Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Announced

New Features & Specs Promise to make the E-M5 one of the Best Mirrorless Cameras for Underwater
By Scott Gietler

Olympus has announced the follow up to their popular E-M5 - the OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Given the popularity of the E-M5 for underater photo and video, the Mark II will surely be a serious player in the mirrorless camera scene, especially given it's robust new video capabilities, including faster Full HD frame rates and 5-axis video stabilization. Additional controls allow for more button function customization to match your underwater shooting style.



What's New for the E-M5 Mark II?

There are two major upgrades to the E-M5 that will be appreciated by scuba divers. First, the camera will have faster video frame rates, allowing divers to shoot 60fps at 1080p. This fast frame rate at Full HD resolution is great for underwater video shooters since it can be edited at 60fps, or dropped into (let's say) a 30fps timeline for stunning and smooth slow motion.

The second major upgrade is that the camera body features some extra buttons (similar to the E-M1), allowing more customization of button functions. This eliminates the need to enter the camera menus to change settings, creating faster, more ergonomic changes while shooting.


Pros for Underwater Photography

  • Compact size and 16MP sensor - great for portable housing and dive travel

  • Wide selection of lenses available

  • 1080x60p video shooting - enjoy Full HD and fast framerates (ideal for slow motion)

  • Fast autofocus system


Additional E-M5 Mk II Highlights

  • Improved 5-axis Image Stabilitzation.

  • 16 MP Live MOS Sensor, capable of shooting a stunning 40 MP image with rich color mind-blowing detail and razor sharpness.

  • More robust video features in addition to image stabilization, including 77 Mbps recording and variable framerates.

  • Built-in toughness

  • 2.36 million dot Electronic Viewfinder


Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Specs

  • 16.1 million pixel sensor LiveMOS

  • Hi-Res composite shooting (63MP for RAW and 40MP for JPEG)

  • Video framerates of 30fps at 1080p and 60fps at 720p

  • Video max bitrate is 77Mbps in ALL-I (recommended) or 52Mbps in IPB

  • Burst of 11 frames per second

  • Silent shutter option

  • ISO range 100 - ISO 25,600

  • SD / SDHC SDXC (UHS-I compatible, Eye-Fi compatible)

  • Weight (with battery and memory card):  417kg


Olympus OM-D Settings & Shooting Guide

Be sure to read our article 'Best Settings for the Olympus OM-D and PEN Underwater'


Olympus Mirrorless Camera Comparison


  E-M10 E-M5 E-M5 MkII E-M1
Megapixels 16 16.1 16.1 (60 in RAW on tripod) 16
Sensor Four Thirds Four Thirds Four Thirds Four Thirds
ISO Range 200-25600 200-25600 100-25600 100-25600
Autofocus Contrast detect Contrast detect Contrast detect Contrast detect
Max Flash Sync 1/200s 1/250s tbd 1/320s
Burst 8 FPS 9 FPS 11 FPS 10 FPS
Video 1080/30, 720/30 1080/30, 720/60 1080/60, 720/60 1080/30, 720/30
Weight 396g 425g 469g 497g





Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Underwater Housings



Purchase the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Housing on Bluewater Photo




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Further Reading


Olympus Resources on Bluewater Photo's website


Scott Gietler is the owner of Bluewater Photo, Bluewater Travel, and the Underwater Photography Guide. Bluewater Photo, based in Culver City, CA is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious underwater camera stores, serving many thousands of customers each year, where nothing is more important than customer service. The Underwater Photography Guide is the world’s first website to feature free tutorials on underwater photography, and has become the most trafficked resource on underwater photography worldwide. Bluewater Travel is a full-service dive travel wholesaler sending groups and individuals on the world’s best dive vacations. 

Scott is also an avid diver, underwater photographer, and budding marine biologist, having created the online guide to the underwater flora and fauna of Southern California. He is the past vice-president of the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society, has volunteered extensively at the Santa Monica aquarium, and is the creator of the Ocean Art underwater photo competition, one of the largest underwater international photo competitions ever held in terms of value of prizes. He lives in California with his wife, newborn girl and scuba-diving, photo taking 4 year old son.

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