My First Day impressions with the Olympus E-M1 MKII and new Lenses!

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My First Day impressions with the Olympus E-M1 MKII and new Lenses!

WOOOOOOFREAKINGHOOO!

Hey all! I am in Iceland (which is a true Photographers paradise)  all week-long with the new Olympus E-M1 MKII, the new 12-100 Lens and the new 25 1.2 Lens. It’s frigid cold, it’s wet, and it’s dreary but MAN OH MAN what a time and what a camera.

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT HYPE my friends, it’s 100% what it is. 

Me with the new EM1 MKII and 12-100 Lens. I am buying both, no question.

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This morning I received the OMD-Em1 MKII kit and we have been out ALL morning and day and evening shooting with this kit and I have to say that Olympus pulled out ALL the stops here. I mean, I have never used a more advanced camera system when it comes to what a camera can do, how it can do it, and with the ease that it does it.

The E-M1 II is a huge leap forward for Micro 4/3, and is a true powerhouse camera. Believe that, it is true. 

This is NOT a review, not at all…my review will be up 1st week of November (I HOPE, that’s the plan). Sadly, I can not share images from it just yet but will be soon, and my 1st day here in Iceland was very productive. Three things:

  • The new 12-100 lens is stunning.  A MUST own lens. This is the lens you may not think you want, but you really do. This lens, when attached to the new E-M1 II has 5 Axis that gives us a 6.5 stop advantage. The IQ of this lens is perfection from wide open to stopped down and from 12mm to 100. It’s small for what it is, but a full PRO Olympus lens with weather sealing and all. It’s weather SEALED not splash proof like most. Beautiful. 
  • The new 25 1.2 is also a STUNNER!!! Forget what you think you know as this lens is up there with ANY lens from Leica in regards to contrast, sharpness, rendering and Bokeh. And no, it is NOT too big. 
  • The new E-M1 II may be…may be…the best camera I have ever reviewed as a total package. But I will get into all of that in my full review as more testing is required and I am shooting all week with it. 

Today this camera and these two lenses withstood a true torture test from rain, cold, and massive waterfall splashes. My camera and lens was SOAKED over and over and over again and it kept on ticking just like an old Timex watch. It took a massive licking but kept on ticking. That was just ONE of the many wonderful things about this camera. After only one day it is safe to say that there is no better M 4/3 camera on the market, not even close.

Conditions were like this all day and this setup kept on going..I was soaked to the bone when I returned to my hotel but the camera had no issues. 

wet1 wet2

I do not want to make this post long as I do have a full review to write but let me just go over a few of the things that have already impressed me about the E-M1 MKII…

  • Dual SD slots that allow you to assign a slot to VIDEO or PHOTO or you can assign one as a mirror/backup. With the new Cinema 4K video this camera offers, you will need a fast large SD card and slot #1 is where you want to put it. You can put your normal SD in slot 2 for photo work. But it’s a fantastic system.
  • New menus/redesign. Easy to read and set up!
  • NEW battery system! Looks like the Leica M 240 battery which will give longer life. Awesome.
  • The weather sealing of the lenses and body is fantastic.
  • The SPEED!!! With two quad core processors this guy is uber responsive in every way. Blazing AF, blazing image preview, no lag whatsoever. This thing is a speed demon and an ACCURATE one.
  • Feel and Design remains true to the original but it’s better. A tad taller but it feels GREAT. This is a true pro built body.
  • The EVF is great and while not up to Leica SL standards, its just under it. Has a 6ms reaction time.
  • Everything is customizable.
  • 18 FPS with S-AF mode
  • 60 FPS full RAW with SF and AE lock
  • 121 Point cross type AF
  • 18 FS tracking mode
  • ISO auto to 6400
  • Better high ISO performance over E-M1 (1 stop) with a new color noise reduction process  that is quite good.
  • New improved HIGH RES SHOT
  • New improved 5 Axis
  • Rolling shutter issues? Oly found a way to minimize it to an almost non existent level.
  • 4K movie mode, 4K cinema mode at 24P – 237MBPS
  • 12-100 Lens will focus as close as 1cm and according to Olympus it is the best lens they can make, and I believe them after using it today.
  • Lag free EVF with smooth 120fps frame rate.
  • Pro Capture Moment mode – Buffers 14 frames BEFORE you fire your shot, and it is always buffering 14 shots. When you press the shutter half way it starts, when your moment is going to happen press it down all the way and the camera will shoot a boatload of frames to make sure you never miss a shot. This is basically compensating for human lag. It works amazingly well and allowed me to get a few images today I would have missed without question.
  • Twice the memory of the E-M1 for blazing processing. 30ms electronic shutter, 33 mechanical.
  • 4X faster tethering using new USB C cable.

