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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 22:00   #1
opticoholic
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Olympus E-M1 MarkII: OH MY!

It is only a "pre-announcement" with no price or release date, but I must say I was very impressed.

Dpreview article here

43 Rumors coverage here

Recording of announcement "press event" at Photokina You will need to fast forward to where the presentation actually starts, and there may be places where it lags or "skips."

Quite a list of improvements. My jaw dropped hearing about the 18fps, raw 20MP with C-AF (60fps full resolution raw without C-AF), but then my eyes opened wide and I smiled when they announced this feature: "Pro Capture mode that starts shooting full-res images when you half-press the shutter and retains the last 14 shots leading up to you fully depressing the shutter."

Dave

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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 22:16   #2
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After getting over the 18fps, raw 20MP with C-AF, my eyes opened wide and I smiled when I read this: "Pro Capture mode that starts shooting full-res images when you half-press the shutter and retains the last 14 shots leading up to you fully depressing the shutter."
This seems to be very similar to the 6k photo mode Panasonic mention in their GH5 announcement. It will be interesting to compare AF etc. on those two once they appear as real products instead of text on a screen.

Niels

PS: I have more expectation that I will go with a G80/G85 but I am not sure.
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Old Monday 19th September 2016, 22:39   #3
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Niels,
I was still word-smithing my post when you replied...

Yes, the GH5 is going to be great too I'm sure. This concept of a buffer to pre-record X images before you press the shutter is not new (didn't the Nikon 1 cameras do it?), but this is the first time I've seen it featured in a serious digital camera. Potentially incredibly useful to bird photographers, especially with a remote release of some kind. Although I bet it drains a battery pretty quickly to keep the shutter constantly half-pressed.

The continuous autofocus has been beefed up considerably, as was expected. I agree it will be interesting to see how the real cameras work in the field, apart from all the marketing hype.

Dave

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Old Tuesday 20th September 2016, 07:21   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opticoholic View Post
This concept of a buffer to pre-record X images before you press the shutter is not new (didn't the Nikon 1 cameras do it?),
I think only the Nikon J5 has this feature, keeping 10 photos before the shutter is pressed. It should be useful to catch small songbirds exactly when they fly away. The ability of the N1 system to shoot BIF is good - unfortunately the J5 lacks an EVF and has only a buffer of 20 shots.

I don't have the Nikon V3, but its manual doesn't mention these pre-shutterpress photos. Regarding the J5, a reviewer said:
Quote:
Best Moment Capture is more useful, capturing 20 frames in one second including 10 from before the shutter button was fully pressed. It then selects what it thinks is the best one to keep, but you can select any or all of the 20.
I've just tried it out on a dripping faucet, it works. The small buffer is limiting though. It seems Olympus has taken up the idea, it may be great for birders.

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Old Tuesday 20th September 2016, 15:13   #5
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I should say that something similar already exists in the 4k photo modes on later panasonic cameras. That yields 8 mpix photos - the difference to 6k (GH5) and the Oly solution is that one is nearing the full resolution (but only with jpgs?)
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Old Tuesday 20th September 2016, 16:00   #6
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The 18fps and 60fps quoted speeds are for raw files, but only with the electronic shutter. Actually during the official press event, the actual quote was "up to" 18fps full resolution, raw format, with C-AF. The mechanical shutter top speed is 15fps.

Also regarding the 20Mp sensor, no it's not the 16Mp "3D stacked sensor" many hoped for, but I did read today that an Olympus representative said the EM-1 II sensor is not the same as the PEN-F sensor; it's totally different, two times faster, with different construction and on-chip phase detection.

On dpreview today there is a better "Hands on" series of pictures of the E-M1 II. The pictures are bigger if you hover your mouse over the image and click the little icon in the upper right corner.

