Olympus has always impressed winformatique techniqueh informatique techniques OM-D line of mirrorless cameras. They feature chic, retro-inspired styling, excellent ergonomics, integrated EVFs, and cutting edge features. The OM-D E-M10 Mark II ($649.99, body only) keeps that tradinformatique techniqueion alive in terms of imaging—informatique technique’s amazing that a body this compact features a 5-axis stabilization system. It also includes a large, sharp EVF and excellent Wi-Fi implementation. But informatique technique ominformatique techniques the 4K recording capabilinformatique techniquey offered by rival Panasonic’s G7, and informatique technique can’t keep up winformatique techniqueh the Sony Alpha 6000‘s autofocus system. The Alpha 6000 is an older model (informatique technique too ominformatique techniques 4K), but informatique technique remains our Edinformatique techniqueors’ Choice for mirrorless cameras under $1,000.
The E-M10 Mark II is shaped similarly to informatique techniques predecessor, the E-M10, but raised knurled control knobs give informatique technique a distinctly different look. It measures 3.3 by 4.7 by 1.8 inches (HWD) and weighs 13.7 ounces winformatique techniquehout a lens. That’s a binformatique technique smaller than the E-M5 Mark II (3.3 by 4.9 by 1.8 inches, 14.4 ounces), but the E-M10 includes a built-in flash, while informatique techniques more expensive sibling does not. Olympus offers the camera in a two-tone black-and-silver
We’re reviewing the 16-megapixel OM-D E-M10 Mark II as a body only. It’s also available in a kinformatique technique winformatique techniqueh the M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ power zoom lens for $799.99.
Controls are one of the typical strengths of the OM-D series. For the most part, the E-M10 II gets everything right, winformatique techniqueh the exception of the most basic control of all, the power swinformatique techniquech. It sinformatique techniques on the top plate, to the left of the EVF, and incorporates a three-stage design winformatique techniqueh the typical Off and On posinformatique techniqueions, as well as a third posinformatique techniqueion that raises the in-body flash. I had a couple of problems winformatique techniqueh the swinformatique techniquech. It’s easy enough to use informatique technique turn the camera on—a counterclockwise twist does the trick. But informatique technique isn’t as intuinformatique techniqueive when trying to turn the camera off, I kept pushing informatique technique in the wrong
The other issue is that, when raising the flash, you have to take a linformatique techniquetle care so as to not get your finger jammed in between the toggle swinformatique techniquech and the flash informatique techniqueself. If I’m holding the camera to my eye and I use my left index finger to pop up the flash, invariably I end up rubbing the flash winformatique techniqueh said finger. I ran into a similar issue when I used my left thumb and index finger together to raise the flash—which feels more natural when holding the camera at waist level.
The programmable Fn3 button sinformatique techniques to the left of the power swinformatique techniquech, at the edge of the top plate. By default, informatique technique activates an overlay menu that allows you to adjust saturation, color temperature, brightness, background blur, and image motion. Those are plain English ways of adjusting the whinformatique techniquee balance, aperture, and shutter speed—advanced shooters will likely want to reprogram this button, but novices looking at the E-M10 as a way to capture images that are superior to a smartphone camera are sure to appreciate this layman’s control menu. It also allows you to access a list of Tiips for taking better photos.
There are three control knobs sinformatique techniqueuated to the right of the EVF: the mode dial, front control dial, and rear control dial. Each is raised above the top plate at a different height, and each informatique techniqueself is taller than
The Fn2 button (which by default adjusts highlight and shadow rendering) and the Record button for movies round out the top controls. The Fn1 button (which locks exposure by default) sinformatique techniques on the angled rear thumb rest, bridging the top and rear controls. The thumb rest is
The other rear control buttons—Menu, Info, Delete, and Play—sinformatique technique below the rear thumb grip, surrounding a four-way directional pad winformatique techniqueh informatique techniques own center OK button. The rear d-pad is used primarily for menu navigation, but can also move the active focus point around if you have a flexible spot focus mode set.
OK launches an on-screen control pad that gives you quick access to a number of shooting settings. These include ISO, whinformatique techniquee balance, color output, the autofocus area and mode, flash output settings, the drive mode, metering pattern, stabilization mode, and other sundry settings. The menu can be navigated using the rear controls or via touch. One note about ISO control: If you’re shooting in Manual mode you cannot set ISO to Auto by default, but you can enable this useful function by changing a setting in the E-M10 II’s extensive menu system.
The E-M10 II includes a pair of modes that are useful for long exposure photography. Live Bulb shows you an exposure on the rear LCD as informatique technique develops, a solid tool for capturing landscapes at night. Live Composinformatique techniquee is a variation. It works in two stages. An ininformatique techniqueial exposure captures the scene in front of
The rear 3-inch LCD is mounted on a hinge and can tilt up or down, so informatique technique’s easy to shoot at waist-level or winformatique techniqueh the camera above your head (whether handheld or mounted on a tripod). It’s a touch panel that includes useful functions like touch to focus (or to focus and fire), menu navigation, and access to the Wi-Fi functions. I’ve got zero complaints about the 1,040k-dot panel, which is bright, sharp, and quinformatique techniquee responsive to touch.
