Olympus unveils the OM-D E-M10 Mark II micro four thirds camera with 5-axis stabilization

By Shawn Knight · 29 replies
Aug 25, 2015
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  1. Olympus launched a revised version of its OM-D E-M5 mirrorless camera earlier this year and now, it’s the OM-D E-M10’s turn. The second-generation entry-level mirrorless camera, fitting called the OM-D E-M10 Mark II, features classic styling with the addition of Olympus’ renowned five-axis image stabilization system for improved low-light performance.

    Those familiar with the original will immediately notice that some of the dials on the top of the camera have been repositioned. Specifically, the mode dial is now on the right side, all dials are now taller and each one has its own unique grip so users can better distinguish them by feel.

    The power switch has also been relocated to the top left side where the old mode dial was.

    Internally, the Mark II uses the same 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor and TruePic VII image processor found in its predecessor. What is new, however, is the aforementioned five-axis stabilization – a feature found on the more expensive E-M5 and E-M1 models (the previous model used a three-axis system).

    Having had some hands-on time with the E-M1, I can certainly vouch for the stabilization system the E-M10 Mark II has inherited. Even with my shaky hands, I’ve been able to shoot tack-sharp images handheld at shutter speeds as slow as 1/5 second (I’ve even seen some pull off similar feats at 1.6 seconds).

    Other noteworthy features include an AF Targeting Pad which lets you keep your eye on the viewfinder as you trace your thumb on the rear touchscreen to adjust focus points, 8.5 frames per second burst shooting, Wi-Fi wireless control, a 3-inch tilting touchscreen, a larger electronic viewfinder and a silent mode that makes use of an electronic shutter.

    It’s worth noting that unlike the OM-D E-M5 Mark II and the E-M1, the new E-M10 isn’t weatherproof. The camera does feature an integrated pop-up flash although you can add your own (or other accessory like a wireless trigger or speedlight) using the hot shoe.

    Panasonic and Olympus first announced the micro four thirds standard in August 2008 as an alternative to traditional DSLRs and the standard four thirds system. Its smaller sensor size allows for more compact and lighter camera bodies at more affordable price points, traits that are also passed along to compatible lenses.

    The platform got off to a somewhat slow start in terms of native glass, an issue that has worked itself out over time. Whether you’re after a macro, portrait, super zoom, pancake prime or a multi-purpose lens, there are multiple options for virtually any budget.

    The small sensor size, while great for the aforementioned reasons, is also the platform’s biggest weakness. While it’s more than adequate for the overwhelming majority of users including advanced amateurs, most working professionals will no doubt stick with full-frame DSLRs due to their unmatched image quality and vast selection of lenses.

    The OM-D E-M10 Mark II will be available starting next month in your choice of all-black or black and silver color schemes with an MSRP of $650 for just the body. Olympus also plans to offer a bundle that includes a 14-42mm EZ lens.

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  2. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,428

    I've been looking for a camera that can do astrophotography and some other amateur photography. Was eye balling the Sony a6000, but if this is better in low light than it'd be the no brainer. However, after hyping myself up for the A6000 for so long it'll be hard to get excited about this(even if it is the better camera). Especially with them being at the same price point. It seems like Olypmus has the A6000 dead in its sights.

    The other thing about it is that it has less megapixels. With each pixel being larger on the sensor each one can collect more light, which is important for astrophotography. I assume it would also keep the noise down on long exposures.
    VitalyT likes this.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,666   +1,951

    I've always thought that the main thing in astrophotography is all the extra lenses that you have to purchase to make it work. A camera on its own is not suitable for that, no matter how good it is. This is why professionals always go for telescopes, which are usually too expensive for amateur photographers.

    EDITED: I've checked - they aren't that expensive these days, you can afford a decent telescope for similar money, or even better, if buying a used one, which also makes sense.
    Example: http://www.amazon.com/Orion-10016-S...sbs_421_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0QM06SDGB9Q1EB9WT6NW
    Not sure though, how to take stills with that :)

    P.S. This one was interesting: http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-shoot-the-night-sky-introduction-to-astrophotography/
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
  4. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,428

    the telescope becomes the lens, you need expensive lenses for visual observing. You just need the semsor. I have a basic "web cam" setup but to get into more serious stuff I need a real camera. Weight is a big issue so a mirriorless camera makes sense. I also need a real camera just because I like photography. My phone(lumia 1520) just doesn't take the quality of pictures that I'd like.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
    Arris and VitalyT like this.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,553

    The issue with expensive long (telephoto) lenses is "F stop". Teles prized by sport and nature photographers have very low aperture to focal length ratio. F 2.8 lenses come as long as 400mm focal length. They're one trick ponies, they get you close, and stop the action. Well, they do have one other trick, selective focus. Wide open, you could get a fashion model eyes dead sharp from 100' feet away, and you'd never see the car wreck & dead body 50 yards behind her. "It's all just a blur". Most any 400mm 2.8 is worth > $12,000.00

    Telescopes have much higher aperture / focal length ratios. F 8 through F 11 wouldn't be uncommon. Also, the optics don't have to be anywhere near as corrected as those for terrestrial lenses, which are designed to render colors, perspective, and linear distortions correctly.

