About 3 years ago I saw the first image of the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 and was instantly impressed by the retro design. Of course, it had also a very fast auto-focus and a tilt-able display. For me it was clear that I have to get this piece of technology as soon as it hits the market. It was the time when I decided to sell all my DSLR stuff and focus completely on the mirrorless system. So I bought two OM-D E-M5 cameras in June 2012. The E-M5 was a revolution in the camera market and a lot of street photographers exchanged their existing camera with the new OM-D E-M5. This week there was the successor of the E-M5 presented. I had the possibility to test the new camera at the Olympus Action Factory in Prague.
I will talk about technical features in detail. You can read them on the normal review pages and the Olympus website. I will talk about how this camera is appropriate for street photography and which feature can be useful. First of all I have to admit, that it looks really cool and the haptic is also great. Especially the silver version is very nice. Looking at the technical specs, there is one thing I have waited for a long time. There is an electronic shutter, which is completely silent. So you can shoot in libraries, churches, close to people and nobody will realise that you have taken a photograph. This is probably one of the most beneficial features compared to the other OM-Ds.
There is also an improved built-in 5-axis image stabilization system. The camera-shake compensation is equivalent to 5 steps faster shutter speed, and that translates to startling low-light image quality. The image stabilization was already very good and was improved even more. So for all the street photographers this mean that we can shoot with slower shutter speeds and will not shake the camera. Although if the object is moving, this doesn’t help.
The E-M5II is now also freeze proof and this means it’s now fully street capable. You will not have an excuse not to get out because of bad weather conditions. If you think, the weather is too bad for your camera. It will be just an excuse. Street photography is now a passion, which can be done at any time of the year at any weather condition no matter how low the temperature is. You will not to have to worry about your camera anymore. It can probably endure much more than yourself.
The electronic viewfinder has been enhanced with the double amount of pixels. Since I hardly ever use the viewfinder, this is not that relevant to me. Not only the viewfinder has been improved, also the display has changed. It is now a 1.04 million-dot vari-angle display, which can swivel and tilt to ensure a bright and clear view of any scene. I like the fact, that you can now get a perfect shot in portrait format from the ground, as you can swivel it to the side. When you want to get a routine shot from the hips, looking at the display, you have to first swivel it to the side and then tilt it. This makes the camera more visible to the opposite. For me, this is a disadvantage.
You can now shoot a spectacular 40-megapixel composite still shot for amazing details. For street photography, this is not relevant, but the feature is amazing. You can shoot now videos up to 60p, which is not relevant for street photography. But the E-M5II is still a good camera for the streets.
All photos are JPG out of the camera without any post processing.