Olympus OMD EM10 VS Mark II

There are so many good cameras to buy when you are beginning the journey as a photographer or just an enthusiast who loves to take photos. The options are varying from a wide range of prices such as Olympus OMD EM10 Vs Mark II that are ideal for beginners and budget shoppers. These cameras are easy to get used to, powerful, and able to take beautiful photos. For those considering the close siblings, let’s see what they can offer and which you may like better. 

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What are Mirrorless Cameras
  • What are Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II
  • How are the Unit of Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II
  • How are the Specs of Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II
  • How are the Image Quality of Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II
  • How are the Experience with Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II
  • Olympus OMD EM10 Vs Mark II

Mirrorless Cameras

For those who are more enthusiastic about their photography skills and want to take better pictures, it is necessary to have a dedicated camera on hand. Smartphones cameras are convenient and they are suitable for most people but they lack many important abilities such as manual settings and also the options to use varying lenses. Nowadays, cameras are available from so many companies and the trend seems to move into mirrorless. In the past DSLR was the standard but mirrorless is catching up very quickly.

Modern mirrorless cameras are just as powerful as how DSLR back then and many issues have been solved by companies such as poor battery power as they can design more compact and long lasting batteries for the cameras. The overall system and mechanism or mirrorless is actually more modern and is straightforward. With the lack of mirror in the device, they capture light directly instead of bouncing it first to the viewfinder and sensor; mirrorless directly expose the sensor to light.

This way they generate a live preview of the scene directly into the viewfinder. Once the shutter button is pressed, the door slides up to cover the image sensor and then slides down to expose the sensor to light. After this, there is another door that slides up to cover the sensor again to stop exposure and taking the picture. In the past the most popular advantage of mirrorless is that they can be made smaller and lighter. This is correct but for many people also not to a meaningful level.

The mirrorless tends to use more battery power so it doesn’t last long but companies can make better batteries to prolong the use. Next there is this difference in autofocus system because mirrorless initially comes with contrast detection only while DSLR has phase detection that can deliver better performance in detecting the subject closer to the camera. This is quite an old issue because modern mirrorless such as the A7R III and A7R IV are amazing.

Mirrorless applies the autofocus system in its sensor and some photographers who shoot indoors often experience the lack of reliability under low light as it begins to be less accurate. But, nowadays you can find popular cameras such as Canon EOS R6, Sony A7R IV, and Nikon Z7 III as the top cameras for their amazing AF system. All of these cameras are mirrorless and in the near future, it seems that the camera manufacturers like Sony and Canon will stop making new DSLR while continue developing their mirrorless.

Olympus OMD EM10Olympus OMD EM10 Mark II
Product Dimensions4.69 x 1.81 x 3.24 inches 4.7 x 2.8 x 3.3 inches
Shipping Weight13.9 ounces
1.1 pounds
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About Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II

With the companies focusing on mirrorless more, it is just convenient to buy this type of camera not only for the purpose to take beautiful pictures but also to future proof the system. In the past mirrorless didn’t have that many lenses to try but it is not an issue anymore today as you can find many affordable and expensive lenses to consider. For the beginners or budget shoppers, it is necessary to allocate for both camera and the lenses you want to have.

Among those many options, Olympus is one of the best in terms of beginner cameras. We are liking their OMD EM line that was started by the EM5 in 2012, followed by EM1 which is a higher version a year later. This line now houses lots of entry-level cameras that are suitable for beginners and if you want to spend less, some of their older models can still be found on the market. Depending on which matches your preference better, you choose from various models.

For those who want a good camera at an affordable price, the Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II are two amazing options to consider. These cameras are not new anymore and the best thing about older cameras is their price as they are cheaper than the newest iteration. These cameras are close siblings and as the original variant, EM10 was launched in 2015 while the latter is one year after. It is a very close gap so there is not that much to cover here.

The EM10 was initially a lower model of EM5 so it is lacking on some parts well-known to the earlier camera such as weather sealed body. The EM10 Mark II is not far different but it is more similar to the first EM5. Overall it is a better camera with some upgrades such as the new image stabilization and if you are really on a budget, the secondhand EM10 is much cheaper compared to the EM10 Mark II. Read also: Olympus OMD EM5 Vs M10 Mark III here.

Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II Design

Before checking what the Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II can offer, let’s take a look into the camera first. Physically they look very much the same to each other because the housing and design is still familiar to the OMD EM line but they are not completely the same. The most noticeable difference in our opinion is the mode dial now moves to the right and the left panel is now used to house an Fn3 and lever for the flash switch.

The knobs are also easier to operate but when you peek at the rear panel, there is not much changing here except for the design of some buttons. Our only complaint is that for a camera that is not extremely cheap the Mark II is not featured with a rotating rear display. The camera is probably tailored for photography only but it is inconvenient to have only a tilting display. The quality is also identical to 3-inch 1M dots but the EVF seems to be upgraded as it looks better in Mark II.

Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II Specs

Now for the most important part, let’s see what the Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II can offer starting from the basic specs first. Just like the rest of the cameras in the line, they are using a particularly small sensor or micro four thirds while nowadays most new mirrorless are APS-C. The effective pixel is the same as well or 16MP combined with TruePic VII processor. The difference is that now Mark II comes with 5-axis 4 stops image stabilization while the older camera is 3-axis with 3 stops.

Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II Image Quality

Now putting the specs aside, let’s talk about the image quality for still subjects with the cameras. We do think they are pretty much the same and since the cores are the same too, it is not surprising. The new camera however, seems to be slightly tuning the contrast down as your out of camera picture is not as dark as those from the older camera. The details are similarly preserved however so it is not a big issue but in low light, the EM10 probably looks just a tad better.

For human skin, animals, or objects like trees the results are going to look the same but under low light with information like when shooting a sign, the words are easier to read from EM10. The RAW file seems to follow the same pattern or more saturated on the original EM10 yet this can be easily adjusted based on your preference on the computer later. As for the continuous shooting, both Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II are the same or at 8.0fps.

Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II Experience 

Lastly for the experience, both cameras are very similar to each other including the handling and ergonomics. We do think the new grip in EM10 Mark II slightly feels better on hand but the dimension itself is identical. The video recording mode on these cameras are the same so we can only record at 1080p and the two are not designed for hybrid shooters in general but, we notice that in Mark II you can record at 60fps instead of stuck with the 30fps.

Autofocus is decent and these cameras are not what you want to use to track and shoot multiple pictures because very little of them turns out sharp and usable yet, for still photography they are very good. The EVF is bigger on Mark II and this affects user experience since now using it is more pleasant.

Olympus OMD EM10 Vs Mark II

The Olympus OMD EM10 and Mark II are good cameras for the price and there are also some meaningful upgrades on the new camera. First we do like the slight redesigning even though the screen can be better. The picture quality is very similar out of the camera but EM10 seems to be more saturated both in JPEG and RAW. The new camera has better image stabilization and can record 1080p at 60fps.

- 16 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor with 3-axis sensor shift image stabilization
- Up to 8 FPS continuous shooting
- ISO 200-25600
- 1080/30 fps HD video (H.264/Motion JPEG)
- Builtin 5Axis image stabilization for sharper images
- 2.3 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.62X magnification
- Silent mode (disables all shutter sounds)
- 8.5 frames per second burst shooting;AF system type high speed image AF (contrast detection / on chip phase difference detection)

Conclusion 

There is no bad option here, just your personal preference. The original EM10 is not available in its new form anymore so we highly recommend getting the EM10 Mark II instead. It is still affordable and compatible with many good lenses. 

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