NEW OLYM­PUS OM-D FLAG­SHIP LAUNCHES

Camera - - WHAT’S NEW -

you read this, Olym­pus’s much-an­tic­i­pated new OM-D flag­ship, the E-M1 Mark II, will be in the shops… al­though you may have to join a long queue if it’s go­ing to be as pop­u­lar as its pre­de­ces­sor.

The E-M1 Mark II model re­tains a com­pact weather-proofed mag­ne­sium al­loy bodyshell, but just about ev­ery­thing on the inside has been up­graded. The head­line spec is con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing at a rapid-fire 18 fps with AF/AE ad­just­ment and when us­ing the cam­era’s silent sen­sor-based shut­ter. If you’re happy with the fo­cus­ing be­ing locked to the first frame, you can shoot at up to 60 fps. Even with the cam­era’s ‘tra­di­tional’ fo­cal plane shut­ter, the max­i­mum con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing speed is still a snappy 15 fps.

The 20.4 megapix­els (ef­fec­tive) ‘Live MOS’ sen­sor in­cor­po­rates 121 phase-de­tec­tion fo­cus­ing points – all cross-type ar­rays – which gives a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in AF speed which is now nearly three times faster than the pre­vi­ous model. Five-axis in-cam­era im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion is now avail­able giv­ing up to 5.5 stops of cor­rec­tion (up to 6.5 stops with the new 12-100mm PRO zoom), and com­bines with elec­tronic sta­bil­i­sa­tion to en­able su­per-smooth hand-held shoot­ing even with 4K video. Yes, Olym­pus joins the 4K video club and the E-M1 II records in the Cin­ema 4K res­o­lu­tion of 4096x2060 pix­els at 25 or 24 fps, the lat­ter giv­ing a mas­sive bit rate of 237 Mbps. A new ‘Pic­ture Mode’ pre­set called Flat is pro­vided for ex­tend­ing the dy­namic range when shoot­ing video and al­low­ing for eas­ier grad­ing in post-pro­duc­tion. A 4:2:2 colour out­put for record­ing to an ex­ter­nal recorder is avail­able from the cam­era’s HDMI con­nec­tion. There’s lit­tle doubt Olym­pus is now very se­ri­ous about the videog­ra­phy/cin­e­matog­ra­phy mar­ket as the new cam­era also gets time-lapse, time cod­ing, a fo­cus peak­ing dis­play and a ‘Slate Tone’ fa­cil­ity for sync­ing sound recorded sep­a­rately to the vi­sion.

Olym­pus uses its sen­sor-shift im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion to de­liver a pixel-shift mode called High Res Shot which makes an eight-shot cap­ture to cre­ate 80 megapixel RAW files and 50 megapixel JPEGs. The cam­era’s lat­est-gen­er­a­tion ‘TruePic VIII’ quad-core pro­ces­sor can now process these eight frames to re­duce any blur­ring due to move­ment be­tween each cap­ture, en­abling High Res Shot to be used in a wider va­ri­ety of sit­u­a­tions. Also no­table are new fo­cus stack­ing and fo­cus brack­et­ing modes sim­i­lar to what Pana­sonic is of­fer­ing on the G85. There’s a new ver­ti­cal bat­tery grip – the HLD-9 – and a pow­er­ful on­cam­era flash – the FL-900R – with a met­ric guide num­ber of 58 (at ISO 100).

Olym­pus has also added three new lenses to its M.Zuiko Dig­i­tal sys­tem. In ad­di­tion to the 12-100mm PRO se­ries zoom men­tioned ear­lier, there’s a 25mm f1.2 PRO fast prime (equiv­a­lent to 50mm) and a 30mm f3.5 Macro (equiv­a­lent to 60mm). The M.Zuiko Dig­i­tal ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing, as it’s equiv­a­lent to a 24-200mm zoom but is still com­par­a­tively com­pact and has a fully weather-proofed con­struc­tion. Its op­ti­cal im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion gives up to 6.5 stops of cor­rec­tion for cam­era shake when com­bined with the five-axis cor­rec­tion in the lat­est OM-D bod­ies. The min­i­mum fo­cus­ing dis­tance at 12mm is just 1.5 cen­time­tres, giv­ing a re­pro­duc­tion ra­tio of 1:6.

In Aus­tralia the OM-D E-M1 Mark II is priced at $2799 for the body only. For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.olym­pus.com.au

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