabilisation and 4K Timelapse

The OM-D E-M10 mark II inherits the same video capabilities found on the E-M5 mark II. You get different levels of compression quality including an All-Intra codec option that records with a bitrate of 72mbps. You also have several frame rate options from 60fps to 24fps, and a slow motion mode which is basically 60 or 50fps recorded and conformed to 25 or 25fps. You will also find similar settings including timecode.

As with the E-M5 II, the upgrade in video quality is a welcome addition and was needed for Olympus to remain competitive. That said, with the rapid spread of 4K, slow motion capabilities and better video codecs on Panasonic, Sony and Samsung cameras, Olympus is still lagging behind. The footage that comes out from the E-M10 II is good but we can still find aliasing and moiré issues that in some cases can be annoying.

However the E-M10 II like the E-M5 II has one advantage over all its competitors and that is image stabilisation once again. It is really excellent not only for stills but also for video. The E-M10 mark II uses the 5-axes during movie recording as well. However, like the E-M5 II, it does suffer from some “sensor shift shock” or what I also call a “sudden sideways shift”. Basically when panning left or right and then slowing down and stopping the movement, the image can suddenly shift back and forth before settling. I explain this in-depth in the E-M5 II stabilisation video here.

You have two options to choose between: M-IS1 will use both sensor and software stabilisation (and crop the image a little bit). It can have some jello issues due to the software implementation. M-IS2 only uses the sensor shift and it is my favourite setting. It works well for macro shots as well.

You also have the option of creating 4 or 8s clips that you can then edit and re-arrange in-camera before creating the final movie. Finally, there is a 120fps slow motion mode but unfortunately it records in motion JPG and 640×480 resolution, which is way below Full HD capabilities.

Note: You can watch some sample footage in our video review.

Olympus also introduced some 4K capabilities to the E-M10 II but before you get excited, it isn’t what you might be thinking. It is related to the time-lapse functionality. On the other OM-D cameras, you have the option not only to save all the images taken in time-lapse mode but also to create a movie file in-camera. However the quality wasn’t particularly great and limited to 720p resolution (HD ready). The E-M10 II enhances that time-lapse movie option with 1080p and ultra HD (4K) options. While the output quality of the movie itself is not bad (it uses the Motion JPG compression once again), the frame rate is limited to 15fps in Full HD and 5fps in 4K. The latter in particular can result in less fluidity and jumpier transitions between the different shots. It will work for casual use but if you have a little bit of experience in creating time-lapse movies in post-production, you will get better results by importing the individual images into a video editing software and creating a 25 or 50fps movie from there (it is better to use just the JPGs).

Below you can see an example of a walking 4k time-lapse.


Other features

The other features and functionalities found on the E-M10 II are for the most nothing new to the OM-D/Pen series but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t include some great features that both amateurs and advanced users can enjoy. Certainly the Live Composite and Live Time features are two of the best functions you can find on recent Olympus cameras.

The Live Time allows you to shoot a long exposure and have a live preview of how the exposure is coming along on the LCD screen. This is very helpful because you can stop the exposure exactly when you want. It is also very helpful for light painting.

With the Live Composite, the camera blends several images in Lighten mode, which means that the brightest areas are preserved while the darker areas are constantly updated with new exposures. This function is very useful for star trails, fireworks or any other similar scene you can think of.

Live Composite example using the E-M1 and Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95

Below you can see an interesting light painting video that also combines the bullet-time technique. The project was realised by the light-painting artists Zolaq using 50 OM-D E-M10 cameras and the Live Composite mode.


Other useful features include several bracketing methods and an HDR bracketing option up to 7 frames and 2Ev steps.

There is an additional new bracketing mode called Focus Bracketing.

The camera can take between 3 and 999 shots by slight changing the focus point (10 steps selectable). To do so, it switches to the electronic shutter and High continuous shooting mode. When the shutter button is released, the camera takes a burst of images corresponding to the number selected in the Menu (if you select 10 images, it will take 10 images in a row). Between shots it changes the focus distance (you can set the difference to be narrower or wider in 10 steps). This new bracketing mode can be very useful for macro photography where focus stacking is often required to bring your entire subject into focus. However the images will still have to be merged in post-production. Unlike the other bracketing modes, if you want to terminate it early, you have to turn the camera off and on again because all the settings and menus become inaccessible.

Update: find out more about the new Focus Bracketing mode with our in-depth article here!

Below you can watch a quick video that shows how the camera work and the final image I stacked with Photoshop. It is a simple example as I admit I am not an expert when it comes to focus stacking.

I do wonder if Olympus will be able to implement focus stacking in-camera in the future.


