May 23, 2015 by Wing
New best of the best, IMHO
Ok, this is the best mirrorless camera I've own to date, personally. Although this is my 4th Olympus OM-D in a row for me to own, and that should say something in itself, want more opinions? the reviews on this site and others, or just google this camera and see reviews on Youtube and the web, hard to say anything bad about this latest and greatest version of the highly acclaimed OM-D series from Olympus. I did sell my much beloved flagship silver OM-D E-M1 to get the E-M5 Mark II.. why? Actually, there are several reasons. 1) For me, the E-M5 MkII has the most features I wanted in this line of camera. It has pretty much all the functions and features of the E-M1, minus the hybrid contrast detect/phase detect AF. That pretty much is it. Although the AF in the E-M1 is one of the best for a mirrorless camera (still not quite the level of DSLR's), the phase detect AF seems more catered to use with the legacy four thirds lenses from Olympus's own four thirds DSLR cameras (prior to the release of the OM-D line). It's suppose to work with continuous AF, but I've also own the original E-M5 Mark 1 and this new Mark 2 and the advantage, honestly, is negligible.. they all lock and focuses about as consistently and fast.. besides, I don't take a lot of action photos with my OM-D's, so it's also not much of a factor to capture action.. HOWEVER, not to say the AF performance is bad on the OM-D's, quite the contrary... I've taken a lot of great shots with the Oly 75-300 at the Sonoma Raceway with very fast cars and was able to nail the shots.. it all boils down to understanding how to use the camera and lock and follow focus and you can certainly do that with the OM-D's. 2) Again, losing PDAF was not a big deal going from the E-M1 to the E-M5 MkII, and the only thing I sometimes miss is the more robust build of the E-M1.. it really has a more solid substantial weight and feel.. feels really nice and pro.. that's due to the integrated grip on the front right side.. it does add a bit of bulk, but it feels so good and secure.. if you want the most secure feeling OM-D in the hands, especially if you plan to use larger and/or heavier lenses, then it may be better to get the E-M1 just for the ergonomics.. Even adding the battery vertical grip feels more solid than the E-M5 version.. mainly due to the fact the E-M5's battery grip is 2 parts instead of a solid 1 piece like the E-M1's... you can just add the grip without the bottom battery portion just to add the extra bit of grip which is great for getting that more secure handling without the extra weight and bulk of the battery compartment vertical grip part.. and if you really need more surface to hold and the extra battery life, then you can add the final battery compartment vertical grip portion to complete the pro look and handling.. Although this 2-part system for the battery vertical grip has a slight tiny feel of play because it's not just 1 piece, it was actually one of the main reasons I went to the E-M5 MkII.. I like the fact it's very modular and you can make it as small or as large as you want as needed. Also, you need this grip if you plan to do more video work as it houses the headphone jack to monitor audio during video filming.. a great idea to add feature and function to an already feature and function packed small camera. 3) Touching on the last point, video! It's much improved. Sure, no 4K, but it is at least to a great standard to its competitors.. better bitrate and framerate options., I really like the fact I can finally shoot in 24fps as well as 60 fps for nice slow motion capture, as well! I look forward to creating videos more, especially since the already 5-axis IBIS has been improved further to the best in the series in this E-M5 Mk II! 4) Again, touching on the last point above, the 5-axis IBIS in the OM-D line was already industry leading, and now it's even better in the E-M5 MkII! It is a huge advantage to take the most stable photos possible. It's so good, you will find a couple less reasons to carry a tripod around.. it can really hold the shot that steady to allow you to shoot with lower ISO and slower shutter speeds.. and I think that's great since some of the arguments against micro four thirds has been the smaller sensor performance with higher ISO's.. with the awesome 5-axis IBIS, you can keep your ISO's low to get the cleanest shot possible and work with lower shutter speeds also. 5) And, once again, touching on the last point about the new 5-axis IBIS, the new mechanics and higher precision performance of the IBIS allows for the much talked about high resolution shot mode which will give you 40mp jpeg files! (I believe up to 64mp as raw files?!) That's like having full frame performance in a much smaller sensor.. even reach near medium format territory. I think it even bests them both in some areas.. check online, I'm sure there are plenty of tests and comparisons to show the advantages and disadvantages of both. Sure, you need a tripod and works best with static non-moving scenes, but it's great trick that really works well when applied correctly. I hope with future firmware upgrades, it may be possible to use high res shot mode hand held and in some situations where some motion is possible.. it's been rumored to be in development, I look forward to seeing such improvements in the near future.. perhaps in an E-M1 Mark II? 4) The aesthetic style of the E-M5 Mark II is the best and most appealing, imho. It looks the matches the look of the old 35mm film OM SLR's of the past the best.. it's lower profile and just looks the sweetest. Even with the vertical battery grip added, if you look at the design and overall profile, it really looks like the old OM with motor drive grip attached! I wish I could have waited for the new limited edition titanium version to be released, it does look sexy in that gunmetal finish (which they call titanium), and comes with some nice extras, but I really do like the silver and black version I currently own and that works for me! 5) The new fully articulating rear LCD is awesome! Definitely one of the best points that I considered getting the E-M5 Mk II. The other OM-D models only had the vertical tilting rear LCD which is great for high or low angle shots in landscape orientation.. but, I take a lot of portraits and it's useless for high and low angle portrait orientation shots which I can often do to take photos of pets and children.. you want to be on the same level to take better photos, right?.. And not just those situations, but you can angle any direction now which really opens the flexibility and usage of the camera to be able to take photos in difficult angles... even flip around for selfies!.. no, I don't take selfies with this camera, but some times I do want to take photos of myself and my girlfriend and this fully articulating screen sure does facilitate those moments much easier... and if I ever want to do self videos seeing what's framed and the settings from the front of the camera is going to be very useful, obviously. 