Olympus E-M1 II: In-depth image quality analysis, performance analysis + a look at High Res shot mode


posted Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 7:57 AM EDT


Based on terrific interest thus far from our readers in our First Shots and Field Test Pt I for the Olympus E-M1 Mark II, we didn't want to waste any time bringing you a deeper dose of coverage in the way of our in-depth analysis of the test results from our laboratory. So please dive in at any point you'd like, and below are links to our just-published options for your perusal.

We'll start with our signature Image Quality Analysis page, where our Technical Editor Zig Weidelich pits 1:1 crops from our Still Life test target images against the Olympus E-M1, Canon 7D Mk II, Fuji X-T2, Nikon D500 and Panasonic GX8. Interested in how the E-M1 II stacks up against these enthusiast competitors? This is a great place for lots of in-depth analysis and is followed by a special supplement to discuss the High Res shot mode, similar to the one we saw in the PEN-F earlier this year.

The Olympus E-M1 II manages to resolve fine detail a little better than the Canon 7D Mark II in most areas here at ISO 1600, however the Canon does much better in the difficult red-leaf swatch. Noise is generally lower and finer-grained from the Olympus, however it has a larger chroma component to it than the Canon. The Olympus continues to produce a slightly brighter and punchier image overall, however its default noise reduction generates more unwanted artifacts and distortion than Canon's.

And don't miss our signature Print Quality Analysis, where we literally print our Still Life test target at every available ISO and at varying sizes to determine just which sizes you can expect to achieve at good quality for each ISO setting along the range.

"ISO 800 shots at 20 x 30 inches come oh-so-close to passing our "good" grade, as there is still a very good degree of fine detail available, but mild softening in the red channel and some apparent noise in flatter areas of our target prevent us from officially calling these "good". You'll be fine for less critical applications, but for your more critical prints, we advise a reduction in size to 16 x 20 inches here, which is still a nice size and offers virtually no apparent noise nor artifacts from noise reduction processing."

Lastly, make sure and pay a visit to our E-M1 II Performance page, where we analyze the lab results for everything from shutter response to burst modes, and we also examine the new Pro Capture mode as well.

"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.)"

Time to dive in!

Olympus E-M1 II:

Image Quality AnalysisPrint Quality Analysis

High Res shot modePerformance