An ingenious system of sensor micromovements with multiple snapshots allows an increase in resolution from 16 to 40 megapixels
The Olympus OM-D cameras are an outstanding combination of performance and size within the world of DSLM Mirrorless cameras (from the Micro Four Thirds system). They’re an attractive balance between technology, construction, and quality that now includes a renovation of the intermediate model Olympus E-M5 Mark II.
The aesthetic changes are evident; it has a similar look but with some buttons different in size and position (the on button for instance) while the 3-inch touchscreen now turns in two axes, offering more versatility in its use. The EVF viewfinder with automatic ocular detection now has 2.36 million dot resolution.
But the most important new features are inside. Starting with the most important, there’s a 5-axis stabilizer that reduces vibration and displays a notable improvement in sharpness and detail (especially in scenes with little light or when teleobjectives are used). Since it’s directly integrated in the sensor, it offers stabilization independent of the type of objective used and is sure to improve the exposure.
Curiously the most interesting feature of the sensor is its practical application in "Sensor Shift Technology" which seems unique on the market, and the fact that the OM-D E-M5 Mark II can multiply its 16 megapixels to 40 thanks to its unique micromovement function implemented by th estabilizer. What the E-M5 does is lightly move the sensor with respect to its normal position and make 8 sequential snapshots. All this information and light is summed up in a final unique image of 40 real megapixels (not invented or interpolated) that delivers exceptional quality. The only problem is that for this feature to work, no moving objects should be in the scene.
To its already well-known resistance to water, dust and freezing we can now add similar features to that of the superior model, the E-M1: a speed of 1/16,000 and 10 fps. Obviously it also uses the same TruePic VII processor, so one can say that we’re looking at an E-M1 disguised as an E-M5.
Olympus has assured that video has been another of its priorities, upgrading to Full HD 1080 with an adjustment of velocity so that it records between 24 (movie) and 60 frames per second. Surprisingly they haven’t achieved 4K resolution, which Panasonic and Sony already offer.