6) There is finally a fully electronic shutter mode. BTW, the new E-M5 Mark II's mechanical shutter sound is the best.. quick, decisive, well dampened and very quiet already, the fully electronic shutter not only allows for 100% complete silent shooting, but ups both the max frame rate up to 1/16000! and also allows for even higher continuous shooting... not sure, but I think it adds 1-2 fps to both the continuous shooting with & without continuous AF. The 1/8000 maximum mechanical speed has always been plenty, even in bright day light, but I really welcomed the fully silent electronic shutter option for moments where you want to be more discreet and low key. I noticed a big difference between this and my older E-M1 I used to own. Note, some lighting conditions don't work well with the electronic shutter.. namely indoor artificial lighting such as florescent tubes and perhaps LED's as they emit a particular frequency that can cause banding in the photos. 7) Going back to the lower physicla profile of the E-M5 Mark II, it is possible because the accessory port that use to be under the hot shoe on the E-M5 and E-M1 models is gone. I'm glad. I never used the accessory port except for using the included FL-LM2 flash when I needed fill flash in a pinch. It is just another port to cover, thus the double overlapping hot shoe and accessory port covers on the E-M5 & E-M1 which makes it extra fiddly, and it's simply another opening for a potential breach in the otherwise excellent weather sealing of the camera.. SInce it's gone, the other benefit is the before mentioned lower physical profile.. the hot shoe is lowered in towards the body more and is not the highest protruding point at the top of the camera.. makes slipping the camera in and out of my bag easier with less obsrtuction.. also, because of this, the hot shoe cover will not shift or fall off when it does move a bit in my camera bag on the E-M5 MkII as it did on the E-M5 Mk1 & E-M1 when I owned both. 8) Talking about the hot shoe and exclusion of the unnecessary accessory port on the E-M5 MkII, there's a new included mini flash with this camera which I really love! The FL-LM3. It's like a mini strobe. It looks good! And very functional! It sits higher than the old included flash (or any in body pop-up flash of other models and other cameras) which is better.. AND, it rotates and titls up for multiple angle bounce flash capabilities.. It will not be as powerful and does not replace a proper speedlight such as the Oly FL-600R which I also have, but it's a nice compact flash which I can carry with me and quickly mount to get some decent fill flash when needed.. comes with small carry case which can attach to a camera strap via velcro loop on the back. Unfortunately, it only works with the E-M5 MkII as the power comes from the camera body when mounted.. which is nice since you don't have to think about extra set of batteries just for that little flash, but too bad it cannot be adapted to work with the E-M5 Mk1 and E-M1.. I anticipate the next E-M1 MkII will probably have this change in the near future. 9) Although the specs and reviews out there say thie E-M6 MkII has the same excellent EVF as the E-M1, my personal experience suggest it is actually improved.. I don't know, but when I look through the EVF of the E-M5 MkII, it's the same size and all, but something about the clarity and detail just looks nicer than the E-M1.. not that the E-M1 was bad, not at all, very good indeed, but the new E-M5 MkII just looks nicer and I love looking through it to compose a shot.. And, I think perhaps the new fully articulating screen is same 3" size, but different technology.. also looks very good! Ok, this review has become quite long now, but I wanted to express why I love this new camera so much... I'm sure there's a lot more reasons, but these are some that top the list and my mind right off the bat at the time of this writing. If you are planning on getting this camera, you will love it!.. all the other OM-D's area great too, but for me, this really has everything I want at a very reasonable price. Enjoy! FYI, if you're comparing to something like Sony A7 cameras and Fuji X Cameras. I've done the same and have always come to conclusion Olympus OM-D has best features for the price.. my opinion.. Sony A7's are really nice, but really expensive.. for now, cost too much to go to full frame mirrorless on the A7's.. perhaps down the line, but I don't find a need for full frame that the M43 Oly's can't more than satisfy. Fuji's are nice and stylish, but I feel they need more work.. something just isn't completely there.. flash system is still not up to par which I use a lot for outdoor portraits where competing with the sun with fill flash at wide apertures and high shutter speeds is a must.. The EVF in the X-T1 for example is a bit bigger than the E-M1 & E-M5 MkII, but neglible in my experience.. the Fuji's refresh rate is the best and lighting quick.. you really see nearly no lag, BUT that's in good and optimum lighting.. when it gets dark, it's one of the noisiest EVF's ever, the OM-D's is much cleaner and easier to see in low light.. also, I find the focus peaking is easier to read on the OM-D's versus the Fuji X cameras.. Sony is up to par with OM'D EVF, but again, the A7 is very expensive system to buy into at this time.
