Olympus Cameras have been a busy company in recent years. Today they have announced the impressive sounding OM-D E 5 MK II.
Here we go with the official details:
Travel lighter, shoot steadier with world’s most powerful IS*
London, 5 February 2015 – The new OM-D E-M5 Mark II turns an award-winning** still-photo camera into a sophisticated tool for the spontaneous creative photographer and videographer, with the professional look and feel of top-class equipment. The first-generation E-M5 gave ambitious photographers the ability to match D-SLR image quality on the fly – without the need for a tripod or other unnecessary bulk. Key to this was its lightweight, compact design and unique 5-axis Image Stabilisation (IS) system. Olympus has developed this system further for the E-M5 Mark II, which now boasts the world’s most powerful IS. The camera-shake compensation is equivalent to 5 steps faster shutter speed, and that translates to startling low-light image quality. This is matched by the build quality of the all-weather OM-D housing. Thanks to the unrivalled IS and hardy, compact design, it’s now possible for the demanding filmmaker to capture handheld movies outdoors without carrying additional, bulky equipment – blur- and noise-free – irrespective of poor light. New OM-D Movie Mode offers multiple video frame rates and Full HD video up to 77 Mbps, while extra-finger-friendly controls that take storytelling potential to a new level. Thanks to its variable-angle LCD screen and large electronic viewfinder, the Mark II gives its owner a crystal-clear view of any shooting situation. With more than 40 ZUIKO interchangeable lenses to choose from, results are spectacular. Not least with the jaw-dropping new 40-Megapixel, high-res composite shot. The latest addition to Olympus’ flagship range goes on sale in late February 2015 and costs £899.99*** for the body only. Kits that include an interchangeable lens range in price from £1099.99*** onwards. Like every new Olympus camera, the OM-D E-M5 Mark II comes with a free six-month warranty extension**** when registered via the MyOlympus online platform.
When you hold the E-M5 Mark II in your hand, the magnesium alloy housing feels reassuringly solid and stable, even though it’s a relative lightweight compared to D-SLR cameras (417g body only). In fact, the Mark II has a justifiable claim to be the world’s most stable camera – because it features the world’s most powerful* 5-axis Image Stabilisation system. The new, evolved version of this extraordinary Olympus technology eliminates camera-shake in all five planes of movement, achieving the equivalent of 5 EV steps faster shutter speed*. Plus, it’s built into the body of the camera, so it works with any lens. Even in low-light conditions and with a telephoto lens magnifying the effect of hand-tremor, 5-axis IS ensures the E-M5 shoots blur-free. That goes for video and stills, both of which exceed the image quality of heavier and bulkier D-SLR rivals.
Another advantage of Olympus’ 5-axis IS is travelling light. One of the beauties of the mirrorless Micro Four Thirds format is the reduced overall size and weight of the camera, especially compared to the plastic-coated bulk of most D-SLRs. By essentially taking blur out of the equation, 5-axis IS puts the new E-M5 even further ahead of its rivals because you can capture pin-sharp images and videos without the use of a heavy tripod or gyro rig. The whole E-M5 system is designed for minimum weight and size, and maximum portability. Hence the dust-, splash- and freeze-resistant weatherproofing of the magnesium casing. Olympus engineers always intended this camera to be used out in the field where unobtrusive equipment makes it much easier to shoot without disturbing jumpy subjects.
By dispensing with the need for weighty stabilising equipment, the world-class IS system in the E-M5 Mark II gives budding filmmakers the green light to create cinematic video footage that easily holds its own next to the pristine still images that are the hallmark of the OM-D series. In OM-D Movie Mode, the Mark II records at high bitrates up to 77 Mbps, and offers a wide variety of 1080 Full HD formats to match your frame rate of choice – 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p or the classic 24p preferred by many narrative filmmakers. Focusing during video capture is straightforward, via a 3-inch touch-sensitive, vari-angle LCD screen.
When you’re shooting from awkward angles, this 1.04 million-dot vari-angle display can swivel and tilt to ensure a bright and clear view of any scene. Equally advantageous is the large, bright, 2.36 million-dot Electronic Viewfinder that automatically switches on when it detects your eye. It reveals a clearly laid-out menu of key settings than can be adjusted before you release the shutter.