    The camera takes the place of the eyepiece on a telescope. So, when you're shopping for a scope, you'd want to make sure that's available for the model you choose

    IIRC the trial exposure for the full moon on a clear night is F8 @1/125 of a second ISO 100 film speed. Actually, that's a bit LESS exposure than is required for an average terrestrial subject on a cloudy day. (same film speed).

    If anybody cares or doesn't already know, "the "F" number of a camera lens is the ratio of the focal length of the lens, expressed against the maximum "aperture", which is the maximum diameter of the "iris". (The round thingey which opens and closes to let more or less light in). So, simple math. An "F 2.8 (to 1.0 which is understood), lens, would have a focal length 2.8 times as long a it's maximum interior light path diameter.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
    VitalyT likes this.
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +764

    I've had a bit of experience in astrophotography using a telescope.

    There are two ways of doing it these days.
    1. Sum together a bunch of short exposures - perhaps the best way for an amateur since you can throw out exposures that have been blurred due to atmospheric turbulence, telescope drive errors, and telescope alignment errors.
    2. Use some sort of "guiding" technique that compensates for mis-alignment of the telescope drive axis with the axis of the earth and also minimizes drive errors. (Drive errors these days can be minimized with something called periodic error correction (PEC) that is built into many telescope drives these days.) There are also "autoguiders" which use a second sensor to automatically guide the scope. Without guiding on long exposures, you will have "star trails" on most stars.

    Astrophotography is easier done these days than when I was actively doing it in the early 90's, but for the best possible exposures using a small scope, it may not be trivial. My interest was in deep-space objects like galaxies and nebulae. These objects tend to be dim and require long exposures - or the modern day equivalent - the sum of many short exposures. For me, the primary things are a telescope drive with PEC that memorizes the drive errors, and an accurate polar alignment. Even in the case of summing multiple short exposures, an accurate polar alignment can work wonders in terms of minimizing the need to guide the scope.
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +764

    Most scopes have a T-mount option. What you need for the camera is a T-ring.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,553

    Your 1st post, being as cumbersome to quote, (as I freely admit are most of mine), so I took the easy way out here.

    What would you suggest as a place to start looking for a telescope with the features necessary for a reasonably comprehensive starting point for astro photography. I want to shout, "buy a Celestion", but since I have no idea what I'm talking about, I defer to your judgement.

    I have encountered T-mount systems before, (about 5 decades ago), in the context of single lens to multiple camera / brand mounting.

    Does the availability of mounts attach to the camera maker, scope maker, or 3rd party supplier. I expect I could get a Nikon or Canon T-mount virtually anywhere. Would that hold true for an Olympus system camera?
  9. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,428

    I have a Celelestron Advanced VX mount and use it with a Meade LX70 6" Newtonian. I enjoy it for visual observing but it should be a great starter platform for astrophotography. Now all I need is the camera, I can worry about the other stuff when I get there.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,553

    I understand you think the camera is the horse, and the mount is the cart. But, investigate the mount, before you settle on any camera..

    The camera can still be the horse, but you ain't goin' nowhere if you don't have the harness, which is analogous to the T-mount.

    And here you thought I had no rustic charm whatsoever....;)
  11. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,428

    I already have the mount and I already have the telescope. My mount cost me more than twice what my optical tube cost me. Now I'm not going to argue with anyone saying that I may need a better mount, but making a worth while upgrade will cost me around $5000 where as I "only" paid $700 for the VX a few years ago. It will be a great platform the get started on given that I have the camera. If sometime in the future I find that I want to be more serious about astrophotography and that my current equipment is inadequate then I may consider purchasing a new mount instead of, say, a car.

    Right now I'm just taking pictures with a logitec webcam I had in a parts bin and the mount has given me no problems tracking thus far(if I take the time to polar align, level and balance correctly). The next step for me seems to be the camera. Once I have the the camera and see how it performs I'll most likely buy a tracking scope. I'm essentially just planning on taking a whole bunch of 1 minute exposures and stacking them.

    What this really comes down to for me is that I already have the mount and telescope and I've been in the market for a camera for awhile now anyway. Something that draws me to mirrorless cameras is that they keep the weight down, Mine is only rated for 35lbs and I've already got 25lbs of equipment on it. I still need to keep some head room for the camera and tracker scope.

    And you have plenty of rustic charm, cranky, it's usually just in the form of drinking whisky in a brothel.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,553

    You're not arguing with me about it either. I'm in no way talking about the telescope mount, just a simple lens mount adapter.