Dave
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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 05:56   #7
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This interview has some additional details:
http://www.photographyblog.com/news/..._e_m1_mark_ii/

Also this:
http://www.mirrorlessons.com/2016/09...a-information/

Dave

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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 08:26   #8
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For me, the headlines here are the addition of what appears to be a DSLR-class autofocus system (finally!) and the higher mp sensor that even slightly improves image quality (i.e. dynamic range/noise). This should stop the repeated debate in my head about whether to switch to a DSLR.

I think there is also addition of support for both focus bracketing and stacking on the 300mm f4--which could be a big help on depth of field for insect closeups.

Have also read that the electronic shutter may now be improved, and allow for most bird photography without having rolling shutter effects. This would be good--especially if there is provision for a toggle between electronic and mechanical shutter (or at least the ability to program one). A toggle is not possible with the em-1 (to my great annoyance). Would be nice to never have to worry about shutter shock again.

I don't get too excited about fps increases. Just makes me think of the more time I'll be spending deleting non-keepers. I generally keep my fps below the max.

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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 16:19   #9
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Another interview here: https://www.ephotozine.com/article/o...ize-trip-29987
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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 16:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opticoholic View Post
This interview has some additional details:
http://www.photographyblog.com/news/..._e_m1_mark_ii/


Dave
According to that interview, the reason we're getting an articulated screen rather than tilt screen as per the EM1 Mk I is because of a 60/40 preference amongst Eurpean photographers.

They never asked me! Have any of our BF European members been asked?
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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 17:24   #11
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They only needed to ask ten to keep it simple for them
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Old Saturday 24th September 2016, 00:27   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim M. View Post
For me, the headlines here are the addition of what appears to be a DSLR-class autofocus system (finally!) and the higher mp sensor that even slightly improves image quality (i.e. dynamic range/noise). This should stop the repeated debate in my head about whether to switch to a DSLR.

I think there is also addition of support for both focus bracketing and stacking on the 300mm f4--which could be a big help on depth of field for insect closeups.

Have also read that the electronic shutter may now be improved, and allow for most bird photography without having rolling shutter effects. This would be good--especially if there is provision for a toggle between electronic and mechanical shutter (or at least the ability to program one). A toggle is not possible with the em-1 (to my great annoyance). Would be nice to never have to worry about shutter shock again.

I don't get too excited about fps increases. Just makes me think of the more time I'll be spending deleting non-keepers. I generally keep my fps below the max.
Jim,
Yes I agree it is the improvements to AF and specifically continuous AF/tracking ability that are most important. We will just have to wait and see how much improvement we get...

I do not expect that much improvement to image quality. I know Olympus claims 1 whole stop better noise and they say the dynamic range is also better than larger APS-C DSLR's... We'll see. I'd be surprised if it was an entire stop better than the current E-M1, but maybe... Everybody wants better and better image quality but I think current sensors are already really good. I was glad to read in the ephotozine interview with Toshiyuki Terada (thanks Adey for sharing that link) that Olympus is "not interested in the megapixel race." It sounds like they patiently waited until they really thought increasing the megapixels in the sensor would add meaningful improvement to image quality. And I agree with him that Pro lenses like the 300mm f/4 would probably support additional resolution, in the future, if they can figure out how to maintain quality with even smaller pixels...

I know what you mean about the fps speed sometimes being overkill, and the chore of having to delete all the worthless or identical images. However, I think sometimes the extra speed can mean the difference between catching that fleeting perfect moment of action and missing it. I remain keenly interested in the "Pro Capture" thing because I think it could make it much easier to catch difficult moments of action, especially if they can someday increase the maximum number of prerecorded images saved beyond 14, as was suggested in the ephotozine interview. Regarding electronic shutter and rolling shutter, with the current E-M1 I have found the quality of images using electronic shutter to be fine most of the time, especially if I do a burst... If I can see rolling shutter effects at all, it is usually only some, not all of the images in the sequence.

