Steve's Conclusion

Steve's SnapShot

  • 16.1-Megapixel Live MOS Imaging Sensor
  • Micro Four Thirds mount
  • 5-Axis Optical Image Stabilization
  • Dedicated Video Record Button
  • iAuto mode
  • 2.36-Million Pixel EVF
  • Optical Viewfinder Mode for EVF
  • 3.0-inch, 1.04-million dot tilting touch LCD
  • Touch to Focus
  • Touch to Capture
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • Art Filters
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card compatible
Pros
  • Great overall image quality in iAuto and Program shooting modes for a consumer model
  • iAuto produces a higher contrast, bolder image
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record Full 1080p videos
  • 5-Axis image stabilization is the best that we have used on an ILC
  • Both EVF and LCD are high resolution and are a pleasure to shoot with
  • Touch to capture is a fun and easy way to use the camera
  • Excellent shooting performance
  • Outstanding battery life, especially in Quick Sleep Mode
  • HDMI Output
  • Built-in Flash
  • Competitively priced
Cons
  • Flash pop-up could accidentally turn off camera
  • No Audio input
  • Higher levels of noise in the higher ISO settings than we'd like to see
Timing Test Results
  • Power up to first image captured = 1.7 seconds
  • Shutter lag when prefocused = less than 1/10 of a second
  • Shutter lag with autofocus = approx. 2/10 to 3/10 of a second
  • Shot to shot delay wo/flash = 0.50 seconds
  • Shot to shot delay w/flash = 1.28 seconds
  • Sequential burst low= 5fps
  • Sequential burst high= 8.33pfs
  • All of our tests were completed using a Panasonic UHS-3 16GB SDHC memory card, Program mode, ISO auto, flash off and all other settings at the factory defaults.
Bottom Line
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 II is compact and powerful consumer ILC. The camera produces great image quality and performance in an affordable package.
Pick This Up If...
You are looking for an affordable and compact ILC. It is great for travel and everyday use. A great upgrade from a point-n-shoot.
Olympus's newest ILC release, the OM-D E-M10 II packs all of Olympus's great features into a very compact body. This consumer model features their 16.1-Megapixel Live MOS imaging sensor, powerful TruePic VII image processor and 5-axis image stabilization, all sitting behind the versatile Micro Four Thirds mount. Along with the great features, Olympus offers an easy-to-use interface and layout that everyone will enjoy, whether they are shooting with iAuto or in full manual mode. A slew of creative "Art" filters adds a great set of adjustable filters that everyone will enjoy. Top it off with some great full 1080p HD video recording and the E-M10 II is truly the total, but very compact package.

The addition of Olympus's 5-axis image stabilization system really adds some versatility to this second generation E-M10. With the IS active, all of your handheld shooting will be sharper, as the camera can adjust for minor shifts and shakes with no problems, even with most of the telephoto lenses. This becomes a much bigger deal in lower-light situations, when the shutter speed slows down. Being able to shoot at slower shutter speeds opens up the option to shoot more without a flash, capturing the natural light of scene. It also makes a huge difference while recording video on the move. This IS is powerful enough to allow you to walk with the camera and still record amazingly steady videos. This adds some great creative options for the aspiring videographer, or just makes your home movies smoother and more enjoyable to watch.

Wielding the camera is a pleasure thanks to the size and shape of the body. It fits very well into most sized hands, being just large enough for larger hands to get a solid and comfortable grip on the camera. The only issue may be if you're shooting with one of Olympus's largest lenses, like the M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f2.8 PRO lens. With a lens this big, you will need to use both hands while composing, as with any other camera and lens combo this size. Two command dials and several programmable Fn buttons give you all of the control that you need, right at your fingertips.

Composing your images can be accomplished with either the 2.3-Million Dot OLED electronic viewfinder or the 3.0-inch, 1.04-Million dot Touch OLED LCD screen. The EVF is great for new and old photographers alike with its ability to act as a standard EVF, showing you everything that you would see on the LCD screen. It will also show your exposure changes and adjustments live in the viewfinder, so you will always know exactly what you are about to capture. This feature can now be turned off, if you would like the EVF to perform more like a standard optical viewfinder, with no exposure previews or changes. 100% field-of-view, dioptic adjustment and an eye-level sensor allow you to adjust the EVF to your vision and never leave you guessing as to the edges of your images.

Your other option, the tilting 1.04-Million dot Touch LCD screen, is bright and sharp. Again providing you with a full 100% field-of-view, you will never be left guessing about the actual captured area. Tilting the LCD allows you to shoot in awkward situations with ease by being able to properly compose your images over, under, or around objects. It also lets you tilt the screen out of direct light sources, making it easier to see in all lighting conditions. Its touch features work very well, especially the ability to touch the screen to focus or even capture an image. This makes it easy to achieve focus exactly where you want it. The touch features also add some additional Fn options and navigation abilities to the camera.

