The Buyers guide to...Which cameras have IBIS?

These are the cameras with IBIS, or in-body image stabilization, which you can count on for stable, shake-free images and videos

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Buyers Guide

With the official launch of the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6, in-body image stabilization, or IBIS, is the question on everyone’s lips.

The Canon EOS R6 and EOS R5 are impressive cameras indeed, but they are not the first cameras with IBIS. In fact, it was Konica Minolta (which was later acquired by Sony) that first introduced sensor stabilization technology.

In 2003, the Minolta DiMAGE A1 was released which introduced Anti-Shake technology that physically shifted its CCD sensor along the X and Y axes to provide image stabilization.

So what exactly is in-body image stabilization technology and what does it do? Read on to find out which cameras have IBIS.

What is IBIS?

IBIS is an acronym for in-body image stabilization. It’s a relatively new technology within cameras that aims to stabilise your sensor to provide both stable, shake-free video footage and sharp still images when shooting handheld at longer shutter speeds.

IBIS, also known as sensor shift technology, works by physically moving the sensor inside your camera to compensate for camera movement. Built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers are able to calculate the motion and rotation of your camera and move the sensor accordingly to keep the image stable.

What is 5-axis image stabilisation?

Many cameras with IBIS have what is called 5-axis image stabilization. This means that your camera has built-in gyroscopes that provide stabilization along five axes: yaw, pitch, roll, horizontal and vertical.

Yaw is when your camera twists left or right on a vertical axis. Rotation on the front-to-back maxi is called roll. Rotation from side to side is called pitch.

Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5 review

Price when reviewed

£4199

$3899

For

  • 45Mp full-frame sensor with full AF coverage
  • 12fps/20fps continuous shooting with continuous AF
  • Uncropped internal 8K video recording for up to 20 minutes

Against

  • 8K video will require lots of storage capacity
  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 9th July 2020
  • Sensor: 45Mp Full-frame Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
  • Processor: Digic X
  • Lens mount: RF
  • Sensitivity range: Stills: ISO 100-51,200 expandable to ISO 50-102,400, Movies: ISO 100-25600, expandable to ISO ISO 51,200
  • File formats: Raw + Jpeg/HEIF, MP4
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: Mechanical shutter: 12fps, Electronic shutter: 20fps
  • Maximum video resolution: Uncropped, internal raw recording 8K video at up to 29.97fps in 4:2:2 10-bit in Canon Log (H.265) or 4:2:2 10-bit HDR PQ (H.265), Uncropped internal recording 4K video at up to 119.88fps in 4:2:2 10-bit in Canon Log (H.265) or 4:2:2 10-bit HDR PQ (H.265) 4:2:2 10-bit in Canon Log or 4:2:2 10-bit HDR PQ, 4K output over HDMI at up to 59.94fps
  • Autofocus system: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II phase detection with 5940 points in stills and 4500 points in movie mode
  • Viewfinder: 0.5-inch 5.76million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 120fps display and 0.76x magnification
  • Screen: 3.15-inch 2.1-million dot vari-angle touchscreen
  • Autofocus: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with Advanced Animal AF (recognising dogs, cats and birds) supported in all video modes with 100% coverage and up to 1053 'AF segments'
  • Stabilisation: In-body image stabilisation (IBIS) that works with lens IS and enables up to 8-stops of shutter speed compensation
  • Storage: Dual slots, 1x CFexpress, 1x SDXC UHS-II
  • Dimensions: 135.8 x 97.5 x 88mm
  • Weight: 650 g / 738 g with card and battery

In-body images stabilisation (IBIS) is now an expected feature and although Canon has previously relied upon lens-based stabilisation, the EOS R5 has 5 axis IBIS.

It also steals the IS crown with a claimed shutter speed compensation of 8Ev. That’s the difference between 1/500 sec and 1.3sec!

The IBIS works in tandem with any lens stabilisation to deliver the best result possible. This is facilitated by the improved communication between the lens and camera body which is made possible by the RF mount’s 12-pin connection.

