Olympus E-M10 II announced and field-tested. Could this be the ideal vacation camera?


posted Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 1:00 AM EDT


Last year's Olympus E-M10 offered advanced entry-level photographers a more affordable option into Olympus' world of versatile, feature-rich OM-D cameras. Sporting many of the same features as their pricier, higher-end siblings, the E-M10 proved to be a very popular (and very capable) camera for those looking to step up to the world of mirrorless cameras, or interchangeable lens cameras in general, all without breaking the bank (or their back under the weight of large DSLR kit!).

Now, about a year and half later, the successor -- aptly named the Olympus E-M10 II -- is here offering a variety of performance enhancements and upgraded features that, rather surprisingly (but pleasantly) puts it even closer in-line with the higher-tier E-M5 II and E-M1 models. The E-M10 II ups the ante with improvements in terms of image stabilization, burst speed, improved controls and a higher-res electronic viewfinder, all while keeping things compact, lightweight and very affordable.

With the arrival of the E-M10 II, all OM-D camera lines now sport five-axis image stabilization, a nice upgrade to the three-axis system of the original E-M10. The new camera's burst speed also gets an up-tick to 8.5fps without continuous autofocus, while the ability to record 4K timelapse videos in-camera is a first among OM-D cameras.

We've been fortunate to have an early "champion sample" of the new E-M10 II (though Olympus is still considering this a "beta" unit for the time being), and we've given it an initial pass in our test lab for First Shots, as well as sent it out with our intrepid Operations Manager Dave Pardue for an in-depth Field Test with this highly-portable Micro Four Thirds camera.

In Dave's Field Test Part I, he hits the beach for a family vacation with the E-M10 II in-tow in the hopes of finding the perfect "family vacation camera." The E-M10 II is small and compact enough to be easily carried all day long while you're out and about, but packed with features and the manual controls for the advanced photographer. In this Part I Field Test he goes in-detail about the good and the bad regarding the E-M10 II's design and handling, as well as a taking a detailed look at many of the camera's versatility at shooting a variety of subjects, from pets, family and landscapes to more performance-demanding subjects such as pelicans in-flight.

1/1,000s / f/3.5 / -1.0 EV / ISO 200 / 120mm eq. / M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 lens

For all the details about this brand new camera, begin your journey with our in-depth Olympus E-M10 II Hands-on Preview complete with detailed walkaround, then either dive-in to Dave's E-M10 II Field Test Part I or get into some pixel-peeping with our E-M10 II First Shots. We'll have more lab samples, performance testing and more Field Test goodies, including 4K timelapse, video and more kit lens shots very soon. Stay tuned!

The Olympus E-M10 II will be available in early September 2015 in a black or black/silver version for a US retail price of around $650 (body-only) and $800 when kitted with the M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens. An external grip (ECG-3) will be available for $60 and an accessory leather strap (CSS-S119L) for $80.

1/500s / f/6.7 / ISO 400 / 600mm eq. / M.Zuiko 75-300mm lens
1/250s / f/9 / -0.3 EV / ISO 200 / 24mm eq. / M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens

Olympus E-M10 II Hands-On PreviewField Test Part ILab Samples

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  • Olympus E-M10 II body-only, $649

  • Olympus E-M10 II w/ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ Kit, $799