Olympus OMD EM10 Mark II Update

Kitty Hawk, NC Sunrise, August 2016


I’ve been shooting with my new Olumpus OMD EM10 Mark II for a few months now.  The camera has delivered on being a compact camera that delivers excellent image quality (provided ample light). However, the adjusment to micro 4/3’s shooting, and the Olympus EM10 Mii, has been a little more rocky than I had anticipated.

Perhaps the largest limiting factor has been the 14-42 kit lens that came with the camera.  The lens performs well with image quality (although desparately needs a lens hood), but the focal length equivelent of 28-82 and a 70 degree field of view are limiting.   I’ve just purchased a 7.5mm (15mm equivelent compared to full frame 35mm) Rokinon F3 manual focus lens to add to the bag that will allow me to get a little wider.  I know this is cheap (er) glass, but the reviews were quite good, so we will see how it performs.

As far as image quality, what I’ve found so far is in good light image quality beats the 7D. However as the scene darkens noise works in and most shots have been unusable.  I fully suspect I haven’t matched up ISO to the scenes just right, and that this will improve.  That said the 7D handled pre-dawn longer exposure shots at releativly low ISO w/o any limiting noise, and so far that’s not been the case with the Olympus E M10 Mii. Also in low light conditions, I’ve experienced dramatic auto focus issues.  I’m not asking the camera to focus in pitch black, but 25 minutes before the photo above was shot I was composing all shots in manual mode.

It’s not all bad news though!

McKees Breshers 07-2016-1.jpg
McKee Breshers WMA, Poolesville MD

One of the online critisims of the camera and kit lens was that you could kiss bokeh goodbye.  Well take a look at this image.  Plenty of bokeh and a nice shallow depth of field. I’ve done very little editing of this image.

I’ve also been dabbling with cloud stacking.  Here’s an example of a 50 frame timelapse edited as a single image.  Sorry for the over cooked foreground!

Jonas Green Park, Annapolis MD (50 image cloud stack) 

And finally to close, the camera has a 2x digital zoom, making the max focal length of the 40-150 M Zukio, the equivelent of 600mm on a 35mm sensor.  I was learly, because of past experiences with digital zoom,until I tested it out with front row tickets to a Frederick Keys baseball game.  Take a look

Frederick Keys, July 2016

All in all, it’s been challenging in low light, and the crop factor of camera has limited the width of the scenes I am trying to capture.  It’s got enough bells and whistles to keep me tinkering for a long time.  And image quality in decent light has surprised me compared to my 7D which was about 3x the price.  I think the investment I need to make with the camera is some decent glass.  The Olympus lenses are quite pricey, so I am researching options.  Until I figure that our, I’ll keep shooting away with the two kit lenses that came with the camera.





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