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[OM] "New" Oly EM-1 Mark II

Subject: [OM] "New" Oly EM-1 Mark II
From: Peter Klein <boulanger.croissant@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2024 12:56:46 -0800
I've been looking to upgrade my 11 year-old Olympus EM-5 (the original). It's served me well, albeit with some shutter shock and delay issues that have frustrated me. My mindset breakthrough came when I realized that the EM-1 series is actually almost the same weight as my EM-5 with an external grip added. I needed that grip, because the EM-5 is otherwise too small for my big hands. The EM-1's built-in grip is just big enough as-is.

Nearby Kenmore Camera had several EM-1 Mark II bodies for $499. After trying them in the store, I came home with one. It appears well taken care of. 31,500 shutter actuations, which leaves plenty left on the rated 200,000.  (My EM-5 has accumulated 13,000 clicks in 11 years).

So far, I've found  nothing wrong, and I'm happy.  This is a case of staying a little behind the curve and saving quite a bit of cash. The newer EM-1/OM-1 versions are 4x more expensive, and to my mind, the improvements are incremental, not game-changing for how I photograph. RAW image quality has not changed much. And when I want full-frame, I still have my Brand L German rangefinder.

The one drawback is the mind-boggling complexity of the EM-1 setup. Everything is customizable to a bewildering degree. (I remember initially going through the same thing with my EM-5, until I achieved a state of "set it and forget it." The EM-1 II is like that, only more so. It's like "Fizbin," the card game in the Chicago gangsters episode of the original "Star Trek." Function X does Y, except on Tuesday. But when you also enable Function A, Function X does B, except at night. Fortunately, the EM-1 II has dedicated buttons for almost everything I normally do, so there's less menu diving than on the EM-5.

My general rule is to leave the factory defaults alone, unless I really need to change them for how I photograph. So I've left all the buttons at their default, except for the orange video record button. Since I don't do video, I've changed that to turn on focus magnification, for when I use my manual focus Oly and Leica tele lenses.

One huge help has been this link:
It explains things better than the manual. And when his writing gets sarcastic, you know that the option being discussed is not all that important for most people.


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