A while back, I reviewed the Olympus OM-D E-M10 and came away damn near head over heels with the small, charming camera. The new Mark II version enhances nearly every aspect of the camera, but it's still the little friend we know and love. We now know when it'll come to Australia, and how much it'll cost.
If you've never heard of an OM-D E-M10, here's what you need to know: it was the cheapest of Olympus's OM-D line of interchangeable lens cameras, which are known both for being tiny and for their classic look and feel. Starting at $999 in Australia, the original EM-10 housed a 16-megapixel sensor and mounted a host of terrific Micro Four Thirds lenses -- and its shallow sensor-to-mount flange distance meant it could be used with hundreds of old, sharp film lenses with the appropriate adapter.
None of that has changed. In fact, I'd bet the pictures you take with the new OM-D E-M10 Mark II would look pretty much the same -- only now, it should be easier than ever to take sharp, stable shots under changing conditions. For starters, Olympus is adding back the 5-axis sensor shift stabilisation system it uses on more advanced cameras like the E-M5 Mark II, and in one of its cheapest cameras to boot. I didn't notice a huge difference between the 3-axis and 5-axis systems in my original E-M10 review, but it certainly can't hurt to have the additional help in keeping shots blur-free.
Second, the camera's built-in electronic viewfinder is much improved. It's got a crisper, 2.36 million dot OLED display, up from the 1.44 million dot resolution you could get before. And realising how enthusiasts enjoyed using the EVF, Olympus has refined the controls too, putting dual dials and a programmable function key within easier reach while your face is pressed up against the camera. These are the kinds of things that make big differences when you're actually out and taking photos.
There's also a slightly faster TruePic VII image processor that allows for 8.5 frame-per-second continuous shooting (compared to 8fps with the original) and 1080p video at 60 frames per second (compared to 30fps before). The camera's shooting lag time -- or lack thereof -- is class leading. The three-inch tilting touchscreen LCD, 81-point autofocus system, and pop-up flash remain intact. A smart new system whereby the rear display's touchscreen works while you're looking through the viewfinder allows for quick and accurate autofocus point adjustment while you're still composing your shot.
Perhaps the most welcome news, though, is its price: the new and improved OM-D E-M10 Mark II now starts at $799 in Australia for the body alone, or $999 with a bundled 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 collapsible 'kit' zoom lens. If you want to add a 40-150mm f/3.5-5.6 telephoto zoom to that kit, you're looking at $1199 total. Which is a marked improvement from the already-acceptable price of the original E-M10. You'll be able to pick the new camera up in Australia from September onwards in both silver and black body colour options. [Olympus]