Olympus E-M10 II Field Test Part I

Searching for the ideal family vacation camera

by Dave Pardue | 08/25/2015

I'm guessing everyone has a slightly different idea of what a perfect vacation camera is for them, but for our core enthusiast readers I'm guessing that a lot of you are like me in that you want a fairly small and lightweight package for traveling, but something that's still not only versatile but can also deliver the goods in the image quality department. Olympus was kind enough to send us an early sample of the E-M10 II shortly before I was leaving for South Carolina for a family vacation, and that gave me the perfect opportunity to see where this camera would stand in the ranks of ideal family vacation companions.

The Particulars.
Twin control dials were once the exclusive domain of premium cameras costing thousands of dollars, and it's nice that some entry-level models now offer this. To me personally as a photographer, it will be difficult to go review an interchangeable lens camera that doesn't have them now, regardless of the price point, as it's just something I've grown to count on.

Olympus E-M10 II Field Test Part II

Five-axis Video, HDR, 4K-timelapse fun and more...

by Dave Pardue |

I wrote the first Field Test for this camera with a beta sample, but Olympus was able to supply us with a full production sample for this second round of real-world testing. Included in the new kit was the M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ kit lens, which first debuted in 2014 alongside the original E-M10, so we'll start part II with images from this lens and a quick comparison with the non-EZ version. [Special note to readers: After our first report we were told that an issue had developed with some serial number ranges for this product that caused as issue while mounting some plastic-mount lenses. The issue has been resolved and the E-M10 II will be made available again for purchase beginning in November.]

Taking a closer look at the EZ 14-42mm kit lens
The M.Zuiko 14-42mm II lens that's been kitted with so many Olympus cameras over the past five years has long been one of my favorite lenses of the "kit" variety, providing a "generous sweet spot of sharpness" even wide open, according to our original review on our sister site SLRGear.com. And because I've personally had a few bad experiences with "power-zoom" kit lenses from other companies, primarily in the sharpness department, I was a bit wary about mounting the newer EZ version of the 14-42mm lens onto the E-M10 II. Fortunately we'd already tested it as well at SLRGear, and it is still a good performer at both wide and tele when wide open, fairly similar to the original Mark II lens.

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