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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II The second Micro Four Thirds camera that offers phase detect focusing so you can use Four Thirds DSLR lenses normally as well a Micro Four Thirds lenses.

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Old 3rd June 2017
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Question Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

For all the users that have upgraded from the E-M1 to the Mk II, are you happy & satisfied that you did?

Down under there are now some good specials on for the end of the financial year as well as bonuses from Olympus & I'm thinking of taking the plunge; probably just the body though.

Please let's have your thoughts.

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Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
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Old 3rd June 2017
griffljg griffljg is offline
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

Ross,

As you know, I use Capture One Pro (COP) for processing raw files. Remembering back when I bought my E-M1, the profiles for this camera on COP were such, that my photos lacked "punch" and was slightly disappointed. I wondered of the profiles for the E-M1 on COP would ever be updated. - I didn't (don't) have the patience to fiddle around with them myself.

An update to COP did address my problems and I was (am) very happy with the images coming out of my old E-M1.

I took delivery of my E-M1 Mk II early this year. Déjà vu I was now very disappointed, but trusted on Phase One to do something about it. The latest update to COP (10.1.1) does address this problem. I am happy again and am most impressed with the E-M1 Mk II.

Focusing is far quicker, especially on the older 4/3 lenses through the MMF-3 adaptor. Maybe not quite fast enough for birds in flight, but very definitely acceptable for air shows.

The camera is bigger and bulkier, but I like that. - It now fits better into my hand than the old E-M1.

The dynamic range is greatly improved, but still nowhere as good as that in my Canon EOS 6D. It is, however, good enough for me to not carry my 6D around, except for when I know the lighting conditions are going to be challenging.

All in all, I am very happy with the purchase, even though it was a bit pricey.
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Cameras: Olympus OM-D E-M1 II, Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus XZ-2 | Flash: Olympus FL-50R
Lenses: Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS PRO, Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 II, Olympus MMF-3 adaptor, Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD, Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-45mm 1:3.5-5.6, Olympus Zuiko Digital 40-150mm 1:3.5-4.5, Olympus Zuiko Digital 70-300mm 1:4-5.6, Sigma 50-500mm F4-6.3 APO DG
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Old 3rd June 2017
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

It's a yes and no.

The Mk2 behaves very differently from the Mk1. I started a thread on the AF. Then there is the lack of a smaller AF rectangle. They also removes all the Scenes assist. No more Panorama, Sunset and etc assist

The plus side, you get a really black instead of a reddish background in low light high ISO, The ISO seems cleaner at 1600.The CAF seems better but I hardly use that.

The multi hunting points, But I use only the one in the middle. The EV now follows the AF rectangle unlike previous it's smack in the middle. The WB is a bit better.

Some of the features like the ProCap don't work with all lenses, Especially those that are not with the Olympus label. If you have a lot of Panny lenses, then watch out for the dreaded fringing. Ans some Superb Panny lenses are not as superb on Oly.

Then there is that Swivel LCD. It's good, you can turn it inwards and don't have that glow irritating others but that Articulated gives a better straight line of sight.

So it's up to you. Are you willing to splash that $$$ or
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Old 3rd June 2017
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

It's a yes from me.

The AF is miles better which may be enough of a reason anyway and everything else is just a bit better and those combine to make the camera a much nicer tool. And it's the little things that I like, such as not being paranoid about batteries (it really is much better) and they EVF switching is now fast enough to be worth using as standard, not deal-breakers but for the first time the system doesn't feel like a compromise.

Personally I'd have liked it to remain the same size as the mk1 but you can't have everything.
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Old 3rd June 2017
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

I am pleased I upgraded, it works well, it also encouraged me to get the 12-10mm lens.

I like the ability to store the camera settings so that a major software update does not delete my settings.

Only complaint is that the batteries are yet another size with a new charger, so if taking the original EM1 as a back up camera or a way of minimizing lens switching then you have to take two different sets of batteries and chargers.
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

A yes from me, for several reasons of varying importance:

1. I do a lot of low-light stuff and, purely subjectively, it seems to behave better at high ISO.

2. I like the flippy screen because I can turn it to face the body and do everything through the viewfinder, which is useful in situations like dark concert halls. I have one very specific gripe with this - the Mk II introduced focus point selection via the touch screen, called AF tracking pad or something. This sounds useful but obviously can't be used with the screen facing the body - but with the screen facing outwards you can't shut the bloody thing up! I have an inconclusive thread about this in the Mk II forum page.

