The Olympus E-M1 mark ii is a solid professional camera built like a tank. The E-M1 mk ii is ready for anything with it’s extensive weather sealing; Olympus proclaims it as “splash proof, dust proof and freeze proof” in it’s marketing slicks. I was a Nikon shooter before switching to the E-M1 mark ii, and I can confirm this camera is every bit as solid as my D3 was. Shooting in Hawaii over the holidays, which by the way is the rainy season, was a good test of the weather sealing. Hiking up to Manoa Falls felt more like a swim! It poured on us all the way up, making it a very wet and muddy hike. Andy and Jacob stayed in the car with the kids while Shelby, Joy, Maria and I ventured up the trail. I kept the camera out and took photos as we made our way to the falls. The camera performed flawlessly!
This camera is all about speed and geared toward sports photography and photo journalism. The speed of the camera is evident when shooting cars coming at you; usually a camera has to acquire focus and will have a couple of initial shots out of focus. The E-M1 mark ii would nail the first shot pretty much everytime! I normally will shoot a long burst to ensure I get a couple of shots in focus but after using the E-M1 mark ii for a while I started shooting much shorter bursts. Continuous shooting is also very fast, up to 60 frames for second with the electronic shutter (not recommended for motorsports due to rolling shutter) and 10 frames per second with continuous AF. The camera is also very customizable, nearly every button function can be changed and the cameras configuration can be assigned to a custom setting on the mode dial. I used these custom profiles to set the camera up for different situations I may encounter at a race; C1 is configured for panning, C2 high speed and C3 high iso. Pretty handy if you ask me!
Most people hear micro 4/3 and run away screaming “too much noise it’s not clean enough for me”, well I came from the good ole film days and if you can’t get a good photo at ISO 1600 you are doing it wrong! The E-M1 mk ii performs great up to ISO 3200, sure there is less detail and a little signal noise but for online publication and prints they look fantastic.
This is one nice camera for motorsports! The speed, image quality and ability to customize this camera to your liking makes it a great option for any sports assignments. I carry this body with the battery grip along with the 7-14 f2.8, 12-40 f2.8 and 40-150 f2.8 Olympus PRO lenses; the holy trinity and it wieghs less than a Nikon D3 with the 70-200 f2.8!
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Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 PRO (14-28mm equiv)
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens for Micro Four Thirds Cameras
Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 PRO (24-80mm equiv)
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO Interchangeable Lens
Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 PRO (80-300mm equiv)
Olympus M.ZUIKO 40-150mm f/2.8 Interchangeable PRO Lens for Olympus/Panasonic Micro 4/3 Cameras