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The Complete Guide to Olympus' E-m5 Ii

The Complete Guide to Olympus' E-m5 Ii

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The Complete Guide to Olympus' E-m5 Ii

606 pages
5 hours
Jun 26, 2015


The OM-D E-M5 II is a tiny camera camera that can achieve a whopping 40 megapixels! It also has one of the most customizable and nuanced user interfaces ever. Even experienced users will need help understanding all of the different permutations of features or groups of features spread across different menus.

In this detailed and easy-to-read reference, professional photographers Gary L. Friedman and Tony Philips simplify the complexity and provides the shortest learning curve for this infinitely-configurable camera.

In this 450-page, full-color e-book you'll learn:

* The author's personal camera settings (with explanations)
* An explanation of every function in plain English, with relevenat menu items grouped together so you can get a good feel for all of the features' dependencies.
* Step-by-step guide to using Wi-Fi and the Smart Phone app, and cool things to do with these tools
* A religious treatise on the RAW vs. JPG debate
* A set of "Cliffs Notes" cards
Jun 26, 2015

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The Complete Guide to Olympus' E-m5 Ii - Gary Friedman

The Complete Guide to Olympus’ OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Professional Insights for the Experienced Shooter

Firmware 1.1

Version 1.03

ISBN 978-1-329-23686-8

Published by The Friedman Archives Press

Copyright © 2015 Gary L. Friedman and Tony Phillips All rights reserved.  No portion of this book may be reproduced either in print or in any digital format without express written permission.  Contact the authors at Gary@FriedmanArchives.com, or Tony@TonyPhillips.org.


We would like to thank the following for their invaluable contributions to the quality of this undertaking:

Mike Hendren

Sue Hutchins

John Kalb

Mike Nelson

For Those of You Who Bought the Printed B&W or E-reader Version

The price of the printed books come with a free, full-color .pdf version of the book.  Just send an email to Gary@FriedmanArchives.com, including the receipt of the book you bought (if you didn’t buy it from the FriedmanArchivesPress.com website, then I don’t have your customer information), and I’ll send you a download link.  (The same thing goes for those of you who bought this book for your B&W e-reader.)

Android and iOS Readers

If you are reading the .pdf version of this e-book on an Android or iOS plastform, your reading experience might be enhanced if you viewed the .pdf file via one of these free apps:

For iOS: iBooks (Apple), Adobe Reader, or the Kindle app (Amazon).

For Android: ezyPDF Reader (from the Google Play store)

Meet the Authors

is a professional photographer who has traveled the world with both film and digital cameras.  He runs the stock image website www.FriedmanArchives.com, and gives digital photography seminars worldwide aimed primarily at beginners who wish to learn the basics and improve their creative photography.  (He conducts photo expeditions around the world too, geared especially for the unique needs of photographers.)

Before graduating to photography he was a rocket scientist for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he patented the image authentication system used in high-end Canon and Nikon cameras. He has been published in books, newspapers and magazines worldwide, and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records while in college (go ahead and search the FriedmanArchives.com website if you want to find out what he did to get included). 

Despite his mastery of the technical background, Mr. Friedman has an approachable and easy-going teaching style that makes his books a pleasure to read. You can read more about his background at http://friedmanarchives.com/bio.htm.

Tony Phillips is a widely-travelled professional photographer, author, pilot, teacher, and lecturer.

He conducts photographic seminars teaching the fundamentals of digital photography through to the nuances of advanced lighting.

Anyone can learn to take great pictures if they have the desire. And, it is not so much the equipment (though it is important), as the person, that makes those pictures great.

E:\Desktop\Pics\Family\SOURCE\07 Rear thru Canopy.jpg

Tony has travelled the world, camera in hand. He’s a businessman and entrepenuer and now spends much of his time writing, teaching, travelling, lecturing, and hunting great images.

Visit www.TonyPhillips.org to learn more. Or email Tony at Info@TonyPhillips.org.

Between them, Tony and Gary have written over 30 books on photography.

Below is a tiny selection.

