[Review] Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
Remember my very excited post about bringing the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II on our trip to Melbourne late last year? Well, you probably don’t because it has been more than 3 months since. I am still very enthusiastic about sharing with you guys on our Melbourne trip but there are quite a lot of information (and photos, of course) I would like to share so I’ll do that after I sort them out proper!
In the meantime, let me just talk to you guys about my perfect travel companion, which we had the privilege to bring along to Melbourne, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II!
I currently own an Olympus PEN Lite E-PL6 which I have been using for the past 2 years. I was torn between getting a PEN or an OMD then but eventually decided on the PEN because 1) budget, 2) selfie!
I’ve been an Olympus fan since and absolutely love using my E-PL6 (except the fact that it doesn’t have built-in WIFI function), but the thought of eventually getting an OM-D still pops up occasionally. Hence, I was really excited when I was told I could bring the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II on our Melbourne trip to test its functionalities!
Before we dive in, let me just make a disclaimer that this will not be a tech review of the camera on its specs and technical details. I believe those information can be easily found online, comprehensively reviewed and written by professional photographers and tech sites. I will simply be sharing with you about my experience with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II as a during our Melbourne trip and how its design and functions fare in areas that are important to me.
1. design & handling
The look and feel of the OM-D is one of the main reasons why I have been thinking of getting one. I have always liked how the cameras in the OM-D series are designed to look retro and timeless with some modern updates in the dials and controls. Not only do the photos taken by the camera look good, the camera itself looks good in photos too. It never hurts to have a touch of classic charm!
The camera is beautifully finished and not a single part of the camera feels loose, flimsy or cheap. The moving parts like the pop-up flash, tilting LCD screen and dials are made sturdy but still easy to use.
The camera feels hardy and solid, just like its OM-D predecessors. But unlike the higher-end E-M1, E-M5 and E-M5 Mark II, the E-M10 Mark II is not weather proof. Being weather proof is a good-to-have bonus, adding on to the usability of the camera, but not a priority for me.
Weighing at 390g (inclusive of battery and memory card), the E-M10 Mark II is the lightest camera in the OM-D series which makes this feature-packed camera really portable. I usually sling it across my body and if I’m using the kit lens, the camera generally doesn’t obstruct my movement at all. Extremely important when travelling, handling an active toddler and having to manage all the bags!
3. built-in 5-Axis Image Stabilisation
I believe we’ve all had moments where life presented us with the perfect photo-op and in our excitement, we quickly whip out our camera and snap snap snap, only to realise, after the moment has passed, that the shots were blurry because we did not stabilise our hands before taking the shot. The built-in 5-Axis Image stabilisation which comes in the E-M10 Mark II aims to make blurry photos a history by compensating for different shake and roll that occurs during shooting.
I feel terrible having to show this photo without any cropping because the framing is BAD. But I wanted to let you see that this shot was taken through the windscreen of a moving car, travelling easily at the speed twice the limit of that in Singapore (ooops). Except for some blur due to movement, the photo is considerably crisp and sharp given how terribly unstable my hands must have been!
Here’s another in-vehicle shot, down the winding Great Ocean Road, with a slightly better framing. Do note that the windscreen is tinted so the colour of the photo seems slightly muted.
4. image quality
I usually put my photos through some processing in Lightroom, but I love how well the E-M10 Mark II is able to capture the colours and details of objects and scenery beautifully. This makes it a really great travel companion especially if you one of those who like to upload your photos immediately onto your social media platforms as you travel, which you can definitely do so with the built in WI-FI function 🙂
Just a note before we check out the photos – I usually toggle between Auto, P and A mode and most of the photos from my Melbourne trip are taken with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm lens because they consist largely of scenery and interior spaces (rooms, cafes, restaurants, etc) so I simply kept the wide-angle lens on 🙂
Here are some photos before any processing (except some cropping and straightening)!
Now that we’ve witnessed how the camera perform under the bright and welcoming Aussie sunlight, here’s a look at how it performs under low-light settings.
Motion shots are a little more tricky. Sometimes, we want the moment to freeze and other times, we want to capture the motion and let the photo tell a story. I don’t have many examples of motion shots but here are a few to show you how the camera fair in capturing motion. Don’t forget, you can always play around with the shutter speed to adjust how you want to capture the movement in your photos!
5. functionalities and User-friendliness
The E-M10 is jam-packed with functionalities and the list below are just some of its key features.
If I could just mention a few, I’d say the built-in Wi-Fi control and picture transfer capability is probably the function which attracts me the most (since my current E-PL 6 doesn’t have an in-built WI-FI function). I can view and transfer photos taken with the E-M10 right into my smartphone and share it online anytime, anywhere! All I need is to download the Olympus’ OI.Share app (iOS & Android compatible) onto my phone and do a really quick set up 🙂
The ART mode offers 14 different options of art filters are also one of Olympus cameras’ big selling point. Some of the filter could really jazz up a shot and make it look incredibly artistic, but I’m personally not big on filters (not even Instagram filters) so I’m afraid I can’t show you any examples of filtered shots.
Finally, I would like to talk a little about user-friendliness. I would say the design of the camera is well though-out but the controls are not entirely intuitive. I appreciate that they are able to pack the camera with a ton features without cluttering the camera body with excessive number of unsightly buttons. This also means that some functions may only be accessible by clicking deep into the settings menu, but those are usually the ones you don’t need that often. I’ve been using my E-PL6 for 2 years and I still have not fully explored its functions!
I’m still on the fence about whether I want to upgrade my camera to the E-M10. I like the camera well enough but my E-PL6 is still working great and I still prefer the LCD tilt-screen of my E-PL6 which allows me to take selfies! I am also extremely intrigued by the new PEN-F and would probably want to give the charming and poetic looking camera a try before I decide!
For those who are keen to get an Olympus camera, make sure you follow Olympus Imaging Singapore on Facebook to get updated info on their latest camera deals!