Olympus E-M1 II Field Test Part I

Rain, snow & hail: The Olympus E-M1 Mark II takes on Iceland

by William Brawley |

Olympus E-M1 II field test photoThe bigger, better E-M1 Mark II sets sail for a week in Iceland
Back at Photokina I was able to get some brief hands-on time with an early model of the Olympus E-M1 Mark II. From a physical standpoint, the overall design is not drastically different than the original model. Instead, the Olympus team made small, yet important tweaks to improve handling comfort and customization of the camera controls. The grip is slightly larger, and, for example, you can now re-map the power switch over to the lever switch beside the EVF, letting you power the camera on and off one-handed. The camera also better addresses the needs of multimedia creators with the addition of a vari-angle LCD, 4K video, and a headphone jack. If you haven't yet read our initial impressions on the E-M1 Mark II's design and ergonomics, please click here.

Now that the camera is approaching its launch date, some working models are rolling off the production line. This past week, I was fortunate enough to be invited on an Olympus-organized press trip to one of the craziest locations in the world to put this new camera to the test: Iceland. Known for ever-changing and often harsh weather conditions as well as some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, Iceland served as an ideal location to test the camera's build quality, weather sealing, and gauge its real-world image quality performance as well as get an initial taste of its high-speed capabilities.

Olympus E-M1 II Field Test Part II

Putting it all in focus: Testing C-AF, High-Res Shot & I.S.

by William Brawley |

Olympus E-M1 II field test photoGet a move on: Testing performance with the E-M1 Mark II
In my first Field Test on the Olympus E-M1 Mark II, I definitely felt like I put the camera's build quality and weather sealing to the test. I didn't drop it on the ground or anything to "thoroughly" test the durability, but the camera clearly withstood some very harsh and wet weather conditions. I was also able to assess the camera's image quality at a variety of ISOs, with which I am quite pleased.

One of the E-M1 Mark II's hallmark new features is its upgraded performance and autofocus technology, which is something that didn't receive much attention during my whirlwind trip to landscape-heavy Iceland. I did flip over to C-AF for a few shots, such as the bird-in-flight photo shown above, but for the most part, I stayed in S-AF mode for my first Field Test. In this second Field Test, therefore, I focused primarily -- no pun intended -- on continuous AF performance and burst shooting. I'll also discuss High-Res Shot mode and the camera's improved (and shockingly good) image stabilization.



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