Olympus E-M1 II Performance


Timing and Performance

Incredible performance in our tests.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~0.8 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.6 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Powering on and taking a shot was fast for a mirrorless camera, at about 0.8 second. Switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was a bit faster, at about 0.6 second. Very good performance here, though some DSLRs are faster.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
AF-S, Center AF

0.108 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All AF timing tested with Olympus 45mm f/1.8 ED M.Zuiko prime lens.)

Full Autofocus,
AF-S, Center AF,
Auto Flash Enabled

0.374 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, Auto flash enabled. (With the FL-LM3 bundled flash.)

Manual Focus

0.052 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.032 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Testing the Olympus E-M1 II's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times in AF-S (single-shot AF) mode using the center AF point (our standard Full AF lag test), we found full autofocus shutter lag was very fast at only 0.108 second with our Olympus 45mm f/1.8 ED M.Zuiko prime lens. That's faster than a lot of pro DSLRs.

With the FL-LM3 bundled flash attached and enabled in Auto TTL mode, full AF shutter lag increased to 0.374 second as a result of preflash metering.

Shutter lag in manual focus mode was very low at only 0.052 second, and prefocused shutter lag was even lower at 0.032 second. Excellent performance here.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Single-Shot Cycle Time, Burst Mode and Flash Recycling

Single Shot mode
Large/Super Fine JPEG

< 0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depth in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/SF JPEG

<0.3 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depth in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H mode
Large/Super Fine JPEG

0.07 second
(15.2 fps);
118 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 118 frames, then slows to an average of 9.6 fps when buffer is full, which is still fast!

Continuous H mode
RAW

0.07 second
(15.4 fps);
102 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 102 frames, then slows to an average of 9.5 fps when buffer is full, which is still fast!

Continuous H mode
RAW + L/SF JPEG

0.07 second
(15.4 fps);
59 frames total;
20 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 59 frames, then slows to an average 2.8 fps when buffer is full.

Pro Capture H mode
Large/Super Fine JPEG

0.02 second
(60.6 fps);
51 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 51 frames, then slows to an average of about 10.3 fps when buffer is full, but with a lot of cycle variation.

Pro Capture H mode
RAW

0.02 second
(60.6 fps);
51 frames total;
7 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 51 frames, then slows to an average of 9.5 fps when buffer is full, but with a lot of cycle variation.

Pro Capture H mode
RAW + L/SF JPEG

0.02 second
(60.6 fps);
50 frames total;
19 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 50 frames, then slows to an average of 2.8 fps when buffer is full, but with moderate cycle variation.

Flash Recycling

6.9 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a 64GB Lexar Professional 2000x (260MB/s write) SDXC. Slower cards or using slot 2 can produce correspondingly slower clearing times and may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were so fast that they were difficult to accurately measure as they depend on the tester's nimbleness and ability to maintain an optimum rhythm, so your results may vary. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between.)

In Continuous H mode using the mechanical shutter, the E-M1 II captured Large/Super Fine JPEG frames at about 15.2 frames-per-second, 12-bit RAW frames at about 15.4 fps, and RAW+JPEG frames at 15.4 fps. Outstanding performance here, just over Olympus' 15 fps spec. Note that AF and AE are locked at the first frame of a burst in this mode. Olympus claims the E-M1 II can manage up to 10 fps with AF and AE updated between frames, however we did not test that mode in the lab.

In Pro Capture mode which uses electronic shutter, the E-M1 II was able to shoot full-resolution images at an astonishing 60.6 frames-per-second no matter the file type, which is truly staggering for the size and resolution of the sensor. And it doesn't appear to be dropping the bit-depth of RAW files as some cameras do in faster electronic shutter modes, as they are still 12 bits. Again, this is with AF and AE locked at the first frame. (Olympus rates Pro Capture mode with continuous AF/AE at 18 fps which is still amazing.)

Buffer depths were also outstanding, ranging from 118 frames when shooting best quality JPEGs to 59 frames when shooting RAW+JPEG frames before the camera slowed down in Continuous H mode when tested with our fast 64GB Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II SDXC card (rated for 260MB/s writes and 300MB/s reads) installed in slot 1. (Slot 2 does not support UHS-II.) Note that our target was designed to be difficult to compress, so buffer depths with real-world images may even be greater, particularly when shooting JPEGs.

In Pro Capture mode at 60.6 fps, buffer depth was still a very generous 50 to 51 frames before the camera slowed. Buffer-full rates weren't bad either, with the camera able to shoot JPEG or RAW files at between 9.5 and 10.3 frames per second depending on the mode, however shooting RAW+JPEGs dropped buffer-full rates to about 2.8 fps, with a lot of cycle-to-cycle variation in Pro Capture mode.

Buffer clearing was quick considering the buffer sizes, taking only 6 seconds for a max length burst of JPEGs, 7 seconds for RAW frames, but 19-20 seconds for RAW+JPEG files. The camera lets you make setting changes and continue shooting while its buffer is clearing, however you can't review just-shot photos until the buffer is cleared.

The bundled Olympus FL-LM3 flash took 6.9 seconds on average to recycle after a full power discharge, which is quite slow. (It derives its power from the body and self-powered flashes will be much faster.)


Bottom line, the Olympus E-M1 II's performance incredible with reasonably fast startup, very fast autofocus, very low shutter lag, fast cycle times, amazing burst performance, and excellent buffer depths. Performance is significantly better than the E-M1 in everything we tested except power-up and mode switching, despite the higher resolution. Well done, Olympus!

Battery

Battery Life
Good battery life for its class.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard)
440 shots
Still Capture,
(Quick Sleep Mode enabled)
950 shots

The Olympus E-M1 II uses a custom BLH-1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with a single battery and a dedicated battery charger. Battery life is CIPA-rated for 440 shots per charge (with no flash), which is good for a mirrorless camera but not nearly as good as most DSLRs. However the E-M1 II has a Quick Sleep Mode which when enabled, increases battery life to an excellent 950 shots per charge according to Olympus. And the optional HLD-9 power grip can double battery life with a second battery.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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