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Olympus E-M5 II, camera topic
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  • I finally completed my E-M5 MK II Tips and Tricks Review video. Honestly, there were so many features with this camera that it took longer than I expected. However, I believe that waiting to post it also gave me time to really determine what works best with this camera.

    Please note that you “CAN” actually control the aperture and shutter speed with the control wheels during filming contrary to what I said in the video. However, it requires that you click the "OK" button first and then you still have to use the menu for some adjustments.

    The manual controls for filming are not as bad as I initially thought. However, they definitely are not intuitive and could still be improved with a firmware update. I still stand by the fact that the GH4 and especially the LX100 are much better for their manual controls.

    That being said I absolutely love the E-M5 MK II for shooting stills and for run and gun video. The auto focus is perfect for my needs. It just simply works.

    Also the way I setup the program priority mode in the video has allowed me to spend less time fiddling with settings and more time just getting the pictures and videos that I want. I still think the manual control settings on the LX100 are more efficient but this E-M5 MK II is the next best thing. In addition the LX100 can’t come close to matching the combination of my 14mm F2.5, 25mm F1.4, and 35-100mm F2.8 lenses. I am just glad that I have them all as options for whenever I need them.

    I will let the video do the talking for me. However, I really feel that the E-M5 MK II can absolutely be used as a pro stills camera. Once you figure out how to set it up it really can keep up with the big boy cameras if you have the right lenses. Hopefully the video will help everyone navigate through the menus. They really are not intuitive. Luckily it has presets so you only have to wade through the menus once.

    The text from the Narration is below along with some sample pictures.

  • The image quality isn't radically changed, compared with the original E-M5. This means it's still very good, with Raw files as clean and malleable as you'd expect for a Micro Four Thirds camera. The JPEG engine remains one of our favorites, producing bright, pleasant images at all but the highest ISO settings (though Fujifilm's film simulation modes are similarly good and offer more photographer-friendly options than the O-MD's color modes and Art filters).

    Movie image quality isn't going to impress dedicated videographers, but it's of a similar standard to most of the stills-focused cameras in its class and the combination of focus peaking and the excellent image stabilization makes it easier than most to get usable footage.

  • I'd say the EM5 Mark II's stabilization is better than any optical system I've used, at least with lenses up to 300mm in equivalent focal length - the longest I had to hand. Tests and numbers aside, the thing which really surprised me was how different the EM5 Mark II felt when actually composing. I never felt the need to complain when framing-up with the EM1, but the EM5 Mark II really did deliver what looked and felt like a smoother, more 'floaty' experience. For someone like me who isn't the steadiest photographer around, it's a real and measurable benefit over the EM1.

  • If a combination of excellent performance, responsive control, and finely machined, weather-sealed build appeal to you, then it's gonna be hard to pass the OM-D E-M5 Mark II up. Sure, your return on investment isn't as high as the cheaper, excellent cameras we listed above, but there's no question that the E-M5 Mark II is a better overall camera.

  • Hi,

    Please check this small test video of Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II

  • @Kit_L Didn't you do any side by side comparison mark 1 vs 2?

    So far I've seen just one short AB test which is in the last part of this video @ 8:23.

    Judging from the rooftops, window shutters and other fine building details I got an impression that mark 2 footage has slightly less resolution. Is it just me?

  • Scot wrote:

    I think I will be returning the EM5 mk ii not for one main reason but rather several together. They being the awkward way required to change fstop while recording,

    Why I returned mine. Ultimate video quality is not the most important thing for me personally; even with that fantastic IBIS (which really is excellent) usability is the most important set of features to me. The G6 Pannys record unlimited length, ISO is adjustable on button (so exp. comp. if shooting M); ditto exposure, and ƒ stop. Video IQ is good enough for my needs. I have the Mk 1 EM5, and its IBIS works well. Both iterations of the EM5 stop recording after 29 minutes, and that's just another headache on long-form projects. A pity, really.

  • incredible quality!

  • I think I will be returning the EM5 mk ii not for one main reason but rather several together. They being the awkward way required to change fstop while recording, the crop factor 25% more than a GH2 is to much for me, moire and shadow noise. I will keep an eye on it so if they upgrade firmware or the price comes down I will reevaluate. In fact if I had the excess money to afford 2 cameras I would keep it just for the IBIS alone it is that good.

  • @zigzigi In all fairness I messed up the comparison because I had curves on the EM5. It needs a contrast boost that I took away from the EM5.

  • @Scot Thanks for sharing!

    I could not spot much of the difference in resolution on YT, now it's more obvious. Also it was a surprise to me that EM5II is quite noisy in the shadows despite the sunlit scene. Strange, because its sensor is supposed to be superior.

  • Another E-M5ii example

  • I think the best thing is probably starting with sharpening -2 instead of +1. The rest is contrast which can be fixed. In fact I made an error in my test you can adjust the curves which I must have and forgot. The curves were set to either +3/-3 or +4/-4 which explains the flat file. So of course the EM5 would need a contrast boost my dumb mistake.

  • @Scot thanks 4 sharing the files. From THOSE samples, GH2's image is way more natural than OM E5 vII
    I dunno which settings did you use, but if that's how Oly movs look like... mmmm. It is almost like a 2 layer effect: blur then sharpen. Jpeg engine or downscale process or both in a hermafro-phone??? It is "easier" to deal with unsharp images than with halos... tried different methods but nothing worth writtin g home about. Cheers =)

  • @zigizig thanks here is the link looks like it won't be ready for a hour and a half.

  • Try this one. It's free and allows uploads up to 50gb.

  • I need a place to upload 3 gigs that won't cost me anything. I have someone in another forum that wants them as well.

  • @Scot Don't you mind sharing ungraded source files? I'd like to play around with CC.

  • @Scot yeah, Oly is flatter than Panny, though I'm sure you can easily lift blacks without any noise on the GH2 to get the same look. Damn, that halo is really distracting, even on crappy youtube. But I gues the IBIS is well worth it:) Any chance for a side by side comparison with humans in frame? :) THX!

  • @brudney I didn't say which was which ; ) just kidding the EM5 is on the left and the GH2 is on the right. I've had that lens on both and in video stopped down not as much difference as you might think. Side by side in the editor the EM5 seemed to have the better frames probably due to the Iframes. As far as dialing down you can go -2 to contrast, saturation, and sharpening there is also a gradient setting. I do know what your saying about the halos just not bothering me as much. I figure since it seems like you need to post process I'll probably turn them all to -2 and work from there. I'll post out of the camera version here so you can see what I mean you will also see how flat the image is with that tree trunk in the shade it's basically black on the GH2 but you can easily see the detail on the EM5. The EM5 has that wonderfull IBIS and after having a few of my old manual lenses on it I don't want to give up without a fight. As to the quality I'm sure as the real pros add there work flows it might find it's place.

  • Thx Scot! I like GH2 better - even though way worse lens was used there's more detail on the GH2. Also, I don't like how Oly treats the edges of dense subjects - it seems like digital sharpening is added thus almost haloing the edges. How much can you dial it down? Does it impact the image at all?