Performance from the E-M10 II is excellent for a consumer-level camera. It starts quickly, capturing its first image in just 1.7 seconds. Shutter lag is almost non-existent when the camera has already been focused. Allowing the AF to work takes approx. 2/10 of a second in most lighting conditions. Shot-to-shot delay is also minimal at ½ second in single shot mode. Turning the flash on increases it to 1.28 seconds. Sequential shooting greatly increases performance, with low being able to capture at 5fps and high with a fantastic 8.33fps. All of our tests were completed using a Panasonic UHS-3 16GB SDHC memory card, Program mode, ISO auto, flash off and all other settings at the factory defaults.

Our outdoor sample images show overall great quality, with accurate exposure and colors. Our samples were taken in both Program and iAuto; showing that the iAuto settings really do make a difference. Our samples show a brighter, more vivid scene in each iAuto image versus the Program images. In a couple, it looks like the contrast has been way over done, but in the end it is a user preference. Program mode gives you a more natural looking photo. Both modes produced images that are sharp throughout, showing lots of fine details. Aberrations and edge softness are controlled very well and were not noticeable.

Looking closely at our indoor sample images gives a great look at how the camera handles noise in its images throughout the ISO scale. At the lower end, we see very little if any noise. This leaves us with a sharp, well exposed image. Fine details are easy to see and colors look excellent. It is not until ISO 1600 that we start to see the noise making a difference in the image, slightly dulling the fine details. From here, the noise slightly increases with the ISO settings, and you will slowly lose the fine details in the image, as well as the colors starting to dull a bit. To assist with your low-light shooting, Olympus has included a small pop-up flash unit. Small but useful in close situations, the flash has a GN of 5.8m at ISO 100. For increased power, the hot shoe allows the addition on an external flash unit. The switch to raise the flash is a little surprising, being directly connected to the power switch. It is very possible to push the wrong way and turn of the camera instead, especially if you are trying to raise it quickly while shooting.

Shooting portraits with the E-M10 II is so easy, as the camera does all of the work for you. Its face detection software does a great jog of finding and following any faces that come into your frame. This allows the camera to stay focused and keep the exposure settings adjusted to the face as it moves and turns, giving the best and sharpest faces possible. Olympus has taken this one step further, including the ability to track an eye of your subject. This will fine tune the focus of your portrait, drawing the attention to the subjects eye. The camera did well with our sample portraits, as the face detection works very well in everyday situations.

For more creative images, Olympus has included a wide variety of "Art" filters to assist with your creative vision. Each of these images are adjustable in some way, giving you greater control over the final outcome of the image. With the EVF and LCD, you are able to see these filters work before you even capture an image, as the effects will show on the screen. This helps to save time, showing you what to adjust before you capture. Several of the filters can be seen on our samples page.

Capturing videos and home movies with the E-M10 II is easy and leaves you with plenty of options and features. None of these is as big as the 5-axis IS that allows you to move and walk around while still recording a smooth and fluid video. This system is the best we have seen on an ILC, and just adds to the quality of your movies. Full 1080p HD video capture allows you to get outstanding quality video that will look great on any HDTV. Movies can also be captured with a variety of effects, including all of the art filters, making this a great tool for a beginning videographer. Audio is captured on the small, internal microphone. This very sensitive microphone will pick up all of the sounds around the camera, including background noises that you might not even be aware of when you are shooting. Unfortunately there is not an audio input to attach an external microphone.

Powering the E-M10 II is a 7.2V, 1210mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery. This battery features enough power to capture approx. 200 images and several short videos while completing our tests on a single charge. This fits well with Olympus's claims that it is capable of capturing up to 320 images on a single charge. They also claim that in Quick Sleep Mode, it is capable of up to 750 images on a single charge (not tested). A portable charging unit included with the camera makes it easy to keep your battery and a spare charged and ready to go at all times.

Bottom Line - The Olympus OM-D E-M10 II is a fantastic consumer-level ILC, featuring great image quality, excellent performance, and an amazing image stabilization system. The incredibly compact body makes it easy to carry anywhere, and in just about any situation. Its compact size comes from the versatile Micro Four Thirds mount; which offers a fantastic collection of lenses to choose from, thanks to lens offerings from Olympus, Panasonic, etc. With a MSRP of US $649.99 for the body only or $799.99 for the kit with the 14-42mm lens, this is an outstanding option for someone looking for a compact and versatile camera that has the ability to grow with them as they learn more about photography and/or videography.


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