Olympus has taken wraps off availability and pricing details for its flagship OM-D E-M1 II. Announced at Photokina, the E-M1 II will cost $2000 body-only and is set to ship at the end of December. The E-M1 II’s predecessor was introduced just over three years ago and started at $1400 body-only.
That $600 premium buys some notable advancements including a faster processor, 20.4MP sensor with 121 phase-detection AF points and a stabilization system claiming an unearthly 6.5 stops of shake correction. Like the Mark I, the E-M1 II is built to withstand hostile conditions with a dust, splash and freeze-proof design.
REVOLUTIONARY CAMERA PERFORMANCE: THE OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 MARK II ARRIVES
The new flagship Micro Four Thirds® camera boasts world’s fastest sequential shooting1, superior autofocus accuracy, and world’s most effective image stabilization performance2
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., — November 2, 2016 — Olympus announces that its new flagship camera, the Olympus® OM-D E-M1 Mark II, is set to go on sale at the end of December 2016 for the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1999.99 USD and $2499.99 CAD. The OM-D® E-M1 Mark II is the latest addition to the award-winning OM-D series and features incredible speed, outstanding image resolution and a host of new shooting features to meet the needs of the professional photographer.
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is equipped with the newly-developed high-speed TruePic VIII Image Processor, which is 3.5 times faster than the previous TruePic processor used in the OM-D E-M1, and a new 20.4 megapixel Live MOS sensor equipped with 121 points of cross-type on-chip phase detection and contrast detection AF. These technologies work together with the camera’s silent electronic shutter to provide full-resolution RAW images at up to an unprecedented 60 frames per second in AF and AE lock, and up to 18 frames per second with continuous AF and AE tracking.
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II boasts a wide array of shooting features including the new Pro Capture Mode for lag-free shooting that enables the capture of split-second moments, a 50 Megapixel High-Res Shot Mode for images with incredible detail rivaling that of full-frame DSLRs, in-body 5-Axis Image Stabilization that provides up to 5.5 shutter speed steps of compensation performance3, and 5-Axis Sync IS that provides the world’s most effective 6.5 shutter speed steps of compensation2 when combined with the new M.ZUIKO® Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO.
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is weather sealed to be dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (down to 14°F/-10°C) in a compact lightweight design, ideal for shooting in all types of outdoor conditions.
1. High-Speed Sequential Shooting and Superior AF Performance
Live MOS sensor and TruePic VIII Image Processor
The newly developed high-speed TruePic VIII Image Processor and a new 20.4 megapixel Live MOS Sensor works in concert with the camera’s electronic shutter to provide full-resolution images at a maximum 60 frames per second in AF and AE lock, and up to 18 frames per second with continuous AF and AE tracking.
The TruePic VIII Image Processor boasts a dual quad core system with four CPU cores and four image processing cores to achieve image processing speeds approximately 3.5 times faster than the TruePic VII Processor. Because camera operation and image processing functions are carried out in unison, transfer speeds and menu operations are vastly improved over previous models.
Pro Capture Mode
The new Pro Capture Mode provides lag-free shooting so users can capture high-quality full-resolution images at precise moments with no compromises. Using the silent electronic shutter, Pro Capture buffers a running series of JPEG / RAW images when users press the shutter release halfway. Then, by fully pressing the shutter button, users can capture that moment’s image plus up to 14 previous frames all at once.
Advanced Dual FAST Autofocus
The advanced Dual FAST AF automatically chooses between on-chip phase detection AF and contrast detection AF, or utilizes both phase and contrast detection simultaneously. This system boasts 121 cross-type on-chip phase detection focus points in order to dramatically improve accuracy. The simultaneous use of contrast detection and on-chip phase detection AF enables accurate focus in difficult lighting conditions, while a new moving subject tracking algorithm rapidly and continuously measures the subject-to-camera distance to precisely maintain focus. Finally, the in-camera AF Limiter function is included to achieve faster focusing by limiting the focus range of the lens, thus preventing time-consuming focus hunting.
Autofocus functions such as AF Target Mode4, AF target position and face/eye priority AF are easily set with a single button press. AF operations are enhanced with a new subject-tracking Cluster Display, which illuminates active sensors to assure the user of focus-subject accuracy. The AF Targeting Pad feature allows users to select the AF point by sliding their finger on the rear touch LCD monitor while looking through the viewfinder.
High-magnification, high-speed electronic viewfinder
The performance of the 1.48x (35mm equivalent) high-magnification, high-resolution electronic viewfinder rivals those of professional full-frame interchangeable lens cameras. With high-speed operation that includes a maximum refresh rate of 120 fps and a minimum response time of five milliseconds, users never lose track of fast-moving subjects.
