This week saw the release of the highly anticipated Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and it has been applauded for being one of the best mirrorless cameras for photography to date by industry standards. But in its video stabilization, they just might have gone and revolutionized handheld shooting for videographers.
Whilst in-roads were made into image stabilization at Olympus with the OM-D E-M5 Mark II, max bit rate was never high enough to satisfy professional videographers. But at 237 Mbps, the E-M1 Mark II catches up to the mirrorless video king, the Panasonic GH4. And let’s not forget about HDMI output, folks.
Now onto the image stabilization itself. Olympus have nailed the combination of using their industry leading 5-axis image stabilization technology along with electronic stabilization to produce a result which has never been seen before in a consumer mirrorless camera.
Brushless gimbals and handheld stabilization systems have seen a huge growth in the last three years, so a huge amount of credit should go to Olympus for acting on this demand with technology that reduces the size of your kit needed for certain shots. Let’s be clear, it’s not going to replace your tripod or gimbal for accurate panning or movement, but it will create so much more usable footage than you will ever have expected to get from handheld shooting. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you only have room for one camera in your kit that requires professional levels of photography and video, the E-M1 Mark II is a serious player.
Video enthusiasts and professionals will likely await the release of the Panasonic GH5 before committing almost $2,000 to a new A-camera because of their reputation in this field, but Olympus have thrown a spanner in the works in a field for which they have not ever been on the radar with mind blowing in-camera 4K video stabilization.