40 Megapixel stills
Another advantage of Olympus’ ultra-precise 5-axis stabilisation system is the potential to capture extremely high-resolution still images that exceed the normal capacity of its 16-Megapixel LIVE MOS sensor. By moving the sensor between each shot and merging eight single exposures into one, the E-M5 Mark II delivers a 40-Megapixel image with breathtaking levels of detail and radiance. Little wonder OM-D is known for the best images Olympus cameras have ever created. Another key component in this spectacular visual performance is the processing engine. The Mark II now uses the same TruePic VII processor as the top-of-the-range OM-D E-M1.
The new OM-D E-M5 Mark II proves that Olympus has understood what some camera manufacturers in this segment fail to appreciate – that for most photography enthusiasts, world-beating technology only makes a difference if it comes with intelligently laid-out controls that simplify access to the vast array of options. That means attention to design details, both large and small. For instance, the Fn buttons on the top of the newest OM-D and the function dial that protrudes slightly higher than usual. Both are now easier to operate instinctively at high speed. Equally arresting is the sheer speed of the autofocus – another trademark OM-D strength. It boasts an 81-point area, excellent low-light performance and tracking AF.
Spectacular effects and features
Although remarkably small and easy to handle, the E-M5 Mark II is packed with clever options that urge you to let your creativity off the leash. Live Composite, which combines several images in the camera, is ideal for passage-of-time shots that trace the movement of bright objects such as stars, fireworks or handheld light-painting devices. Alternatively, shoot burst sequences at 10fps and take advantage of a 1/16000 shutter speed. In-camera keystone compensation allows for correcting converging verticals in Live View, without the need for a shift lens or post-processing. With a host of art filters, you can add a layer of special effects while built-in WiFi means you can remote control the Mark II from a smartphone, then share and geotag the images on social media using Olympus OI.Share – an invaluable facility in a variety of shooting situations. These are just a few highlights from a long list of enhancements that make the next-gen E-M5 one of the most versatile and ergonomically sophisticated cameras in the category.
Large lens choice
The array of interchangeable lenses available is another invitation to experiment. No matter their level of photographic skill and experience, most OM-D owners see investing in a lens collection as a long-term goal. The new model is compatible with a comprehensive range of more than 40 Micro Four Thirds lenses as well as a broad range of accessories.
Prices and dates
The OM-D E-M5 Mark II body is available from late February, in silver or black. The body alone costs £899.99*** and there are a variety of kits*** with selected M. ZUIKO lenses. For example, the high-speed M.ZUIKO ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ in black £1099.99*** or the new, quiet-focussing and extremely compact M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 II lens that offers the flexibility of wide angle and 10.7x tele shots £1249.99***. This lens is also dust- and splashproof like the E-M5 Mark II itself. All three kits contain a battery and charger, as well as an attachable, dust- and splash-proof FL-LM3 flash that’s capable of bounce shooting.
- Power Battery Holder HLD-8 – This handsome grip extends battery life and can be used in the portrait or landscape position for added stability on uneven ground.
- Large detachable, all metal grip ECG-2 – This screw-on grip makes it easier to hold the camera securely, especially when using a larger telephoto lens. The grip incorporates a headphone output and allows quick access to the battery.
- Compact electronic flash FL-600R – A lightweight, classically designed flash unit with a wireless control option, auxiliary light for movie shooting and settings controlled directly from the display.
- Underwater case PT-EP13 – Dive with your OM-D to 45 metres with this waterproof casing that has two optical fibre connectors.
- Dot sight EE-1 – A framing assistant that takes the hard work out of tracking a moving subject. Especially useful for shooting at a distance.
- Detachable large eye piece EP-16 – Ideal for glasses wearers, this soft-rubber EVF attachment is an effective shield against bright light.
- Genuine leather body jacket with full-cover case CS-46 FBC – Designed exclusively for the E-M5 Mark II, this stylish protective case is fixed securely to the underside of the camera by a metal screw. To start shooting, simply raise the front flap. The case consists of two separate parts – a body jacket and removable front cover – and the camera can also be used with the body jacket alone. The whole case is available in black or brown.
For a full list of OM-D features, go to OM-D website.
* As of December 2014. Among interchangeable lens cameras – including SLRs – on the market, and using Olympus’ in-house test conditions. Steps according to CIPA testing conditions.
** dpreview magazine Gold Award 2012
*** Availability of kits may vary per country. Prices are equivalent in other currencies.
**** Six months on top of the statutory warranty in the country of purchase.
Product specifications are subject to change without notice. Please check the Olympus website at www.olympus.co.uk for the latest specifications.