The significantly improved shutter release lag time, now reduced by approximately 30% from that of the previous model, facilitates response time so users never miss a photo opportunity. In addition, frame-advance speed during playback is approximately three times quicker for faster scrolling and review of images.
2. Outstanding Portability and Reliability
A compact, lightweight system with excellent portability
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II features weatherproof construction in a compact and lightweight design. Coupled with an Olympus M.ZUIKO lens, the OM-D system is extremely compact, providing the ultimate in portability for shooting and transportation. Handheld super-telephoto shooting is possible with the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO lens (600mm focal length in 35mm equivalent), and this camera and lens combination is compact enough to store in carry-on luggage when flying.
Weatherproof construction and Super-Sonic Wave Filter dust reduction system
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II features high-performance weather sealing for excellent dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (down to 14°F/-10°C) performance so that users can shoot in the harshest of conditions. This weatherproofing is not limited to the camera body alone: it is extended across the entire OM-D system, including the dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof M.ZUIKO PRO lens lineup5. In addition, a Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF) dust reduction system vibrates the image sensor more than 30,000 times a second to virtually eliminate any dust that may land on the sensor while changing lenses.
A newly developed shutter is rated for 200,000 actuations6 to withstand consistent daily use in professional environments. Floating shutter construction is employed so that shutter shock is not easily transmitted to the camera body.
Dual memory card slots
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II features dual memory card slots to allow simultaneous use of two SD cards for more versatile shooting. The slots are positioned in a staggered layout, making cards easier to insert and remove. Users can select from four settings: Standard Mode records to the specified card; Automatic Switching Mode automatically switches to the second card when the first card becomes full; Dual Independent Mode records to both cards according to the specified image quality setting assigned to each; and Dual Same Mode records identical files to both cards simultaneously. Slot 1 supports UHS-II and UHS-I cards, while Slot 2 supports UHS-I cards.
High-capacity battery and rapid charger
The new BLH-1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery has a capacity that’s approximately 37% higher than that of the BLN-1 used in the previous model, providing approximately 440 shots on a single charge (CIPA standards-compliant). The OM-D E-M1 Mark II displays the remaining battery life percentage on the rear monitor so users are not surprised by a depleted battery. Also, the new BCH-1 charger is 50% faster than the previous version.
3. Exceptional Image Quality
Higher resolution and improved dynamic range
The new 20.4 megapixel Live MOS sensor offers 25% higher resolution than the previous model, and the absence of a low-pass filter further enhances image quality. A higher dynamic range7 improves the reproduction of highlight and shadow detail, and an anti-reflective coating on both sides of the sensor’s sealing glass further enhances contrast performance.
Improved image quality at high ISO settings
The newly-developed TruePic VIII Image Processor dramatically improves image quality when shooting at high ISO settings, making it possible to capture images with minimal noise. The normal sensitivity ISO (ISO AUTO) range has been expanded to ISO 6400 for greater flexibility in a variety of shooting scenarios, and Fine Detail Processing II ensures that no detail is lost due to oversharpening.
ISO 64 equivalent ISO LOW setting
The ISO LOW setting is equivalent to ISO 64, providing greater flexibility to shoot at wider apertures even in brightly lit situations, making it possible to achieve beautiful, shallow depths of field.
50 Megapixel High-Res Shot Mode
A High-Res Shot Mode utilizes the Voice Coil Motor (VCM) system of the 5-Axis Image Stabilization System to precisely shift the sensor in half-pixel increments while capturing a total of eight shots. The camera automatically composites the shots into a single 50-megapixel equivalent ultra-high resolution image8. This unique Olympus technology is a benefit for any still life photographer or anyone who requires ultrafine detail reproduction. The TruePic VIII Image Processor effectively suppresses blur due to subject movement, making it possible to utilize High-Res Shot Mode in a wide variety of shooting conditions, such as gently blowing grass, tree leaves or ocean waves. In addition to 80 megapixel RAW and 50 megapixel equivalent JPEG images, it is possible to select a smaller 25 megapixel equivalent file size.
In-body 5-Axis Image Stabilization
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is equipped with the latest in-body 5-Axis Image Stabilization to compensate for all types of camera shake. An optimized correction algorithm boasts outstanding compensation performance with approximately 5.5 shutter-speed steps of compensation3. Also, when combined with Olympus lenses equipped with in-lens image stabilization, 5-Axis Sync IS provides the world’s most effective 6.5 shutter-speed steps of compensation2 for blur-free handheld shooting of stills and video.
