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The new Olympus E-M10 Mark II is a tiny metal powerhouse of a camera

Built-in 5-axis stabilization and a price that's hard to beat

Olympus is one of a handful of companies taking on the likes of Canon and Nikon by producing high-quality mirrorless cameras. Over the last few years, its OM-D line of cameras was one of the first to offer affordable mirrorless cameras with advanced controls, and many other companies followed suit. Olympus then took aim at the more casual photographer last year when it introduced the E-M10 — a tiny, mirrorless, Micro Four Thirds camera that offered a ton of power for relatively cheap. Now, it has announced a successor to its entry-level model: the E-M10 Mark II.

What Olympus has done this time around is take the great build quality of the E-M10 and make it even better, while throwing in a few new standout features like 5-axis image stabilization. The E-M10 Mark II is still incredibly small — about the size of Sony's RX100, though this definitely won't fit in your pocket — and also very light. It's a striking addition to the low end of its OM-D lineup of cameras, and should make for an attractive option in a crowded mirrorless camera market.

Olympus outfitted the first version of the E-M10 with a metal frame, while many of its competitors in price and size were still fiddling with cheaper-feeling plastic. And the company has one-upped itself when it comes to the build of the E-M10 Mark II. The new version adds studded metal to the camera's knobs which — instead of lying flat on the top of the camera like on the original E-M10 — shoot up about half an inch to make them easier to reach. All three are now on the right side of the camera (the power and flash switch is now found on the top left), and their slightly different designs make it easy to know which knob you're gripping without making you take your eye off the subject.

As for while you're shooting, the E-M10 Mark II is very capable. It has a much better electronic viewfinder than the original E-M10, with a resolution of 2.36 million dots — the same as on Fujifilm's X-T10 and X-T1. (Although, in my brief time with the E-M10 Mark II, the upgraded EVF wasn't quite as impressive as Fujifilm's.) The Mark II starts up fast, can burst shoot RAW or JPEG images up to 8.5 times per second (even in quiet shutter mode), and has a really quick autofocus.

Like many photography-first mirrorless cameras, the E-M10 Mark II isn't terribly powerful when it comes to video. Instead, it still feels like an add-on. It's capable of taking 1080p video at 60, 30, or 24 frames per second, but there's no 4K capability, and you can't shoot in slow motion at full HD resolution. Not everyone needs these kinds of features, so this might be enough for most photographers who need to shoot the occasional video. But it's a shame that there aren't more power features considering Olympus included the 5-axis stabilization, which is a big deal when it comes to video.

The rest of the E-M10 Mark II is very similar to its predecessor. There's a pop-up flash, a tilting 3-inch LCD screen, and the same 16-megapixel sensor. And all of this similarity is not a bad thing, because the original E-M10 was an impressive camera, especially considering that much of its competition hovers around or above the $1,000 mark. The E-M10 Mark II will contend much in the same way, because Olympus is once again aggressively pricing its entry-level mirrorless camera. The company will sell the camera body only in the United States for $649, and is packaging it with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens for $799. The E-M10 Mark II will also be sold in Canada, and the two configurations will cost $749 and $899, respectively. All options will be available in early September, according to Olympus.

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