3. Battery life is better and - hurrah, 3 (million) cheers for Olympus - we have a decent charge level indicator.

4. Because of both aspects of 3 I am happy to use it without the grip, so although the body is bigger than the Mk I on its own, it is still smaller than the body-grip combo.

5. I think it probably focusses better than the Mark I in general, although I have found one or two situations that can fool it. It certainly works very well with the big old 4/3 lenses - it really sings with the monster 90-250.

6. There are new things to play with that I haven't really explored yet like the fancy shooting modes. That's something to look forward for the proverbial rainy afternoon when there is nothing else to do.

There is other stuff that I don't really care about - I don't want to shoot 60 frames per second, the increase to 20 megapix is a bit nice to have (and it's nice to see the old 4/3 monsters like the 90-250 can still deliver beautifully at the high res) but I wouldn't rate it as important. Saving the settings is something that I think is long overdue but I haven't actually gained anything from it - maybe because I don't customise as much as some users do. I'm sure the ultra-high resolution mode is jolly good for them as need it but I never have.

For a while I have been running two bodies simultaneously for rugby. When it was an E-M5 and an E-M1 Mk I it was very confusing. I bought a used E-M1 Mk I off the forum some time ago and life became much easier, I traded one of them in when buying the Mk II and so far using the Mk 1 and Mk II together has not tied my brain in too many knots.

Hope this helps ... John
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

Ross when faced with the same dilemma as you I went for it. Overall I don't regret it but I'm still going up the learning curve. As everyone said the af is definitely better and the main reason I upgraded was to get the cross af points those times when my EM1 just wouldn't focus on a horizontal landscape really annoyed me so it's great that's gone. It was an expensive fix though but for overall usability I don't regret it. However, Olympus gave me a bigger issue by removing the wonderful Sunset scene mode (didn't see that coming) I'd say that a pretty good percentage of my Mk1 shots were taken with that scene mode and it always gave a great sunset image very quickly with no hassle at all and with little PPing needed. I've just never taken a sunset I've been happy with on the Mk2 Now this may just be me and maybe they will address the missing scenes with a firmware update (really really big request here Olympus) but until they do I will have to spend time doing comparison shots with the Mk1 to see if I can reproduce the settings. Certainly haven't managed it yet! So do I regret my upgrade on balance no as the af for aircraft was worth it but boy has that missing sunset mode taken the shine off my new purchase.
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

Ross,
Yes you should go for it - especially if you think you might wish to photograph objects in motion.

The AF is vastly superior to the Mk1 - it's blindingly fast and accurate (especially after the recent f/w updates). I find that C-AF works well.

I don't miss the scene modes because I've never used them (always shoot in RAW).

It's obvious that you know your way round the Mk1 menus, so after you've had a careful read through the manual I'm sure you won't find configuring the Mk2 to your taste too daunting.

This is probably the best Olympus m43 technology that you'll see for the next 3 years - until the Mk3 is launched, so get it and enjoy it
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

Nobody has mentioned the shutter sound which is so much nicer than the Mk I. Worth every penny of the asking price.

Ron
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

As I'm sure you know Ross there is no silver bullet, especially with cameras. It is a much improved camera, but it takes additional effort and learning to get the best out of it. An excellent reason to get one in my view, keep the grey matter ticking over! The initial disappointment will soon turn into delight when you get to grips with it. Good luck what ever you decide.

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Old 4th June 2017
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

Thanks for all the replies. Basically I knew most of what you've mentioned as I have followed the threads since release but it is reassuring to specifically get the assurances from you here as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwyver View Post
Ross,
Yes you should go for it - especially if you think you might wish to photograph objects in motion.

The AF is vastly superior to the Mk1 - it's blindingly fast and accurate (especially after the recent f/w updates). I find that C-AF works well.

I don't miss the scene modes because I've never used them (always shoot in RAW).

