Once in several years, a new standard is set in the photography industry, from affordable Full frame camera in the Canon EOS 6D
, to highly-spec Nikon D750
to the wonders of the Sony Alpha A7
systems. Olympus has just annouced the Mark 2 version of the ground breaking E-M5 camera from the OMD range, promising unparalleled in camera stabilisation with it's best in class 5-axis VCM stabilisation system. Read on more for the a truly ground breaking attempt.
The new 16-megapixel OM-D E-M5 Mark II symbolises photographic freedom with its in-body 5-axis Image Stabilisation with up to five steps of image stabilisation, cinematic quality “OM-D Movie” stabilised video recording, and reliable splash and dust-proofing. The unique Hi Res Shot mode is a world’s first for mirrorless cameras, useing advanced sensor-shifting technology (previously available only on a selected medium-format camera) to capture 40-megapixel resolution quality photos that rivals those captured with a 35mm full-frame camera.
With the majority of the world‟s photographs taken with cameras hand-held, the image stabilisation system has arguably become the basis of real world image quality, system mobility, and imaging possibilities. The original OM-D E-M5 introduced the first ever 5-Axis Image Stabilisation (IS) system to the interchangeable lens camera (ILC) market in 2012. With the new E-M5 Mark II, Olympus takes IS performance and imaging freedom to a new level by providing the photographer with up to *five steps of built-in stability. This high-performance technology lets you confidently embrace the world of natural light photography, empowers you to shoot sports, macro, and wildlife photos with telephoto lenses without a tripod.
The Movie IS system in the E-M5 Mark II has been engineered to provide „pro cinema‟ quality stability generally possible with professional gyro-stabilised external rigs. This exciting new movie IS capability completely transforms „run-and-gun‟ filmmaking by letting you create camera movements that typically require slider, dolly or jib accessories, with just the camera in hand. It is so effective that you can even record stable dynamic action footages when you’re running and recording with the camera in hand. Pan-sequences are super smooth due to the sophisticated blend of hybrid-stabilisation with optimised acceleration and deceleration algorithms. The E-M5 Mark II‟s superb video IS ability makes high-quality filmmaking much easier to achieve for users new to video. Video is recorded at Full HD resolution with a choice of 24, 25, 30 and 60P frame rates. All-Intra and IPB recording modes can be selected with (approximate) maximum bitrates of 77Mbps and 52Mbps respectively. Sound monitoring is also possible when the optional HLD-8 accessory grip is attached.
HLD-8 accessory grip and extra battery compartment.
Audio input is via the regular 3.5mm jack, while audio output is possible via the optional HLD-8 accessory.
A shot taking using the the Olympus E-M5 Mark 2 at 12mm, on a tripod, using a high resolution mode. No post production. 100% cropped image shown below.
Olympus‟ advanced research into image stabilisation also introduces another world’s first to the consumer DSLR/Mirrorless ILC market. The E-M5 Mark II‟s “Hi Res Shot” mode captures composited 40 megapixel „full-frame sensor‟ quality pictures by using the camera‟s Voice Coil Motor (VCM) driven IS mechanism to systematically shift the image sensor by half a pixel’s width as it takes 8 shots in sequence. The resulting image composites have extraordinary colour and clarity as moiré and colour aberrations are completely minimised. This special high-resolution shooting mode is intended for the photography of static subjects such as studio product commercials, still lives, architecture, and landscape scenes, with the camera mounted on a tripod.
A comparison between the Olympus E-M5 Mark 2 and Nikon D800, using standard settings with no post processing. Click for a higher resolution image.
