If you’re an enthusiast photographer, you know all too well the importance of a camera with lenses, but even this club can be a little pricey to join, and that’s where Olympus hopes to make a dent.
This year, one of the brands that is bringing retro back is upgrading its entry level with a new moniker, giving the E-M10 the term “Mark II” added to its product name, and a whole heap of other improvements, for that matter.
A new name won’t deliver improved photos, and so you’ll find a 16.1 megapixel Olympus LiveMOS sensor used here working on conjunction with a seventh generation TruePic image engine, capable of capturing and processing 16 megapixel images and Full HD 1080p movies at a variety of frame rates, including 24, 25, 30, 50, and 60fps.
Stabilisation will be built into the body for the movie feature, as well as some image capturing, and that’s one area where Olympus is upgrading what the camera can do, replacing the 3-axis image stabilisation in last year’s OM-D E-M10 with the 5-axis technology used in the other Olympus cameras.
This means you should get some solid video stabilisation a little like if you had a Steadicam built into the body, something that normally costs a little extra, like those extra lenses you’re probably already thinking about buying.
An extra video mode is also included, and this one is a little bit of a compromise for people who might be eyeing the Panasonic cameras, models that take the same Micro Four-Thirds lenses Olympus relies on.
Some of Panasonic’s mirrorless cameras now support 4K UHD capture, but Olympus hasn’t quite cottoned onto that feature yet, offering the 5-axis stabilisation as a point of difference from Panasonic. Stabilisation is very different from capture sizes, of course, but Olympus has tried to find a bit of a middle ground in the E-M10 Mark II, bringing in support for 4K movies provided they’re shot over a time lapse.
We suspect these will come from the sensor as stills and be edited into a time-lapse flick by the camera, and it’s at least a half-measure if you do need 4K video. Sure, it’s not the same, but at least it will be something.
Controlling the camera should be similar but still tightened up, with dual dial controls on the right aide as well as the mode dial moved to that side, too, while the power switch now sits on the left.
You’ll even find an electronic viewfinder (EVF) on the E-M10 Mark II, providing 2.35 million dots of OLED goodness, while the rear 3 inch LCD also includes support for touch, allowing beginners to fire off a shot simply by touching the screen, and pros to make their way around the menu using their fingers.
And there’s also a hint of WiFi, meaning owners of an Android phone or tablet, or iOS devices (iPhone/iPad) will be able to download images and videos straight from the camera, and even control the camera using their device.
As for pricing, Olympus is setting this one up in the same slot as the previous model, meaning it will fetch $999 for a single lens kit which includes the body and a 14-42mm electronically-controlled zoom lens, and $1199 for the double zoom kit which adds a 40-150mm telephone zoom lens. Meanwhile, the body can be found by itself for $799, with black and silver available for both.
If you’re wondering where that Mark I is going — just in case you feel like saving some money — you’ll find in stores for a hundred bucks less, sitting at $899 for the body with the 14-42 lens.