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Olympus Finally Confirms OM-D E-M1 Mark II Price & Release Date

By Kishore Sawh on November 2nd 2016

It’s been a good number of years since we saw the introduction of the OM-D E-M1 original, a camera that turned into somewhat of a cult classic; unknown to many but with a dedicated and enthusiastic following. But that fanbase has been loud enough to create a palpable buzz around it and its successor, a successor that was unveiled at Photokina with a spec sheet to lick your chops at. Now the company has announced in a press release that the OM-D E-M1 Mark II will go on sale at the end of December (a bit curious), and with a significant premium over the original. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II comes in a full $600 more than the Mark 1, at $1,999 USD.

That’s right, to own an OM-D E-M1 Mark II you’ll have to part with near-as-makes-no-difference $2,000, and that’s not exactly change to be found in your couch. In fact, that’s D500 territory, and a whole host of other impressive options that aren’t Micro 4/3rds. That’s not to say M4/3s don’t have their place or advantages for the right people, but it’s hard to deny that the majority of the market doesn’t associate $2k cameras with Micro 4/3rds.

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But then again, this isn’t your average camera, much less your average micro 4/3rds; it appears to be incredible. Its 20 megapixel live-MOS sensor will be able to shoot full resolution raw images, with autofocus, at 18 frames per second, or, without autofocus, at a jaw-dropping 60 fps; its image processor is also 3.5x faster than the last generation of Olympus processors, and an all new autofocus system, featuring a dedicated quad core processor, and 121 on-sensor, cross-type, phase-detect AF points, and a new algorithm for tracking movement. Of course lets not forget the 5.5 steps of camera shake reduction, which is class-leading.

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[REWIND: A Canon Shooter’s Review of Nikon Lenses & A Sony Body | In The Enemy’s Camp]

The question is, can and will buyers disassociate what they think they know or feel about micro four thirds and re-assess this camera to find the value to match the cost? Just a quick poll reveals that the price is a stopping point for many, and that may be a shame. One hopes Olympus hasn’t priced the camera out of the hands of those who really wanted it, because it’s just so appealing.

You can pre-order yours now.

About

Kishore is, among other things, the Editor-In-Chief at SLR Lounge. A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

6 Comments

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  1. Josh Leavitt

    No question that the E-M1 Mark II is good, the question is, is it too good? If Olympus packed all of the mark II’s features into a full frame body, it would have taken the world by storm. Yeah I know, Olympus will probably never go full frame. But I think that’s the problem with the Mark II – MFT format simply doesn’t have a large enough market share to justify a professional level system. And maybe that’s the goal of the Mark II; getting more pros to buy into the smaller MFT format.

    I love Olympus, and own several E-PL models for street/candid photography, but I think it’s a huge risk on Olympus’ part going with this price point. Most portrait, studio, landscape, and wedding photographers will prefer full frame because of the larger field of view it offers. Sure you can get the same FOV with MFT systems if you switch to a shorter focal length, but that can cause distortions based on the distance to your subject. The Mark II will probably be a nice option for pros specializing in child portraiture, because the small MFT system is far less intimidating than a huge full frame. But is that enough? My guess is no, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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  2. Emilio Savov

    I’d say, not a bad camera .. but way too expensive!!! No way I’m giving 2k$ for a Micro 4/3! I’ve played with Fuji XT-2 and it’s an amazing camera, if I have to get a mirrorless camera, it will be my choice. But for 2k$ I’d prefer to get D500, I’m a Nikon guy, have all the lenses I need, and not to mention that I doubt that these mirrorless cameras can cope with D500 for the uses and needs that I have. And I remember back in the days how they said “the mirrorless will be the choice, lighter, cheaper and better” … well … lighter… not always, cheaper..hmmm .. I don’t think so, better …hmmm that is also in doubt, at least by me :)

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  3. Yael DeFaye

    So for $2000 you can get OM-D EM-1 MKII, a Fuji XT2 or a Sony A7II.. not all the same class but all the same price! A comparison of those 3 could be really interesting and it would tell a lot about what a sensor size can do.

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  4. Jean-Francois Perreault

    We keep hearing that sensors cost a lot of money, that it’s pricier to get a FF than a Crop because the sensor costs more.

    This camera is more expensive than Fuji’s APS-C X-T2 and Sony’s FF A7II.
    What the?

    With all those price hikes, I feel more and more like I’m getting screwed by those camera companies.

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    • Raoni Franco

      I once had this mind set. But when I started to figure out what exactly I wanted to do with my photography and what features where really usefull for my needs, I started caring less and less about this evil game camera companies (or companies in general) play with us. If you have plenty of money, sure, new gear is always fun. But if you are like me you better grow up and be more objetive with your photography.

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    • Jean-Francois Perreault

      I agree Raoni.
      In fact, my X-T1 will be with me for many years to come. It already does more than my talent can provide so I have no need to upgrade.
      I now only buy what I need, not what I want. And since I already have everything I need, I’m not spending a dime on gear for a while. I prefer spending my money traveling.

      Nonetheless, I still feel like these price hikes are getting a bit insulting.

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