Olympus OM-D E-M10 II vs E-M10 vs E-M5 II vs E-M1

August 31, 2015

Olympus OM-D E-M10 II camera

In this article we’ll take a closer look at the differences between the newly announced OM-D E-M10 Mark II and three other Olympus MFT cameras, the OM-D  E-M10 (the older model), E-M5 II and E-M1.  All four are Olympus’ best and latest of its MFT camera’s lineup. This comparison article is especially useful for those shopping for Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras and haven’t yet able to make up their mind.  This article we’ll give you a finder look into the camera’s specs versus its peers.

We’ll start with an introduction to the newly announced OM-D E-M10 II and move on to the comparison in the next section.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

The E-M10 Mark II replaces the E-M10 but offers only moderate improvements over its predecessor. The E-M10 II still uses the same 16.1MP sensor and TruePic VII image processor, 3″ LCD screen, 81-point AF system but obviously other things have been improved/updated.

The E-M10 II uses the same magnesium alloy and polycarbonate (not weather sealed) body as it predecessor. I was actually hoping for Olympus to improve on that, but it didn’t. The button arrangement and hand grip has been revised for better usability but the size remains about the same.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 vs E-M10 side by side size comparison

As you can see from the above camera size comparison image, the grip has an angular shape, the body doesn’t have rounded corners, the PASM button moved to the right and all in all the new model carries improved ergonomic design and fresh look.

The OM-D E-M10 Mark II utilizes a 5-Axis Voice Coil Motor (VCM) image stabilization. The same highly-regarded sensor-shift image stabilization mechanism found in the E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II, offering up to 4-stop compensation for both stills and video recording.. This advanced IBIS improved low-light performance by allowing the photographers to shoot at slower shutter speeds below the recommended one according to the shutter speed rule of thumb. It it super useful when shooting macros or capturing videos without using a tripod.

2 axis vs 5 axis image stabilization

2 axis vs 5 axis image stabilization (image credit: Olympus)

Among its other advanced features are: a 81-point contrast-detect AF  system, a larger 1.23x magnification and improved 2.36M-dots OLED EVF (vs 1.44M on the E-M10), 1/16000 sec shutter speed. 8.5 fps burst, 1080p60 video recording, art filters, RAW capture, built-in WiFi connectivity, 4K time-lapse mode and more. All these goodies and more are capped inside a stylish compact camera body.

The Olympus E-M10 Mark II is aimed for enthusiast photographers looking for an advanced stylish and compact interchangeable lens camera with WiFi capabilities. So what are the downsides? Well, There is not 4K video recording option, no mi jack for connecting an external stereo mic, not headphone jack, it has mediocre subject tracking performance according to early early reviews and obviously it lacks weather sealing and build quality that is expected for a camera in this category. The E-M10 Mark II is very well suited for those searching for a new MFT camera or those moving up from a Olympus or Panasonic entry-level cameras and it certainly offers great value in return for your investment.

Before we move on to the comparison, let’s take a look at a price comparison and see ho it stacks up against the other camera models.

  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 II – ~$650 (body only)
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 – ~$500 (body only)
  • Olympus OM-D E-M5 II- ~$1000 (body only)
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 – ~$1200 (body only)

*Rounded up prices via amazon.com as of 8/30/2015. Visit amazon.com for latest and updated pricing.

As you can see, the E-M10 II is around $150 more expansive than its predecessor. So you actually pay $150 more for an improved viewfinder, improved ergonomics, improved image stabilization, 4K time-lapse mode, 1080p60 video recording,  slightly faster burst, an electronic shutter (1/16000 vs 1/4000 sec max shutter speed) and AF targeting pad mode (use your thumb to move the focus point via the touchscreen display while composing the shot through the viewfinder).

I’m sure many photographers would wish to have better AF system, new sensor and better build quality or even weather sealing, but to enjoy one or more of these features you need to purchase a more expansive OM-D camera. Last thing I want to add before e move on is that the E-M10 Mark II is compatible with the new ECG-3 battery grip, which was designed exclusively for the E-M10 Mark II (sold separately).
Here’s a sample video using the Olympus E-M10 MArk II 4K Timelapse mode:

OK cool; now that you’ve got a good look about the E-M10 II key features and specs, let’s move on to the comparison section.

E-M10 Mark II vs E-M10 vs E-M5 vs E-M1

Let’s take a look and see ho the new E-M10 Mark II specs compared to the other cameras.

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The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II has a lot to offer to newcomers, but I think that current MFT photographers will find it less appealing to upgrade to. The sensor hasn’t changed from the previous model, it’s not weather-sealed, it has the same image processor and AF system, and there is still no mic input for video recording, no hybrid AF and it has a poor grip. That being said, the E-M10 Mark II is a great little camera, offering a broad range of advanced features, including advanced and improved video functions, 5-axis IBIS,  high-quality EVF, fast burst, built-in wireless, gorgeous design and lots of manual controls and image enhancement features to experiment with.

In my opinion it certainly worth buying the E-M10 Mark II over its predecessor. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II still remains my personal favorite for its all magnesium weather-sealed body, 5-axis IBIS, vari-angle LCD, large EVF, 10 fps burst and great video features. The E-M5 II and the E-M1 are the obvious choice for the outdoor photographer ho intend to shoot in harsh weather conditions.

If you already on Fourthirds lenses you might find the E-M1 to be the best camera for your needs. You can use Olympus Fourthirds and take advantage of phase-detection AF that speeds up continuous autofocus and subject tracking performance. The E-M1 does lack an electronic shutter speed, but still offers a very fast 1/8000 sec shutter speed which is adequate for most situations. The E-M1 offers superior ergonomics and it should be the obvious choice for those of you who already have 4/3 lenses in their disposal and need the best continuous AF performance.

So which one you prefer? – share your opinion in the comment section below. Oh and don’t forget LIKE our Facebook page to be among the first to be notified when we post new comparison articles.


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