    Nikon kept their same lens mount for the past 50 years. Canon got rid of their "breech lock" system, as soon as they went to auto-focus.

    Pentax use to have a semi universal 43mm threaded lens mount. All the system camera manufacturers have different lens mounts, so you can't pop a Minolta lens on a Pentax camera,

    Now, the cameras you're talking come and go, while Canon and Nikon remain. Do they come out with with T-mount adapters every six months? I could care less, I have nothing but Nikon equipment, and I'm sure I can get a T-mount for it.

    So skip the "whiskey drinking" horse do-do. I'm as sober as a judge.

    Hopefully Olympus is releasing mounting adapters with their system offerings. The mount for a telescope would also work, (most likely), for photo microscopy.
  13. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,428

    Ahh, those are two very different topics then. While I can't get a t-ring anywhere like a could a nikon or cannon, I can get them online for the sony, I don't know about the Olympus. As far as I've seen many manufactures use different lense mounts on their DSLR's vs their mirrorless counterparts. I just want camera that I can connect to my telescope and have something that can take better-than-average pictures than a point and shoot has to offer. I have a Nikon point and shoot(I know that's no where near the nikon DSLR's you're talking about) and my cellphone camera, neither of which takes worthwhile pictures.

    Everyone with astrophotography talks about the telescopes mount being the most important part in taking quality astrophotos, you were talking about the lens mounting standards of each manufacturers cameras. It's just dissapointing to see everyone put cheap sensors on mirrorless cameras and then hold them back further by limiting the platform with the availability of lenses. Perhaps in a few years I'll be beating myself over the head for buying something like this, but this olypmus and the sony a6000 both seem to fit the bill quite well. I will have to order a t-ring online, but that doesn't bother me much because I buy just about every damn thing online now.

    But, just for further clarification, judges do go to brothels, right?
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,553

    I'd wager they've made significant contributions to their upkeep, maintenance, and employee pension funds over the course of the centuries in which the human race has had a judicial system. Every madam worth her salt likely has a dozen such prominent men in her little black book.

    Yeah, just track down the T-ring for the camera in question before you get ll dewy eyed over it. Since this is an update of an existing model, it's likely out there somewhere.. If not, investigate something which does.

    Here, less than 5 minutes: http://www.telescopeadapters.com/ Now go ye forth and let those Bitcoins fly. (Yuck, I can't believe I just said that)..
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  15. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,428

    It's too bad they don't take dogecoin
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,553

    Words I vow will never cross my lips.:p
  17. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +764

    Cranky, I have a Canon EOS T-Ring. If you have another brand of camera, most every brand has a T-ring for their specific lens mounting system.

    The "better" scope brands like Celestron and Meade have "T-adapters" for their scopes. Back in the day, the eyepiece mount would unscrew and then you screwed the T-adapter to the place where the Eyepiece mount was. That type of system is good for lunar or planetary astrophotography, or for just using your scope as a giant telephoto lens.

    Most deep-sky astrophotography, IMHO, is best done with something called an off-axis guider. This attaches to the scope in between the scope and the camera, so you need to have a T-adapter for the off-axis guider. Most off-axis guiders either come with the T-adapter or should have one available as an accessory.

    I did a bit of research when I bought my 7D, and it looked like both Meade and Celestron have equally good mounts these days. The thing to look for, IMHO, is periodic error correction that memorizes the corrections. Every drive has mechanical error in the gears, and the periodic error correction compensates for that. Basically, with PEC that has memory, you teach the PEC the motions that need to be made to compensate for the mechanical error (which occurs at regular intervals) then the PEC automagically compensates for the mechanical errors forevermore - but further teaching improves results. In a system with a properly polar-aligned mount, the drive's mechanical error would be the most damaging to a longer duration photo.

    There are companies out there that make "pro-sumer" telescope mounts for people that have deep pockets, so it is hard to say who is the best. I have an older (circa '98 or so) 12" Meade Cat, and it would do well even in the modern world as about the only thing it does not have is built-in GPS. Unfortunately, I have no time to spare now, though I pretty much have all the necessary stuff for astrophotography. If you are serious about it, the best advice I can give is to buy the best you can afford, but do your research first. I made the mistake of buying a wooden tripod which could not do an accurate polar alignment - it was cheap, but just could not do serious deep-sky astrophotography because an accurate polar alignment was impossible to accomplish.

    Of note - in my 7D, you can program mirror lock-up to happen something like 2-seconds or 10-seconds before the shutter opens. 2-seconds should be enough for the vibrations to damp and avoid ruining the shot. I think that feature is pretty much standard in most DSLRs these days. I had an EOS 620 back in the day, and my solution to the lack of mirror lock was to drill a small hole in the T-mount, tape a string to the back of the mirror, and before I wanted to make an exposure, gently pull on the string to move the mirror out of the way.

