Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Announcement & EM5 II and EM1 Comparison

E-M10 II Announcement

Six months ago the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II was announced with a host of new features including improved In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS), a 40mp sensor shift feature and a pocketable flash that you could bounce and tilt. Today marks the official announcement of the EM-10 II, the entry level camera to the OM-D line. Like it’s older brother the E-M5 II, the biggest improvements come in the form of improved 5-axis IBIS (where the original had 3-axis), the addition of 24 and 25p and 77Mb/ps and 50 and 60p at 52Mb/ps, and the addition of a 4k timelapse mode (5fps). For detailed information checkout the official press release but I’m going to jump straight into the differences between the OM-D EM-10 II, EM-5 II and EM-1.

For reference, let’s take a look at how the E-M5 II and E-M1 stack up:

EM1 vs EM5 II The biggest differences from the EM5 II is that there’s no 40mp sensor shift, built-in flash vs the preferred LM3 flash and a tilting screen instead of a fully articulating one. The EM-10 is limited to 1/4000 shutter speed, does not have a weather sealed body nor a microphone jack. You can also learn a little more by checking out my old post on comparing the EM-5 II versus the original EM-10 and EM-1.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 II has been announced at a price of $799 with the 14-42mm kit lens versus $1099 for the EM5 II for just the body, though it has been on sale for $899-$999 in the past. At $799 for the kit and $649 for the body, I think it’s a welcome addition to the OM-D line and a solid improvement over it’s predecessor.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 II vs the Panasonic G7

At $799, the E-M10 II is priced identically to the Panasonic G7 with a kit lens. If you’re shopping, which one’s right for you depends entirely on your needs. The Panasonic G7 offers 4k and by many reports even better ISO performance to the almighty Panasonic GH4 (more: GH4 vs G7). The E-M10 II does offer 4k, but at timelapse of 5fps (ie. not very useful for video). It’s real advantage comes in the form of IBIS, which Olympus has been dominating for quite some time now. Just look at how the IBIS of the EM-5 II compares to the GH4.

The Reviews 

Checkout the hands-on report from DPReview and Robin Wong.

What’s next? EM-1 II and the Panasonic GH5. 

I’m still using the trusty original EM-5, I’ve thought about Mark II but the absence of 4k had me a little bummed. The G7 was intriguing, but no IBIS and an old sensor. And while the GX8 brought an impressive Dual IS technology that can compete with Olympus along with 4k – you couldn’t use Dual IS in video. I might still jump on one at the right price, but right now I don’t really see a huge upgrade out there for me. Instead I opted to invest a little more in Micro Four Thirds lenses.

Based on the Dual IS patent I mentioned last week, this has me really excited for what’s to come in the EM-1 II. And now that we’ve seen 4k on the OM-D line, let’s hope the EM-1 can bring much more than a timelapse… and unlike the GX8 let’s hope stabilization works with video.

And of course the Panasonic GH5, which based on their historic release schedule would be due for December. But with V-Log yet to be released, as well as strong sales for the GH4 will most likely hold the GH5 out until 2016. With an improved sensor on the GX8 and Dual IS – all signs are pointing to a beast of a GH5!


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  • Dave Haynie

    It would be kind of funny if Olympus — a company so far really concentrating on making the best compact still cameras, and oh-by-the-way, some video functions, actually beat Canon — the company that put still-for-video cameras in the msinstream — to 4K support.

    I didn’t buy my OM-D E-M5II with much concern about video… I have Canons and real Panasonic camcorders for that. But after shooting video on it a few times, it’s a legit choice… and better handheld than the Panny on a Glidecam most of the time.

    • Jay Soriano

      …and it gets better with the upcoming firmware update!

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