The OM-D E-M10 Mark II is Olympus doing what it does best: Keep pushing the mirrorless camera envelope with design and practical features. As the entry-level model in the OM-D family (the E-M5 is for intermediates and E-M1 for serious pros), the E-M10 series is aimed photographers who want to ditch their bulky DSLR as well as beginner photographers who want to graduate from their smartphones.
For its Mark II introduction, Olympus dug into its vintage camera closet for inspiration to give the camera an even more retro look. While the bulk of the body is still plastic wrapped in leather, certain sections are made from magnesium alloy. And the dials — whoo, they’re metal and knurled for that extra tactile feel. Even the power switch up top has an old school flair to it: You flip it to pop up the flash instead of pressing a button. I love it.
Internally, the E-M10 Mark II still has a 16-megapixel Live MOS image sensor and a TruePic VII image processor. Photos won’t have as much resolution as cameras with an APS-C image sensor like the Sony A6000, but I can assure you it’s plenty of pixels to work with.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t worthwhile upgrades, because there are. The camera now has five-axis image stabilization, a feature Olympus brought down from the E-M5; a 2.36-million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) that’s nearly twice as sharp as the previous 1.4-million-dot EVF; and a continuous shooting capability that can snap 8.5 frames per second.
Together, these features all add up to photos that are sharper and have less blur, as well as a more enjoyable shooting experience.
The 3-inch touchscreen is still as pinpoint accurate as before and it still tilts 45 degrees down and 85 degrees up (sorry, no 180-degrees up for selfies), but it now works with AF targeting. You no longer have to use the directional buttons to adjust the focus point and can slide your finger across the screen instead. That way, you can keep your eye on the screen, although it’s a little gimmicky.
There are two intriguing new features I’m very interested in trying out when I get a review unit: Live Composition and 4K time-lapses. The former lets you take long-exposure photos, like star trails, and see them developing in real-time, and the latter takes 4K-resolution photos and turns them into a time-lapse video.
That said, the E-M10 Mark II doesn’t shoot video in 4K resolution — only up to 1080p (full HD) at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p resolutions. There’s also 120 frames per second slow-motion video, but it’s at puny 640 x 480 (VGA) resolution.
The E-M10 Mark II will be out in September and cost $649.99 for just the body and $799.99 with a 14-42mm EZ lens. The Mark II body is $50 less than the E-M10 was when it launched last year; though, it now can be found for $499.99 on Amazon.
I was blown away by the first OM-D E-M10. I brought it to Disney World and all my photos turned out great. I praised the camera for taking photos with tons of detail and performing like a champ in low-light situations. If I hadn’t purchased a Sony A6000, I would have bought the E-M10.
Olympus says the original E-M10 will continue to be sold until supply runs out. At that point, the camera will likely be discontinued.