Table of Contents

Chapter 0      Introduction

Chapter 1      The E-M5 II in a Nutshell

1.1      Noteworthy Features

1.1.1      IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)

1.1.2      40Mp Hi-Res still Stills shooting

1.1.3      Wi-Fi

1.1.4      Electronic Viewfinder

1.1.5      Higher res LCD at 1 M dots

1.1.6      More/Better controls

1.1.7      TruePic VII

1.1.8      1/8,000 sec. vs 1/4000 and ISO 100

1.1.9      1/16,000 Silent Electronic Shutter

1.1.10      Modest buffer Impacts Sequential Shooting

1.1.11      Dust and Splash Proof

1.1.12      Color Creator Tool

1.1.13      Photo Story (Mode Dial)

1.1.14      Same Battery as E-M5 & E-M1

1.1.15      Time Lapse

1.1.16      Handheld High Dynamic Range (HDR)

1.1.17      Multipe Exposure and merge Pictures

1.1.18      Edit RAW Files in-camera

1.1.19      Auto ISO in Manual Exposure Mode

1.1.20      Live BULB / Live TIME / Live Composite

1.1.21      In-camera Lens Corrections

1.1.22      Peaking

1.1.23      81 AF Areas

1.1.24      Object Tracking

1.1.25      Art Filters

1.1.26      Wireless Flash

1.1.27      Additional Features

1.2      Olympus Lens Nomenclature

Chapter 2      Essential Configuration

2.1      Control Names

2.1.1      Defining Live View

2.2      Some Essential Configuration

2.3      Where Can I Change The Camera Settings?

2.4      What’s Incompatible with RAW?

2.5      My Personal Camera Settings

Chapter 3      Quick Guide for the Impatient User

3.1      Super Control Panel and Live Control Panel

3.1.1      Super vs. Live Control Panel

3.1.2      How To Use The Two Menus

3.2      Live Guide (iAUTO only)

3.3      Ways of Setting the Focus Point

3.3.1      Shoot Stills Like A Smartphone

3.3.2      Face Priority

3.3.3      Specifiying the Focus Area

3.3.4      Set Home

3.3.5      AF Area Pointer

3.4      Focusing Modes

3.5      Two Useful Manual Focusing Aids

3.5.1      Magnify

3.5.2      Peaking

3.5.3      Peaking Color

3.5.4      Highlight Intensity

3.5.5      Image Brightness Adj.

3.6      Setting ISO

3.6.1      Auto ISO

3.6.2      ISO Low

3.6.3      Manual ISO

3.6.4      ISO Step

3.6.5      ISO-Auto Set

3.6.6      ISO-Auto

3.7      Instantly Reviewing Images

3.8      Drive Mode

3.8.1      Rls Priority S and C

3.8.2      L FPS

3.8.3      H FPS

3.8.4      Silent L FPS

3.8.5      Silent H FPS

3.8.6      Release lag time

3.9      Flash Modes

3.10      Metering Modes

3.10.1      AEL Metering

3.11      Configuring the Shooting display

3.12      Image Stabilization

3.12.1      Image Stabilization

3.12.2      Half Way Rls With IS

3.13      Viewfinder Eyepiece Dioptor Correction

3.14      Quality Settings

3.15      The Fn1 AEL / AFL Button

3.15.1      Combining AEL with Spot Metering

3.16      The Multi-Function Function

3.16.1      Highlight and Shadow control

3.16.2      Color Creator

3.16.3      Magnify

3.16.4      Image Aspect

3.16.5      ISO and WB dial swap

3.16.6      LV Close Up Mode

3.16.7      Multi-Function Settings

3.17      Copyright Settings

3.18      Scene Selection Modes

3.18.1      Portrait

3.18.2      E-Portrait

3.18.3      Landscape

3.18.4      Landscape+Portrait

3.18.5      Sport

3.18.6      Handheld starlight

3.18.7      Night Scene

3.18.8      Night+Portrait

3.18.9      Children

3.18.10      High Key and Low Key

3.18.11      DIS Mode

3.18.12      Macro

3.18.13      Nature Macro

3.18.14      Candle

3.18.15      Sunset

3.18.16      Documents

3.18.17      Panorama

3.18.18      Fireworks

3.18.19      Beach & Snow

3.18.20      Lens Converters

3.18.21      Fisheye Effect

3.18.22      Wide-Angle

3.18.23      Macro

3.18.24      3D Photo

3.18.25      Panning

Chapter 4      Playing Back

4.1      Variations on a Theme - The INFO Button

4.1.1      Playback Info

4.1.2      Thumbnail Settings (Index)

4.2      Image Rotation

4.3      Magnifying the image

4.4      Deleting an image (or multiple images)

4.5      Protecting an image

4.6      Sharing Images

4.7      Print Order

4.7.1      Printing the Date on the Image

4.7.2      Cancelling DPOF files

4.8      Editing RAW and JPG files

4.8.1      RAW Data Edit (RAW or RAW+JPG only)

4.8.2      JPEG Edit

4.8.3      Add to My Clips

4.8.4      Share Order

4.8.5      [Key Icon]

4.8.6      [Microphone Icon]

4.8.7      Rotate

4.8.8      [Slide Show Icon]

4.8.9      Image Overlay (RAW only)

4.8.10      [Printer Icon]

