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Olympus touts speed with OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Create: 09/19/2016 - 22:52
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Dual SD memory card slots
  • 20.4-MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • Frame rate is 15 fps for manual shutter and 60 fps for electronic shutter.

The OM-D E-M1 Mark II should be one fast shooter.

The new model has slightly higher resolution: 20.4-MP Live MOS sensor, compared with 16.3-MP for the previous model. The ISO range is 200-25,600.

However, it should be able to record images quicker, thanks to the TruePic VIII quad-core processor.

The first model could record 10 frames per second, which is very quick in its own right. The Mark II ups that to 15 frames per second when using the mechanical shutter and a movie-like 60 frames per second when using the electronic shutter.

The Mark II also includes focus stacking, which allows a series of photos to be “stacked” to form a single image that might have one or more points of focus.

Autofocus is controlled by both phase detection and contrast autofocus systems – each having 121 points. The body has built-in five-axis image stabilization, which Olympus says provides up to 5.5 stops of compensation.

Images are saved as either RAW or JPG, while the camera can record 4K or Full HD video. The Mark II has two SD memory card slots, with the first slot being compatible with UHS-II cards. In addition to the built-in stereo microphone, the camera has both microphone and headphone jacks.

Remember, this is a Micro Four Thirds camera, which has a sensor that is half the size of a full-frame camera. That means marked focal lengths have a 2x crop factor. A 25mm lens for MFT, for example, is a 50mm full-frame equivalent.

TWO VIEWFINDERS, TWO SHUTTERS

The Mark II has both an electronic viewfinder and a 3.0-inch LCD monitor for composing photos and navigating menus. The LCD is a fully articulating touchscreen.

It also has both mechanical and electronic shutters. The mechanical shutter has a range of 60 seconds to 1/8,000, while the electronic shutter’s range is 60 seconds to 1/32,000.

The Mark II has a USB Type-C connector, which also allows it to be tethered to a computer for studio use, as well as fast transfer of images, provided that the computer has a compatible USB Type C port. The camera has built-in WiFi but not GPS.

The camera is, of course, smaller and lighter than traditional digital SLRs. The Mark II body is 5.3 x 3.6 x 2.7 inches (134.1 x 90.9 x 68.9mm) and weighs 17.6 ounces (498 grams). An accessory battery grip, HLD-9, will extend shooting. It also addes 7.9 ounces (225 grams) to the weight of your camera.

Olympus hasn’t yet indicated a price or shipping date for the OM-D E-M1 Mark II or the HLD-9 battery grip.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.