Updated: 40mp Olympus OMD EM5 Successor (EM5 II)

Update 2/05/15: It’s Official! The Olympus OM-D EM5 Mark II is set for release and sale by the end of this month though pricing has yet to be specified. Here’s the official press release from Olympus. The rumors we posted earlier came true, the official statement for the 40mp feature mentions, “8 images are captured with 16-megapixel image information while moving the sensor by 0.5 pixel steps between each shot. The data from the 8 shots are then combined to produce a single, super-high resolution image, equivalent to the one captured with a 40-megapixel image sensor.”

As an owner of the original OM-D EM5, I wasn’t quite convinced on upgrading as I don’t shoot much landscape anyway, but a few other notable upgrades over the EM5 have me rethinking my position:

EM5 MkII with LM3 Flash

The Upgraded LM3 Flash – The LM3, unlike it’s predecessor (LM2) can tilt 90° upward and rotate 180° thus making it capable of bounce shooting! Though with a guide number ~9 (a power measurement where entry levels tend to start at 36) we’ll have to find out how useful this is. It should be perfect for bouncing off a standard household ceiling though. If we’re shooting at F2.8 at ISO100 with a GN of 9… 9/2.8 = 3.2M or just about 10 feet. And remember, the LM flashes can be used as commanders to trigger compatible remote flashes, for more info checkout our post on TTL flashes for Micro Four Thirds.

EM5 II Dot Sight

External Dot Sight – Designed for super-telephoto shooting, “It features a slide lever style opening mechanism, and a splashproof construction for use in any environment.”

Other notable upgrades are the articulating screen (a recent trend), 1/8000 shutter speed, a larger and hopefully more secure eyecup (eyecups falling from the EM5 were very common) and better video capabilities. For more details be sure to checkout the full press release. Also, checkout Robin Wong’s review, which includes amazing image examples. Though a tad biased as an Olympus employee, Wong is prolific in the Micro Four Thirds community and a well respected source (and of course amazing photographer).

Checkout the OM-D EM-5 MkII Trailer Here:

And a hands on video from the Camera Store TV here, where they compare it to a medium format Pentax and it holds up very well!

 

 

Update 1/15/15: Japanese website and reliable source Digital Camera Info has pictures of the new OMD EM5 II, all signs point to an official announcement at the CP+ conference next month. As we’ve previously mentioned, the most notable feature is the 40MP “sensor shift” technology (details below) and the new pictures also reveal an articulating screen. Other than that, it looks just like the original OMD EM5. Checkout the back of the EM5 II below and the rest on Digicame-info.com:

OMD EM5 II

According to multiple sources, the rumored successor to the popular Olympus OMD EM5 could shoot 40mp photos made possible through “sensor shift” technology. A similar technology is featured on a $45,000 medium format Hassleblad H5D:

via HasselbladUSA.com (click for full size)
via HasselbladUSA.com (click for full size)

Essentially, it’s a 50MP sensor that shoots multiple photos and stitches and combines them, shifting pixels to create a 200MP photo. Now if you’re considering dumping your current OMD EM5 consider that since you need multiple shots, sensor shift technology is best for landscape and still life photographers. It’s rumored to feature the same (or slightly upgraded) 16MP sensor, also rumored to have 4k video.

What’s the difference between sensor shift and HDR?

Stan Rogers over at SLRLounge explains:

The sensor shift does more than just increase the number of pixels captured, it also effectively takes the Bayer matrix out of play. ‘Blad’s original multishot back did a sensor shift of *exactly* one sensel [, rendering a 50MP image where every pixel had full-colour exposure (similar to a Foveon exposure, but requiring four shots — two green, a red and a blue for every sensel). That both increases the amount of real detail captured (in the same number of pixels) and significantly reduces certain kinds of moiré. By slightly changing the amount of sensor displacement (so it’s not exactly the same as the size as a sensel) they’re also able to gather much more data. (There is a chance that with a little bit of trickery in firmware, Pentax could “abuse” their sensor cleaning mechanism to do something similar, though I couldn’t say for sure. Depends how the dust shaker works.)

A Bayer filter mosaic is a color filter array (CFA) for arranging RGB color filters on a square grid of photosensors. Furthermore, a sensel, after interpolation, become image pixels. Thus as Rogers explained, the resulting image has more real detail, as opposed to an HDR which focuses on toning through Dynamic Range.

This should be confirmed at either CES in Las Vegas on January, or CP+ in Japan on February.

If true, are you planning on buying an OMD EM5 capable of 40mp photos? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!

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