4.8.11      Erase

4.9      Viewing your images on an HDTV

4.10      Slide Show

4.11      Emptying your Memory Card

Chapter 5      Invoking the Basics

5.1      Shutter Priority (S) Mode

5.2      Sports Mode

5.3      f/stops

5.4      Aperture Priority (A) Mode

5.4.1      What you see is NOT always what you get

5.5      Depth-of-Field Preview

5.6      Exposure Compensation

5.7      Exposure Bracketing

5.8      Manual Exposure Mode

5.9      Time Exposure Modes

5.9.1      Watch Your Image Develop

5.9.2      Live Bulb

5.9.3      Live Time

5.9.4      Live Composite Mode

5.10      Time Exposure Menu Items

5.10.1      Bulb/Time Timer

5.10.2      Bulb / Time Monitor

5.10.3      Live Bulb and Live Time

5.10.4      Composite Settings

5.10.5      Live View Boost for Time exposures

5.11      SO, In Summary…

5.11.1      Tradeoffs

5.12      ISO– How sensitive is the camera to light?

5.13      Program Shift

5.14      White Balance

5.14.1      Auto White Balance and Pre-Set White Balance

5.14.2      Tweaking the Pre-Set White Balance

5.14.3      One-Touch White Balance

5.14.4      Custom White Balance

5.14.5      All WB +/-

5.14.6      WB Auto Keep Warm Color

5.14.7      WB Bracketing

5.14.8      Color Creator

5.15      Histograms

5.15.1      Brightness range, sensors, and the human eye

5.15.2      Using the Histogram for a finer degree of control

5.15.3      Histogram Settings

Chapter 6      The Secrets of Light and Composition

6.1      Writing with Light

6.2      Composition – The Rule of Thirds


Out of place shot

Classical Portrait

Environmental Portrait

Chapter 7      Really Cool Features

7.1      Hi-Resolution 40MP Still Images

7.1.1      Processing High-Res .jpg and .ORI files

7.1.2      High Res Shot

7.1.3      High Res Shot Shutter Delay

7.1.4      High Res Shot Flash Charge Time

7.2      Time Lapse Settings

7.3      Multiple Exposures and Overlay

7.4      Keystone Compensation

7.5      HDR

7.5.1      Exposure Compensation in HDR

7.5.2      HDR I/2  Info in Playback

7.5.3      Expand LV Dyn. Range

7.6      (Silent) Electronic Shutter

7.6.1      Limitations

7.6.2      Electronic Shutter Settings and DRIVE mode

7.6.3      Noise Reduction and the Silent Electronic Shutter

7.7      Picture Mode

7.7.1      The Custom Setting

7.7.2      Combining Settings

7.7.3      Gradation

7.7.4      Monotone (B&W) Mode

7.8      Photo Story

7.9      Art Filters

7.9.1      Using Partial Color

7.9.2      Tweaking Art Filters

7.9.3      Art Filter Menu Functions

7.9.4      Art Bracketing

7.9.5      Art LV Mode

Chapter 8      Other Stuff

8.1      Movie Mode

8.1.1      The Touch Screen in Movies

8.1.2      My Clips

8.1.3      Slow Motion / Quick Motion - Movie Shooting

8.1.4      Movie IBIS

8.1.5      C-AF Tracking in Movies

8.1.6      Choosing a Movie Mode

8.1.7      Movie Sound

8.1.8      Recording Volume

8.1.9      Volume Limiter

8.1.10      Wind Noise Reduction

8.1.11      Mic Plug-In Power

8.1.12      PCM Recorder Mic Link

8.1.13      Headphone Volume

8.1.14      Time Code Settings

8.1.15      Movie Info Settings

8.1.16      Movie Specification Settings

8.1.17      Movie Effect

8.1.18      Movie+Photo Mode

8.1.19      Movie Shutter Function

8.2      Customizing Your Camera

8.2.1      Reassigning Buttons

8.2.2      Reassigning the Dials

8.2.3      Dial direction

8.2.4      Mode Dial Function

8.2.5      Lever Function

8.3      Bracketing

8.4      Noise Reduction

8.4.1      Noise Filter

