My feelings of Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark 2

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!

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m-zuiko-14-42

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.

10. Size

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.

olympus-omd-em5-mark2-rode-videomic-pro-vmp

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.

Other thoughts

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.

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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.

olympus-mic-input

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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.

olympus-em5mark2-fn-buttons

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:

10 thoughts on “My feelings of Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark 2

  1. Hi Juho,

    Really enjoyed the review.
    The E-M5 II is such an amazing camera. I currently use the E-M1 and don’t really have the need to switch to the E-M5 at this stage.
    But I love that Olympus has a camera that is dedicated to video (+ photo) and a camera that is dedicated more to photo (+video).

    like you mentioned, the size is key with these cameras. All the lenses are small and light and being on the road as I am it’s a HUGE advantage.

    • Yeah! I believe that E-M1 is really similar as E-M5. E-M1 has better auto-focus and possibly better ergonomics, but I like the tilting screen of E-M5 Mark 2 more. One thing that I noticed is that I really have to buy a grip for E-M5 Mark 2, since it’s a bit too small for Olympus 12-40 2.8 pro lens.

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  5. Good overview of an awesome camera. Been loving my Em5II for stills, and I’m about to use it for my first 4-day event video. Have you gotten the 12-40 Pro yet? It’s a freakin’ amazing lens.

    • Yeah I bought 12-40 quite soon after this post. It’s much better than the lenses that I’ve used with my old Canon. I wrote a post about it too. Only downside is the big size compared to other olympus lenses, which is why I still sometimes use the pancake zoom.

  6. […] I like to use Lightroom for editing the photos that I shoot on the road. For each event I try to create a different recognizable look, which I then save as a Lightroom presets. Usually I’ve shared only one preset at a time, but now I decided to gather all presets from late 2015 to early 2016 in one zip-file. I ended up with this period, because all of these presets were made for photos shot with Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark 2. […]

  7. I recently got the camera too and was confused with the photo mode not showing the proper exposure, but turns out there is a setting hidden in the myriad of menus to make the liveview match the exposure settings in photo mode.

    • Can you specify where and does it actually work? Does it show black screen if you use short shutter speed and low iso, even though there is enough light?

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