E-M10 II, 1/13, f/8, ISO 200
10 images stacked in Photoshop

You also get the traditional Art Filters and Photo story modes but I admit I never use them on any of the OM-D cameras. Of course the camera includes a complete Auto mode as well as a Scene mode where the camera chooses the optimal settings depending on the Scene selected (night, landscape, sport, etc.).

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II also has Wifi capabilities and can be used in conjunction with a mobile device to remotely control the camera and transfer JPGs. You can also use the device as a monitor for the Live Time / Live Composite feature.


The new Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II  is yet another very nice OM-D camera from Olympus and I enjoyed the two weeks I spent testing it. It is great to see that the brand is managing to keep the series at a very high level of quality. Indeed, there haven’t been any particular flaws in the series so far. In the case of the new E-M10 II, we don’t really get any exciting new features but we do get a mix of some of the best functions and specs from the other OM-D cameras, all condensed into a light and compact body.

omd em10 mark II review
E-M10 II, 1/2000, f/2.8, ISO 200 – 35-100mm f/2.8

Personally, I feel that the implementation of the 5-axis stabilisation was the best choice. It keeps all the OM-D cameras on the same level and reinforces the OM-D brand as being the reference when it comes to image stabilisation for both stills and videos. The other main aspects are the same and bring no surprises: the same image quality, autofocus performance, and good user experience that in this case is enhanced with new dials and an improved EVF.

That said (and to be perfectly honest), I expected that more time would pass before seeing an E-M10 upgrade. Olympus kept the original E-M5 for almost three years and the E-M1 is turning two years old this September. The good news in all this is that the original E-M10 will remain on the market as a true entry-level model and will have a more attractive price. This is a good thing if Olympus wants to attract new users to the OM-D system. Despite the nice improvements made to the E-M10 mark II, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the original E-M10 if budget is your main concern.

Now that the E-M10 has a successor, I’m sure that the spotlight will now turn towards the next OM-D camera, which could only be the E-M1 mark II. I do expect a lot from the next flagship model. I think it is time to see a brand new sensor with concrete improvements to image quality and I also believe that Olympus needs to push forward on the video front given the very fast updates being released by the competition. The next E-M2, E-M1 II or whatever it will be called is definitely the camera I’ll be looking forward to in 2016.

thumb-up What I like about the Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II:

  • Very nice dials and a good user experience in a small and compact body
  • Excellent EVF
  • Basically the same image quality found on the other OM-D cameras
  • Excellent 5-axis stabilisation for stills and video
  • Excellent autofocus performance including Continuous and Tracking modes
  • Extra features such as Live Composite, Live Time or the new Focus bracketing make OM-D cameras easy to use even for sophisticated shots

thumb-down What I don’t like about the Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II:

  • The grip becomes perfect only with the additional ECG-3 grip, which is not compatible with the previous E-M10
  • The new AF Targeting Pad option can lack some precision.
  • 4fps in Continuous AF can be limiting for very fast action
  • Video quality suffers from moiré and aliasing, still no 4K option
  • 4K time-lapse is limited to 5fps
  • The 120fps video option lacks good quality

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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!

  • Mathieu

    Hi David,
    I don’t own the E-M5 anymore: I replaced with the E-M1 two years ago. I also replaced the X100s with the X100T (mainly for review purpose but I still own it now).
    The X-Pro1 is now four years old. It still is a good camera but the AF is slower in comparison to most recent products. However you can find it for cheap now so I can understand the interest.
    If you need a wide angle lens for indoor shots, I would discard the X100s.
    Both Fuji and Olympus have nice wide angle lenses. The Olympus system is more compact. I guess it also comes down to your budget if you have one.

  • David C.

    Hello Mathieu,

    I have been looking into replacing/upgrading from my old Olympus e-pl1 and I have been engrossed on reading articles in the website. So far I have interested in the Olympus om-d em-m10 mkii until I came across the Fuji X-Pro 1 (love its looks plus it seems to be a very good option too). I read in your 2013 review on the camera “A System That Aims for Perfection: A Fuji X-Pro-1 Review” that you own both an Olympus om-d em-m5 and a Fuji x100s. You (as well as many other people) seem to mention how good the Fuji image quality and colors are and I can see why. They do have a very unique and beautiful film-like look.

    Now, since you own both the Olympus om-d em-m5 and Fujifilm x100s, I wanted to know which camera you prefer or end up using more. I understand they are very different cameras but I wanted to know which one you tend to prefer using more and maybe guide my decision between a Fuji x100/s or Fuji X-pro-1 and the Olympus om-d em-m10 mkii.