8.5      Card Setup

8.5.1      RAW+JPG Erase

8.6      Reset / Myset

8.6.1      Myset (1, 2, 3, and 4)

8.7      Image Aspect (or Aspect Ratio)

8.8      Color Space

8.9      Anti-Shock

8.10      0 Sec Anti-Shock  - or Electronic First Curtain Shutter

8.11      Quick Sleep Mode

8.12      Adapting Non-MFT Lenses

Chapter 9      Wi-FI and Tethered Shooting

9.1      Using Wi-Fi and Smartphones

9.1.1      Connecting to your Smartphone

9.1.2      Remote Control

9.1.3      Import Photos

9.1.4      Edit Photos

9.1.5      GPS Tracking - Geotagging

9.2      Tethered Shooting

Chapter 10      Wireless Flash and Advanced Flash Topics

10.1      Introduction

10.2      Flash Models

10.3      Bounce Flash

10.3.1      Umbrellas and Softboxes

10.4      Flash Exposure Compensation

10.4.1      Flash Exposure Compensation + Exposure Compensation

10.4.2      Flash + White Balance

10.5      Wireless Flash

10.6      As Simple As It Gets

10.7      Multiple Groups and Channels

10.8      Do Control Signals Affect Exposure?

10.9      Manual Flash Mode

10.9.1      To Put the FL-600R Into Manual Slave Mode

10.10      A Portable Studio Setup

10.11      Super Focal Plane Flash Mode

How it works

10.11.1      How to Activate

10.11.2      X-Sync

10.11.3      Flash Slow-Limit

10.12      Live View Boost

10.13      To Probe Further

Chapter 11      Digital Imaging Topics

11.1      Introduction

11.2      An Introduction to RAW

11.3      The Bayer Filter and Demosaicing

11.4      How Your Camera Creates A JPG

11.5      RAW, TIF, and JPG Compared

11.6      JPG Compression Artifacts

11.7      Any Other Upsides to Shooting .JPG?

11.8      RAW Processing using RawTherapee and NeatImage

11.8.1      Step 1: Convert the RAW File

11.8.2      Step 2: Apply Noise Reduction

11.9      RAW Processing using Lightroom 5 or Adobe Camera RAW 8.1

11.10      Image Size and Resolution

11.11      Hot Pixels

11.12      Memory Cards

11.12.1      SD Memory Card Permutations

11.12.2      Eye-Fi Cards

11.12.3      Memory Card Corruption Issues

Chapter 12      Additional Resources

12.1      Internet Forums and Discussion Boards

12.2      Lens Rental

12.3      Camera and Lens Review Sites

12.4      The Forgotten Secrets of the Kodachrome Shooters

12.5      Books on Other Cameras

12.6      Cameracraft Magazine

12.7      The Friedman Archives Seminars

12.7.1      What Others Are Saying

12.8      The Friedman Archives Blog

12.9      The Road to China

12.10      The Maui Xaphoon

12.11      Epilogue

Appendix A      A Cookbook for Special Shooting Situations

A.1      Introduction

A.2      Fireworks

A.3      Artistic Waterfalls

A.4      Stage Performances / Rock Concerts

A.5      Nighttime Time Exposures

A.6      Shooting in Snow

A.7      Outdoor Group Portraits

A.8      Street Photography

A.9      Sunsets and Silhouettes

A.10      The Moon

A.11      Nighttime Sports

A.12      Christmas Lights

A.13      Product Shots

A.14      Interiors that Sell

A.15      Lightning

A.16      Candlelight Shots

Appendix B       Tip Cards


Chapter 0  Introduction

Continuing the OM Tradition……

In 1973, Olympus introduced the first model in its now legendary line of OM cameras, and continued to produce them well into the 21st century.  Then, in 2012, they released the OM-D E-M5, the first in what has become their digital flagship series.  Now, we have the amazing Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, which closely resembles the 30-year-old OM-4.

