Olympus used this year’s Photokina Tradeshow as a platform to announce the development of a new flagship camera the OM-D E-M1 II.
Here are the camera’s key new features.
- The E-M1 II is very well-built. Successor to the original E-M1 and it is obvious that the new camera is made to withstand shooting in tough conditions.
- As well as flagship build quality, the E-M1 II also features the now-traditional plethora of buttons, dials and switches that Olympus adds to all of its high-end cameras.
- Resembling a small DSLR, the E-M1 features a high-resolution electronic viewfinder which offers a live view feed at a rate of 120fps. The reaction time is a mere 6 milliseconds.
- One of the paradox of high-end Micro-Four Thirds cameras has been their size. They’re small compared to most DSLRs, but much bigger than you might expect from the size of their sensors. The E-M1 II is a pretty bulky camera compared to some of Olympus’s lower-end M43 offerings, but it is more comfortable to hold, and that bulky handgrip feels great.
- Also new in the E-M1 II is a fully articulating rear LCD screen (the E-M1’s screen was a simpler tilting design). Olympus theory is that this kind of articulation is more popular with videographers, which makes sense.
- The E-M1 II offers a very impressive 4K video specification, boasting up to 236mbps data throughput. From our brief use, the revamped image stabilisation system provides uncannily stable video footage, too.
If there is one word that sums up the E-M1 II it is ‘speed’. The autofocus system has been completely redesigned, with 121 cross-type AF on-sensor phase detection points. One of the camera’s two quad-core processors is dedicated to AF, which enables the E-M1 to shoot at up to 18fps at full-resolution, with continuous autofocus.
The E-M1 II will be compatible with a new dedicated grip, which provides duplicated vertical controls and the option to add a second battery.
Our brief experience is extremely positive. Even in very poor lighting, the E-M1 II seems to achieve focus virtually instantaneously, and we are keen to try out the tracking performance once final samples start to ship.
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