Canon EOS R6

Canon EOS R6

Price when reviewed

£2499.99

€2899.99

For

  • Similar 20Mp full-frame sensor to the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III
  • 12fps/20fps continuous shooting
  • Advanced autofocus system

Against

  • Slight horizontal crop in 4K video mode
  • 6Mp lower resolution than the Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 9th July 2020
  • Sensor: 20Mp Full-frame Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
  • Processor: Digic X
  • Lens mount: RF
  • Sensitivity range: Stills: ISO 100-102,400 expandable to ISO 50-204,800, Movies: ISO 100-6,400, expandable to ISO 204,800
  • File formats: Raw + Jpeg/HEIF, MP4
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: Mechanical shutter: 12fps, Electronic shutter: 20fps
  • Maximum video resolution: Uncropped internal recording 4K video at up to 60fps, Full HD at up to 120fps
  • Autofocus system: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II phase detection with 6,072 points in stills and 4968 points in movie mode
  • Viewfinder: 0.5-inch 3.69million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 120fps refresh rate
  • Screen: 3-inch 1.62-million dot vari-angle touchscreen
  • Autofocus: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with Advanced Animal AF (recognising dogs, cats and birds) supported in all video modes with 100% coverage and up to 1053 'AF segments'
  • Stabilisation: In-body image stabilisation (IBIS) that works with lens IS and enables up to 8-stops of shutter speed compensation
  • Storage: Dual slots, 2x SDXC UHS-II
  • Dimensions: 138.4 x 97.5 x 88.4mm
  • Weight: 598g / 680 g with card and battery

Like the EOS R5, the new Canon EOS R6 also boasts in-body image stabilisation. The R6 is also Canon’s low-light maestro.

While the R5’s AF system is claimed to be sensitive down to -6EV, the R6’s AF system can function at down to -6.5EV. That’s incredibly low light and a new record for a Canon EOS camera.

Shooting in dim conditions can also necessitate slow shutter speeds, but that’s OK because the Canon R6 has 5-axis in-body image stabilisation built-in.

This works in harmony with the stabilisation in Canon’s IS lenses and is claimed to offer up to 8 stops of shutter speed compensation. That’s a new high for the photographic industry.

The autofocus and stabilisation specifications are extremely promising in this camera, and the Canon EOS R6 should prove extremely popular with photographers.

Sony A7 III

  • Phase detection points: 693
  • Contrast AF points: 425

The Sony A7 III is an impressive all-rounder camera. Among its impressive features is Sony’s 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation, which gives a 5EV extension to your hand-holdable shutter speed.

In our tests we found the A7 III’s stabilisation was superb, allowing us to capture handheld shots that otherwise would have suffered from camera shake.

What’s more, its fast and silent shooting credentials, clever autofocusing and 4K video capability make it a great choice. It also produces high-quality results and Sony has a growing range of high-quality optics, adding to its appeal.

Sony A7R IV

Sony A7R Mark IV: price, specs, release date confirmed

Price when reviewed

£3500

$3500
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For

  • Superb detail resolution
  • Excellent autofocus system
  • High-resolution electronic viewfinder

Against

  • Limited use made the touch-control
  • Tilting rather than vari-angle scree
  • High price
  • Camera type: Full-frame mirrorless
  • Sensor: 61MP BSI full-frame sensor
  • Lens mount: Sony FE
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with 567 phase detection + 425 contrast detection AF points
  • Continuous Shooting: 10fps burst shooting with full AF / AE Tracking
  • Video: 4K video with S-Log2/3, HDR
  • Sensitivity range: Still images: ISO 100-32000 (expandable to ISO 50 to ISO 102400) Movies: ISO 100-32000
  • Viewfinder: 0.5 type 5,760,000-dot OLED
  • Screen: Tilting 3-inch 1,440,000-dot touchscreen
  • Storage: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II
  • Battery: Rechargeable NP-FZ100 battery supplied, Life Stills: 530 shots (viewfinder) / 670 shots (LCD), Movies: 90mins (viewfinder) / 105mins (LCD)
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5mm
  • Weight: 665 g / 1lb 7.5oz with battery and SD card

The Sony A7R Mark IV’s 61-million-pixel 35mm sensor is a world first, which the company says delivers ‘medium format quality’ in its announcement livestream.