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This pano is from my iPhone 6 but was just one of the areas we shot today. 

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These are just the new improvements made, all the old features are still here as well. The IQ is improved, noise is improved, speed is improved, design and performance all the way around.

I will be ordering one with BOTH new lenses, it is that good. Watch for my full review in November! 

AVAILABILITY and PRICING?

Olympus has not told me yet when it will be available or how much it will cost. As soon as I know and can share, I will let you all know! My dream scenario would be $1599 but it may be more, and it would be worth it at up to $2k for me. I am also hoping for a late November ship date but we will see! This would make a killer Christmas present to myself, lol.

PS – I always wondered where Olympus could go with another Flagship, and they have created something special with the E-M1 II. Even they say it is the best camera they have EVER made, period. It truly is. Olympus is one of 2-3 companies changing the game and pushing new tech and features, and once again they have made the internet camera world pretty damn excited. 

SO MUCH to come in my full review. I am hoping for early November!

 


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136 Comments

  1. Could you please test this camera with flying birds? My AF and Tracking experiences with the EM 5 Mark II and Pro lenses were not good in this respect!

  2. Steve,

    Do you know if OLY is going to offer a battery grip for it?

    Cant wait for the FULL review…

    Thanks!

    • Wish I could tell you but we had no older 4/3 lenses to test with it. EVERYTHING has been improved and it is fast so I would expect it to be quite a bit faster. Until I test though, it’s only speculation.

  3. How many lenses come with the camera, I remembered Olympus E-620 comes with two lenses (14-40mm & 70-300mm)?

    • The EM1 MKII is body only, no kit lens will be offered with it. It’s a pro body so they would not include a cheap kit zoom with it. Some of us recommended they offer a kit of the EM1, 12-100 and Grip but we were told body only…for now.

  4. Would you prioritize upgrading new body or new lens, zoom and f1.2. Which would you do 1st? Trading EM1 or f2.8 12 to 40 pro zooms or pan/Leica f1.4. What would you upgrade 1st.
    I shoot flowers, people and landscapes and print color or B&W with Epson P600.

    Bob in Chicago

    • Hey Bob,

      Well, all depends on you. The lenses are superb, as is the new body. Me, Id probably buy the lenses, then the body if I already had a body. But if you want the new features and speed, and qualities of the new body, go for that 1st. 🙂

      • Putting aside 20 vs 16 Meg sensor is there any plus of Pen F over EM1. CAN COLOR WHEEL ON EM1 be used when shooting g monochrome mode of EM1. CAN SEE effect of color wheel in EVF MONOCHROME image prior to taking g picture.

  5. Have you tested the 60fps raw burst mode? I’m really curious how many raw frames it captures in one burst. Please share your findings! Thanks

    • I did test Pro Capture and it worked as advertised. But I accidentally left it on, and the next day my 1st shot? It took a burst of over 200 images 😉 OUCH! This thing BLAZES in every way. Probably the most responsive camera I have tested (though I have yet to test the new uber fast Sony 6500, only had a brief hands on of that one)

  6. Always good to have your latest enthusiasm, Steve – very infectious! Thanks. Would be interesting to hear your view on “down-sizing” from APS-C to M43 for the sake of this gem. I ended up with a Pentax K50 last winter (it’s actually better weatherised than I am!) and have been very pleased about the quality I’m getting. Carry on enjoying your trip.

    • I’ll have a huge write up on 11/2 with ALL of my thoughts and 60 of my fave images, which is the most keepers I have ever accumulated for a review. This camera, and the two new lenses are INCREDIBLE. There is no APS-C camera I would choose over this camera, but that’s me. But then again, I have used them all. Even some hardcore well known MF guys are enjoying the hell out of it here. The leaps Olympus has made is fantastic. The IQ, speed, response and new lenses are top notch. It does things some $10k cameras can not do, and it is built amazingly well as well. I had this camera in ice cold temps, hail, sleet, snow and rain and it never ever hiccuped. It’s a monster and the AF is as good as it gets. It just does so much more than I would ever need but to know it is there is nice. 😉 The 25 1.2 is simply GORGEOUS, and IMO one of Olympus’s best lenses ever made. It is almost Leica/Otus like, truly, and it’s not large as some say, nor is it heavy. Smaller than the 7-14 2.8, smaller than the 12-100. larger than the Panasonic 25 1.4 but this lens renders MUCH nicer, and it’s f/ 1.2 which is HUGE for Micro 4/3. ALL winners.

