Olympus may, finally, be getting it right when it comes to video. Their new E-M5 Mark II, touted by the company as the world’s best interchangeable lens camera for “run and gun” spontaneous video shooting, offers some interesting possibilities and suggests that Olympus wants to explore further in this direction. It can only be good to the market.
Capture Cinema quality movies your way. That’s what Olympus promises with the launch of their new mirroless system camera, the E-M5 Mark II. Looking like a classic Olympus SLR when it comes to shape, but without the pentaprism that a true reflex hides, the new camera lets you follow the action and shoot “hand held”without the need for cumbersome stabilization rigs or expensive and time consuming post processing.
OM-D Movie, as Olympus calls it, is a movie solution that provides cinema-quality movies in hand-held shooting. The powerful in-body 5-axis image stabilization system and compact, lightweight body and lens system provides stable movie recording even without a tripod, more dramatic scene recording with active camerawork, and the possibility of capturing natural expressions without intimidating subjects.
The idea of a camera for “run and gun” is atractive but means capturing images while in movement. To compensate for image instability, the OM-D E-M5 Mark II in-body 5-axis image stabilization system uses a VCM driver, which floats the image sensor with magnetic force. This construction makes it possible to shoot smooth, hand-held movies without a movie tripod, mini-jib, rails, or other specialized equipment. The image quality resolution and smoothness, AF performance, AE performance, and image stabilization performance are all at top-class level among interchangeable lens cameras.
The video used to promote the system is, let’s say it, impressive, but only users that will first pick the camera will be able to confirm if it works exactly as shown. Marketing has, many times, the tendency to exagerate functions. Still, the new camera is a step forward when it comes to video, suggesting that Olympus has decided to invest more in the area. It’s only natural that those that have chosen the system will invest even more in it now that video becomes a “professional” option.
Advanced movie features like variable frame rates, audio recording and monitoring options are available for the more advanced videographer. The OM-D E-M5 Mark II (that the complete name for the camera) supports a 60p high frame rate and a 50Mbps high bit rate (ALL-I: 72Mbps). Control for movie AF and AE has been reworked for smooth, high-resolution, Full HD movie quality. The camera is e equipped with Multi Frame Rate, High Bit Rate, ALL-Intra shooting, and able to set time codes, so professional level movie editing is possible.
The recording options of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
The Live View screen can be displayed on an external monitor via the HDMI output, making it possible to check images on a large monitor while shooting. Focus Peaking is now available in 4 colors (black, white, red and yellow), and the intensity can be selected from low, normal and high, making focusing easier when shooting. Settings such as exposure compensation, aperture, shutter speed, and microphone sensitivity can also be changed using touch operations while recording a movie. Audio can also be recorded using an Olympus IC recorder equipped with linear PCM recording connected to the microphone jack for optimal audio levels and high quality audio recording. Because power supply settings to the external microphone can be turned on and off, users can use a high-end condenser microphone or dynamic microphone with a power supply. Camera grip HLD-8G (sold separately) with a headphone jack can be used to listen to recorded audio while shooting. This expandability supports a variety of shooting situations for professional level movies making.
For users needing to shoot short movie clips, the camera also offers multiple options, including the option to edit the clips in the camera to create a movie, without the need for a computer. Multiple Art Filters are available when shooting movies. Partial Color lets you capture movies like a scene from a film, and Vintage movie lets you produce an emotional atmosphere in movies without editing. Four different Art Effects, including Art Fade, which makes changes in Art Filter movies more interesting, and Old Film, which gives movies a film-like effect, expand the possibilities of movie expression.
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II is available in the market for a price of $1.099,99.