The sensor is a new generation and back-side illuminated, and it provides 15 stops of dynamic range. As well as 61-megapixel images, the Sony A7R Mark IV can also produce images with 26 million pixels in APS-C crop mode.

What’s more, its revampled Pixel Shift Multi-Shooting mode can produce images at 240-megapixel resolution. It does this by capturing 960 megapixels worth of data from 16 images, which it then composites together using Sony’s Imaging Edge software.

The A7R Mark IV boasts 567 phase detection AF points in full-frame mode, which cover 74% of the frame. In the camera’s APS-C mode it has 325 AF points which then cover nearly the entire frame.

Sony says the A7 IV is also built for speed. It can capture full-resolution 61-megapixel images in continuous shooting mode, and up to 68 images per continuous burst.

Sony says the A7R Mark IV also includes its AI-driven Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking modes.

Also among its key features is 5.5-stop, 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, wireless tethering capability, faster USB connection, 802.11ac Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth and studio lighting support.

Sony A6600

Price when reviewed

£1450

€1600
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For

  • Excellent battery life (800+ shots)
  • Outstanding image and video quality
  • Fast, accurate AF system

Against

  • Convoluted menu
  • Single SD card slot
  • Sensor: 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Video: 4K video capture with log profiles
  • Stabilisation: 5-axis in-body image stabilisation
  • Sensitivity: ISO 100-32000 (expandable to ISO 50 – 102400)

Aimed at enthusiast photographers and videographers who want to shoot in a variety of conditions, the Sony A6600 offers a 24.2MP Exmor CMOS image sensor, the BIONZ X image processor and a front-end LSI as is implemented in Sony’s full-frame cameras for better enhancements in still and video image quality.

Among the A6600’s impressive feature set is Sony’s innovative 5-axis in-body image stabilisation system that provides a 5.0-step shutter speed advantage.

The Alpha 6600 also delivers an autofocus acquisition time of just 0.02 seconds, with 425 phase-detection AF points covering approximately 84% of the image area and 425 contrast-detection AF points.

Also on-board is Sony’s ‘Real-time Tracking’ and ‘Real-time Eye AF’, the latest version of Sony’s Eye AF technology, which employs AI-based object recognition to detect and process eye data in real-time.

Real-time Eye AF promises improved accuracy, speed and tracking performance of Eye AF for both humans and animals, and allows the photographer to concentrate exclusively on composition.

Hi-resolution internal 4K movie recording with full-pixel readout without pixel binning in Super 35mm format is also on-board. You’ll also find built-in interval shooting for time-lapse videos and a 180-degree tiltable, 3.0-type 921k-dot (approx.) LCD touch screen.

Nikon Z6

Nikon Z6 review

Price when reviewed

£2079

$1996.95
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  • Camera type: Full-frame (FX) mirrorless
  • Lens mount: Nikon Z
  • Sensor: Full-frame (FX) 24.5Mp backside illuminated (BSI) sensor
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with phase and contrast detection
  • Phase detection points: 273
  • Viewfinder: 0.39-inch 2,360,000-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
  • Screen: 3.2-inch 2,100,000-dot tilting touch-screen
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 134 x 100.5 x 67.5mm / 5.3 x 4 x 2.7-inches
  • Weight: 675 g / 1 lb. 7.9 oz with battery and memory card but without body cap, 85 g/1 lb. 4.7 oz. camera body only

In a break from Nikon tradition, the Z6 has a built-in 5-axis stabilisation system, which gives 5EV of shutter speed compensation.

Using in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) avoids having to put Nikon’s VR system in the S-line (or Nikkor Z) lenses, which helps keep size, weight and prices down.

Like the A7 III on this list of cameras with IBIS, the Nikon Z6 is a great all-rounder. IBIS is just one of its signature features, and since its launch Nikon has even provided a firmware update enabling the camera to shoot raw video.

In short, the Z6 is a great price for a full-frame camera with so many features. I think that it’s the camera that many Nikon photographers have been holding out for.

