And then there’s the design, and for the most part, Olympus has cleaned the body up, which was already good, making it feel firmer and better ergonomically, while keeping the whole thing solid.
In our hands, the OM-D E-M5 Mark II was very comfortable, with a soft grip near the thumb and a lower centre of gravity, which helps to bring the camera together and feel right. You’ll still find buttons and wheels to fondle, and there are certainly enough of these for most users to be happy, while the whole camera retains that retro ’70s style that won’t go, as well as the metal body, which we’re delighted to see sticks around.
Olympus has changed the touchscreen style here, moving away from the old vari-angle LCD that could only really be used top down and from slightly underneath, switch this time to one of those hinged LCDs that can show you the screen even from the front. The viewfinder also appears to be stronger, now boasting a 2.36 megapixel image with 100 percent coverage.
Video people will no doubt find that useful, as will the inclusion of several frame rates for Full HD video capture, including 24p, 25p, 30p, 50p, and 60p, with the ability to change auto-focus and shooting setting using the touchscreen while recording, different colours for focus peaking, and an option to get a clearer signal out of sound recording by using a powered microphone instead of a passive one.
WiFi control is also here, as is some element of ruggedisation, with the camera being dust-proof and splash-proof dependent on the lenses you use and if they’re from the Olympus range of equally rugged lenses, which several are, including the Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6, which is being introduced with the camera.
One thing of note is that there’s no built-in flash, still, since the place this would normally go is where the image stabilisation technology sits, but Olympus will include a flash in the box, with the ability to change angles using this external flash, meaning you can bounce it if you need to, something we’ve yet to see from an in-box flash accessory.
As for pricing, we haven’t seen exact numbers from Olympus yet, but this one will be replacing the older E-M5, which has seen price tumbles in recent months, dropping to around the $500 mark with a lens. From what we understand, the first-gen will be retired, replaced with this model, suggesting the E-M5 Mark II will enter for near the same cost, or roughly $1000-1200 for the body alone.
Expect in March, and we’ll let you know more about pricing and availability when we have more.