Digital Cameras

Olympus twists the knife with updated DSLR-killer

The OM-D E-M1 MkII offers continuous shooting at 18 fps with autofocus engaged, or 60 fps without
The OM-D E-M1 MkII offers continuous shooting at 18 fps with autofocus engaged, or 60 fps without
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The E-M1 MkII is compact, but Olympus says it packs DSLR power
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The E-M1 MkII is compact, but Olympus says it packs DSLR power
The OM-D E-M1 has a compact silhouette but big power under the skin
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The OM-D E-M1 has a compact silhouette but big power under the skin
The camera will launch with a battery backpack
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The camera will launch with a battery backpack
Olympus is playing up the weatherproofing of the E-M1 with a range of new accessories 
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Olympus is playing up the weatherproofing of the E-M1 with a range of new accessories 
The camera will be available with an underwater housing 
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The camera will be available with an underwater housing 
The camera will launch with a new macro flash 
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The camera will launch with a new macro flash 
Back to front and front to back on the OM-D E-M1
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Back to front and front to back on the OM-D E-M1
The OM-D E-M1 MkII offers continuous shooting at 18 fps with autofocus engaged, or 60 fps without
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The OM-D E-M1 MkII offers continuous shooting at 18 fps with autofocus engaged, or 60 fps without
The new MkII with a battery grip fitted 
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The new MkII with a battery grip fitted 
Olympus hasn't messed with the basics, but the camera has been significantly upgraded 
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Olympus hasn't messed with the basics, but the camera has been significantly upgraded 
The OM-D E-M1 MkII has an articulating screen
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The OM-D E-M1 MkII has an articulating screen
The new OM-D has a new processor and sensor 
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The new OM-D has a new processor and sensor 
The E-M1 MkII can shoot RAW stills at 18 fps with autofocus and tracking switched on
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The E-M1 MkII can shoot RAW stills at 18 fps with autofocus and tracking switched on
The E-M! MkII features a new 121-point phase detection and contrast detection autofocus system
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The E-M! MkII features a new 121-point phase detection and contrast detection autofocus system
Although plenty has changed under the skin, the bones of the E-M1 have remained largely the same
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Although plenty has changed under the skin, the bones of the E-M1 have remained largely the same
The OM-D E-M1 MkII can shoot 4096 x 2060 4K video at up to 237 Mbps
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The OM-D E-M1 MkII can shoot 4096 x 2060 4K video at up to 237 Mbps
Paired with the right lens it will brush off splashes, dust and cold down to -10° C (14° F)
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Paired with the right lens it will brush off splashes, dust and cold down to -10° C (14° F)
The OM-D E-M1 MkII will go on sale before the end of 2016
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The OM-D E-M1 MkII will go on sale before the end of 2016
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The electronic viewfinder runs at 120 fps with a lag of just 6 milliseconds, performance specs that Olympus says will rival pro-level full-frame interchangeable lens cameras
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The electronic viewfinder runs at 120 fps with a lag of just 6 milliseconds, performance specs that Olympus says will rival pro-level full-frame interchangeable lens cameras
The OM-D E-M1 MkII has an articulating screen
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The OM-D E-M1 MkII has an articulating screen
The OM-D E-M1 MkII offers continuous shooting at 18 fps with autofocus engaged, or 60 fps without
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The OM-D E-M1 MkII offers continuous shooting at 18 fps with autofocus engaged, or 60 fps without

As micro four-thirds and compact mirrorless cameras have matured into bona-fide DSLR killers, Olympus has remained at the forefront of the game with its OM-D E-M1. When it launched in 2013, we asked if Olympus had killed the DSLR. Now, the call to go mirrorless has grown louder again with the launch of the OM-D E-M1 MkII.