    There are some really decent books available on Astrophotography and what it takes. As well, there are some Yahoo and other groups out there that would be good sources of info for someone wanting to learn more.

    yRaz - It sounds like you are well on your way, and you've done your research. What I did for polar alignment was to cut the bottoms off of three, one-gallon plastic milk jugs, dig holes in the ground at the locations of the three legs on my tripod that fit the jug bottoms, fill the the jug bottoms with wet cement and put saran wrap over them, then stuck my tripod legs with scope in there to make impressions in the cement. I then let the cement dry, and I then had a way to set the scope up in the exact same spot every time. I then polar aligned, "locked it down" as best I could, and therefore, each time I set my scope up, it was in polar alignment every time. A bit crude, yes, but it was a great substitute for a permanent pier mount.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,553

    Well, "have a Canon", pretty much assures you of every available accessory a system SLR camera has to offer, doesn't it?

    I actually tried to make this simple. Perhaps I crapped up the syntax. "Check and make sure the system has T-mounts (*), available, before you fall in love with any given camera system". Check?

    Good to know, but our TS says he's already, "all in", as far as a mount and scope are concerned.

    But, but, but, we're buying a mirror less camera.

    No harm, no foul though. I like to tell stories about "the old days" myself...;)
  19. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +764

    Sounded like you, Cranky, were also interested in AP, too.

    As for cameras - if yRaz is not looking for an "all-purpose" camera yet looking for something inexpensive, I saw some posts in one of the astrophoto groups a few years back about using a web camera. Not sure which one, but is was supposed to have a decent sensor and, since it was a web camera, it was mirrorless. There may be newer model web cameras out there that fit the bill. Finding a way to mount it may be another issue.

    Groups like the following may provide good info on choosing a camera:


    But if yRaz is set on getting this baby, then perhaps a visit to http://www.getolympus.com/ and an e-mail to the customer service dept to see if they have a t-ring available would be worth the effort. On the page for the camera, http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/dig...ii.html?icn=homepage&ici=billboards_augustopr
    there is a "lens selector" which says
    but searching their site, I did not find a t-ring.
  20. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,428

    Did you not read a single one of my posts?
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,021   +2,553

    Well, I'm actually a frustrated fashion photographer come wildlife photographer, with ice skating thrown in. The ice skating part is provisional based on the women' and pairs events, ignoring and avoiding completely the men's and juniors. I'd say porn too, but I'm mostly interested in still photography.

    I have a "degree" in photography, the studies of which included most facets of photography, save for nothing whatsoever, about astrophotography

    Yraz is looking to buy a camera to REPLACE his extant web cam. To echo his earlier sentiment, oh never mind.

    I arguably found a link to the proper adapter for the camera in question. The text did state, "micro 4:3" and did say "Olympus". Does that include their mirrorless offerings? Dunno. Is it a reputable site? Dunno that either. Yraz will have to investigate further.

    Here's the link again: http://www.telescopeadapters.com/

    I thought the Hubble telescope and overpopulation along with its attendant air and light pollution, had effectively rendered ground based astrophotography obsolete. Besides I live in the big city. Some days you're lucky to be able to see Venus.
  22. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +764

    Actually, No, they have not. Search for "Keck telescope". And have a look at this one - http://www.eso.org/sci/facilities/eelt/

    Also, simple techniques like I mentioned such as stacking where the frames chosen present the sharpest images have the ability to match the best of what is out there. For anyone interested, an amateur can still make significant contributions to astronomy.

    As for your big city problem, science has brought the light pollution reduction filter. In addition, most "big cities" are not all that far from a dark sky site - see http://darksky.org/idsp/parks/

    Have fun!
  23. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +764

    No, I just enjoy p!ssing you off. :p
    Why not just go for an SBIG?
    Next time I post, I remember the empties that you have next to you.
  24. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,325   +1,428

    because I want an entry level camera that can do both astrophotography and standard photography. You really haven't read any of my posts.
  25. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +764

    Actually, I did read parts of them, but I don't have hours to spend going into details, and I'm just being an a$$ because perhaps there is some useful stuff there in mine that you might just say thank you for. But, WTF, eh? If you're entitled to being an a$$, then I must be, too.

    A thread on a camera is turned into an astrophotography discussion. Really, the astro groups would have been a better place for this discussion.

    On the side note, I DO think you are on the right track. And one last tip - feel free to ignore it if you like - if it is possible, keep your exposure times to less than the periodic error time of your drive, and if you can time it as well, keep the exposures in between the times that the drive exhibits the periodic error. You will get the best possible exposures that way.

    Want to make it one step further since you are stacking anyway? Keep your exposure times even shorter and pick the shots with the sharpest images - the aim is to minimize atmospheric interference which will be difficult to do with longer exposures unless you have some sort of adaptive optics.

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