Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark II Review Australia | Hey Gents
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Review
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Review
Sized somewhere between a smartphone and a DSLR, I’ve been exploring the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II. Camera wise, it made me repel in disgust at any shots taken on my smartphone, there’s really no comparison there – but will it replace my DSLR for good?
I’m going to start off this review by telling you how many compliments I’ve received within 3 weeks of using the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II. I’ve been travelling with it recently and everyone from waiters at cafes to staff at hotels and even random people on the street have felt like letting me know how sexy this little thing looks – and I wholeheartedly agree.
Seeing as we’re on the subject of aesthetics I’ll let you know what the new E-M10 Mark II is sporting on the outside. Firstly, it’s amazingly compact. Coming from a DSLR background, the size of this camera is a godsend when out and about. I also appreciate it being smaller because it allows me to be more stealth when taking shots on the street or in cafes and restaurants, as opposed to lugging around and whipping out a hefty DSLR that seems to either scare people off or attract unwanted attention.
If you’re not familiar with the system, it’s called Micro Four-Thirds, which is a standard of mirrorless interchangeable lens digital cameras. The camera bodies and lenses are typically smaller than that of DSLRs but still provide the flexibility of different lenses and full controllability.
One of my favourite things about the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is the metal body, particularly the dials. They feel super sturdy and are a pleasure to turn, giving this camera its premium feel. Even though it’s compact, the E-M10 Mark II has a nice weight to it which also gives off an immediate impression of quality as soon as you pick it up.
The monitor screen is deceivingly large, as well as bright and tiltable. Its flip-up design allows you to shoot at pretty much any angle, making it awesome for low shots as well as flat lays or other shots from above. The leather look finish of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II adds to its retro charm and also provides a nice grippy feel. I’m a big fan of the silver and black version but the camera also comes in an all black colour option.
The electronic viewfinder is large and easy to use. I actually found myself using the monitor to frame my shots rather than the viewfinder – but that’s personal preference. I always used to use the viewfinder but I like the screen on the E-M10 Mark II so much that I’ve now switched to using it pretty much exclusively, with the exception of shooting outside on extremely glary days. The monitor is bright enough to be easily visible in most conditions.
Taking a look at the feature packed functions of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II proves it’s a little beast of a camera. First up, there’s 5-axis image stabilisation. This prevents any unwanted blur in your images due to shaky hands or slight movements when pressing the shutter button. I found this most useful when capturing photos quickly before the moment passes. The images came out super crisp even when I was worried they’d be out of focus.
Another cool and useful feature is Touch AF Shutter. You can simply touch the area on the monitor you want to focus on, the camera then focuses on that spot and takes the shot at a lighting fast pace. I utilised this when shooting moving subjects as well as when I was feeling lazy and just wanted a quick snap. You can also use this feature just to select your focus point, then move to the shutter button to capture the image. This is the way I tended to take most photos, as I like to blur out the background I would just tap the monitor to focus in on what I wanted to be clear, then captured the image more traditionally with the shutter button which felt more natural and steady to me (although steadiness is not a huge issue due to the 5-axis image stabilisation). You can also take 8.5 fps sequential shots to ensure you don’t miss the exact moment you’re after.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is packed with creative photo functions which lets you experiment with filters on both still images and movies. Dramatic tones, partial colour, soft focus and heaps more options are all included to enhance your photos and match your individual shooting style. Live Bulb/Live Time allows for amazing light painting and Live Composite produces stunning light trails.
One of the most convenient features for me when travelling was the built in Wi-Fi. I used it everyday to quickly transfer photos from the camera to my phone for posting to Instagram straight away. You can also use the connection to your phone to easily share, add a location and art filters, as well as remotely control the camera and shoot with your phone.
There are all the usual shooting modes that you get with most premium cameras. I mostly shoot using aperture priority to control the background blur but I also found the Auto mode to be really useful and produce great results for wide images such as landscapes.
When I unboxed the camera (which is packaged in a really nice black box) and first started playing around with all the functions I accidently turned on Silent Mode which was super trippy, muting both the shutter and AF sounds for completely stealth shooting. I don’t really need to use this feature too often but it’s great to know that it’s there and works well when I do need it.
Moving on to the movie features, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is capable of shooting 4K Time Lapse movies, as well as capturing high speed objects and split second movements for slow-motion playback. With a feature called Clips I could combine short videos into a single short film. This was cool for sending short videos comprised of different clips to friends when travelling but for anything longer I just transferred and edited on my laptop – which is what I did for the short movie example below, shot mostly around Santa Monica.
Lens wise, I used the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42 f/3.5-5.6 EZ kit lens, which is a super thin pancake lens. I also shot with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 45mm f/1.8 which I absolutely love as it’s amazing for beautiful bokeh.
In conclusion, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II has actually changed the way I feel about cameras. I no longer have that indecisive moment in the morning before I leave the house contemplating whether or not to lug my DSLR around all day in case I come across something I want to capture. I now take my camera everywhere because the size is not a burden and due to its impressive list of features, I know the E-M10 Mark II will always be up to the task.
Check out Olympus.com.au for more details on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II.