The E-M5 Mark II‟s low-profile styling and design pay homage to the clean and elegant lines of the legendary OM-1 and OM-4 film SLR cameras. Its top control layout is organised with tactile knobs, dials and buttons that are ergonomically positioned; enabling you to change exposure and other key camera settings without having to take your eye away from the viewfinder. Built with a metal alloy chassis that is splash, dust and freeze-proof, the E-M5 Mark II has reliability that you can count on in almost all weather and climate conditions. Clear composition is provided by a large, high-speed 2.36-megapixel electronic viewfinder with a high 1.48x magnification. Its flip and swivel Vari-angle LiveView LCD with 1.04-megapixel resolution provides compositional flexibility for stills and video. The new „Silent‟ shooting mode utilises electronic shutter with a 1/16000thsec top shutter speed that freezes the fastest action. „Quick Sleep‟ power management mode enables battery life of up to 750 shots.
Launched simultaneously with the E-M5 Mark II is the new kit lens, the weather-proof Olympus M.Zuiko 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II super-zoom lens. This compact and lightweight 10.7x zoom lens combines with the E-M5 Mark II to become a mobile, high-performance camera ideal for photography of all occasions. As a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) standard system interchangeable lens camera, the E-M5 Mark II can be used with more than fifty different MFT lenses from seven different lens brands. With the advanced 5-Axis VCM IS system built into the camera body, every lens used with the E-M5 Mark II benefits from image stabilisation.
OM-D Movie: Hand-held cinema-quality movie recording
OM-D Movie is a movie solution that provides cinema-quality movies in hand-held shooting. The E-M5 Mark II‟s powerful in-body 5-axis image stabilisation system combined with the Zuiko compact-sized lens system provides stabilised movie recording quality even without special rigs. It lets you capture dynamic action footage on the move.
A quick look of the Olympus OMD E-M5 Mark II competing with a DSLR!
1) Top-class movie performance among interchangeable lens cameras
The E-M5 Mark II supports a 60p high frame rate and a 50Mbps high bit rate*1 recording. Movie AF and AE control have been reworked for smooth, high-resolution, Full HD movie quality. To compensate for image instability, the OM-D E-M5 Mark II‟s in-body 5-axis image stabilization system uses a VCM driver that floats the image sensor with magnetic force. This construction makes it possible to shoot smooth, hand-held movies without a movie tripod, mini-jib, rails, or other specialized equipment. Video resolution, video smoothness, live AF, AE quality, and image stabilisation performance are at the top-level amongst interchangeable lens cameras.
2) Advanced movie features for professional level movie making
The E-M5 Mark II is equipped with Multi Frame Rate, High Bit Rate, ALL-Intra shooting, and the ability to set time codes. Live View can be displayed on an external monitor via its HDMI output. Focus Peaking is now available in 4 colors (black, white, red and yellow); the intensity can be selected from low, normal and high, making focusing easier when shooting. Settings such as exposure compensation, aperture, shutter speed, and microphone sensitivity can also be changed using touch operations while recording a movie. Audio can also be recorded using an Olympus digital recorder equipped with linear PCM recording connected to the microphone jack for optimal audio levels and high quality audio recording. Because power supply settings to the external microphone can be turned on and off, users can use a high-end condenser microphone or dynamic microphone with a power supply. Camera grip HLD-8G (sold separately) enables live audio monitoring through its headphone jack.
3) Variety of movie enhancement features
3-1 Clips function lets you record short movie footage as easily as taking snapshots
The new Clips function lets you easily create movies with a variety of scene changes. Simply press the movie button once as if taking a snapshot to capture short movies with a preset duration*2. Movies shot as Clips are automatically saved to the camera‟s My Clips*3 menu. Add effects and background music*4 within the camera, the result can be exported a single movie*5. Creative movies can thus be easily produced using just the camera, without editing on the computer.
3-2 Art Filter Movie and Art Effects
All Art Filters are available when shooting movies. Partial Color lets you capture movies like a scene from a film, and Vintage movie lets you produce an emotional atmosphere in movies without editing. Four different Art Effects, including Art Fade, which makes changes in Art Filter movies more interesting, and Old Film, which gives movies a film-like effect, expand the possibilities of movie expression.
