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Should You Upgrade to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II?

Olympus recently announced its new flagship OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera.  The new camera comes with a boat load of features.  But it also comes with a significantly higher price than its predecessor.  This blog examines the new features and whether you should upgrade to the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.  A specification comparison is also included at the bottom of this blog.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I is still a great camera.  I love its weather proofing, handy dials and levers that let you change settings without going through the menus, built-in features, and its quality images.

The new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II lists at $1999 US.  An increase of $600 over the Mark I when it came out.  So is this new camera with a price that is higher than some full frame DSLRs?

Let’s take a look at the features that the Olympus OM-D Mark II has over the Mark I.

  • Higher resolution (20.4 megapixel) sensor, Improved dynamic range and noise performance.
  • 4K Video
  • Advanced Dual Fast Autofocus.  A redesigned focus system for high speed focus, and 18fps continuous shooting with continuous AF.
  • A new moving subject tracking algorithm will rapidly and continuously measure the subject-to-camera distance to precisely maintain focus.
  • Dual SD Card Slots
  • New Battery with increased battery life.  The remaining battery life now displays on the screen at all times.  This has been a long time coming.
  • Supposedly easier to navigate menu system. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this.
  • Olympus Pro Capture mode that lets you shoot at 60fps, with up to 14 shots taken when you half press the shutter, and up to 99 shots after you’ve pressed the shutter.   This is an intriguing feature for nature and action photographers so you don’t miss parts of an action sequence.
  • In body 5-Axis image stabilization giving 5.5 stops of compensation 6.5 stops when paired with new M.ZUIKO lenses with IS.
  • Fully articulating LCD vs. the tilting LCD on the Mark I

Overall, this is an impressive list of features.  But is it worth the over 40% increase in price?

I love the new features of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II but I’m going to wait on upgrading at this time.  The $2,000 MSRP is pretty steep and my OM-D E-M1 Mark I is still working great.  I also have 4 extra batteries and an extra charger for Mark I that won’t work with the Mark II.

I also want to wait and see more results on the new autofocus system especially the new focus tracking algorithm.  Once Olympus starts discounting prices on the Mark II, I may reconsider.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I and Mark II Specification Comparison


E-M1 Mark I

E-M1 Mark II

Image Processor TruePIC VII TruePIC VIII Dual Quad Core
Megapixels 17 MP 20.4 MP
Sensor 4/3” Live MOS Sensor 4/3” Live MOS Sensor
ISO Range 64 – 25600 64 – 25600
AF Points 81 121
WiFi Built-in 802.11b/g/n Built-in 802.11b/g/n
Shutter Frames Per Second Continuous 10 FPS (Mechanical Shutter) 15 FPS (Mechanical Shutter)
Shutter Speed 60 – 1/8000  sec 60 – 1/8000  sec
Image Stabilization 4.5 Stops (In Body) 5.5 Stops (In Body). 6.5 Stops with M.Zuiko lenses with IS
LCD 3 inch articulated LCD, 1,037,000 screen pixels 3 inch articulated LCD, 1,037,000 screen pixels
Weight (incl. Batteries) 17.53 oz / 497 g 20.25 oz / 574 g
Size 130 x 94 x 63mm / 5.13 x 3.68 x 2.48 in. 134 x 91 x 69mm / 9.21 x 3.58 x 2.72 in.
Weather Proofing Advanced (Dust, splash, freeze resistant to -10c) Advanced (Dust, splash, freeze resistant to -10c)
Battery BL-1 lithium-ion BLH-1 lithium-ion
Battery Life 350 440
Shutter Rating 200,000 200,000
Other Features Timelapse Recording, Focus Peaking, In-camera Focus Stacking 4k Video Capture (30/25/24 fps), PRO Capture Lag-Free Electronic Shutter Mode, In-camera Focus Stacking,Dual SD Card Slots

Written by Martin Belan

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