Skip to main content

Olympus jumps up to 4K video after it announces the OM-D E-M1 Mark II at Photokina

olympus global open photo contest 2016 om d e m1 mark ii
Coming off a flurry of other announcements, Olympus surprised at Photokina on Monday with the announcement of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, the replacement to the E-M1 that was announced three years ago. Olympus fans have waited a long time for this camera and the E-M1 Mark II looks like it will not disappoint.

The Four Thirds sensor will get a resolution bump to 20.4 megapixels and it foregoes the traditional antialiasing filter, which should make for a very detailed output, though with the potential risk of incurring moiré when photographing fine patterns.

Where things really get interesting, however, is with the new TruePic VIII processor, which offers a 3.5-times improvement in processing power and will let the E-M1 Mark II shoot full-resolution bursts at up to 60 frames per second and 18 with continuous autofocus.

Complimenting the high-shooting speed is advanced Dual Fast autofocus, which automatically selects between contrast and phase detection depending on a variety of factors, from lighting conditions to lens type. Olympus claims continuous tracking AF performance has been “dramatically” improved.

The camera will get a new Pro Capture Mode, which Olympus states will provide lag-free shooting to enable capture of split-second moments. When enabled, it starts taking photos as soon as the shutter is halfway pressed, and saves the last 14 images up to the shutter being fully depressed.

The E-M1 Mark II will also get the high-end features introduced with the E-M5 Mark II, including the five-axis stabilization system and High-Res Shot mode, which will output a 50-megapixel file.

When used with the new M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro  — which was also announced Monday —  the combined body and lens stabilization systems are good for 6.5 stops of shake reduction.

The E-M1 Mark II is built with the professional photographer in mind and includes dual SD card slots, with UHS-II support in just the first slot. Like its predecessor, the camera body will be fully sealed against dust and weather and is freeze-proof down to 14 degrees. The shutter mechanism is more durable, tested for 200,000 actuations while a new battery offers 37 percent more capacity.

On the video side, Olympus will make the jump to 4K with the E-M1 Mark II. It will move beyond Ultra HD to support the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) standard frame size of 4,096 x 2,060 pixels, slightly wider than UHD. It will record 4K at 24 frames per second at a bitrate of up to 237 megabits per second. The sensor readout speed has been improved by a factor of three and Olympus claims this leads to an effective suppression of the dreaded jello-cam effect associated with rolling shutters.

Overall, this is a significant effort by Olympus regarding professional mirrorless cameras and represents a large jump for the company in the world of video production.

As far as the pricing and availability goes, despite not being announced initially, Olympus has since announced that the OM-D E-M1 Mark II will go on sale towards the end of December 2016 and will retail for $1999.

Updated 11/2 by Anthony Thurston to account for newly announced pricing and availability information. 

Editors' Recommendations

Daven Mathies
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Daven is a contributing writer to the photography section. He has been with Digital Trends since 2016 and has been writing…
The Olympus E-M1 Mark II’s awesome image stabilization could get even better
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

When it comes to image stabilization and autofocus performance, Olympus’ OM-D E-M1 Mark II is no slouch. The $2,000 flagship mirrorless camera is a technological tour de force, and counts 4K video and an impressive 60 FPS continuous shooting mode among its key features.

That was enough to earn a Digital Trends Editor’s Choice award, but apparently Olympus engineers think they can do even better, revealing that improvements to both stabilization and autofocus, among other things, could be coming via future firmware updates.

Read more
Best Products of 2016: Photography
This camera is nearly perfect. But the runner-up was a phone
best products of 2016 photography camera nkon d500

Nikon D500
This year has been another good one for camera advancements, from every manufacturer. But members of DT’s photography team are in agreement that the D500 is the best camera of 2016, garnering not only an Editors’ Choice award but also a near-perfect score. The enthusiast DSLR introduces several features, combined with excellent performance, that makes it the best APS-C sensor DSLR to date.

The weather-sealed camera is constructed out a magnesium alloy frame, making it highly durable for use in harsh weather and terrain, like rain or sand. The D500 is also one of the first to use Nikon’s new Expeed 5 image processor, and if you like shooting action, this camera is for you, thanks to a burst speed of 10 frames per second. It can also shoot up to 200 JPEG images before it slows down; has a top shutter speed of 1/8,000th of a second; 180K RGB metering; and 153-point autofocus system.

Read more
You could win an E-M1 II camera, 1M Yen in Olympus’ Global Open Photo Contest
olympus global open photo contest 2016 om d e m1 mark ii

The annual Olympus Global Open Photo Contest is now accepting entries for the 2016-2017 year. The international contest is open to photographers around the world. Photos shot with any type or brand of camera are acceptable, including smartphones and film cameras. This year, the grand prize includes an Olympus OM-D E-M1 II, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens, and one million Japanese yen (roughly $9,160 U.S. at the current exchange rate).

This is no small award. The OM-D E-M1 II is Olympus' newest flagship camera and is not yet available in stores. It is the first camera from Olympus to feature 4K video, and also offers blazing-fast performance, with continuous shooting speeds of up to 60 frames per second (when using the electronic shutter). It costs $2,000, while the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens sells for $1,000.

Read more