    I am in no way a pro. I am just an amateur that wants a nice camera which would mainly be used for outings/street photography/vacations. I would also use it for documenting construction sites in which I may need to take pictures of small spaces like rooms and bathrooms where a wide angle could be necessary.

    Thank you

  • Rolf Berge

    I like this camera, only thing i miss is the option to turn of the evf and lcd to save power when taking timelaps. I hope olympus can fix this in an fw update. Cause it uses to mutch power now, the cam get very hot when standing on an tripod taking a couple of pictures a minute with only the evf on.

  • Ely

    Hey Ross,

    which camera did you end up buying? Im on the Edge of Jumping into Mirrorless . Im also thinking about the A6000 or the E-M10 Mark II. Thanks

  • brian taylor

    Many thanks. That’s the kind of difference (in the grass) that I’d expected, but as you say, it could have been down to the fast changing light. Maybe there’s not much difference at these settings. Thanks for trying.

  • Mathieu

    Between natural and Provia there isn’t a big difference. It’s more with other settings in the Fuji cameras like Pro Neg, Classic Chrome or Astia. I included two image comparison here between Natural (E-M1, which has the same colours as the E-M10 II) and Standard/Provia (X-T1) to give you an idea. Sorry the comparison don’t match perfectly and the light was changing every two seconds. I grabbed the shots before going out knowing that the sun wouldn’t last for long.

  • brian taylor

    Thanks for this Mathieu. With JPEG’s, then, are you saying that Olympus’s ‘neutral’ or ‘natural’ profiles are still distinctly different, i.e. richer and more saturated than, Fuji’s ‘standard/Provia’? I was hoping they would be similar. I’m most concerned about how they render greens in landscapes and foliage. I agree that colour is subjective though.

    I take your point about RAW files. The packaged Silkypix software includes a reasonably accurate version of all the Fuji film simulations, but I’ve not found it very user friendly otherwise. I mostly use Photoninja, but have sometimes struggled to replicate Fuji’s (subjectively) excellent JPEG colours there.

    best wishes

  • Mathieu

    Hi Brian. When it comes to color, first we have to establish if you work with JPG or RAW files. With the former colours are directly reproduced by the in-camera image processor. Olympus’s colour profiles are more common to the average digital cameras (vivid, neutral, natural, etc) but I like them because they are rich in tones, saturation and contrast but without pushing everything too much (which could create more unrealistic results) . Concerning the warm tone there is an option to make colours warmer when using the Auto WB. It can be turned off (useful especially with artificial light).

    Fujifilm calls its colour profiles “Film Simulation” but in fact they are just colour profiles with a different name and a different colour palette. They are inspired by Fuji’s own film rolls but they are quite different. I like them a lot because first of all they give a different colour rendering than other digital cameras, they have a more “personal” signature. A profile like Classic Chrome is a very good example: it’s a profile created for documentary photographers that wanted something with high contrast without saturated colours. Organic might not be the best word since in the end nothing is “organic” with digital. What I mean is more a personal feeling: sometimes Fuji colours give me the impression of something a little bit less digital than the other cameras I test. A similar impression that I have with Leica cameras. But colours is also a subjective matter. What I find more “organic” or “less digital” could look different to someone’s else eyes.

    With RAW you can have very similar colours because RAW files need a colour profile to be viewed correctly so if you apply the same colour profile to both the Olympus and Fuji files (like the default Adobe Standard with Adobe Lightroom or Camera Raw) you can match them easily. For example Eric Cote of Mirrorless Journey created some presets for Lightroom ( that replicate Fuji’s classic chrome. They aren’t exactly the same of course but they give you an idea of what you can do with colours and raw files.

    I hope to have answered your questions but I am happy to answer more if you have other doubts.

  • brian taylor

    Hello Mathieu, since you use both Olympus and Fuji cameras, I’d be interested to hear a bit more about your take on how their colours compare. I have a Fuji XT10, and love the ‘look’, and the film simulations (except for the ‘Velvia’, which seems a poor imitation of the film), but am retired, on a limited income, and Fuji lenses tend to be expensive, and heavier, so am considering switching to Olympus. I’ve been put off, so far, by (i) the confusing menu system (how does the super control panel actually work?) and (ii) the colours I’ve seen on the internet, which apparently often have a ‘warm’ tone applied and seem over-saturated. So I’d like to know whether, and how, you can make Oly colours more similar to Fuji (standard/provia). What you mean when you describe these as ‘organic’?

    I may wait till the Pen-F becomes cheaper, since unlike you, I prefer the vari-angle screen (for portrait format – wild flowers don’t grow horizontally). They can also be folded in for protection when not in use. Hope you can help,

    with best wishes

  • Mathieu

    Thanks, I’m glad the review was of help and I agree, it is a nice upgrade from the E-M5.

