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Olympus E-M1 and E-M5 II review revisited - massive new firmware updates and speedy Metabones AF

Andrew Reid

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I'm debating on getting an EM5 MK II or EM1. Is there really a bump in video image quality on the EM5 MK II with the new firmware?


I really would prefer the EM5 for the form factor but if the EM1 is still better quality in video I will still end up getting that instead.

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Very useful review.  One question, however -- perhaps I'm being thick, but I can't untangle this bit:  "What Olympus have got resoundingly spot on especially with the E-M5 II is the stills side.  There’s a caveat though. The AF performance is extremely lens dependent, varying rather erratically.  Sadly on the E-M5 II it is just too inaccurate to be fully usable at the moment…  On the E-M1 and GH4 this doesn’t seem to be as much of an issue."

It would seem that you're saying that they haven't got it spot on with the E-M5 II, but have with the E-M1.  Or am I missing something?

(This would be useful for me to know, as I have an E-M1, but have not tried Canon lenses with it.  Should I?)  

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Ah right.  That makes sense.  Something to be aware of, btw -- not sure whether you've ever covered it here? -- is that Metabones has just added PDAF support for the E-M1 in a firmware update.  This *should* make Canon EF lenses focus as well as Oly's own Four Thirds glass, when shooting stills.  It doesn't work with video, unfortunately:


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  • 2 weeks later...

Instead of new Movie Flat Picture Mode, has somebody already tested Art 3 Filter – Pale & Light Colour. You can stop it approx. 1.5 times down (preferred first by ISO to get less noise) and would end up with really flat profile.

But in general I don't understand all the discussion about flat profiles especially when it comes to 8-bit cameras. Isn't it better at first to check RGB-Histograms whether scene would fit within boundaries by means of normal profile. I have seen so many examples where people tested Log profiles on low dynamic range scenes and wondered that after post production they achieved no better or worse results. In my opinion only if my scene has a dynamic range where I would have to crash too much, I should switch to flat profiles where I hopefully end up close to the boundaries (RGB 0-255 for 8 bit) again. For 10-bit I could sacrifice more space to the upper and lower boundaries as calculation within color grading software would end up more precise that nothing falls apart when it finally goes back to the 8 bit monitor.

For me, Olympus flat profile is more or less of a compromise where you don't have to choose between normal and log but at least achieve something better in DR.    

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The spread of strengths across the camera industry is driving me a bit nuts.

Only Blackmagic do cheap affordable int. 10bit ProRes.

Only Olympus do effective stabilisation.

Only Panasonic do cheap 4K in Micro Four Thirds cam

Only Fuji do a film-inspired shooting experience (although Olympus run them close)

Only Sony max out the specs and do a full frame mirrorless camera

Only Samsung do a really responsive fast ergonomic DSLR-style mirrorless camera

Only Canon... I mean only Magic Lantern do raw video.


The A7S II is closest to the perfect camera but the handling is just...so soulless.

Currently I am thinking of keeping hold of the E-M5 II as a stills camera, second to the NX1 and A7S II as my main video cameras.

smart move ! Thinking about getting a fuji xt1 or olympus em1 for stills and the nx1 for video. Im really just after the APS-H look for stills and the occasional video

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  • 4 years later...

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