4. Stunning UHD Video Capture
Digital Cinema Standard 4K videos
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II supports Digital Cinema Standard 4K (4096×2060 pixels) video capture9 at a 24P frame rate and a bit rate of up to 237 Mbps for authentic movie production. The 20.4 megapixel Live MOS sensor provides a read speed three times faster than that of the previous model for effective suppression of movement distortion, resulting in sharp, clear image quality. The video-specific picture mode “Flat” is ideal for color grading and finishing the footage exactly as envisioned by the videographer.
5-Axis Image Stabilization combined with electronic stabilization for video
With four times the resolution of Full HD, 4K videos are easily affected by camera movement and typically require a tripod, mini jib, crane and other specialized accessories for movie recording. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II pairs its advanced 5-Axis Image Stabilization with electronic stabilization specialized for video (M-IS)10 to effectively reduce camera shake, making handheld 4K video capture possible. This outstanding image stabilization system allows videographers to easily shoot movies with virtually no visible camera shake. The camera’s rear vari-angle LCD monitor can be adjustable to the user’s preferred angle for shooting convenience.
HDMI monitor connection and recording synchronization
The HDMI monitor connection provides the ability to view live video output on a larger display while shooting. Users are able to select from Monitor Mode for an external monitor and Recording Mode to capture uncompressed video directly from the HDMI port. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is equipped with a synchronization signal so that video recording to an external device can start or stop from the camera. A 4:2:2 external output is provided to meet a wider color correction range. An audio synchronization function makes it easy to synchronize audio recording when using Olympus’ Linear PCM Recorder LS-100 while recording video, and a Slate Tone function facilitates the syncing of recorded audio and video.
5. Advanced Shooting Functions
Silent Mode utilizes the silent electronic shutter to eliminate all mechanical noises while shooting. Silent Mode is especially useful for shooting in situations where noise of any kind is not appropriate, including stage performances, concerts and even sleeping children. Also, it is possible to deactivate the AF Illuminator, AF confirmation beep and flash for virtually silent operation.
Focus Stacking/Focus Bracketing Modes
Depth of field is especially shallow when taking macro photos, making it difficult to capture an image that is completely in focus from the foreground to background, even at smaller apertures. Focus Stacking Mode captures eight shots at different focal positions and composites them to form a single shot that is entirely in focus. The depth of field provided by Focus Stacking is far deeper than even the smallest aperture at close distances. Focus Stacking Mode is compatible with seven Olympus M.ZUIKO lenses for a variety of shooting scenes11.
Focus Bracketing Mode automatically captures up to 999 shots with different focal points, allowing users to choose shots with the optimal focus point or use commercially-available software to composite all images into one picture with stunning depth of field.
Live Composite/Live Bulb Modes
Live Composite Mode is available for shooting fireworks and cityscapes against starry backgrounds. While using Live Composite, the exposure of dark areas remains constant, while areas of light that change during the exposure are updated, creating trails of light from stars or fireworks. Live Bulb and Live Composite Modes allow users to easily check the image on the LCD monitor in real time, instead of relying on intuition.
The camera is equipped with Keystone Compensation for photographing architecture. Keystone Compensation digitally provides tilt and shift functions with all M.ZUIKO lenses, and because trapezoidal compensation may be applied simultaneously to both vertical and horizontal directions, it is possible to shoot various subjects in a wide range of situations.
Tethered shooting with Olympus Capture
Olympus Capture™ is now available in Version 1.2 and supports tethered shooting with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. High-speed data processing and transfer via the USB 3.0 Type C port is four times faster than with Olympus Capture Version 1.1. A cable clip is bundled for securing and stabilizing the cable to a strap when the camera and computer are connected.
- Customizable C-AF tracking sensitivity allows users to choose the best setting for their subject to optimize C-AF tracking performance.
- AF Scan allows users to adjust the lens scan operation settings in low-contrast environments to prevent unnecessary hunting.
- Preset MF lets users quickly set a preferred focus distance when using manual focus.
- AF Home Settings is assignable to a customizable function button. Users are able to program their most frequently used AF target position, AF Target Mode and AF Mode as an AF Home setting.
- Lowest Shutter Speed Setting on the camera allows users to predefine a minimum shutter speed so that the ISO sensitivity increases in low-light situations rather than slowing down the shutter speed. This is convenient for handheld shooting in low-light environments.
