Olympus OM-D E-M5II Initial Impressions

The first Micro Four Thirds camera I bought was the Panasonic GF1 back in 2009. The point and shoot form factor made it an excellent carry anywhere camera. I still have it and would rather sell the old Canons to make space in the cabinet. Although a little slow to focus the Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH kit lens was an awesome piece of glass. It’s bokeh is as good as some Leica lenses and perfect for portraiture. The GF1 was so good that I didn’t think I needed another M4/3 camera and I skipped all the subsequent upgrade GF models.

Then a couple of years ago, my friend Ken got the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and we did a few side by side comparisons with other cameras. The OMD bested the others in high ISO, auto white balance and focus speed. I was floored! The reviews online were all generally positive, but I decided to wait to see what version 2 would bring. After doing some research before my recent trip to Sapporo I decided that the upgrades seemed significant enough on paper. After an hour of testing at BIC Camera I decided to buy a black one with the 14-150mm kit lens. I was also gifted the silver Olympus Body Cap Lens 15mm F8. Not including this pancake lens I saved about HKD 3300 (USD 425) buying the camera in Japan!

I’ve had the camera for about a week now and it’s everything I’ve been waiting for and a little more. The E-M5II does suffer from some Olympus quirks such as user unfriendly menu system. But the overall performance of this Micro Four Thirds camera definitely surpasses the GF1 and some non-MFT cameras too. Will be posting some more indepth reviews over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, hope you enjoy this gallery of sample images.

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