  7. Just back from a vacation in Iceland stunning, stunning lamb soup, fish stew, and rye bread. Oh and the landscapes are pretty decent too 🙂 One of the highlights was taking a walk onto the glacier at Skaftafell, which I’d heartily recommend. We went with Icelandic Mountain Guides – http://www.mountainguides.is who I’m happy to recommend here as they were excellent, and if you do go with them we were the “moulin” family 🙂 Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon, nearby is worth a visit too. I could go on and on (I frequently do) 🙂 Already planning the next trip there.

    I’ve been watching M43 develop over the years now, and the EM1II, 12-100mm and the 25mm 1.2 look to be THE set to finally get me to shift. Would still be room in my pocket for the GR too 🙂

    This is a nice taster, looking forward to your full review.

    • But the older models and lens are now very reduced prices and get you 90% there with 2X money left in your pocket. If you shoot sports or handheld video then the MKII is what you need otherwise the much reduced price EM1 is GREAT. That’s why so many wedding photographers own it plus the trio of pro zooms.

      • Hi Bob, thanks for your reply. Yep, agreed, this is a possibility. However, the new lenses look to be something special, and the more I read and samples I see the better they look, which is actually quite unusual, I normally cool towards new stuff as the reviews roll in. Still early days though. Buying the MKII and the two new lenses in part would be for the complete solution they give, in part for wildlife and handhold video work, and in part for that 10%. I have cameras for specific uses, and this maybe a tool in the box to do something different to them. Would wait until the GH5 is out and reviewed before jumping.

  8. Steve,
    So the 12-100 may fulfill the dream of a true compact, one lens solution? (for travel?)
    Perhaps with 2 lenses, you’d be set for 90% of general photography?
    Once you get a chance to review it, I hope you compare it to the 12-40.
    Looking forward to your review! Thanks!

    • It’s better than the 12-40 which I never understood the hype for. (I never bought the 12-40). The 12-100 is astonishing, and again, Olympus compares it to Zeiss Otus, Leica, etc. The Quality of this lens is great and while I would not compare it to an OTUS it’s probably the best lens Olympus makes. You can literally put your hand against the lens hood and it will focus on your hand. It has a great range of 24-200, is compact and has the extra IS to give the E-M1 even more IS horsepower. This and the 25 is all I would ever need. Add a 300 for the ultimate 😉

  9. Steve,

    Q: Is the 12-100 internal zoom, like the 40-150? Or does the barrel extend (like 12-40) when zooming…?

    I sold my E-M1 a few months back in hopes that the E-M1mkII would be a winner, so I am glad to see you are so jazzed! Thanks for your real world first impressions – can’t wait for your full-blown review.

  10. I hope Olympus completely revised the menus because the original E-M1 had the worst menus I’ve ever used. I just could not get along with them.

  11. Hi Steve, my wife is particularly interested in that 12 to 100 f4, we have just spent 5 weeks in Spain and Italy and she got thoroughly sick of holding my lenses whilst I changed them out on my em5 mk2, I suggested that I could replace three with just one lens, to which she replied, good well you’d better get one before the next trip.

    Can’t tell you how glad I am to hear it is as good as touted.

    Only problem, I conveniently failed to mention how much it was going to cost, oh well Chrissy is coming.

  12. Steve,
    I have a Pen F and the 17/1.8, how does the IQ compare to this new rave, I shot landscapes and people mainly and do not need the video or most of the advanced features
    Philip

  13. Excited for your thoughts on this Steve and to hear about your trip to Iceland. You kindly featured my bike ride tour photos a few weeks ago, it’s an amazing country to travel. Punishing but rewarding!

    I sold my Oly EM-5 to buy my current Fuji gear, which I love, but without doubt I miss the size and weight advantage of M4/3 and may yet return to it.

    Have an amazing trip, if you’re passing through Hofn, definitely try some langoustine! The soup / pizza combos at Pakkhús Restaurant are amazing (and the local beer is great too)! Also if near Vik, be sure to check out the road that takes you to Reynisfjara on the other side of the headland, it’s well worthwhile.