Other important features
1. 40M High Res Shot - Resolution that goes beyond current full-frame DSLR cameras
Eight 16-megapixel shots are captured in a sequence while moving the sensor by 0.5 pixel steps between each shot. The eight shots are composited to produce a single, super-high resolution image, equivalent one captured with a 40-megapixel image sensor. This feature is perfect for the photography of still life, products, art objects, and landscapes and and other scenes where high-resolution photos are required. It maximizes the resolution of Zuiko PRO and Premium lenses, capturing images with resolution that surpasses contemporary full-frame DSLR cameras.
2. 2.36 million dot, super large, high-definition EVF
This large, bright, easy to use viewfinder has a field of view of approximately 100%, and a viewfinder magnification of 1.48x. Equipped with Adaptive Brightness Technology which automatically adjusts the backlight brightness in accordance with environmental lighting, the new LV Boost II*6 convenient for shooting stars, and Creative Control for complete freedom of control over color, tone, focus, and aspect ratio, comfortable shooting using viewfinder is possible.
3. Improved FAST AF
FAST AF, which achieved the world‟s fastest AF on the OM-D E-M5, has advanced even further. The sensor drive speed has been accelerated to improve AF algorithm, and the high-speed drive MSC lens has contributed to a shooting time lag improvement of 45% from the original OM-D E-M5.
4. Improved sequential shooting performance
RAW sequential shooting is now possible at 5 fps (Sequential L) until the card is full*7. This frame rate is constant and shooting no longer stops due to sequential shooting time. Additionally, C-AF tracking sequential shooting performance is improved to 5 fps. When using Group Target AF, tracking sequential shooting is possible with the focus on a moving subject within a field of view.
5. High-speed shutter with various modes for different scenes
A high-speed 1/8000 sec mechanical shutter is used that‟s available only in high-end interchangeable lens cameras. The E-M5 Mark II has the shortest release time lag of 0.044 seconds among same-class cameras with mechanical shutters. Anti-Shock mode (electronic first curtain shutter*8) that reduces shutter shock is now compatible with sequential shooting, and Silent mode*9 (electronic shutter) for shooting in environments in which silence is required is included. An all-electronic shutter shooting mode (Silent) enables the use of 1/16000 sec shutter speed.
6. Built-in Wi-Fi for camera control and data transfer via Olympus Image Share and new Olympus Image Palette apps
Smartphone connection and image sharing is now easier with built-in Wi-Fi. Simply scan a QR code to complete initial connection settings. Users can then transfer images, add geotags, and apply Art Filters. A smartphone can also be used to remotely control the camera for wireless shooting in a variety of scenes. Olympus Image Palette is a new editing app that can be used on smartphones and tablets to apply effects such as Color Creator, making post-shooting work fun.
1. Bundled flash, FL-LM3
A new dustproof and splashproof flash is bundled with this camera. It can be moved 90° upward and 180° horizontally, and is capable of bounce shooting. It has GN 9.1 (ISO 100), and supports wireless flash control.
2. External Dot Sight, EE-1
This is an external dot sight for super-telephoto shooting. It features a slide lever style opening mechanism, and a dustproof and splashproof construction for use in any environment. Because a coin battery is used, it can be used on any hot shoe on a camera. The reticle brightness and position is adjustable making framing easier when shooting subjects that are far-away.
A quick look of the Olympus OMD E-M5 Mark II competing with a DSLR!
Availability of the OM-D E-M5 Mark II 14-150mm II kit
: 12 February 2015 onwards at all authorized Olympus Retailers
: Receive a 128 GB Sandisk Extreme Plus SDHC card (worth $300) with every purchase of the OM-D E-M5 Mark II 14-150mm Kit or OM-D E-M5 Mark II Body
*Free gifts to be redeemed at Olympus redemption centres
: 12 Feb - 8 March 2015
: Will be advised at a later date.