Olympus continues to take inspiration from its mythological roots. The Japanese company was initially named after Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece and also the setting of myths of old. The company name reflects their desire to produce high quality, world famous products.
This leads me neatly on to the new, yet 'strangely' familiar, Olympus OM-D EM10 mark II. How? Well back in 1973 Olympus designed and produced one of the most classic SLR cameras ever made. It was light, it was small, it was intuitive to use, it was the Olympus OM-1. This is why I said strangely familiar, as you can see from the pictures below the Om-D EM10 II have some of the retro features of the OM-1 and the later released 1979 OM-1n. The on/off switch is the same and the edge of the camera has the same indentation. This instantly appeals to me as a lover of vintage classic designs and it gives me the same enjoyment as playing vinyl records.
This said, if you aspire to technology this camera is packed with it, from the inclusion of the same optical viewfinder as the last Olympus camera release the EM-5 MK II, to a 5 axis image stabilization, which allowed me to photograph at 1/30th of a second, which with the amount of coffee I drink was truly remarkable!
Whenever I try out a new camera I like to set the ISO and then I am able to change the shutter speed and aperture easily and quickly. The OM-D EM10 II has two again retro styled dials on the top which allow you to change both settings smoothly.
24 hours to test the OM-D EM10 MK II
I took my first shot on the way back from work when the sun had decided to stay up late and shine over the Gloucestershire hills. However, the Gods and Goddesses where less kind to me the following morning, influencing the clouds that shut out the sun so that it could not visit and made the tears of rain fall over Bath.
This was however the perfect opportunity to shoot some grainy monochrome shots, especially with the Olympus contrasting black and white mode, which is great for creating a sense of anticipation and atmosphere. As I stated before the OM-D EM10 II is both retro and contemporary and the later takes the form of quickly sharing images on social media and viewing them on a Tablet/iPad.
Low light and long exposure
My next task was to avoid turning into a sponge, soaking up the continuous rain and head for shelter. My first stop was to take a short pilgrimage to the Bath Abbey, a religious site since 757AD. The current Abbey was transformed by 1874 and offers elaborate and intriguing patterns to photograph.
I took several long exposures of the ornate Abbey ceilings and as you can tell the Olympus OM-D EM10 MK II could cope the tricking lighting conditions. Both these shots where taken at ISO 800 at ¼ a second.
My final stop whisked me back in time, over 2000 years. The Roman Baths are a great photographic setting, especially with the Victorian expansion which can be seen here in the reflections. At this point the rain had ceased, however, the lighting was still very overcast. I set the ISO to 1000 and luckily could shoot at 1/60 due to the image stabilizing, this meant I could set a generous depth of field.
- WIFI – Share your images on social media quickly and on tablets and ipads with friends
- Viewfinder – A very clear and bright viewfinder
- Angled screen – Useful tilting screen on the back of the camera for low level shots
- Lens range – Over twenty Olympus micro four thirds lenses designed for all types of photography, portrait, macro, sports & wildlife.
The Olympus OM-D EM10 Mark II will appeal to a wide range of enthusiasts due to its portability and the improvements over the already popular first version of the OM-D EM10. If you’re an avid street photographer, have itchy feet to travel or just want better pictures without the weight, then this camera is for you.
- By Simon Taylor
- 2 Nov 2015