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The latest OM-D from Olympus brings great updates for the enthusiast videographer, a first for Olympus, with improved options for different frame rates. Other great improvements and new features are more beneficial for the topside photographer, but the improved electronic viewfinder and beefed up features make this a great upgrade from the original OM-D E-M5.
The Sea & Sea housing offers a high quality, yet compact housing designed to fit the E-M5 Mark II perfectly. With a specific Mirrorless line of ports, and compatible with just about any Sea & Sea accessory this housing is a great choice for any underwater photographer.
For example photos, read our guide to the best micro-four thirds lenses for underwater photography.
Round out your Sea & Sea OM-D E-M5 Mark II set up with these useful accessories.
Read our comprehensive Olympus underwater settings guide.
The camera has refinements large and small, from an additional stop of performance of the 5 axis stabilization to a fully articulated LCD; the "II" is an impressive update. Little touches include a lockable mode dial and two additional programmable buttons. Olympus clearly listened to users when it made the Super Control Panel on by default (no more hunting in the menu to try to enable this). The camera also now allows the info screens to be customized, such as the histogram, level and highlight/shadow warnings that can be shown together. Long exposure fans will like the LiveTime feature - realtime long exposure shooting - very cool.
For underwater photographers, the biggest improvement is a serious upgrade to the electronic viewfinder, which now sports a 2.36m dot LCD (same dot count as the revered E-M1). It is hard to shoot what you can't see, and the upgraded EVF goes a long way towards improving vision, especially when paired with a Sea & Sea enhanced viewfinder.
For the videographer, the E-M5 II significantly upgrades the frame rate (60 fps) and bitrate (77 Mbps), with both ALL-I and IBP recording modes. It is the first Olympus to offer focus peaking while shooting video, and gains a microphone socket. The video here can take advantage of the in-camera image stabilization, allowing for smoother handheld video clips.
The headline feature of the "II" is the new Multi-Shot Hi Res Photo Mode. This new feature allows the camera to capture a 40 Megapixel image using the 16 Megapixel sensor. Black magic? Sorcery? No, but it is a pretty cool use of technology. What Olympus has done here is take advantage of the in camera stabilization mechanism to move the sensor while the camera records the image 8 times. These 8 exposure and melded together into a single 40 Megapixel image, producing a higher resolution result with less noise. These multiple exposures take time, so this trick does not work for moving subjects or for handheld shots. This feature is unlikely to appeal to the underwater photographer, but it is certainly interesting.
Read our full Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II review to learn more about the camera features and why we love it for underwater photography.
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