  14. I’m usually one to be concerned about oversized lenses for mirrorless cameras somewhat defeating their original purpose of a more compact compromise in photography. However, from early reports and photos taken with this 25 1.2 lens, and of the Olympus E-M1 MKII capabilities, it doesn’t matter if they are a bit larger, because this new camera set up will be setting its own standards of image quality, ease, and stabilization that defy, compete and exceed almost any camera format without compromise. I truly look forward in particular to your 25 1.2 review. It appears to be one of those rare lenses that just astounds, and makes one want to buy into the system just to experience it.

    • Sorry but you are spouting utter tosh! Exceed almost any camera format?? Have you been smoking something? Lol

      • Not sure what “Tosh” is but sounds like you do not understand what I said.

        This camera will do things some cameras that cost $10k+ can not do. IQ is NEVER EVER the only thing I look at. Some cameras have fantastic IQ but are awful in use. Some can’t focus, some miss, some are bulky some are plastic feeling. Some are slow, some can’t do low light AF, some can not do long exposures nicely and some just have IQ going for them, and that is it. This camera has IQ and EVERYTHING else going for it. NO weaknesses that I have found. It’s not just me, just wait…for the reviews 😉

        But understand how one should evaluate a camera.

        • Firstly I was responding to Rick’s statement not yours….but now you’ve jumped on the bandwagon. What 10K system are you referring too?

          • I’ll just let the reviews of the Olympus 25 1.2 and E-M1 MKII speak for themselves for any camera at any price as I said, for image quality, ease of use, and stabilization. The differences between full frame, APSC, and micro four thirds in image quality has become negligible for most uses, especially with these new lens introductions competing and dare say, exceeding the sacred ground of Leica at a fraction of the price.

  15. Question 1, why do no camera RAID-0 memory cards so you can write to both cards at their max data rates and so empty the buffer twice as fast or record high bit rate video on slower/cheaper cards and then combine into one file on export to computer.

    Question 2, what is the buffer depth? 60fps is great but if it’s only 20 photos deep and so only 1/3rd of a second its not much use in most circumstances.

  16. Did you manage to hide the camera in your bag at the end of the event, and did they believe you when you said ‘I lost it’?

    If so, would you be willing to sell it to me, keeping in mind that it’s a stolen item and that you put it through rough conditions, which obviously lowers the selling price of this second hand camera?

    Thanks

  17. I would love if you could test the long exposure (2 min+) behaviour of the sensor in the E-M1 II. I imagine Iceland to have ther perfect landscape to try long exposure fine art shots.

    There was a marked difference in sensor noise that made the E-M1 a deal breaker for me and opted for the E-M5 instead. I wonder if they have this under control on the mk II as it would be an ideal all round camera if I didn’t have to choose between af/frame speed and noise performance.

    • I can only do what is planned, as we are out 12 hours a day as a group, and have planed events. SO far, no chance to try this. But whatever I can not test here, I will test when I get a review copy, which should be soon.

  18. I used to have an Olympus OM-1 and in all my experience of cameras since have never seen as bright and as wide a viewfinder (with interchangeable focusing screens).
    It had a soft shutter release and was quiet and was a full frame 35mm film camera.
    I have a quiet respect for Olympus and am interested in knowing if this is the best Olympus camera ?
    Can it match the OM-1 as above?
    Maybe not but no doubt strong in other areas.

    • According to the viewfinder specs it can`t match the OM-1 viewfinder in this respect. Since High-eyepoint and lot of Information around the viewfinder images are state of the art, it is unlikely to ever get a viewfinder like the OM-1 one, especially in a a camera of that size.
      When you don`t wear glasses looking through a OM-1 viewfinder is always such a WOW-Moment: How does an image that big fit into a body like this.

    • I’ve had many Olympus models since the 70s, and the OM-1 is the only one I could not part with… even the amazing OM-4Ti finally went. But the OM-1 is a true classic. Mine still works like new. I see the E-M5 (my current main camera) as a re-do of the OM-1 which started it all, and this E-M1ii is much closer to the OM-4Ti, except let’s hope there is much more to come in terms of advancement.
      I think Oly has pulled out the stops, and shown that they are prepared to fight for the shrinking ILC market with their innovative technology. Let’s hope they can do a better job of marketing it than in years past.

  19. Truly speaking all of what you’ve said could also be true of original EM1 and pro zooms 12 to 40 f2.8 couldn’t it. The MKII is for video and action sports not much better in wet damp weather taking landscapes in Iceland.

  20. Steve, I’ve been shooting M43 and pany since the G1 up to the GX7. I bought the E-5MKII in January, love the power and slowly getting use to the complexity. But If you had to rate the E-5MKII against the new Em1 MKII on a scale of 1-10 where would you put both?

