Sunday, 14 February 2021

E-M1 Mark II - Second Try

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, m.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 Pro

I picked up the replacement E-M1 Mark II body on Friday afternoon. It did cost me extra over the previous body I returned as non-functional, but I think I got a lot of value out of the upcharge, getting all the accessories instead of just strap & charger, including the box, and also going from a high mileage body (95k) to one with less than 1000 shots on the clock. I was surprised this body was not rated 9, given the mint condition and extremely low mileage (881 shots when I got it)

 With a properly working body now I'm very impressed. The handling is very much the E-M1's handling, improved. The grip is a little bigger and fills the hand better, the buttons are a little better positioned and the firmware is a fair bit more capable.

One very nice thing is there is a neat Quick Sleep mode, this sleeps in 10 seconds when using the body in EVF-only mode. Now that does mean you need to manually switch in and out of LV mode on the rear LCD, but the battery life is improved immensely. I've shot over 300 images and not dropped below 60% charge. That's seriously impressive battery life for any mirrorless body, and especially for the BLH-1 which is of the smaller 'big' batteries in the mirrorless world.

The gloved handling of the body is excellent. MUCH better than the Fuji's, with nice large and easy to find buttons and easier to activate control dials. I was surprised with how much nicer the dials are than the X-T1 or 2. Still love the Fuji's classic layout for basic controls, especially when using manual primes, but the Olympus beats it hands down for AF/Zoom handling

Capability-wise, it's very impressive. That said, it's very complex as well. Lots of neat functions but lots of menu options to configure them, and very lousy explanations, especially for stuff that's iconography. 

The real surprise for me has been the m.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 Pro. I've looked at this lens several times in the past and always chosen to go with the less expensive 12-50 EZ, which is quite a solid lens, but much slower. There's a couple things that makes me wish I'd bought this lens long ago. It's very well built, quite small and the close focus performance is very impressive, at 0.2m for all focal lengths. That's much easier to work with than the macro mode on the 12-50. Plus of course it's f2.8 and extremely high performance optically. I'm extremely happy with the lens so far, great range, fast, close focusing and optically excellent.

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