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May 22, 2015 by Erhan
Poor quality
I bought this camera after reading lots of positive reviews about it on various websites, I even bought two PRO lenses with it. I was very excited about the purchase. On my second day of using it, the digital touchscreen went blank. No matter what I tried, screen would not come back on. This was in the middle of a vacation. I had to use the EVF to take pictures and there is no way to access the menu if the digital screen is not working. Also, making adjustments to settings for your photos is a pain when you do it through the EVF. Camera got fixed and once I received the fixed camera, the digital screen stopped working again on the second day. This camera is not made of good quality. On a positive note, camera has a nice retro look and is very light. It's packed with lots of functionalities. If only the digital screen would work...
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April 26, 2015 by Douglas John
no camera does everything
No camera does everything. But OM-D E-M5 Mark II does a lot very well. Hand held video is great. Picture quality is also great. Doing HDR with this camera is a breeze. I shoot mainly in RAW and out put is mostly in the form of prints. The high res. option is very good. I am 60 years old have used everything from 1/2 frame 35mm up to 11x14 inch view cameras. The OM-D E-M5 Mark II is like having a camera that can cover the range of a 35mm camera to a 4x5 view camera, but without the shifts and tilts. Get to know this camera and it quirks, set up the buttons to how you shoot and then put it up against any other camera and you will not be disappointed. The camera is just a tool for creating pictures, get to know this one and it will serve you well.
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April 22, 2015 by JMW
OM-D E-M5 Mark II Travel System
Having enjoyed a thirty five year professional photography career and now retired I needed to build a new system based upon size and weight reduction without the loss of total creative control for my travels. Over my career, I've owned many camera systems and formats and after much research I've returned to my OM roots with the purchase of E-M5 Mark II. I could not be anymore happy with the choice. My travels are primarily on a motorcycle and the weather sealing OM-D System along with E-M5's lighter weight and smaller size form is a dream come true. I enjoy the full auto functions for quicker shots and use the manual settings for finer composition needs about equally. Of course, it's also about the glass too!
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April 14, 2015 by Peter A.
Great Camera with tons of feaures
Before buying this camera I watched all the YouTube Videos, read every review I could find and downloaded and read the owner’s manual. I also copied and saved pictures of this camera as well as the E-M1 (to compare them side by side). I have a Stylus 1 which is a great little point and shoot and an E-M10 which I have enjoyed using. I bought the E-M10 used and bought all 3 Sigma 2.8 DN primes to go with it as well as the Panasonic 45-275 zoom and a Rokinon 12mm f2.0. I was planning on upgrading to the E-M1 if I liked the E-M10 but when I saw the looks, features and layout as well as the write ups of the E-M5 Mark II I decided to buy it (Silver) with the HLD-8G grip. Having read the owner’s manual I decided to try re-purposing 2 of the Function buttons. The front preview button I converted to the magnification function – especially useful for manual focusing with my old tired eyes. The HDR button I changed to the electronic zoom feature doubling the range of whatever lens is attached. The only drawback here is you can’t use the zoom magnification feature then go to the electronic zoom you have to shut off the camera and go back to it. You can go from electronic zoom to magnification however. Using the camera I put the grip on it right away because that is feel I was looking for and it fits great in my hands. I will probably try and pick up a used battery grip at some point. My hands are about average size and with the grip everything just lines up perfectly for me. I have it set in Aperture Priority and large fine as my standard. I also wove a Para cord quick disconnect (on the Camera’s strap loop) that links to a para cord survival bracelet I made so it is a quick lock in and sets the camera up perfectly for 1 hand shooting. Shooting with the camera has produced great indoor low light shots, some incredible night shots with the 12mm 2.0 and beautiful outdoor images. I can’t wait to use this on vacation; I can see my K-3 getting less use just because of size and weight. I am still contemplating saving for the 12-40mm 2.8 as well as the 45mm 1.8. So I don’t have a lot of pictures with this yet but the ones I have taken look great. I will be keeping the E-M10 - I might put the zoom on it and use the E-M5 Mark II with the primes – not sure but it is nice to have these options. Note: I also own and use a Nikon D7000 (and its predecessors) and a slew of Nikon 2.8 lenses and my favorite Pentax K-3 (and its Predecessors) and the great 18-135 for walking around and just taking great vacation pictures. I also have 2 IR converted cameras 1 with an 850nm filter and the other a 650nm filter. So although not a pro I have used a lot of camera and lens combinations over the years before settling on this group.
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