This past summer I was shooting a pair of Mountain Bluebirds returning to the nest cavity to feed their young. It was very tough to catch the birds during the moment when they would "pose" and look at me... Sometimes they didn't stop or pose at all; even when they did, it was only a fraction of a second. I would sit there getting stiff and achy and then after 5 or 10 minutes, usually right when my attention would start to wander or I was waving a mosquito away, the bird would suddenly appear and instantly disappear down the nest hole. The attached images are examples of my few modest successes. Of course it was even harder to try to catch the moment before landing with their wings outstretched; I utterly failed and eventually gave up trying to do that. But I think it would have been easier with the new E-M1-II. With the E-M1-II I would have backed up a little to increase the depth of field/field of view, stopped down as much as I could, increased the ISO to get the shutter speed good and high, and then set focus manually and taken lots of sequences with a remote shutter release, using the highest fps speed that would capture about 1 whole second of action (or more) before pressing the shutter, experimenting with different manual focus points. Busy birds at the nest like this will give you lots of tries... Unfortunately these birds were working so hard that their feathers were worn and damaged. Tumbling down into the hole and back out probably ~50 times a day doesn't make for the best looking bluebirds on the mountain!

Dave
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Old Saturday 24th September 2016, 07:20   #13
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Thanks for your comments Dave. Sounds like I will have to start experimenting with the electronic shutter more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by opticoholic View Post
I do not expect that much improvement to image quality. I know Olympus claims 1 whole stop better noise and they say the dynamic range is also better than larger APS-C DSLR's... We'll see. I'd be surprised if it was an entire stop better than the current E-M1, but maybe... Everybody wants better and better image quality but I think current sensors are already really good. I was glad to read in the ephotozine interview with Toshiyuki Terada (thanks Adey for sharing that link) that Olympus is "not interested in the megapixel race."
I do not expect much improvement in image quality per se, either. But the increase in megapixels should give more room to crop, and less deterioration in image quality when cropping to a satisfying image size for birds. So I am expecting a non-trivial practical beneficial effect on image quality from the megapixel increase. And personally I hope that Olympus stays in the megapixel race because of the cropping needs of bird photography. A 24mp m4/3 sensor would be even better. (Though of course if the megapixel increase comes at the expense of image qualilty then it would be counterproductive, I agree).

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Old Saturday 24th September 2016, 17:08   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim M. View Post
Thanks for your comments Dave. Sounds like I will have to start experimenting with the electronic shutter more.

I hope that Olympus stays in the megapixel race because of the cropping needs of bird photography. A 24mp m4/3 sensor would be even better. (Though of course if the megapixel increase comes at the expense of image qualilty then it would be counterproductive, I agree).
Yes, I agree. I was just responding to the Olympus guy in the interview, who seemed to be saying that they are concerned with image quality first and foremost, not simply increasing the megapixel count to keep their specs competitive with other cameras, which I'm sure is a tempting path to follow. And I don't think I'm inferring too much from what he said: Olympus stayed at 16MP for ~4.5 years and 5 OM-D bodies (E-M5, E-M1, E-M5II, E-M10, E-M10II) before finally increasing it to 20MP, so hopefully the improvement to image quality will be more meaningful... Just remember that the increase from 16 --> 20 MP sounds bigger than it really is; the added number of pixels "on the bird" is not much. But there is reason to hope that those smaller pixels might be close to the same quality as the current larger pixels.

Here is an example of the kind of shot where I think the "Pro Capture" feature pre-recording/saving frames before you press the shutter could be very helpful.

Dave
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Old Saturday 24th September 2016, 17:42   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opticoholic View Post
... the increase from 16 --> 20 MP may sound bigger than it really is; the added number of pixels "on the bird" is not much.
Dave
The actual sensor dimensions are:

E-M1: 4608 x 3456
E-M1-II: 5184 x 3888

Measuring across the short length of the frame, that's a total increase of 432 pixels. So for example if the bird fills up 25% of the linear distance across the full frame, that would be 864 pixels "on the bird" with the old E-M1 vs. 972 pixels on the bird with the new E-M1. So roughly 100 more pixels and a linear increase of ~12.5% in resolution, assuming that the smaller pixels capture all the same detail/quality as the larger pixels, which is not necessarily true. But as I said, there is reason to hope it will be a noticeable improvement.

