I spent the first day of 2017 in my happy place outside hiking in the cold and snow and shooting a new Olympus OMD EM1 Mark ii & Olympus 12-100 F4 Pro lens. I must say that I am incredibly pleased. So much so that despite writing two weeks ago that I wasn't going to buy a new EM1ii, I am now a happy owner of this kit. Say what? Yep, I bought them both. 

The new Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II with 12-100 f4 Pro lens - a dream combination

The new Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II with 12-100 f4 Pro lens - a dream combination

So what made me go back on my word? What changed? Or did I just succumb to G.A.S.?  Well, it was a little of both, but let me explain and share a few thoughts about why I traded my EM1 in on the new Mark ii version.   

Image Stabalization - No one can doubt that Olympus is industry and class leading in this area. I was walking around my home last evening waiting for my daughter to return from a new years eve party. I was just snapping away having fun with little or no light to see how low I could go and still get sharp images. I was shooting ISO200 with the 25 f1.2 and getting tack sharp images at 1/2 second. Also, if you couple it with the new 12-100 it is even better.  This image stabilization allows one to shoot at much slower shutter speeds at a lower base ISO making it far more competitive with some cameras like the Fuji XT2 with no IS. I shot them side by side and the results were meaningful and noticeable to me.  You can also use thslow shutter speeds to bring motion into your frames. It is just crazy how good it is. 

Battery Life - The battery is HUGE and it lasts significantly longer than the original EM1. I have been shooting quite a bit in the cold lately with the EM1 preparing for my trip to Iceland later this month. With the original EM1 I'd go through a battery in a few hours in the cold. Today, after being out in the cold for 2+ hours and shooting a couple hundred images, much of which I was carrying the EM1ii on the end of my tripod over the shoulder, I returned to my car with 72% left.  Nice.

Grip - Despite the fact I don't actually like the appearance of the big grip, it sure does work well. This camera feels so good in my hands. 

Now a few words about the Olympus 12-100 f4 Pro lens. 

The focal range - The 12-100 is completey addicting as a single lens solution. I didn't even bring another lens today.

Performance - It's sharp right from f4 and has really nice transition from in focus to out of focus. It's quick to focus too and you can get so close with it it almost feels like a Macro. Truly an outstanding optic. When the IS locks it is almost impossible to make minor reframing because it stays locked the subject. I got in the practice today of letting go of the shutter button to reframe if I had already locked it. You can feel it release with a big jerk/movement in the EVF. 

So, to fund this I sold everything  except what is listed below and my current m43 kit is as follows. 

  • Olympus OMD EM1 Mark ii
  • Olympus 25 f1.2
  • Olympus 12-100 f4
  • Olympus 7-14 f2.8

Someday I will add a really long zoom and hopefully one day, Olympus will release a pro 17mm, my favorite focal length for everyday shooting. 

So...What about pics? Here are a handful from today. All were in camera RAW conversions to either standard Monochrom or Natural. I transferred them to phone and edited in Snapspeed and put them up here. I hope you enjoy them. 

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All in all for one quick test run at the store andcouple hours in the woods this AM shooting all while getting the the camera set up I am incredibly pleased with the results thus far  

More to come but leave a comment if you have any questions.   

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