  • ljgude

    I bought the first OM-D EM-5 when it came out and it is the best camera I have ever owned. I didn’t buy the EM-1, too expensive and too big. Nor the EM-5 Mark 2, not enough new features for the price. Or the first EM-10, price right but there was the reduction to 3 axis stabilization and nothing else that compelling. But I did buy the EM-10 Mark 2 the day before yesterday because it addressed the weaknesses of my original OM-D EM-5. It focuses faster, it has a silent shutter, it does touch focus and shoot on the screen, It keeps the perfect stills screen that allows waist level shooting, and it is smaller and lighter. And has a better EVF. I’m sure I’ll discover its limitations too but I think it was a substantial upgrade to current technology and makes me happier than ever with the really nice collection of m4/3 lenses and oh it throws in focus peaking which will make my mirror lens much more useful as well as the older glass I have kicking around. I am really pleased with it. Your review helped my be sure that it was the right purchase for me. Thanks.

  • Mathieu

    Hi Ross, the vaster choice of lenses with micro four thirds could be more interesting for you especially if you want to use the camera for different genres. The E-M10 II is an excellent camera to start with and I advise you to also get the optional grip to have better ergonomics when shooting surf.

    I don’t miss too much the lack of a touch screen on the a6000 but it would definitely be a nice addition. The a6000 could give you something more concerning IQ especially for astrophotography but at the same time the E-M10 II has some nice functions such as live composite that is useful for star trail shots for example.

  • Ross Ito

    Hi Mathieu. I’m looking to venture into mirrorless shooting. I’m interested in landscape, surf photography, astrophotography; and something that would be a “jack-of-all-trades” kind of deal. To me, it seems like the E-M10 Mark II, E-M10 Mark I, and the Sony a6000 seems to be the best. What would you recommend? Perhaps waiting for the next iteration of the Sony a6000?

    Also, comparing the Sony and Olympus offerings, what do you think about the lack of a touchscreen from Sony, and the (supposedly) greater lens offerings for Olympus?


  • Mathieu

    It also depends on the lenses you will use. Weather sealing on the body is great but if the lens isn’t then your gear is half protected only.

  • Axel Keuchel

    Hey Mathieu,

    thanks for your answer! I will have look at the Lumix lenses. Sounds good!
    Concerning the E-M 5 II, I would like to have the weather sealing on the E-M 10 II, too. Especially because I would like to use the camera for traveling. And with traveling I mean traveling as a backpacker through Africa and/or Asia. Hard to say if I would need the sealing.
    … think I need to have a closer look at both cameras.

  • Mathieu

    1. The 14-42mm pancake does the job but there is definitely sharper lenses available. If you don’t mind prime lenses, the Lumix 20mm 1.7 or the 17mm 1.8 for example are excellent choice especially for street.

    2. The E-M5 II has weather sealing, a slightly larger EVF, a multi angle LCD screen and the high res shot mode. If you don’t need any of these features, the E-M10 II is the perfect choice right now.

  • Axel Keuchel

    Hello Mathieu,

    thanks for the review! I have two additional questions and it would be nice if you leave a comment on them.

    1. Regarding the 14-42mm pancake lens – how do you rate its performance? Is it usable for some street or travel photography? And if not – which (small) lens would you recommend?

    2. If you compare the OMD-EM10 II with the OMD-EM5 II – what would you say are the main differences? Is it “just” the weather sealing of the EM5 II?


  • Boston C

    1. Thx for showing the video exactly where it is. Though it’s hard to tell whether it’s improved over the older model to reach the level of EM5 II. I thought the older one is pretty quiet, until I used in concerts…


    is the side by side comparison, for raw at 6400. You will find the noise level of the background is lower compared with the older model.
    But that can be a matter of contrast. If you move the spot to the black man’s face on the right, the contrast level is quite different.
    So there is some difference, at least shown from the comparison tool. Not sure where it is from.