Dave

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Old Monday 17th October 2016, 14:29   #16
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43rumors claim that this camera will start shipping in December.

Niels
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2016, 13:29   #17
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Dave,
I agree with your comments on fps. There ARE times where a fast frame rate comes in handy. I faced a similar situation summer before last with a pair of nesting Blue Tits. Trying to catch them flying in was an exercise in trial and LOTS of error.
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The few OK shots I got were by setting the camera (E-M1+ Canon 400/5.6L) on a tripod, pre-focusing, and triggering from a slight distance with my iPhone, 10 fps. I had to set up a couple of mirrors to reflect some light in under the eaves where I hung the nest box, otherwise, no chance! All in all I took close to 6000 thousand frames from the time they started feeding till the little ones fledged. The hand full of keepers can be seen here:https://www.flickr.com/photos/421620...57652966435401

I am also very much looking forward to the E-M1 II and really HOPE it will be as good as they say it will be! I would have gladly sacrificed the additional 4 MP for more DR and less noise, but if they can pull it off as they say, well... best of both worlds.
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Old Wednesday 19th October 2016, 15:27   #18
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Whilst bearing in mind that he is an Olympus 'Visionary' this guy is incredibly positive about his pre-production sample of the E-M1 Mark II.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCANrZrq9ws

I am looking forward to reading some full reviews when they appear.

Ron
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Old Friday 21st October 2016, 18:01   #19
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Well Cliftons have announced a major Olympus a one day New Product Event with 'hands on' on 3/11/2016 so I expect other dealers will be doing something similar around the country. Not positively identified it as the Mk II but they wouldn't dare get everyone excited over a new point and shoot. Clearly some tub thumping to drum up advance orders.
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Old Saturday 22nd October 2016, 21:53   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSpringChicken View Post
Whilst bearing in mind that he is an Olympus 'Visionary' this guy is incredibly positive about his pre-production sample of the E-M1 Mark II.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCANrZrq9ws

I am looking forward to reading some full reviews when they appear.

Ron
Great specs, bigger grip and battery will be nice, and also the "no-blackout viewfinder", hope the price is not increasing,
competition like the GX8 is cheaper than ever (half the price compared to a year ago).
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Old Saturday 22nd October 2016, 21:59   #21
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Re price: probably debut a little higher than mark 1

Niels

Edit: for me, the jury is still out regarding this vs the G85/81/80 and vs the GH5
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Old Saturday 22nd October 2016, 22:55   #22
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Re price: probably debut a little higher than mark 1

Niels

Edit: for me, the jury is still out regarding this vs the G85/81/80 and vs the GH5
I'm sure the Panasonics will be great for video.
and 18MP stills from 6k video..in the Gh5...phew...sweet
But still no phase detection focus?

For BIF the EM-1 MKII might be the best choice.
But not sure how the olympus will match 100-400 panaleica?
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Old Sunday 23rd October 2016, 00:21   #23
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My argument is that both Pana and Oly are claiming improved autofocus. I would like to see how real users get on with long lenses before taking the splurge. The DFD in Pana unfortunately will not work with oly lenses, the opposite direction should work.

Niels
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Old Sunday 23rd October 2016, 09:44   #24
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My argument is that both Pana and Oly are claiming improved autofocus. I would like to see how real users get on with long lenses before taking the splurge. The DFD in Pana unfortunately will not work with oly lenses, the opposite direction should work.

Niels
I suspect the lens/body stabilization will not work in combination if mixing lens/body of different manufacturers?
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Old Sunday 23rd October 2016, 16:35   #25
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Seems to be the case, but the Oly IS is SO good anyway, and supposedly improved in the Mark II by 1.5 stops, so who really needs the combination? With the E-M1 I can quite easily hold 1/30 with a 400mm lens. Sure, the mass of the Canon 400/5.6 helps a lot, and I can get much better IS results from it than I can with the feather weight 75-300. The Pana/Leica is no light weight. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
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