Thursday, 19 March 2015

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

Digital Photography Review has published a full review of the update to Olympus' OM-D E-M5.

Snippets from the conclusion follow:

"The Olympus E-M5 II is a more significant reworking of its predecessor than its looks or choice of sensor seem to suggest. The camera boasts a wealth of additional features and refinements to many of the existing ones have been upgraded."

The image quality isn't radically changed, compared with the original E-M5. This means it's still very good, with Raw files as clean and malleable as you'd expect for a Micro Four Thirds camera. The JPEG engine remains one of our favorites, producing bright, pleasant images at all but the highest ISO settings.

Raw performance is strong, in that it offers a similar performance (proportionate to sensor size) to its other Sony-sensored rivals (such as the Nikon D5500 and Sony a6000). However, while this means it offers more flexible Raws than the current batch of Canon APS-C cameras, the advances Samsung has made in its NX1 and NX500 mean the M5 II's performance is no longer standout excellent.

The high-res mode is only useful in a narrow range of situations, requires a good lens and requires absolute stability, but the results it yields can be impressive.

The camera feels great and fits well in the hand, and offers an impressive amount of direct control for a body that's so small. This compact form factor is aided by separating the flash out as a separate clip-on unit.

The E-M5 II is probably the stand-out Micro Four Thirds camera in a market with some very good rivals. This shifts more of the emphasis of its appeal and appropriateness to the strength of the Micro Four Thirds system as a whole: if it offers the lenses and size/price/image quality balance that's right for you, then the E-M5 II should be top of your list. But in these competitive times, the E-M5 is no longer the mirrorless king: it's merely the heir-apparent to one of the great mirrorless families.

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