Digital cameras are undergoing revolutionary, transformational change, and it’s happening right now.  While each new camera makes evolutionary changes in sensor capabilities (number of megapixels, low noise ability, etc.) and camera functions, the revolution is all about camera and lens sizes and weights.  Take a look at http://camerasize.com/compare/#153,594  and compare the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV to the E-M5 II.  Isn’t that amazing … David vs Goliath! Plus, the E-M5 II has very similar image quality (IQ) to that of the 1D Mk IV.  Yes, the Canon is 6 years older but look at the size difference.  (The cost difference is also quite significant.)

So, in our E-M5 II we now have a very capable camera in a small, light form factor that has most of the bells and whistles we want in our cameras.  It’s very fast (startup, focus, shooting fps), has a terrific Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) and LCD touch screen, proven IQ that is more than acceptable to many pros around the world, and it also uses small lenses allowing us all to greatly reduce the size and weight of our kits.

The E-M5 II is the next progression in Olympus’s drive to fundamentally change the camera landscape.  Here, they’ve combined the best features of four very popular cameras:  the E-5, E-P5, E-M5 and E-M1. 

Naming of the OM-D was confusing when the E-M5 was released.  No one knew whether to call it the OM-D or the E-M5 or OM-D E-M5.  That’s long-since been cleared up: OM-D is series while E-M5 is the model.  So since this is the second iteration of that camera, it’s called the E-M5 Mark II. To simplify that just a bit, throughout this book we will just refer to them as the E-M5 II, the E-M5, or the E-M1 (and save a few pages).  :-)


I’m going to state something that should be obvious to any of you who have owned the camera for more than a couple of weeks: As great as the camera is, it has a lot of options.  Most functions can be accessed in different ways.  To select things, you can use dials, the arrow keys or the touch screen.  Just about every single button and function is reassignable to fit your unique, personal needs.  There are a gazillion ways to customize it, and all of the related options are sometimes spread across several different menus.

And while that can all be a good thing from an engineer’s point of view, from the point of view of the new user who is just trying to become acquainted it can be quite confusing.  And so our goal in this book is to cut through all that, and tell you what you need to know – how to set the important things, so you can get out and get the results you want right away.  The really obscure functions (and there are MANY of them – like change the direction you rotate the control dials or the focusing ring (which readers of languages which go from right to left might appreciate) will be covered, but briefly. 

Now, a word about nomenclature.  In many of our previous books we’d usually refer to menu items using the same icons as what appears on the screen so there would be no confusion.  For example,

MENU -->

--> --> Settings

While that seems like a proper approach, testing with proofreaders across multiple devices (kindle, smart phone, etc.) uncovered the fact that these icons were just too difficult for most people to read.  And so they’ve been abbreviated to something like this:

MENU --> Gear D --> Info Settings --> Settings

Which should be much easier to read (and much faster to layout!)

