In February this year I wrote a blog post about what do I want from a new camera in 2015. In the end of the post I said, that Olympus might be the one that I choose. And you know what! Now I have Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark 2 with the kit lens M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ ED!
In February I made a list of things that I wanted from my new camera, and they were like this:
1. Good low light performance
2. Tilting screen
3. At least 50 fps on 1080p
4. 24-80 mm (on full frame) lens with stabilizer and fixed wide aperture (preferably 2.8)
5. Nice bokeh
6. Manual focus
7. Fisheye lens
8. Good battery life
During this year I had to add 3 more points to that list and they are
9. Auto Focus
Auto focus on E-M5 Mark 2 works really well. The most important thing to me was that it works in live view. In most DSLR cameras auto focus does well when you are shooting through the view finder, but in live view it’s just unusable. As I only shoot with the live view, I’m really happy to notice that live view auto focus works well in both photos and video. I have it in S-AF/MF mode, in which the camera auto focuses first, after which focus can be done manually. In video mode I like the ability to focus during the video. For example when I know that I will be shooting Tom speaking I can just use auto focus to make sure he’s sharp.
Yeah, this one is small! When you are going out to shoot photos and videos, and that’s your only task for the day, it’s okay to have a 10 kg DSLR with you. However, when you are already carrying around 100 kg of guitar gear, it’s really nice to be able to get rid of every extra kg that you can. I made some comparison of E-M5 Mark 2 and Canon 60D with my basic setup, which includes a 2.8 zoom lens and a fisheye lens. Olympus weights close to 1.2 kg whereas Canon weights close to 1.8 kg. It doesn’t sound that much, but it still makes a big difference.
11. In-Body Stabilization
One of the best things on this camera is the in-body stabilization (IBIS). I like to shoot photos in dark, and with IBIS it’s possible to use long shutter speeds without ruining the photo with blur. What I’m really waiting for is the possibility to use prime lenses also in video. Usually prime lenses are not stabilized, which makes video so shaky that it can’t be used for anything.
E-M5 Mark 2 is the only Olympus camera that has fully articulating screen. I like to shoot upright photos from the ground level, and without a fully articulated screen that is just impossible or definitely too hard.
However, location of the mic input is not that great, since it blocks the screen from tilting smoothly. This is really strange design and I’ll have to see how I get used to it, since I like to use Rode Videomic Pro. Maybe I’ll have to use the built-in mics of the camera for some less important situations.
The picture and video quality of E-M5 Mark 2 is definitely better than in my old Canon 60D. Even though the iso range is the same in video mode, it all looks so much better now. However, one thing that I don’t get is the exposure compensation (boost) in live view. In photo mode live view doesn’t show the same exposure as the final image. Instead, it boosts the image shown on the screen, showing a brighter image than the actual photo will be. In forums some say that this is a feature, but in my opinion it’s just a flaw. In video mode everything works just like I want and I hope they will fix this via firmware update at some point.
The amount of buttons on this camera is awesome! They are all customizable, and you can map any function to any of these buttons, for example peaking, magnifying and HDR mode. Maybe I’ll write another post about my preferred settings for this camera, including the button layout that I ended up with.
I also like the available lenses for Olympus cameras. I can’t wait to test lenses such as M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 ED and M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8! Especially a large aperture fisheye, which is sharp right from the beginning, sounds awesome for Otto’s drum covers! Before that I’ll just shoot with the kit lens, which works pretty well too! Here’s one video that I shot with the kit lens and EM-5 Mark 2 in low light with Iso at 6400:
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