      • Based on what Oly says the MKII camera us FAST… SPORTS AND ACTION AND VIDEO Han held. How does that make it a 10 vs a 5 for what most people including many pros use a camera for?

        The EM1 AND OMD 10MKII ARE GREAT CAMERAS not 1/2 as good as new camera UNLESS you need the FAST features. Surely the sensor isn’t 2x better. And is the 12 – 100mmf4 2X better than the pro 12 -40 f2.8 sealed lens?

        If you need the television end YES. OTHERWISE NO. IMHO.
        BOB FROM CHICAGO

        • Yeah, a bit too much exuberance there. It’s an exciting camera for sure, but the em5ii has 90% the claimed capabilities of the EM1ii.

          By all accounts fundamental IQ should be about the same as the Pen-F, and the Pen-F is about the same as the em5ii.

  21. I can’t help but wonder how the Oly E- M – 1X Mark V 3.0 will be then? Will Oly have to fly sympathetic journalists to the moon?

    Sorry folks but I wonder how anyone can cope with sluggish lost in menus hardware of yesteryear and come out with some decent material. I find this exuberant enthusiam every time the emperor shows his new clothes rather odd.

    Or to put it in other words:
    Amateurs care about equipment.
    Pros care about profits.
    Artists care about light.

    • No idea what you’re writing about. Companies sponsor bloggers/journalists all the time. Look at how many were down in Miami for the a6300 event this year. They know the reach that many have and feel like it’s worth it.

      Menu? I’d rather have a comprehensive menu that I can fine tune once, and forget it rather than have an overly simplistic one without options.

      That last part? You lost me there.

    • I think what Michael is saying is that sufficiency was reached a few years ago in terms of what is required for a digital camera to produce a technically great image. In fact, a great image can be made with a £30 holga. The product cycles of modern cameras are insane. Long gone are the days when photographers bought a camera and kept it for years, learning to use it and to make great images with it. It seems that, today, there is more reliance on technology to do the job for you with minimal time investment. This has led to an arms race in digital cameras where consumers are told that they need the latest gear to be an even better photographer. You don’t. What you need is experience, a good eye and to know your camera inside out so that you can use it without looking at the buttons and dials. New lenses are fine and the latest offerings from olympus look fantastic, a good lens can really affect output. Remember, however, that most of the images that made a difference, changed people’s perceptions or made us mouth “wow” were made with gear that seems stone-age when compared to modern cameras. Before you part with your hard-earned cash, say to yourself “will this camera make me a better photographer?” If the answer is “yes” then go for it, you’re worth it. In 18 months time, when you’re asking yourself the same question again, however, will the answer be the same? For some photographers, the answer will always be “yes” and this is what the manufacturers rely on.

      It’s not hate, it’s truth.

      • I agree completely with Mark. The marketing allure is that if you buy a new and expensive camera you’re going to be a better photographer. Unless you’re using real junk, that’s most unlikely to be true. For many people, it would be more useful to invest in, and study, the great photographers, many of whom used 35 mm B&W film for their entire careers, and try to develop a personal way of seeing and capturing the world with the gear they’ve already got.

      • Well said. Every button, knob, switch, lever, mode, wheel, joystick and menu item is a decision that gets in the way. Bigger, smaller, faster, slower, higher, lower are not really what photography is all about, to me at any rate. I’d love the convenience of digital, but with the utter simplicity and complete control of an OM-1n.

      • Look I just can’t justify Steve;s 10 and 5 ratings for new vs what we own cameras. Remember the picture of the EM1 sitting in a shower taking pictures with the water running on it. How can the new body in Iceland be better than that? And what Oly claims FAST FAST FAST is not helpful shooting landscapes in Iceland. I owned the75mm f 1.8 cause everyione said it was the sharpest lens out there but sold it for the 12-40mm f2.9 pro zoom because I kept backing up with the 75mm focal length.. it was just to long. Also owned the 60mm macro and sold it cause the pro zoom at 40mm with focus peaking and manual focusing does great macro shots unless you are shooting bugs.

        Look at the pictures you are taking and the ones you want to take but can’t and if the new gear fills that role upgrade otherwise be content.

        bob in Chicago

        • The MKII is superior to the MKI in just about every way, yes. True. Believe it or not, doesn’t matter. What matters is the results, usability, speed, reaction, and features. If it is something that is enticing to you, great. If not, the older models are just fine. But I will not lie and say it’s the same as the MKI because it is not, old one at this point would get a 5, new one a 10. IF I WAS comparing them. IN 4 years I am sure the MKII will be a 5 and the MKIII a 10 as things do improve, tech gets better and cameras improve at a rapid rate.