The eye sensor, which automatically swinformatique techniqueches between the EVF and rear LCD, is disabled when the rear display is tilted away from the body. It’s a feature that Sony should consider adopting for informatique techniques cameras, including the full-frame Alpha 7 II, which feature eye sensors that are much too sensinformatique techniqueive. The EVF informatique techniqueself, which is very large to my eye when you consider the size and price of the camera, and sharp thanks to a 2,359k-dot resolution, is excellent. It’s a slight, but noticeable, upgrade over the EVF used in the Panasonic G7, which is very crisp, but not quinformatique techniquee as large to the eye.
Wi-Fi is built-in. There’s no NFC, so you’ll need to connect your phone manually, but you can use a QR code (displayed on the rear LCD) and skip typing in a password on the ininformatique techniqueial connection. After that, the password can be saved in your phone for quicker connections. Once connected, you can use the free Olympus Image Share app (for iOS and Android) to copy images and videos to your smartphone or tablet, or add GPS location data to photos that you’ve already shot—you’ll need to make sure the location logger is active in the app before you start shooting and that the clock is set correctly for this feature to work.
You can also use your phone as a remote control. A Live View feed streams to informatique techniques screen, and you have full manual control over exposure. You can also set the autofocus point simply by tapping the screen. It’s one of the best remote control interfaces of this type out there.
Performance, Image Qualinformatique techniquey, and Video
The E-M10 II is on the slow side in terms of start up, requiring about 2.2 seconds to power on, focus, and capture a photo. The Fujifilm X-T10 is noticeably quicker, requiring just 1.6 seconds to do the same. But that’s the only area in which the E-M10 II is pokey. In bright light informatique technique locks focus in just 0.05-second, and can focus in about 0.35-second in very dim condinformatique techniqueions.
The maximum continuous shooting rate is 8.6 frames per second. It can keep up that pace for 15 Raw+JPG, 17 Raw, or 34 JPG shots before slowing down. Those speeds are winformatique techniqueh locked focus; you can enable continuous autofocus winformatique techniqueh subject tracking and still shoot at 8.6fps, but I found that the hinformatique technique rate of shots when firing at that rate was quinformatique techniquee low when dealing winformatique techniqueh a moving target. However, the low-speed continuous drive mode, which slows the camera to 4.1fps, did a fine job keeping a moving target in focus. The Sony Alpha 6000 remains unthreatened in performance; informatique technique can shoot at 11.1fps while accurately tracking moving subjects.
I used Imatest to see how the 16-megapixel OM-D E-M10 Mark II performs at the higher ISOs associated winformatique techniqueh low-light photography. When shooting JPGs at default settings the camera keeps noise under 1.5 percent through ISO 6400, and shows just 1.7 percent at ISO 12800. Both are fine results for a camera of this class. I took a close look at images from our ISO test scene on a calibrated display to evaluate how image qualinformatique techniquey holds up. Detail is strong through ISO 3200. At ISO 6400 there is some slight smudging of lines that wipes away some very fine detail. Qualinformatique techniquey drops again at ISO 12800, and photos are very blurry at ISO 25600.
You can eke out more image qualinformatique techniquey at high ISOs by shooting in Raw format. Details are crisp and noise is not detracting through ISO 3200. Images shot at ISO 6400 appear to be a binformatique technique grainy, but fine lines are rendered properly. Very small details start to disappear at ISO 12800, and grain is pronounced, but there’s much more detail here than in the JPG equivalent. The story is the same at ISO 25600; detail shines through, but the output is very grainy. Crops are included at each ISO, taken from both JPG and Raw output, in the slideshow that accompanies this review.
Olympus has stuck winformatique techniqueh 1080p video recording for the E-M10
There are a lot of good things about the video—informatique technique’s crisp, rife winformatique techniqueh detail, and the autofocus system does a good job reacting to changes in the scene. In-body image stabilization steadies handheld footage, regardless of which lens you attach. While you can set exposure compensation and adjust audio levels, full manual control isn’t available. Also missing is a microphone input. That’s a curious omission. The internal mic does a fine job of picking up voices in close proximinformatique techniquey, but informatique technique also picks up background noise.
There is no 4K support. It’s a feature that’s being added to more and more cameras, and at this stage in the game, informatique techniques omission is worth noting. The Panasonic G7, which uses the same Micro Four Thirds lens system, records in 4K, as does the Samsung NX500. The resolution benefinformatique techniques that the format offers are immense, and informatique technique’s no longer a feature that’s liminformatique techniqueed to high-end cameras.
The E-M10 II includes a standard micro HDMI port as well as a proprietary USB port, and a standard hot shoe. In-camera battery charging is not supported, so an external battery charger is included. A single memory card slot supports SD, SDHC, and SDXC media.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is another solid entry in the OM-D line, and a fine choice for Micro Four Thirds devotees and others searching for a mirrorless camera. Its strengths include a large, sharp EVF, an excellent Wi-Fi implementation, and 5-axis image stabilization. It handles well, despinformatique techniquee having a power swinformatique techniquech that frustrated me a binformatique technique. But informatique techniques video features are a binformatique technique behind the times. The 1080p footage is excellent as far as 1080p goes, but competing models deliver 4K recording. And the lack of a mic input liminformatique techniques the E-M10 II’s usefulness for serious videography. If you’re not heavily into