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Dec 18

Review: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Conclusion

Pros

  • Solidly constructed body with great fit and finish
  • Very good ergonomics with a secure grip, easy to access buttons and fantastic chunky dials
  • Good dynamic range and excellent color response
  • In-body stabilization is outstanding and good for 4 extra stops of handholdability
  • Autofocus in single shot is extremely fast and accurate
  • Viewfinder is crisp, clear and vibrant
  • Rear touch screen has excellent quality and good touch response
  • AF Targeting Pad feature is well implemented and adds great utility
  • Excellent Wi-Fi features and capabilities
  • Focus bracketing is extremely well implemented and works great
  • Electronic shutter adds silent shooting and helps eliminate shutter shock
  • Extremely full featured for a mid-range body
  • Excellent JPEG quality
  • Very customizable interface
  • Value

Cons

  • Sensor, while still good, is getting long in the tooth
  • Continuous AF is passable, but lags behind competitors utilizing PDAF on sensor
  • EVF can lag a bit in dimmer light
  • Video lacks microphone input
  • No Auto-ISO in video
  • Battery door is flimsy
  • Menu system is still very complex

The E-M10 Mark II seems to be a bit of an overlooked camera in the Micro 4/3 world.  There’s its big brother, the E-M5 Mark II, that is making waves with its robust body and 40 megapixel sensor shift mode. The new Panasonic GX8 (which I hope to review soon), improves on the already outstanding GX7, and forgotten by many is this ‘entry level’ OM-D.  After shooting with the E-M10 II for the past several weeks, I think that overlooking this camera is a mistake.  This camera represents an excellent value in the Micro 4/3 world, with nearly every major feature of the E-M5 Mark II at a significantly lower price.

The E-M10 II lacks the E-M5 II’s high res mode, has a smaller EVF and lacks weather sealing.  However, aside from those major points, it is almost identical.  The original E-M10 was also a great value, but Olympus did cut some key things to differentiate the camera.  This time around, it seems they cut almost nothing. The E-M10 Mark II feels like a complete camera, with outstanding in-body image stabilization, robust construction, outstanding haptics and ergonomics and an exceptionally long feature set.

The new focus bracketing feature is a major boon to macro photographers, the Wi-Fi capabilities are the same as on the top-tier Olympus cameras and the addition of touchpad AF selection when using the EVF is outstanding.  Really, the only major negative for stills shooters is the lack of any major upgrade in the sensor. The 3.5 year old 16 megapixel sensor still produces excellent images, but I’d have to imagine this will be the last Olympus body to utilize this technology.

In all, the E-M10 Mark II is a great upgrade for those using the original E-M5 and is worth a long hard look for those considering the E-M5 Mark II.  If you rely on action shooting and need solid continuous autofocus, the E-M1 or one of the more recent Panasonic bodies should garner your attention, but for all other shooters, the E-M10 Mark II represents the best value in the Olympus lineup. It’s an excellent camera.

Image Samples

Click on an image to enlarge

Deer in the City - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @

Deer in the City – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @ f/2.5, 1/6s, ISO 800, handheld

Morning on the Scioto - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @ f/8,

Morning on the Scioto – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @ f/8, 1/5s, ISO 200

Church on the Hill - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II @ 300mm, f/8,

Church on the Hill – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Olympus 40-150mm f/4-5.6 @ 128mm, f/6.3, 1/100s, ISO 200

Ohio Statehouse - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @ f/8

Ohio Statehouse – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @ f/5.6, 3.2s, ISO 200

Early Morning Path - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Sigma 19mm f/2.8 @

Early Morning Path – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Sigma 19mm f/2.8 @ f/11, 8s, ISO 200

City Stairs - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @

City Stairs – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @ f/4, 1/20s, ISO 200

Flower - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Olympus 60mm f/2.8 @ f/4, - Stack of 65 images using Focus Bracketing

Flower – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Olympus 60mm f/2.8 @ f/4, 1/5s, ISO 200 – Stack of 65 images using Focus Bracketing

Electric River - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Sigma 19mm f/2.8 @

Electric River – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Sigma 19mm f/2.8 @ f/6.3, 3.2s, ISO 200

Winter Leaf - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro @ f/2.8

Winter Leaf – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro @ f/2.8, 1/60s, ISO 800

Twin Railroads - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @

Twin Railroads – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @ f/5.6, 1.3s, ISO 200

Statehouse Dome - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Olympus 40-150mm f/4-5.6 @

Statehouse Dome – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Olympus 40-150mm f/4-5.6 @ 70mm, f/6.3, 2.5s, ISO 200

Cloudy City - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @

Cloudy City – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @ f/5.6, 1/20s, ISO 200

Berries - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro @

Berries – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro @ f/2.8, 1/125s, ISO 400

Graveyard - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @

Graveyard – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @ f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 200

Runner - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @

Runner – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @ f/4, 1/25s, ISO 200

Columbus at Night - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @

Columbus at Night – Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 @ f/2.5, 1/4s, ISO 800 handheld

If you liked this review, check out my other reviews in the Review Index

About the author

Jordan Steele

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Admiring Light; Photographer; Electrical Engineer and Dad

5 comments

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  1. Brad

    A very useful review. I have a 4/3 system camera – e420 – am I’m looking to move to micro 4/3. I want to keep the camera as small and light as possible, but still use my Olympus accessories. Your explanation of focus bracketing and touch AF helped a lot. Thanks for taking the time.

  2. dunsun

    Hey,
    Your photos are always very stunning and it really does not matter what camera you shoot with
    .
    Anyway please would mind elaborating about your postprocessing workflow at elast a little bit ?
    What software do you use ? And I guess that you process colors (or say individual color channel curves) quite hugely for each shot right ?

    Regards

  3. Kjell

    Hi Jordan,

    You have over time become my favorite reviewer of cameras and lenses.

    Keep up the good work!

    Regards from Sweden

    /Kjell

  4. Josh Platt

    Thanks for a great review! I’m seriously considering selling my Canon T3 and going with an Olympus OMD EM10.2. Your review is very thorough and helpful. Your images are terrific! Do you offer coaching or teaching services? I’m based in CBUS.

  5. J. Mikle

    A very timely assessment, considering that Olympus is shaving off $100 [or $200 on the E-M5 Mark II in time for the vacation season.
    On pg. 2 under Autofocus Performance, one reads: “Like the E-M5 Mark II, the E-M10 Mark II features a contrast-detect only focus system”.
    Within the specs of the E-M5 Mark II [Olympus’s web page] if you expand [+] “Focusing System” , it reads
    “High speed imager AF (Contrast detection/On-chip Phase-difference detection”). If the info is correct, the loftier price may become more acceptable.

  1. Mirrorless Year in Review 2015 - Admiring Light

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