      • Thanks Mark! I coundn’t put it in better words. My point was maybe a bit too polemic for I am bored with endless discussions about SIZE, IBIS, IQ, HIGH ISO, “EVEN BETTER AF THAN THE FORMER…” but it goes further. The speed the industry is coming out with new gear and the increase of retail prices is hitting a pretty satisfied market (not to mention the smartphone only users). The devalueing of second hand gear which is also true to not the latest fancy models comes at a price. Photography as such is becoming more and more meaningless. Buying new gear every six months doesn’t make this gear-oriented users any better photographers. The industry of course relies more and more on sites like this which is understandable and cheaper than standard advertisements in print but should be questionable when it comes to free tickets, selected invitations via VIP treatment etc. Don’t get me wrong. Enjoy the trip(s) but to me it is not convincing to slag off older formerly highly praised models the moment there is a newer model to be sold when you can’t see much or any improvement in photography with the latest and more costly gear.

        Is it worth it?

        Can you see a difference?

        More crazy comparisons in relation to asthetical reasons, please Steve. Or guess what gear was used could be a pretty revealing and rewarding approach in this respect.

  22. Will the new camera he able to shot any of my SHG 4/3 lenses any better then the Original EM1 and if so in what way??

    • I asked the same question at the Olympus pro salon in Tokyo. They sai that it will focus faster than it does with e-m1 mark I . Hope it helps.

  23. Thanks for sharing your opinion, this seems a great improvement of the whole m43 system. Did you or someone else also try the new Fuji X-T2? Can you provide a preview comparison? I am very undecided about these two cameras!

    • E-M1II is a fully pro tool, made to withstand ANY environment, made for extreme speed. Has the best IS ever created, a great EVF and great usability. It’s a powerful camera. The XT-2 is also getting raves, but it is a much different kind of camera. Not even close in build quality, body OR lenses. Not close in features either. BUT if I were a studio or wedding shooter, Id take a Fuji. Everything else, I would take the E-M1II. But thats me 😉

      • As someone who owned a EM1 with all the pro glass I sold everything off and went with a Fuji XPro2. Don’t get me wrong I loved the EM1 but the image quality out of the Fuji is far superior. I found the images were more grainy especially if cropped in. I had come from a Canon 6D FF and the image quality of my Olympus Em1 sucked compared to my Canon. But now I can honestly say my Fuji XPro2 is almost on par as the Canon FF. But dollar for dollar one should look at the new Panasonic G85 if considering a micro 4/3rds setup.

  24. Waiting to see the tracking C-AF… test this please. They advertise tracking fast movement but should we believe it? Would love to see this thing capture a game of football or hockey… Can it?

      • No horses? No offroad car races? (Just for the focus tracking. Otherwise the landscape is much more interesting, of course.)

      • Thanks Steve, sounds like you are having a whole lot of fun with some great gear. However, this camera with 18 FPS at 121 Point cross type AF must not only be designed for landscape. With a half crop sensor giving double the reach and one of the fastest AF systems will be a fail if it can not track sports like the others in its line up. I am an Oly fan and still have my EM5-1, I am just hoping this new beast delivers more than portraits and landscapes. .

  25. Would love to know your thoughts and comparisons on this two lens kit versus the pano-Leica lenses, especially the 12mm and the nocticron

  26. Improved DR, ISO, still 12bit or hopefully 14bit? These three would make a real difference. More so than 650 FPS;).

  27. Steve, that’s it, I take your word for it and I am going to pre-rder the lens today. As soon as it will arrive the 12-40 and 40-150 will be for sale.

    And yes – Olympus means business with sealed cameras. I was shooting with EM5-II and 40-150 splashing waves at the beach and showered the camera shortly afterwards. Zero problems. The looks I got from bystanders were priceless.

    I will see about the EM1-II later-

  28. We’ve always known the Oly is storm-proof… 😉
    I hope they give you the chance to do some action while in iceland. Not just landscapes.
    What we are wondering about now is; is the AF tracking finally up to speed with the top of the line DSLRs from CaNikon? … AND will the electronic shutter be usable for sports? (not talking the average mom+dad pictures, but proper pro sport). … or will the rolling shutter still make it unusable for sports?

