Olympus OMD EM5 VS Mark II

Attractive cameras are usually getting more interesting with updates such as Olympus OMD EM5 Vs Mark II that are noticeably different but probably not from the outside. These cameras are so similar to each other that most may not notice which one is the new iteration. However, they are quite different on the inside and if you wonder which of the two to purchase, let’s see what they can offer below. 

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • Which to Invest First in a Camera
  • What are Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II
  • How are the Body of Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II
  • How are the Specs of Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II
  • How are the Image Quality of Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II
  • What else Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II can offer
  • Olympus OMD EM5 Vs Mark II

Camera Body and Lenses

Cameras are just cameras, a tool to capture still pictures or moving footage of something. For some people however, they can be more meaningful because this is a tool to work on their passion and probably to earn a living. It is a very promising occupation so the device itself is also varied to provide the wide range of users it is marketed for. When planning to buy a camera, many are questioning whether it is better to get the expensive body or investing in the lens. 

The answer may vary and since there is no one with absolute authority to define the answer, you can have different opinions too. In our subjective view, the options are based on the user themselves, or depending on what type of photography they are doing. Expensive cameras for example such as EOS R5, the A7S III, the A1, or GFX100S are powerful and perfect for some people but not everyone. They are in general ideal if you are taking pictures in low light.

Expensive cameras usually are more sensitive to light, especially those with larger sensors. They are also what sport and nature photographers are using because the camera is typically fast to capture the fast moving subject in front of them. The expensive cameras have better built, component, and also the processing power to make the photo shooting process more seamless and reliable, moreover if you are working on the project as a professional.

Now let’s see from the lens side and why you may want to buy the expensive lens before the camera. First because it is the first component where light comes into the camera. Many believe that it is the most important part of a camera system as it gathers and focuses the light before entering the body. Second, it is deciding the style of your pictures. Take the most popular spec Aperture as an example that can be either fixed or variable.

A lens with a fixed aperture is not able to zoom and vice versa. If you want a photo style that focuses on the closest subject while smoothly blurs the background, the faster the lens the better such as f/2 or at least f/2.8. Third, it also affects the performance and experience when capturing pictures. Expensive cameras have superior autofocus motors so they will be able to lock into a target much faster, while being quieter too. Expensive lenses are also affecting the sharpness, contrast, and colors of your pictures.

Olympus OMD EM5Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II
Product Dimensions4.8 x 1.69 x 3.5 inches
4.88 x 1.77 x 3.35 inches
Shipping Weight0.9 pounds
1.03 pound
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About Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II

The decision is all yours because not everyone has the same opinion and it is best to match the answer with how the decision will affect your experience. Most of us probably can go with both affordable cameras and lenses, then upgrade them when the skill has improved or next time when you are ready to spend for the dream camera and budget. There are so many different cameras and lenses to opt for and we can always choose the best solution.

For the budget shoppers, there are older cameras to try and also entry-level choices to consider. The older cameras are usually still good and the price has been reduced a lot too. Entry level and mid-range cameras less than $1,000 are usually more than enough for both casual and enthusiasts. Olympus for example is one of the most popular options for the budget cameras and the reason is because their cameras are just good; even those that have been in the market for years are still typically very reliable.

Take the Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II for example with the original camera being a crowd choice back then, Olympus is upgrading this series for several times now with the latest addition into the collection being Mark III. In comparison these cameras are quite old, especially with the first version coming in 2012 and chances are it is not being produced anymore. The two cameras are entry-level and enthusiast favorite for what they can offer; beautiful image quality in a semi-professional body.

They are more serious than the common point-and-shoot cameras, perfect for your starter into the hobby. Price wise they are quite affordable considering the new cameras today but they are also not as powerful, some of it due to the limitation of their small sensor, a micro four third type. Most of the specs from the first OMD EM5 are still present on the new camera, especially the physical quality like ergonomics and control but the Mark II is also slightly improved.

In comparison, the Mark II is tweaked here and there without touching the sensor. One of the most prominent upgrades in our opinion is the processor, because now it is more powerful and useful for hybrid shooters as well as improving the experience for still photographers. 

Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II Design

When seeing the Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II, the first thing we notice is that the dial is upgraded a little; the layout stays the same but the buttons are now easier to operate. You can find more differences when flipping the camera. First now the viewfinder is different and the Mark II looks a bit wider in comparison. In the past Olympus OMD EM5 Vs OMD EM10 we complained about the rear display because they are only tilting but now the EM5 Mark II is fully articulating. 

The overall shape of these cameras stay the same with a small grip at the front and a dedicated viewfinder in the middle or center. It is very comfortable to hold with a fairly compact body so the grip is not hindering your finger when a larger lens is installed. The previous camera comes with a full body sealing and it was very attractive but the new one is a bit plasticky, especially on the buttons.

Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II Specs

Now for the most important part, let’s see what the Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II can offer starting from the specs. As it has been mentioned above, these cameras are very similar and the new iteration is not touching the sensor at all, it is still the four thirds 16MP sensor being used in the older variant. They are very capable cameras for stills photography but not as attractive to many other recent cameras because the two are still 1080p for the recording function.

Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II Image Quality

We are curious about the image quality taken by these cameras because they are using the same core. In fact the two indeed resulted in identical details and quality though not exactly the same when out of the camera. The new Mark II seems to be milder in the color processing, making the original photo look more natural compared to the predecessor. However, most people process their file further so it can be adjusted to your liking on the computer. 

The higher ISO settings seem to produce the same result as well and compared to many other APS-C cameras in this price range, especially the Mark II, the two are still pretty competitive unless you choose to shoot on the high ISO level because the difference in sensor size will be more apparent here. Overall the image quality is good and they should work well in most applications but also with noticeable limitations.

Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II Features

Next we want to talk about the features that you can find on the new camera because it can be helpful for some people and just like the OMD EM10, this OMD EM5 Mark II is also coming with LiveComp feature. It is a very useful feature that is not always present in many other cameras. It is a feature that lets you shoot a series of images continuously using the same exposure time. The camera then combines these images together into a single composite.

It also has this LiveTime feature, the same in OMD EM1 Mark II. This feature will allow you to see the images as it is developing and useful in long exposure applications since it will let users see the increments in development and the histogram of the image as it is being captured by the sensor. 

Olympus OMD EM5 Vs Mark II

There are so many good cameras in the affordable range and these two are some of the most interesting choices. In comparison the ergonomic and overall handling of Olympus OMD EM5 and Mark II are very similar but the experience with OMD EM5 Mark II can be better because it comes with a newer processor and some useful features. It now has a rotating screen for self-recording and monitoring, as well as a better viewfinder when composing your shot.

- 16.1MP CMOS Micro Four Thirds sensor
- 9 frames per second continuous shooting
- 35-area contrast detect AF
- ISO 200-25,600
- Powerful 5 axis voice coil motor image stabilization system greatly reduces blur resulting from camera shake
- 16MP Live MOS sensor with 40MP High Resolution Shot Mode; Lens mount Micro 4 Thirds Mount
- 10 frames per second high speed sequential shooting
- Full HD 1080: 60p, 30p, 25p, 24p video capabilities with focus peaking


The two are ideal options for enthusiasts and budget shoppers. We recommend OMD EM5 Mark II because the older camera is discontinued and Mark II is a better choice overall. It still comes with everything good on the original camera and is more reliable.  

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