even though I have somewhat large hands and the camera is smaller than some it is easy for me to handle. the buttons and knobs are well placed, other cameras I am accidentally hitting a button and changing a setting without knowing it. Not on this one.Everything is laid out very well.
Great little camera!
The E-M5 Mark II is a fantastic little camera
For me, the E-M5 Mark II is a bit small - I much prefer the feel of the slightly larger E-M1 Mark II - especially the integrated grip. However, with some time and practice I am able to handle the camera well and manipulate the controls. It is a tradeoff i am willing to make for the difference in cost between this and the E-M1 Mark II, as for me the E-M5 Mark II is a second and travel camera. I would not be happy with this to be my primary camera, but for others it might feel just perfect. The incredible reduction in size and weight is what I was looking for coming to MFT from full frame, and although the E-M5 Mark II is a tad small for my handling preferences, I still deeply appreciate the compact light system I now carry.
The image quality is fantastic - much better than I was expecting actually, coming from a full frame Canon 5DM3. Although this is a 16mp sensor, it is difficult to see any real difference in quality between images made on this camera and the 20mp sensor on the E-M1 Mark II. Indeed, even compared to images created on my full frame Canon- the E-M5 Mark II looks great; it is often hard to tell which is the full frame and which was shot on Micro Four Thirds (MFT).
Single AF is very fast. Continuous is wanting, nowhere near the performance of the E-M1 Mark II. If you need AF for fast action, look elsewhere. If you don't shoot sports or other fast action, you can save a lot of money choosing this instead of the E-M1 Mark II, as AF performance and high frame rates are probably the most significant differences between these cameras in terms of performance. One interesting advantage of the E-M5 Mark II over the E-M1 Mark II for me is the small target AF on the E-M5 Mark II. The E-M1 Mark II has single target, 5 target group, 9 target group, and all target AF. The E-M5 Mark II has single target, small target, 9 target group, and all target. In all but single and small target the camera chooses from the active targets to decide where to focus. I nearly always use a single target and the small target is great for nailing focus on a specific point - like the eye of your model (the face/eye detection doesn't always work - I prefer the small target for this). The single target is too big to hit the eye on the portrait reliably instead of catching the eyebrow or cheek. I have emailed Olympus requesting they consider adding the small target to the E-M1 Mark II, but for now this is something the E-M5 Mark II has over the flagship model.
There are tons of great features - all you can do with the OI Share app, composite mode, etc... It seems like every day I find another reason to love this camera!
Fabulous Camera forTravel Hiking Biking Street Photography
If I could give this camera 6 stars I would. I learned photography with a Canon 7 interchangeable lens rangefinder. When I got my first “real job” I got an OM-1 SLR and used it happily until fatherhood and mid-career pressures relegated serious photography and the camera to the closet. In 2006, my teenage son and I began climbing mountains in Colorado. By then it was the digital age & after documenting a couple of climbs with a digital point and shoot, I bought a Nikon DSLR with some very nice (and expensive) lenses. With the Nikon I rediscovered photography as a serious hobby and got many beautiful shots. I also got a lot of neck aches hauling the camera and its outsized lenses from 9000 foot trailheads to 14000+ foot summits. In 2012 my wife suggested that I try the PEN EP-3 when she learned that all that Olympus glass for my OM-1 that was gathering dust in the closet could find new life with the PEN. The EP-3 was a revelation. Paired with the 14-150 lens, it was a featherweight compared to the Nikon. You could hike or climb all day still have neck and shoulders free of pain. Better still, when you showed pictures on our 42 inch HD television, you could not tell the pictures that were taken with the PEN from those taken with the Nikon. The only things I did not like about the PEN was the lack of a built-in viewfinder and somewhat clumsy controls if you were in “Manual” and wanted to set both aperture and shutter speed. I upgraded to an EM10 but then upgraded to the EM5 mark II because of the weather-sealing (important when mountain weather turns on you).