    • Challenges for the electronical shutter are:

      1) A sprinter photographed from front and from the 45 degree angle at 100m track.
      2) A typical flying bird like a tern when a) diving b) flying stationary c) flying straight and behind some trees.
      3) A baseball player hitting the ball
      4) Horse rider jumping some fences

  29. “The new 25 1.2 is also a STUNNER!!! Forget what you think you know as this lens is up there with ANY lens from Leica in regards to contrast, sharpness, rendering and Bokeh. And no, it is NOT too big. ”

    Not too big??? It is disgusting huge! The size is a stop factor for me. I think Olympus has lost direction! May be the portrait lens 50mm/f1.2 will be with 25 lens construction and half a meter long(to keep the compactness). Oly have to learn from Fuji how to create compact lens. Even Canon 50mm ekv. f1.2 is more compact in size! What a shame! I waited for 25mm/1.2 so long and now received Hasselblad sized lens!

    • Have you shot with the 25 1.2? It’s not large at all. For those who thing it is, there is always the tiny 25 1.8. This is f 1.2 and it;s the smallest f/1.2 you will ever find. With that said, it’s not large.

      • X-T2 with XF35/2 WR is a lot more compact then the om-d e-m2 with the 25/1.2…. and a lot cheaper.

        Do you think these two are in any way comparable, or is the f2 vs f1.2 too much of a difference?

    • Consider this Zuiko’s very high sharpness all the way up to fully open(!!!), add weatherseals and it’s not that big, is it??
      It’s sort of a special lens, which most don’t need but those who do will smile every time they use it. And keep that smile when looking at the images it has made. 😉

    • Compared to the Zeiss Otus, which is only an f1.4 lens, the Olympus seems tiny to me. Early reports indicate the Olympus lens is quite sharp clear across the frame at f1.2, which doesn’t seem to be the case with the canon 50mm 1.2.

      • It is smaller, lighter and better than the Canon but will not give you that Canon look wide open due to the sensor size. Whoever says the Olympus is larger than the canon is using a vivid imagination. Maybe a tad longer, but much thinner and lighter. I think it is so funny how some are saying the lens is huge, all from those who haven’t used it.

  30. Perhaps you could convince Olympus to be the first manufacturer to come clean with consumers about less-than-full-frame lens equivalents and label lenses with their full-frame equivalencies – for example the 12-100 f/4 lens is really a 24-200 f/8 lens in 35mm terms. I spend a great deal of time educating people about less-than-full-frame depth of field and why they aren’t getting great out of focus areas with smaller cameras.

    Thanks.

    • Actually it is a 12 – 100 f4 lens. It just crops the image from what is 35mm. Shutter speed,ISO and fstop stay the same.

      • Tim, unfortunately you are mistaken. There are lots of good links out there – just search for “equivalency”.

          • Allow me to be more specific – background blur will be less with micro4/3 lenses of the same aperture than with full frame lenses.

            For example, an f/1.4 full frame lens on a full frame camera will have more background blur than a f/1.4 micro4/3 lens on a micro4/3 camera.

    • And maybe you could educate people on why a 24-200 F8 FF lens when adapted to M/43 doesnt suddenly become 12-100 F4 – its still F8

    • You need a bit of education yourself apparently. This lens is a 12-100 f/4. It exposes like a 12-100 f/4. It has the dof of a 12-100 f/4. It has the FOV of a 28-200, which is a bonus for compactness.

        • And perhaps you should realise that this lens will not work on a FF camera so your point is irrelevant.
          It is equivalent to a 24-200mm F8 on FF for DOF and light gathering as far as noise is concerned (which depends on the overall light received, not the intensity) but it isn’t a 24-200mm lens.
          It is a 12mm -100mm F4 lens and the characteristics remain that of a 12-100mm F4 lens

          • “It is equivalent to a 24-200mm F8 on FF for DOF and light gathering”

            Thank you. That was my point all along. Think in terms of people trying to decide what camera/lenses to buy (FF vs. other). Why does this have to be so hard? Please don’t answer that.

          • Incorrect. It is not an f/8 equivalent for “DOF and light gathering.” For DOF, sure, you can say that. But not for light gathering. I don’t know where people get their information from – perhaps the semi-informed YouTube school of optical design and geometry? Damn.

            Long before the term ‘crop factor’ became popular, photographers and film makers took it for granted that there were at least three or four major frame sizes. There was no confusion about DOF or ‘light gathering’. But now DOF and crop factors have become sacred creeds of an irrational cult.

