Part 1 – E-M1 Mark ii Image Stabilization test (vs) E-M5 and an Aha Moment with new camera!

This is the first of series of tests that I plan to do with the new Mark II. One thing image https://kuphotoblog.wordpress.comquality result might not tell you is that the handling of ‘E-M1 mark ii’  is way much better than E-M5 (Btw.. who started this “Mark” naming convention, I don’t like saying it and not easy to type as well, why can’t they just use  1,2,3.. or A, B, C.. ). The immediate feedback after shooting the image, has easier navigation to get to the setting, responsive dials, etc…

Lens used : Olympus 45mm f/1.8

Settings : White balance shade, Auto Exposure, Shutter Priority, Handheld,

Subject & Distance : Artificial tree with reflective ornaments and lot of small etchings.  High ISO noise is immediately visible, even a slight handshake is obvious.  Also at a typical  portrait shooting distance, around  12 feet.

Lighting :
Shaded Indoor light in a cloudy day. Not close to the window.

Purpose : Apart from the fact reason to check out is this camera really worth the upgrade, like to know the practical limitation of the handheld shutter speed. So that I can lower the ISO assured of getting a sharper image till a certain shutter speed.

 Results : (scroll down for images)

1a) With Image stabilization – shutter speed faster than 1/60th sec

1b) With IS – Shutter speed – 1/60th to 1/8th

1c) With IS – Shutter speed slower than 1/8th – Usable image till 1sec

1d) 4 second image handheld

2a) No IS – Shutter speed faster than 1/60th

2b) No IS – Shutter speed between 1/6oth and 1/30th

2c)  No IS – shutter speed

3)  Compared with Tripod

Conclusion :

With No Image Stabilization: Till 1/60th sec, IS don’t have any effect, E-M5, and E-M1 mark ii are similar. Sharp enough for print. Till 1/30th good enough for online viewing.

With IS : Till 1/15th, E-M5 and E-M1 mark ii are similar, lower than that E-M1 mark ii, kept going.

Lower than 1/15th sec. handheld. I get usable image with E-M5 till 1/4th second.

This is when I got the Aha Moment! You are going through your images suddenly one image pops-out. It’s sharp. It’s noise free and everything in focus.  Usually I don’t get such image in low light.To keep the ISO low has to to shoot  f/1.8 or f/2 to keep still will be around ISO 800 or higher, also to avoid handshake will typically shoot around 1/15th. Even when flash is used not a uniform light. Not a scene worth setting tripod.  Then I look at the details,  ISO 200, everything looks sharp due to the f/4.5 , FF equivalent  of f/9.  This extra stops opens up new possibility.

In summary

For Print Sharpness , With No IS, 1/60th. E-M5, 1/15th, E-M1 mark ii, 1/4th . 2stop advantage over E-M5 and 4 stop over handheld. Almost a substitute for the tripod.

For Online viewing : With No IS , 1/15th, 1/8th for E-M1 mark ii, 4 seconds for E-M1 mark ii. 5 stop advantage over E-m5 and nearly 6 stop as claimed.

Image Details

Orange  – Shot with Image Stabilization handheld

Red – No Image stabilization handheld

Green – Shot with tripod, no IS, delayed shutter.

‘*’ – Images with E-M1 Mark ii and  no ranking for images from E-m5

‘***’ –  Best of the bunch.

1a) With Image Stabilization  – Shutter speed faster than 1/60th sec

Little differences due to change in ISO, and the larger size of the 100% crop from E-M5.

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 3.52.30 PM.png

1b) Shutter speed slower than 1/60th faster than 1/8th

I have to recheck few times, to make sure if that’s the correct image. E-M1 mark ii, starting pulling apart. E-M5 was no slouch either.. but E-M1 mark ii is at a different level of IS.

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 6.54.49 PM.png

1c) Shutter speed slower than 1/4th of second.

Printable quality image up to 1/4th sec.. almost like shooting with the tripod .

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 7.05.15 PM.png


1d) Even 4 seconds handheld ..

Very clean for online viewing..


2a) No Image Stabilization – Faster than 1/60th – Usable for print, Identical to images with IS On. Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 3.27.02 PM.png

2b) No Image Stabilization – 1/30 to 1/4th sec. Usable for online view till 1/30th sec.Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 3.35.14 PM.png

2c) No Image Stabilization – 0.5 sec to 2 seconds.. Ghost images.. Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 3.42.46 PM.png

3) Compared with the the tripod..

I was not planning to do the tripod setting. I am used to having the Image Stabilization giving acceptable result as a few stop extension for handheld, but never as a substitution for tripod. This camera’s image stabilization is almost tripod like sharp, even at 1/8th and very close at 1/4th second.

Shot on different lighting.,so the white balance is little different.

Tripod Comp at 1:8sec.png

Handheld with IS, and with Tripod for 1/8th sec.



4 thoughts on “Part 1 – E-M1 Mark ii Image Stabilization test (vs) E-M5 and an Aha Moment with new camera!

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