The camera has been up several mountains, including a snowshoe climb of Quandary Peak on a windy 20 degree day after a 2 foot snowfall. I’ve used it during a major ice storm. It’s been up and down our town’s extensive bike trail network in the cold and on days when the heat index was 100+ degrees. This spring, I used it to take a dramatic series of pictures of the Sandhill Cranes on the Platte River in Nebraska, shooting into a breathtaking sunrise. I’ve used it to photograph a lunar eclipse, the Big Dipper and Orion constellations, and what an admiring hobbyist friend of mine called the best pictures of the full moon he’s ever seen other than photos taken at observatories with specialty equipment (it amuses me when I read internet blogs assuring folks that M4/3 cameras can’t do night photography). I’ve done urban landscape and street photography with the EM5ii in Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, DC. It has been to Australia, Switzerland, and most recently on a bicycle tour along the Adriatic coast in Southern Italy, where I became the trip’s designated photojournalist when the folks on the tour saw what the EM5ii could do.
I use the 9-18, the 12-40 PRO, the 17/1.8, the 14-150, the 60 macro, and the 75-300 M.Zuiko lenses, as well as Rokinon’s 7.5mm fisheye, the Zuiko 50/1.8 that came with my OM-1, and a Canon 135mm/3.5 that was the telephoto lens for my Canon 7.
The only limitation this camera has is me. As long as I get the composition and exposure right, the camera nails it. It is reliable, dependable, and an absolute joy to use. I find its handling and ergonomics to be just about perfect. I bought an EM1 because I wanted the option to hike or bike with two camera bodies. Even though the EM1 was the Olympus “flagship” at the time, and I bought it thinking it would be an upgrade, in all honesty, I regard the EM5ii as my “first” camera and the EM1 as my “spare.” The EM1 is a wonderful camera, but the EM5ii is that good. It is easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. As a go-to camera for travel, for hiking, for biking, for urban photography, for just about anything I like to do with a camera, I’d recommend it in a heartbeat.
I love this camera. I work at a camera store and I have used dozens of different cameras and this is one of my favorites. Of all the cameras I have access to this is the one I keep coming back to. I hike and kayak and climb and the E-M5 mk2's compact size lets me carry it without encumbering me like my big "pro" cameras do. I have more keeper shots from this guy because it's always in the right place at the right time and almost no one can tell the shots apart from my 35mm DSLR. Oh and the video, even though it's "only" 1080p, just looks really good. Maybe it's the super image stabilization or the beautiful color rendering but everyone who sees it says wow!
Quite good, but not there yet
As a long time Canon shooter (10+ years), I do appreciate the compactness and the customizability of the camera. I have been using E-M5 II for 2+ years now and I want to say THANK you Olympus for FINALLY implementing the ability to save all camera settings to a file. As such I’m upgrading my star review. There is STILL a lot to fix.
I really like that the camera offers versatility for going very lightweight (w/ 14-42 lens), to hiking with 14-150 II lens or to very pro-looking with grip, battery pack and 40-150 lens. I only wish that the 12-40 lens would be sharper, it’s really mediocre picture quality for the price. The 12-100 looks promising, even despite being f4. So that’s all the good part. Now what is still missing –
My Canon NEVER (seriously NEVER) did let me down. It happened to me number of times during those 2 years that the E-M5 II camera either froze or refused to focus -> so reboot. Yes but the perfect moment is gone. How great. So I’d say reliability of the camera is still not great. Reliability - minus one star.
The over customization hell could be great for some people, but even Canon has a custom menu where you can “pin” the setting that you want. Not the E-M5 II however – you need to scroll through hundreds of settings to be lucky and find the right setting (yeah the sun will stop setting for a moment, while I flip this). No My menu – minus one star.
Post. Well it took a long time to Adobe to acknowledge this camera, but the integration with even the latest Light Room 6.10 is not great. LR has a ton of profiles for even the most obscure drone cameras, but nothing for Olympus. Olympus software? No thank you. Many of us use only one processing tool for all Canon and Olympus RAW images. So lack of GREAT support in the de-facto standard industry editing software – minus one star.
Too many tiny buttons and the Fn1 is design is just horrible (yes, I’m talking about the button that got fixed on E-M1 II, not only it’s bigger, it’s not requiring a thumb extender to reach the focus button, and it will not get accidently flipped). So this has been addressed on next version of the camera – thank you.
Thanks for working on this. Hopefully the Mark III will deserve 5 stars. Posting a similar review on Amazon for full transparency.