Okay, let’s get started!

Chapter 1      The E-M5 II in a Nutshell

First, let’s talk about the things I like most about this camera:

Controls and Customizability

The articulating Touch LCD

IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization

40Mp Hi-res stills mode

Excellent Wireless Flash capability.

So what’s new and noteworthy about the E-M5 II?

One of the standout features of Olympus’ new OM-D line of cameras is the in-body image stabilization. And Olympus have used their latest tech in the E-M5 II, giving it the new generation of IBIS which yields 5 stops of additional benefit!

What this will amount to for most people, is the ability to shoot at much lower shutter speeds in low light, thereby keeping ISO’s to a minimum for highest picture quality.

The E-M5 II’s image stabilization system actually moves the sensor in 5 axes; left-right, up-down, yaw, roll, and pitch.  (Very clever, actually!)

Indeed, the OM-D IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) is considered the best currently available, but the true beauty of it is that it works with any lens you attach.  So you’ve got an old Pentax 28mm f/3.5 (or any other lens)?  No problem.  Put it on the camera via an adapter and take advantage of the stabilization system.

The value of IBIS now extends to: auto-panning detection, which disables certain aspects of the stabilization so you can deliberately create motion blur; and, additional electronic stabilization corrections during movie shooting, - thereby further eliminating camera shake which can be quite distracting during movie playback. Of course, this is not exactly steadycam quality dampening, but it does go a long way to steadying out the shakes whilst shooting movies.

And if that wasn’t enough, Olympus’ engineers invented another use for this remarkable stabilization technology, putting it to work to shoot high-resolution images with a 16MP MFT sensor!

I don’t think anybody saw this coming – turning stabilization technology into resolution technology. But that’s exactly what’s going on. Since the sensor can move in five axes, Olympus have elected to move it up, down, left, and right – by only half a pixel – to capture 8 images in rapid succession – then using the E-M5 II’s increased processing power to composite these 8 images into a single, much higher resolution image than is native to the 16 megapixel MFT sensor.

As you probably know, this produces a 64MP RAW file, which is then down-sampled in the camera to a 40MP .jpg. Olympus explain that this gives the best image output, and by now, you’ve probably seen many comparisons demonstrating the difference achievable by this resolution.

Of course, if you want to retain that RAW file, you must be shooting in RAW (and why wouldn’t you if you’ve gone to the extra trouble to set up the Hi-resolution shot?).

There are a few caveats in using this hi-res mode: both the camera and the subject must be still. Meaning this is suited to landscapes and other still-life photography, and you must use a tripod.

Notwithstanding those limitations, this is an exciting use of technology which is bound to be emulated by other manufacturers, and improved on further by Olympus no doubt, to do other things that forum users are already asking about. And who knows, in time, with faster processors, perhaps a handheld version of this technology will revolutionize the way we use cameras, extracting increasingly higher resolution images from small sensors. See Section 7.1 for more on using this standout feature.

Wi-Fi is the new norm, the standard for modern digital cameras.  Olympus has done a nice job of making their implementation of Wi-Fi not only easy to setup and use, but also very functional thanks to a well thought out application for smartphones and tablets.  One of the first things you should do (if you plan on using this at all) is download the free OLYMPUS Image Share application to your smartphone and/or tablet, so you’ll be ready to control your camera and transfer images to your device.  (Chapter 9 goes into the nuances of how to set up and use these features.)

The EVF on the E-M5 II is considered one of the best currently available, and a significant improvement on its predecessor – up from 1.44M dots and 0.57x magnification to 2.36M dots and 0.74x magnification.  What makes it so good?  Well, for one thing it has what Olympus calls Adaptive Brightness Technology, which automatically adjusts the backlight in the EVF to provide a natural brightness like that of a conventional optical viewfinder.

The EVF also has some infrared proximity detectors just to the lower right which will automatically reroute display information from the LCD to the EVF when it detects something is close.  You can quickly disable this auto-switching feature if you want to – just hold down the Live View (Fn 3) button and when the menu comes up choose EVF Auto Switch – OFF.

