Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Brief Review



  • 16.1 megapixel Micro Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • 5-axis sensor shift image stabilization (photo and video) up to 5 Evs
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/8000
  • ISO range 100-25600
  • 10 fps burst mode (focus and exposure fixed from first shot, up to 10 shots)
  • High resolution mode combines eight images for 40 megapixel photo
  • Splash and dust sealed
  • Operation to temps as low as 14 degrees
  • RAW and JPEG
  • Manual modes
  • 81-area multiple autofocus system
  • Manual focus with focus peaking
  • 1080p HD video at up to 60 fps
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • 3” tilting LCD touchscreen
  • Wi-fi
  • Includes splashproof external flash (no built-in flash)
  • Li-ion battery rated at 310 shots
  • Weighs 469g
  • Release Date: 2015-02-04
  • Final Grade: 95 4.75 Star Rating: Recommended

Olympus makes big upgrades for new OM-D E-M5 Mark II camera
With upgrades in all the right places, the new E-M5 Mark II looks to be a solid option in a crowded mirrorless market.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 6/8/2015

We haven't yet met an Olympus mirrorless camera that didn't live up to expectations, so we're holding the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II to high standards. Improving on an already solid E-M5, the manufacturer appears to make improvements in all the right places for this enthusiast camera that may even fit the needs of some pros.

The E-M5 II is powered by a 16 megapixel four thirds sensor. Pixel peepers will probably note that there's plenty of options now with a megapixel count closer to 24, but pre-release shots show a pretty good image quality regardless. Unique to the E-M5 II, the camera includes a high resolution mode that combines eight images into one 40 megapixel shot. That technology is made possible through Olympus' five-axis sensor shift image stabilization system, which can also be implemented for a regular still photo or within the video mode.

Olympus also upgraded the autofocus system to an 81-point type. With the original E-M5 being noted for a fast autofocus speed compared to other mirrorless models, the autofocus system should be quite excellent. When autofocus simply won't do, manual focus is available, assisted by focus peaking that highlights the in-focus areas within the electronic viewfinder or on the tilting touchscreen.

All that upgraded internal technology expands over into video as well. The second generation camera has variable fame rates up to 60 fps in full HD, where the previous model only reached 30 fps. The five-axis image stabilization comes in handy for video as well. Footage probably isn't the best in the category, but certainly takes steps in the right direction and makes big improvements over the previous model.

All those features are easily accessible with the vast amount of physical controls on the E-M5 II, including dual control wheels and customizable function buttons. Extra sealing also makes the camera able to withstand rain and dust, though it can't dive without additional housing.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II vs. E-M5

There are quite a few differences between the second generation E-M5 and the original, but since the release of the 2015 model, there's also a pretty big price difference. Both cameras use a 16 megapixel four thirds sensor with a five axis optical image stabilization system. The Mark II has more autofocus points (81 vs. 35), a higher maximum shutter speed (1/8000 vs 1/4000), a slightly higher burst mode (10 fps vs. 9 fps), and better video quality (60 fps vs 30 fps). The Mark II also has a new high resolution mode and wi-fi.

The OM-D E-M5 Mark II doesn't replace the manufacturer's flagship E-M1, but it comes pretty close. Olympus is a manufacturer we'd choose a mirrorless model from based on reputation alone, but the tech specs seem to support a high ranking as well. All those features do come at a price, however, at $1,099 for the body only.

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Olympus Reviews

Olympus is a long-time camera manufacturer, but lately they've been offering innovative, compact imaging options that are well worth a look. While Olympus doesn't have a camera in every category like Nikon or Sony, their focus on the cameras they offer shows.

Olympus' main, and best, cameras are their mirrorless line. The OM-D line offers mirrorless cameras that rival professional results while their PEN options offer the most portability and affordability. Most of their mirrorless cameras have simple, retro designs that work really well. Their kit lenses are often a bit higher quality than most. The Olympus mirrorless cameras we've been able to test have shown excellent image quality and usability.

While most of Olympus' focus seems to be on their excellent mirrorless line, we haven't been disappointed with any of their compacts we've put through our tests either. The TG-3 and TG-4 are among the best waterproof compacts on the market. And when we put the super zoom SP-100 to the test, we were quite happy with the image quality and performance.

Olympus may not have a camera in each and every category, but they've really put a lot into their existing cameras, making them excellent options.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.