Handling the OM-D E-M5 Mark II

OM-D E-M5 MkII - Front
Yesterday I had to go to the Firth road post office in Lincoln to pick up a couple of parcels. The post office isn’t far from the High Street branch of Lincoln’s London Camera Exchange so I decided to pop in on the way back and say hello if they weren’t to busy (I don’t get down to this end of Lincoln very often).

As I was walking past I noticed a familiar person standing next to the counter, it was Aiden form Olympus UK. I have met Aiden a number of times now, the most recent was on the Wedding shoot event with Rob Pugh. Aiden is a nice guy and a real asset to Olympus UK, he must meet literally thousands of users but he always remembers my name and remembers who I am; it was nice to see him again. I knew why he was in the LCE store and sure enough after saying hello he asked if I wanted to have a go with the E-M5 Mark II, naturally I couldn’t say no. 🙂

The E-M5-II had its grip and battery module attached, the lens was the new M.Zuiko 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 Mark II lens.

As soon as I had the camera in my hands I noticed how amazingly light it was, my E-M1 isn’t heavy but seemed a bit heavier that the E-M5-II, this could be due to the fact the the E-M5-II had the new 14-150mm lens attached whilst my E-M1 usually has the 50-150 f2.8 lens on it. The E-M5-II grip is essential in my view and made the feel of the EM-5-II just right in my hands; the camera isn’t as “tweeny” as the older mark 1. The buttons were all solid and not as spongy as the mark1 and the overall build quality of the camera is better.

The viewfinder looked smaller than the one on my E-M1 which surprised me as Olympus have fitted the E-M1’s EVF to the E-M5-II, the vari-angle screen is thinner than the ones I have seen on other cameras but is solid and will be excellent for video work. As a side note the 14-150mm lens felt very solid and had no sign of being a “kit” lens. This weather and dust sealed lens is an MSC model so will be a good all-round video lens too. I’m still not sure that it’s worth £550, if only they did a kit with this lens and the E-M5-II so that you could save a couple of hundred pounds?


Aiden showed me some of the in-store shots comparing the 16MP photo’s with the new high megapixel 40MP (still JPEGS) and I was quite amazed about the difference and how much extra resolution you are seeing. He also showed me a video where you get a split-screen view of the video being shot along with what the videographer was doing, this showed how good the (improved) IBIS on the new E-M5-II is.

He reminded me that if I wanted one I should make use of the pre-order offer for the E-M5-II as you get the 5.5 year warranty and Olympus messenger bag for free. What I didn’t know was that you also get the new Leather Olympus camera strap and are entered into a draw to win a day with Damian Mcgillicuddy (at one of the Olympus Big Shoot experiences). I’m not sure if this is an LCE exclusive but made not pre-ordering one of these cameras very hard. The one in Silver look very nice…… must….not….buy!

When Aiden told me about the strap I instantly recognised it as the one he was using at both of the Olympus training events I had attended. He admitted that he had been test-driving it at these events and that the problem he had with it coming un-done had been re-designed and overcome; but this is why they are tested before being released.

Finally, Aiden and I had a chat about where they see the position of the E-M5-II in relation to the E-M1 as the differences were now very small and in some ways the E-M5-II is now better than their top model. He thinks that the E-M5-II will be positioned as a landscape camera whereas the E-M1 will be the camera needed for any photography where speed is more important. This tends to indicate that the 40MP feature will not be coming to the E-M1, a camera that from what I could ascertain won’t be getting its upgrade until late next year. We’ll have to wait and see what the E-M1- Mark II becomes.

I also asked about the new PRO lenses and whilst Aiden had played with prototypes of the 300mm and the 7-14mm had not seen the fish-eye lens at this time.

As it was my lunch break I couldn’t hang around for too long so after my brief play with the E-M5-II and a conversation with Aiden had to head back to work. 😦

Fortunately both he and Damian will both be at the Photography show next month.


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