It's obvious that you know your way round the Mk1 menus, so after you've had a careful read through the manual I'm sure you won't find configuring the Mk2 to your taste too daunting.

This is probably the best Olympus m43 technology that you'll see for the next 3 years - until the Mk3 is launched, so get it and enjoy it
Thanks, that's great. I have had a (PDF) copy of the manual since release too (& most other models to be informed when discussing tech details) but it will be a learning curve to get to know this model though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olybirder View Post
Nobody has mentioned the shutter sound which is so much nicer than the Mk I. Worth every penny of the asking price.

Ron
Yes, the lovely quiet shutter! The good part with this one is the dampening they've added to minimise shutter shock which in turn benefits the audible side of it too, a far cry from the great 'clunk' my old E30 made.

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Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, ZD12-60 SWD, ZD50-200 SWD, EC14, EC20, EX25, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

Having put the Mark 2 at test during some field sessions I would say yes. (I had some issues getting the C-AF to work proporly but that turned out to be caused by misunderstanding of how if works).

Anyway here is a summary of my findings. Have tested the camera with m4/3 300/4, 300/2.8 and Canon 400/5.6.

Here is what I like:
1. Image quality
The higher resolution is nice to have but not a deal breaker as it only adds some . The noise level is however clearly better than the Mark 1. Haven't tested on higher ISO than 1600 so far however the noise is less noticeable.

2. Mechanical shutter
Silent.

3. AF
Snappy, responsive, prompt to recover and regain focus, hardly any hunting. It's clear that the cross type AF sensors have significantly improved the AF performance as does the added computing power. This AF improvement is also noticeable on 4/3 lenses.

4. MySets Custom modes
The four "MySets" have become three "Custom Modes" that are selectable by rotating the exposure mode dial. It took a while to get used to it but after a while you realize this is an improvement. I still miss the ability to temporarily engage another mode by pressing a button, something which you could do with the Mark 1. (Maybe a future FW will restore this?)

5. Auto-ISO shutter speed limit.
Now the lowest acceptable shutter speed can be programmed per Custom Mode. This makes Auto-ISO much more useful. For instance one mode could be used for general purpose photo covering up to short telephoto with lowest speed 1/30s, one mode for long telephoto, static subjects, 1/250s and one mode for long telephoto and moving subjects e.g. 1/1600s. Just examples, whatever suits you best.

6. Battery gauge
Seems reasonably accurate. Less risk of ending up with a flat battery as was often the case with the Mark 1 going from three green to two green bars and from two quite rapidly to red indicator.

7. Battery capacity and power consumption
I have managed to squeeze out almost 700 shots from a fresh battery. That was with the 300/F4, which gyro is on all the time and draining the battery. Have read users who have managed to get 1000 shots with the metabones smart adapter. Quite impressive.

What I like less:
1. The LCD mounted on a swivel. I preferred the tiltable one on the Mark 1.

2. You will have to upgrade Lightroom to a recent version. I had been using LR5 up until now and had to download an evaluation copy of LR6 as the RAW are not supported in LR5. meaning you will need to buy an upgrade license to be able to use LR. (Not Oly's fault, and not everyone is using LR either).


I haven't explored other advanced features yet so I will pass on them. For instance the silent (electronic) shutter.

/Tord
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

Tord

I think it would bring balance to your earlier comments on other threads if you added a post expressing your satisfaction with the camera to all the other threads where you express concern with the camera, otherwise users Googling views on the camera will see your initial negative comments and not look any further into the OMD MKii
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

Well, I've placed an order!
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Re: Should I upgrade to E_M1 Mk II?

With regard to battery consumption, yesterday I went on a camera club visit to a raptor centre near Bedford with the main intention of practicing my panning and BIF technique and seeing how long the camera would keep in focus. So I was intending to keep the finger in and get a lot of images.

I took about 450 images mainly with mechanical shutter on stationary posed birds, and 2850-odd on L silent at 10fps, mostly with the 40-150 Pro but around 10% with the 300, and the second battery had just gone red during the last flying display.

That is good but, to be fair, I have regularly got 1200-1400 images from a battery in similar usage with the mki and 40-150/1.4 & mechanical shutter during sporting events at around 5 - 8fps. That's motorsport, rugby, canoeing and such like.
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