Although the original EM-1 was an impressive camera, there was still plenty of room for improvement from Olympus. The original OM-D was able to shoot 10 frames per second without continuous autofocus, dropping to just 6 fps with subject tracking turned on. The MkII absolutely blows that figure away, thanks to its high-speed QuadCore TruePic VIII Image Processor and 20.4 megapixel (17.4 x 13 mm) Live MOS sensor.

That combination of that new processor, a new 121-point phase detection and contrast detection autofocus system and an electronic shutter, allows the new camera to shoot RAW stills at 18 fps with autofocus and tracking switched on. Lock the autofocus, and the electronic shutter fires at 60 fps.

Running with the mechanical shutter does slow things down slightly, but you'll still be able to shoot 15 fps with autofocus locked, and 10 fps with tracking switched on. There's also a special Pro Capture Mode, designed to help users catch lightning-quick movements, and a 50 megapixel High Res Shot setting.

Although plenty has changed under the skin, the bones of the E-M1 have remained largely the same
Although plenty has changed under the skin, the bones of the E-M1 have remained largely the same

It's not just high-speed shooting that's been improved on the E-M1 MkII, the camera's video specs have also been given a thorough working over. It'll now shoot 4096 x 2060 4K video at up to 237 Mbps, and there's an electronic stabilization system designed specifically for video working with an in-body 5-axis image stabilizer (compensating to about 5.5 shutter speed steps) to make buttery smooth movies.

Although plenty has changed under the skin, the bones of the E-M1 have remained largely the same. Paired with the right lens it will brush off splashes, dust and cold down to -10° C (14° F), and the prominent handgrip (something you don't get on Sony and Nikon mirrorless offerings) has carried over into the MkII.

The OM-D E-M1 has a compact silhouette but big power under the skin
The OM-D E-M1 has a compact silhouette but big power under the skin

Hidden away in the handgrip is a 37 percent bigger battery than before, and Olympus has fitted dual card slots after receiving feedback from pro shooters using the original E-M1. The electronic viewfinder runs at 120 fps with a lag of just 6 milliseconds, performance specs that Olympus says will rival pro-level full-frame interchangeable lens cameras.

Olympus hasn't released a specific launch date for the OM-D E-M1 MkII, but says it will be on sale before the end of 2016. A range of accessories will also be available at launch, including a macro flash with the same weatherproofing as the camera body, an underwater case and a battery backpack.

Source: Olympus

4 comments
Greg Riemer
Agreed but it more than "twists the knife" when you look at the tech that they have put into their 600mm equivalent IS telephoto and the new constant F stop 12-100 or (24 to 200) F4 IS. Yes the camera is great, small and competitive but its the Olympus glass that is going to kill the DSLR.
jbounds3
"The electronic viewfinder runs at 120 fps with a lag of just 6 milliseconds, performance specs that Olympus says will rival pro-level full-frame interchangeable lens cameras" Except that my prosumer (70D) DSLR runs at infinite fps with a lag equal to the speed of light.
MartyKaye
Nice camera, yes. DSLR killer, no. And you are hearing this from a rabid gearhead and fanboy who uses M4/3 cameras exclusively now (EM5, EM1 and GM1). The DSLR will be around for a very long time to come. It will not be "dead" until you see MILC cameras at NFL sidelines and used by professional wedding photographers. Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
Calson
I have the E-M1 and the E-M5 Mark II and the EM-5 is the better camera. In cold weather the E-M1 has one of its two shutters that will literally freeze up and then I need to remove the lens and tap on the shutter with a finger to get it to release. This is a well known defect. The advantages of the E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II cameras over prior MFT cameras is the excellent 5-axis in camera optical stabilization that works very well. Also the mirrorless cameras provide more accurate autofocus than can be obtained with a DSLR where the autofocus has to be calculated as only the mirrorless cameras have the autofocus sensors working off the sensor itself instead of the camera mirror and then having to extrapolate. Many said for years that nothing would replace medium format cameras and they were wrong. Even 4x5 sheet film users have migrated to digital with the arrival of the 36MP D800 camera from Nikon.
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