            I heard someone on a current affairs program just yesterday make a biological claim that was false prima facie. And he said it with such confidence, as if he was the enlightened one, and the other guest was the uneducated one.

  31. Steve – can you let us know about high ISO and how that is working now – reading with much interest and even more envy – you are a lucky man (well deserved)!!! This is probably my next camera as I make the switch from FF to M43

    • you will be disappointed unless you shoot under 800 ISO. No matter how many bells and whistles you throw at it.

        • A Clean 10K ISO M43 shot! Is that a joke? Jeez Steve…come on now. We know you like the system, thats fine. But really…surely an exaggeration….

          • Have you shot with it? No. Have I? Yes. So you have no qualification to even make your statement, yet I do.Also, it is not “CLEAN” like an ISO 100 shot, but I said it was USABLE at 10K if you expose correctly.

          • I do have a qualification to make said statement….I’ve owned and shot with the most recent Olympus offerings (this em2 aside) and ISO 800 shows noise on last years models. So you’re telling me now ISO 10000 is clean?
            I bet when REAL owners reviews come out. It will be better than previous models by maybe 1 stop! I’m sorry but my skeptisism for someone who is clearly being payed to fly out to Iceland to review a camera is somewhat ambivelant. enjoy the remainder of your trip Steve. Make sure you rack up those hotel mini bar costs on Olympus…

          • Please read what is said. I said USABLE at 10K, and clean for 10K. I did not say 10K ISO looks like ISO 200. I said USABLE. It is. Period. Then again, I have printed many 10K ISO shots form my EM1, so there ya go. Read…and read what is said. 10K ISO will be usable if you expose correctly, that is a fact.

            PAID? I WISH! But then again, you other fave 15 review sites were there, so I guess you wont believe what they say either. My question to you is, why the hell are you here? Lol.

  32. Hi Steve.Just one question please i haven’t seen the answer anywhere.HI RES improved?Hand held?What do you mean?

  33. Do you know or can you share if the DCI 4K 237mbps is 8-bit 420 or 8-bit 422 and if it’s Long GOP/IPB or Intra/All-I codec? I suspect it’s 422 and All-I H.264 codec, although even if it’s 420 it would be interesting still.

  34. Thank you Steve…I have been waiting to hear more news about Olympus’s latest offering….I have to purchase some equipment for a magazine job and just have to see the images to be sure….Jealous
    about your being in Iceland…on my bucket list

  35. I am so excited for this camera. I wondering if Olympus if the improvement in noise at high iso and dynamic range are for both RAW as well as JPEG. If it is this is a must buy for any M43 owner looking to upgrade. If just JPEG, the other improvements such as handling, EVF, tracking might be enough but it will be a tougher sell. I would also like to see the difference between the silent shutter and the mechanical one for a fast moving object to see if 18 FPS can be had without rolling shutter effects. Thanks for the great info Steve. You rock!

  36. Bring a kit back to AZ I’all pay cash. Kidding aside not really I would gladly take one. Cannot wait to see the full review and I have finally hit a product cycle perfectly and not a GAS situation.

  37. Please Steve get into the low light focusing and hi iso. I know you can’t post but is it really a 1 stop improvement?

    thank you sir and enjoy your trip. 🙂

    • Low light AF is so much better!!! Locked on in near darkness. High ISO tests, I just did a few snaps at ISO 10k and it was nice. I wouldn’t call the low light high ISO a huge upgrade but it’s better due to the new color noise reduction they use and other improvements with the sensor.

  38. “I always wondered where Olympus could go with another Flagship, and they have created something special with the E-M1 II. Even they say it is the best camera they have EVER made, period. It truly is.”

    What.. better than the OM-2n?

    My first ever camera was an OM-1, and I loved that thing to pieces. Then the OM-2n, and I think I was one of the very few people in the world who owned an OM-3! I loved that too, but in my opinion the OM-2n is the crown jewel in Olympus’s history. The world (or me, at least) is still waiting for an SLR equivalent of the Leica M-D. In my opinion, Olympus could be the company to steal that bit of the market where Nikon failed so badly with the Df. Just imagine… an OM-2d with a full-frame sensor and mechanical focus.

      • Steve I’m still using my collection of Olympus ED glass including the 90-250mm for sports. Can you give us any input on how the EM1ii responds to the legacy glass.

        Thanks
        Chris

          • I remember you did a review on the 35-100mm lens some years ago. That’s still my go to lens.
            If your around Upstate NY stop on by. I’ve got the 90-250 / 150 / 35-100 and the 14-35 you can test drive..

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