  • Mathieu

    1. On our video review you can hear both the mechanical and electronic shutter:
    2. I honestly didn’t find any relevant improvements. To me it looks like the same sensor and IQ as usual. Here you can see a side by side comparison with the E-M10:
    3. Yes it has the same video specs of the E-M5 II. A higher bitrate means less artefacts and compression issues in some situations that can involve fast movements or extreme light situations. Also it’s an All-intra codec meaning that the compression quality is better. You get more frame rates (including 24, 25fps). It is not easy to detect a major difference at first, but it means you record with a stronger codec than with the E-M10.
    4. I didn’t see any relevant decrease in IQ with the e-shutter but I admit I haven’t done a side by side test with the e-shutter on and off. I’ll try to do that later or tomorrow 😉

  • Boston C

    Nice detailed review as usual. Great job.
    I have a few questions:
    1. How does the shutter sound? No reviewer
    has mentioned it, I wonder whether it’s the same used in EM5 II.
    Understanding there is the new e-shutter but still prefer to use the
    mechanical one.
    2. Is the raw file improved as dpreview claimed? I
    found the chroma noise of Mark II is less coarse than either the
    original or even the new GX8, using dprevies comparison tool, not sure
    whether it’s real or due to different testing environment such as
    temperature (of the cameras). Would like to see your opinion.
    3. reports the Mark II has a highest bit rate for the
    full HD at 77mbs, that dwarfs 28mbs of the original. Any sign of
    significant improvement in video quality? I think that’s the same bit
    rate used in EM5 II, but the actual video quality of the latter
    underwhelms in spite of the significant high rate.
    4. Do you know does the e-shutter
    produce 10bit file and degrade DR, as Panasonic GM1 G7 do? Can’t find a definite
    reference for EM10 II on this issue, some mentioned the noise level increases by using e-shutter at high ISO, implying a loss of one stop.
    Thanks in advance!

  • sgm0369

    Good stuff, thanks!

  • Mathieu

    Thanks Roger 😉

  • Mathieu

    #1: it changes the focus distance with the lens motor.
    #2: Yes it seems to work with all lenses, I tried it with the kit lens, the 60mm macro and the Lumix 35-100mm
    P.S.: it’s focus bracketing (you have to do the stacking in post production).

  • Mathieu

    You can shoot longer than 60s with the Bulb but also the Live Time mode.

  • Miran

    I couldn’t find the info regarding the camera’s bulb mode. Does the camera have a 60 second limit for long exposures or can it do exposures longer than 60 seconds(3-4 minutes for example)?

  • sgm0369

    Hello Mathieu,

    one question about the Focus Stacking feature. How does the camera change the focus? Does it drive the lens’ focus motors or does it move the sensor plane? I guess it’s the former, hence question #2: does it work with all lenses?


  • Roger Marc

    Nice review, seriously thinking about buying this one as my everyday camera. great article

  • Mathieu

    Well Sony released a new camera once just to put NFC along the WIFI :) (ok, they did just once, but still…).

    It’s not about struggling to find positive things to say, analysed as it is, it’s a great camera and packed with a lot of features that are great for such a small body. But then most of these features, we already know about it so we expect more.

    Sony is more exciting but they released 5 full frame cameras in 1 year 1/2. Not sure in the end who’s doing better. At least with the A7r II they grabbed the attention of everyone, I’ll give you that 😀

  • soundimageplus

    I’m not sure others are as bad at it as Olympus any more. Sony and Panasonic used to do the same thing but they seem to have stopped. I’m convinced it ‘devalues’ a brand and backfires. Yours is not the only review struggling to come up with many positives.

    And yes the EM 2 does have something to live up to now. It surely has to have 4K video, the new 20MP sensor and get the high res function handholdable. That then makes it a genuine improvement.

  • Mathieu

    Well it is what most companies to these days. Fortunately with the OM-D series we don’t have too many “duplicates”. Now, moving to the E-M1 successor, I except a lot from that! :)

  • Mathieu

    Yes Olympus JPGs are excellent. The E-M10 II is a very nice camera and it is hard to find any relevant flaws except the ones I already listed. It is not a substantial improvements over the previous OM-Ds but they always add some little things that can enhance the user experience.

  • GaryGarth

    Wonderful article. The buzz around this camera seems to be overall positive.

    I just love Olympus’ JPEGs. They just look good and usable.

  • Mathieu

    Unfortunately I don’t have an E-M5 II with me right now. Concerning the dials, they are both good but the E-M5 II has a few extra buttons and a function lever on the rear that I use all the time on my E-M1 and that gives more functions to the two main dials.

  • Frank Köhntopp

    Thanks for the fast review, Mathieu!

    A comparison (pictures – size & buttons) to the E-M5 II would be very interesting.

    Any idea on price & availability in the EU?

  • soundimageplus

    It’s cameras like this that make me think that manufacturers are only sealing their own fate as they lose ground to smartphones. A very minor upgrade, much of which could have been achieved in firmware. Olympus have done this too many times. And your comments about the grip show a callous regard for their customers. Pretty much a waste of time and the resources needed to make it. Still the OM-D E-M10 Mark one should be selling for a bargain price.

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