One extra mode will also likely pique the curiosity of photographers fanatical over image quality, and that’s the high resolution mode.
The name is a little surprising, mind you, because surely everything you’re shooting on a camera of this quality should be high resolution, and it is, but this mode is a little different.
High res mode, though, is the special sauce mode that only Olympus has thought up, and will take a larger-than-16 megapixel image by moving the sensor up, down, and across in remarkably tiny shifts, taking what is essentially several images and merging them for one larger image.
While it might seem like a panorama, it actually isn’t that, because the image isn’t wide.
Rather, it’s not far off from the image you’d normally capture without high res mode switched on — you know, regular old conventional shooting — but with more image quality thrown in from a picture that has been put together with as much detail as possible.
We tested this and found the 40 megapixel JPEG was able to show even more detail than the 16 megapixel one, hardly surprising given the amount of detail inside, but still impressive nonetheless.
Interestingly, you can set the feature up to run with a larger amount of megapixels in RAW mode, with close to 64 megapixels.
As impressive as the sensor shifting technology is, you’ll want to make sure the camera is perfectly still, as it doesn’t work when either the surface you’ve left the camera on or the subject matter you’re photographing is moving.
Not yet, anyway. We suspect Olympus is working on something for that, but right now, you have to be a statue.
Video is also one of the chief reasons to check this camera out, and while we don’t spend as much time evaluating this area — this journalist has always been a stills photographer primarily — the 5 axis stabilisation technology Olympus has been working on for yonks makes this camera worthwhile.
Granted, there’s no 4K UHD video capture yet, and that’s a shame, but since we don’t have much to show video in high definition on, let alone much of a fantastic and easy editing workflow for everyone, we’re not totally concerned by this.