Olympus has even allowed you to adjust the color balance of the E-M5 II’ EVF in case you find a discrepancy between it and the rear LCD (see following TIP box).

The EVF is an essential ingredient that brings many of the benefits of the E-M5 II’s mirrorless design to you:

You can see how your image will look before you shoot (exposure and white balance).

You can see a live histogram, and other shooting information.

It gives you tools for focusing manually (Focus Assist Magnify and Peaking functions).

The viewfinder is not hopelessly dark when shooting with neutral density filters.

There’s even an electronic level gauge to help align your camera.

The EVF isn’t perfect, though.  When shooting under any kind of fluorescent light (whether it be the older tubular bulbs or the newer compact fluorescent variety), the white balance you see in Live View may fluctuate and doesn’t always match the final image.  Eyeglass wearers shooting outdoors on a bright day say they sometimes have to shield the sun when it shines between their face and the eyeglasses.

Professional event videographers just laugh at all the DSLR guys who try to shoot video outdoors on bright days (their cameras don’t have an EVF, so they have to use the rear LCD screen to shoot with, which is almost always washed out by the sun.)  Of course, you won’t have that problem.

The LCD on the E-M5 II has a bumped up resolution over that on the E-M5:  a little over 1 million dots compared to 610,000.  This is a large increase and is quite noticeable in the resolution you’ll see there.

In addition, it now articulates in a completely new way that allows greater flexibility when shooting with the LCD. It even rotates for shooting selfies, and with some selfie menu options enabled, lets you take greater control from in front of the lens.

Not only this, but folding the screen out from the camera body now disables the EVF eye sensor totally, meaning the camera won’t attempt to switch to the EVF when you are relying on the LCD to compose images where you don’t want to get your face where the camera is.

Flip the screen around so as to fold it screen-side out against the body, and the eye sensor comes back to life allowing you to used LCD or EVF as required.

Not only is the E-M5 II’s implementation of an articulated LCD screen one of the best, it is one of my favorite features on any camera. I know many people eschew it, but I find it opens up a world of creative thinking where checking a subject from alternate angles becomes so much easier than it used to be when all you could do was put your eye to the viewfinder. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not discounting the viewfinder. I use it quite a bit!)).

Unlike some articulating screens I’ve used, the E-M5 II’s implementation works well for use on a tripod – in that it does not descend below the bottom of the camera when you use it, and therefore doesn’t jam against some part of the tripod head and become utterly useless. It's also good for tripod use in other ways, allowing you to drop the tripod down to shoot from a low angle in either portrait or landscape orientation – meaning you don’t need to get in the dirt to see what you’re shooting.

With this iteration of the OM-D series, Olympus has really improved the user interface, i.e., the camera controls.  They’ve added more buttons, made them all more functional, and placed them in better, easier to use locations on the camera body.  With practice, you should be able to touch the control you want without ever removing your eye from the viewfinder.

In fact, the default setup is so good that I suggest giving it a try before diving into the menu system and changing how it all works.  The engineers at Olympus have obviously looked at this camera from a photographer’s perspective, and made it easier for us … photographers … to easily and quickly change the settings we need to change.

One notable and easily overlooked change is the addition of the Lock Button to the Mode Dial.  Press it down and the Mode Dial is locked in position and can’t be rotated, either accidentally or on purpose.  To restore its functionality, press again, the button pops up and the dial can once more be turned.

Additionally, to bring greater consistency across the OMD family of cameras, Olympus have moved the power (On/Off) switch, and added a 2x2 lever to the same locations used in the E-M1.

There are numerous other small changes users of the earlier E-M5 will notice, especially if both cameras are viewed side-by-side. The addition of two extra function buttons is most welcome.

The E-M5 II has Olympus’ newest image processor called the TruePic VII, and its main feature is known as Fine Detail II.  According to Olympus, this new processing engine optimizes image processing in relation to the lens in use and shooting conditions.  What this means to us is that

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