- Users are able to back up customized camera settings on a computer so that they can be reapplied to the camera whenever necessary, which is especially useful for using the same settings on multiple cameras or maintaining settings after a firmware update.
- Specify Folder function lets users select a folder as a recording destination and create new folders to make image editing and management easier.
- Grid settings allow users to set a highly visible grid color for display as a guide when shooting in dark locations such as theaters.
- The Date/Time/Second display lets users organize images by a second unit. This is an effective feature for high-speed sequential shooting.
HLD-9 Power Battery Holder
This dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof power battery holder is specifically designed for the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. With the HLD-9, users have the power of one BLH-1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery in the camera body and a second one in the HLD-9. The rear of the HLD-9 power battery holder is equipped with the same directional pad, two control dials, two function buttons and shutter release, as on the camera body, for identical controls whether the camera is held in a vertical or horizontal position. An optional AC-5 AC adapter can be used for studio photography or other situations when using the camera for long periods of time.
FL-900R Weatherproof High-Intensity Flash
This is a high-intensity flash boasting a maximum guide number of 58m. This accessory on-camera flash has the highest sequential shooting tracking performance in its class at 10 fps12. It features a lightweight weatherproof design with a wireless RC mode for simultaneous control of multiple flash units, and supports Multi Flash, High Res Shot, Focus Stacking and Focus Bracketing Modes. The FL-900R is also equipped with a built-in LED light for recording videos. For additional details, please see the FL-900R press release.
STF-8 Weatherproof Macro Flash
The STF-8 is the world’s first macro flash built with dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof construction13. The flash heads and controller features a lightweight compact design. When combined with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Focus Stacking and Focus Bracketing modes are supported for flash photography, useful for capturing flowers, insects and commercial photos in the studio. The bundled adapter ring is compatible with the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 30mm f3.5 Macro, M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro and M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12–40mm f2.8 PRO. When using both flash heads the GN is 8.5m. In addition to a TTL Auto Sync Mode for precision control, users can set the flash in 1/3-step increments on the camera when in Manual Mode and in one-step increments with the flash dial. The main flash can also be used as a commander to control multiple flash units. The flash head angle is adjustable within a range of -60 to 40 degrees.
RM-CB2 Release Cable
This release cable with a pin jack terminal (2.5mm diameter) features a bulb lock function convenient for long exposures. The connector terminal features an L-shaped design ensuring a compact form when connected to the camera.
PT-EP14 Underwater Case
This compact underwater housing provides water depth resistance up to 60 meters. It provides a clear field of view to each corner of the screen, designed to be easy to hold to frame and zoom your shot easily. In addition, the PPO-EP03 Macro Lens Port provides compatibility with the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro and M.ZUIKO Digital ED 30mm f3.5 Macro14.
- Sequential shooting speed as of September 2016, when using Silent Sequential Shooting H Mode S-AF.
- OM-D E-M1 Mark II with M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO, focal length: 100mm (35mm equivalent focal length: approx. 200mm); halfway release image stabilization: OFF; CIPA standard compliant, when correction is carried out on two axes (Yaw/Pitch); as of September 2016.
- OM-D E-M1 Mark II with M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO; focal length: 40mm (35mm equivalent focal length: approx. 80mm); CIPA standard compliant, when correction is carried out on two axes (Yaw/Pitch); as of September 2016.
- Four modes of AF targeting include the new 5-Point Cross, All Point, Single Point, and 9-Point Group.
- Dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) performance applies to the following non-M.ZUIKO PRO lenses as well: M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro, M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ and M.ZUIKO Digital ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 II.
- According to Olympus internal testing.
- As of September 2016, according to Olympus internal testing.
- In RAW+JPEG Mode, three types of images are saved including 50M JPEG, 80M RAW (ORF) and 20M RAW (ORI). 80M RAW images can be processed to 50M JPEG images on the camera. 80M JPEG images can be processed using Olympus Viewer 3 (64-bit OS). Please use a tripod.
- 4K video capture (3842×2160 pixels) also possible.
- The angle of view is narrowed when using electronic stabilization for movies (M-IS1).
- Lenses compatible with Focus Stacking Mode: M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7–14mm f2.8 PRO, M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO, M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12–40mm f2.8 PRO, M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40–150mm f2.8 PRO, M.ZUIKO Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO, M.ZUIKO Digital ED 30mm f3.5 Macro and M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro.
- When paired with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, at a flash ratio of 1/32.
- Among ring flashes and twin flashes currently on sale as of September 2016, according to Olympus research.
- Any lens with the appropriate diameter may be used with a commercially available step-up ring.