Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

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E-M5-Mark-II-Micro-Four-Thirds-cameraHow does 40-megapixels sound? Then check out the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. This interchangeable-lens camera features a compact dustproof, splashproof body, with a familiar, premium design, packed with 5-axis image stabilization, a 40-megapixel high-resolution shot mode, HD video, integrated Wi-Fi, and a variable-angle 3-inch touchscreen.

The easy-to-use 2.36 million dot, super-large, high-definition electronic viewfinder has a field of view of 100 percent, and a viewfinder magnification of 1.48x.

The camera is equipped with Adaptive Brightness Technology, which automatically adjusts the backlight brightness in accordance with environmental lighting.

The new LV Boost II is convenient for shooting stars, and Creative Control provides complete freedom of control over colour, tone, focus, and aspect ratio, says the company.

The new camera pairs a redesigned 16-megapixel Live-MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor with the TruePic VII processor, enabling brilliant image quality in bright and low-light conditions alike, says Olympus.

The mechanical shutter delivers a top speed of 1/8000 sec.

Users can capture RAW images at up to 10 fps with S-AF, or 5 fps with C-AF tracking enabled.

An Anti-shock mode utilizes electronic first-curtain shutter to reduce shutter shock during sequential shooting, and a new Silent mode enables a full-time 1/16000 second electronic shutter, eliminating the mechanical shutter noise entirely for absolutely silent shooting.

The 81-point Fast AF provides an expanded focus area, while Small Target AF allows users to focus on small areas across the entire frame.

The Mark II’s in-body 5-axis VCM image stabilization system is said to offer “unprecedented performance.” The camera’s 16-megapixel sensor shifts horizontally, vertically and on the X (pitch), Y (yaw) and Z (roll) axes to provide 5.0 EV steps of compensation performance. The camera can capture sharp images at shutter speeds as low as 1/4-second without the use of a tripod. Sensor shift on the X and Y axes can also assist when photographing close-up subjects. Image stabilization extends to the 3-inch rear vari-angle touchscreen and the electronic viewfinder (1.48x magnification), providing a full image stabilization preview when the shutter button is pressed halfway.

But how do you get 40 megapixels from a 16-megapixel sensor? The camera uses an innovative pixel-shift technique that is facilitated by the voice-coil motor IS unit. The 40-Megapixel High-Res Shot mode captures eight sequential images, moving the sensor by 0.5-pixel steps between each shot. Then, the camera compiles those images to produce a super-high resolution shot that “rivals those captured with a 40-megapixel full-frame camera,” says Olympus.

A tripod and a high-resolution lens are recommended when using the 40-Megapixel High-Res Shot mode, which captures eight shots over a period of one second. Another two seconds are required to compile the final image. Images can be captured at up to f/8 with a shutter speed of up to eight seconds and a sensitivity of up to ISO 1600. When shooting in RAW+JPEG mode, the camera will save a 40MB JPEG file, a 64MB RAW (ORF) file and a 16MB RAW (ORI) file. 64MB RAW images may be processed using Photoshop CS4 and later with a required plug-in.

The camera’s advanced video features enable photographers to capture cinema-quality movies. The camera’s 5-axis image stabilization compensates for even the slightest movement, allowing the camera to capture stable footage without the use of a sophisticated and expensive stabilization rig, or even a tripod. The mechanical IS unit can also work in concert with Electronic Stabilization if desired.

The OM-D E-M5 Mark II captures 1080p video at up to a 60p frame rate with up to 77 Mbps high bit-rate recording possible at the 30p setting. Additionally, the camera supports 50p, 30p (29.97p), 25p and 24p (23.98p) frame rates. An integrated microphone jack supports external audio input, while a headphone jack positioned in the HLD-8G External Grip enables real-time audio monitoring. Focus Peaking offers four colour choices (red, yellow, black and white) as well as three selectable intensities for optimal manual focus results. Settings can be adjusted while recording using the 3-inch touchscreen, including AF-point selection, exposure, electronic zoom and Movie Tele-converter, microphone sensitivity, headphone volume and art effects. Additionally, OM-D Movie supports time code settings and connection to an external HDMI monitor during recording. You can also add an Olympus PCM recorder for high-quality audio capture.

Photographers can take advantage of the OM-D’s Art Filters while in Movie Capture mode. Users can select from Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale and Light Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia, Dramatic Tone, Key Line, and Watercolour while capturing video. A Movie Tele-converter lets users touch an area on the screen to enlarge it without losing image quality, while the Clips tool enables short clip capture, allowing users to combine footage and effects directly on the camera for instant sharing.

The camera includes integrated Wi-Fi, enabling remote shooting, geotagging and easy image sharing using the Olympus Image Share app on an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. Photographers can use the Olympus Image Share app to apply Art Filters. Users can also start and stop movie recording using a wirelessly connected smartphone, or with the RM-UC1 Remote Cable Release. Studio photographers can take advantage of Olympus Capture support, enabling complete control of the Mark II from a connected Mac or PC.

The camera features a dustproof, splashproof body, that, when properly sealed and paired with select M.Zuiko Digital lenses, can even be used in the rain. Olympus’ Supersonic Wave Filter technology uses super high speed frequency movement to “shake” any dust or debris off the sensor, eliminating dust marks on images.

Two body colours are available: black with texture casting, and a bright silver. The camera includes machined metal dials, an extended grip and a lowered center of gravity.

The camera (body only) weighs 417 grams, or 14.7 ounces, making it one of the lightest models in its class, says the company.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II will be available in February with an estimated street price of $1,099.99 (body only).

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