Olympus E-M5 II Performance


Timing and Performance

Excellent 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

~0.5 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 0.5 second. Very good performance here, though some DSLRs are faster.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus,
AF-S, Center AF

0.137 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

0.339 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 new FL-LM3 bundled flash.)

Manual Focus

0.068 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

0.046 second

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

Looking at the Olympus E-M5 II's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times using AF-S (single-shot AF) mode using the center AF point (our standard test), full autofocus shutter lag was very fast at only 0.137 second with our Olympus 45mm f/1.8 ED M.Zuiko prime lens. With the FL-LM3 bundled flash attached and enabled, full AF shutter lag increased to 0.339 second as a result of preflash metering.

Manual focus lag was quite low at only 0.068 second, and prefocused shutter lag was 0.046 second, also very fast.

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

0.73 second

Average time per shot.

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/SF JPEG

0.76 second

Average time per shot.

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

0.10 second (9.68 frames per second);
22 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 22 frames, then slows to an average of 3.26 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous H mode
RAW

0.10 second (9.72 frames per second);
15 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 15 frames, then slows to an average of 2.71 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous H mode
RAW + L/SF JPEG

0.10 second (9.76 frames per second);
13 frames total;
12 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 13 frames, then slows to an average of 1.56 fps when buffer is full.

Flash Recycling

4.5 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95 MB/sec UHS-I card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

In single-shot mode, cycle times were good for its class, at an average of about 0.73 seconds for Large/Super Fine JPEGs and 0.76 seconds for RAW+L/SF JPEGs. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files as results will be between JPEG and RAW+JPEG, and we no longer test buffer depth in single-shot mode either.)

In Continuous H mode (the E-M5 II's highest-speed full-res burst mode), the E-M5 II captured 22 Large/Super Fine JPEG frames at about 9.7 frames-per-second, 15 RAW frames at 9.7 fps, and 13 RAW+JPEG frames at 9.8 fps before the camera slowed with our fast UHS-I card. Very good performance here, and pretty close to Olympus' 10 fps spec. Note that AF and AE are locked at the first frame of a burst in this mode. There is also a 5 fps Continuous L mode, however we did not test that mode.

Buffer depths were good but not great, ranging from 22 frames when shooting best quality JPEGs, to 13 frames when shooting RAW+JPEG frames before the camera slowed down. (Note that our target was designed to be difficult to compress, so buffer depths with real-world images may be greater, particularly when shooting JPEGs.) Clearing was fairly fast, taking only 6 seconds for max length bursts of JPEGs or RAW files, increasing to 12 seconds for RAW+JPEG.

The Olympus FL-LM3 bundled flash took 4.5 seconds on average to recycle after a full power discharge, which is on the slow side.

Since the E-M5 II is UHS-II compliant, we retested continuous mode buffer depths with our SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-II SDHC card, and here are the results:

Burst Mode with UHS-II Card

Continuous H mode
Large/Super Fine JPEG

0.10 second (10.37 frames per second);
18 frames total;
3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 18 frames, then slows to an average of 5.95 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous H mode
RAW

0.10 second (10.40 frames per second);
13 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 13 frames, then slows to an average of 5.23 fps when buffer is full.

Continuous H mode
RAW + L/SF JPEG

0.10 second (10.34 frames per second);
13 frames total;
6 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 13 frames, then slows to an average of 2.80 fps when buffer is full.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 280MB/sec UHS-II card.

Interestingly, switching to a UHS-II card sped up the frame rate slightly but also reduced buffer depths somewhat for JPEGs and RAW files, however it cut buffer clearing times in half for JPEGs and RAW+JPEG files. The buffer-full rate was also improved to being quite usable for JPEGs or RAWs at about 6 and 5.2 fps respectively.

Bottom line, the Olympus E-M5 II's performance is generally excellent, with reasonably fast startup, very fast autofocus, low shutter lag, fast burst performance and decent buffer depths. Performance is actually similar to the flagship E-M1, except buffer depths aren't nearly as generous and the E-M1 does better with continuous autofocus performance thanks to its on-chip phase-detect AF pixels.

Battery

Battery Life
Below average battery life for its class.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard)
310 shots
Still Capture,
(Quick Sleep Mode enabled)
750 shots

The Olympus E-M5 II uses a custom BLN-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 310 shots per charge, which is a bit below average for its class. But the E-M5 II has a Quick Sleep Mode which when enabled, increases battery life to an excellent 750 shots per charge according to Olympus' testing using CIPA test standards. And an optional power grip is also available to 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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