Olympus OM D E-M 1 Mk II review - or how can you win, when everyone else thinks that you have lost…
Note: All photos presented in the following review have been shoot in RAW format and were converted to TIFF/JPEG using PhaseOne - Capture 1 software. Because my default settings are all on Neutral and therefore both the colors and the contrast will be a bit faded compared to what our eyes will perceive, I had to edit the photos to add some contrast and saturation to be able to reflect the real colors. This was not the case for all photos that are presented below, as for some of them I did not had to adjust anything once the RAW was converted to TIFF/JPEG. Whoever has any issues with this can consider it it’s own problem. I will add as part of an archive full size photos as well as the RAW files, thus making everyone happy. By the way: reading this review is not a mandatory thing!
I shall start writing this review, by trying to express the feelings that I’ve had the moment when I have decided to challenge my fate by renouncing the honorary title of Nikon Ambassador, only to throw myself ahead in a turbulent sea full of unknowns. Just several months before this I was full of ignorance while making fun and laughing every time I was hearing about mirrorless systems with disregards to any producer. Truth being told, the new lens produced by Fuji caught my attention, but their cameras had big problems when it come to battery life, which for me is a really important part of my work.
In my case, even if I were to carry a bag full of charged batteries will not work, as I am usually out for weeks shooting in lots of places where I simply cannot get any electricity.
Out of my own ignorance, I missed the fact that the producers are trying to bring functions to those systems that simply are not yet incorporated in any DSLR systems. Somehow, I kinda missed this part of the technical evolution, as I was really surprised when I got my hands on this new system, that was offering in the same time decent battery life, while bringing a full range of lenses. I do have to say it’s never late to admit that you were once wrong ...
Only five days after I had publicly announced that I would end my collaboration with Nikon, renouncing my title as Ambassador, while looking to find a new system, a mirrorless one this time, something that could challenge my whole carrier, out of the blue I got a fully equipped Olympus system.
To be honest, I would not give too many chances to the new system. My conservatory thinking would not allow me to conceive that a small sensor can be better than a big sensor.
Well, here we go ... I will do my best to present everything that I have discovered so far regarding small sensors. While searching through lots of articles and documents online, I could only find limited information that was either created in a very shallow and simple way or was only covering a certain segment of photography, a segment where the author was specialized in. I have started to study this system, that is currently being used by two camera manufacturers (Olympus and Panasonic); all this while trying to read as many documents or documents for patents that I could get. On top of this I added lots of hours of shooting with the system, as only after 2 or 3 months I had realized that the shutter was indicating over 100.000 shots while using the following lenses:
⦁ Olympus 8 mm fisheye
⦁ Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
⦁ Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO
⦁ Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO
⦁ Olympus 25mm f/1.2 PRO
⦁ Olympus 75mm f/1.8
⦁ Olympus 12-100mm f/4 PRO
⦁ Olympus 300mm f/4 PRO
⦁ Olympus 30mm f/3.5 macro
⦁ Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro
While using the same approach I had used for years while testing any Nikon gear, I believe I managed to test the system enough and to have enough photos in order to reach a conclusion. My methods of testing consist in challenging the system to capture photos in different weather conditions, from frost and snow in the mountains to deserts or hot dusty environments in that can be found in the Canary Islands volcanoes. While trying not to compare this system with my previous one, I could not constrain myself, as I was really curious to see what was the downside of switching to a smaller sensor system. I was nicely surprised to find out that in fact I was gaining more and not loosing anything. Allow me to show you what I have gained so far ...
Time Lapse and video - here