It combines the handling that you expect from a Nikon DSLR with some great mirrorless camera advantages. The electronic viewfinder is superb, coming as close to an optical viewfinder as you could wish for.

Nikon Z7

Price when reviewed

£2299.00

$3399.00
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For

  • High-quality sensor
  • Excellent user interface and control layout
  • Weatherproof build

Against

  • Single XQD card port
  • Images slow to appear after shooting
  • Battery life could be better
  • Camera type: Full-frame mirrorless camera
  • Sensor: Full-frame (FX) 45.7MP backside illuminated (BSI) sensor
  • Lens mount: Nikon Z
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with phase and contrast detection
  • Phase detection points: 493
  • Storage: XQD/CFexpress
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 134 x 100.5 x 67.5mm / 5.3 x 4 x 2.7-inches
  • Weight: 675 g / 1 lb. 7.9 oz with battery and memory card but without body cap, 585g/1 lb. 4.7 oz. body only
  • Viewfinder: 0.5-inch 3.69-million-dot electronic viewfinder
  • Screen: 3.2-inch 2,100,000-dot tilting touch-screen

Nikon’s DSLRs use lens-based stabilisation, but its Z-series mirrorless cameras have it built into their bodies. It’s the 5 axis type and it’s designed to work with the VR in lenses mounted via an adapter.

In our tests – in both the Z7 and Z6 – we found the in-body image stabilisation to perform well and free you to shoot in situations when you’d normally need to use a tripod.

For instance, at the 70mm end of the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S, we were able to get consistently sharp images when hand-holding the camera at around 1/8-1/6sec. Some are sharp at 1/5sec. That’s when examining images at 100% on-screen.

Panasonic S1

Panasonic Lumix S1 Review

Price when reviewed

£2199.99

$2497.99
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For

  • Solid construction
  • 4K footage is very impressive
  • AF system great at picking out small subjects

Against

  • No Vari-angle screen
  • AF tracking sometimes erratic, but good for most subjects
  • Menu is sometimes confusing
  • Sensor: 24.2MP full-frame (23.8×35.6mm)
  • Video: 4K (3840×2160) at 60fps and 150Mbps
  • Stabilisation: 5-axis in-body stabilisation
  • High Resolution Mode: 96MP (12,000 x 8,000-pixel) images

The Lumix S1 is aimed at professional and high-end enthusiast photographers and videographers. It’s a complex camera that offers lots of opportunities to customise it and make it work for you. It also has a dual-tilting screen, a first-rate viewfinder, excellent video specification, a fast AF system and a useful High Resolution mode that can produce 96Mp images.

Like the Panasonic G9 and S1R, the Lumix S1 has a High Resolution mode. When this is selected, the camera takes a sequence of shots in quick succession with the sensor moving by a tiny amount between each. The S1 then merges the images into a single raw file.

When the aspect ratio is set to 3:2, using High Resolution Mode results in 12,000 x 8,000-pixel images. That’s 96Mp. Thanks to the S1’s IBIS (in-body image stabilisation), its sensor can be moved by a tiny amount between shots in the High Resolution mode. This enables the camera to gather more information about the scene and create larger images.

When the image resolution is set to 300ppi, a standard 24Mp image produces prints that measure 20×13.3inches or 50.8×33.87cm. However, a 96Mp High Resolution mode image would make prints that measure 40×26.6 or 106.6×67.7cm. Each dimension is twice that of the standard image. That’s attractive to landscape, still life, macro and commercial photographers.

There are a few restrictions applied when you use High Resolution mode. For example, it automatically uses the electronic shutter, the minimum aperture is f/16 and the shutter speed can only be set from between 1 and 1/8000 of a second. Sensitivity can be set up to ISO 3200.

It’s the type of camera that takes some getting to know, but it’s also a camera that is worth getting to know.

As the lower-resolution of Panasonic’s two full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Panasonic S1 has a 24.2Mp full-frame sensor. Interestingly, this is a 23.8×35.6mm device whereas the S1R’s sensor is listed as 24x36mm. The total pixel count is 25.28Mp while the effective pixel count is 24.2million.

That sensor has a native aspect ratio of 3:2, but it’s also possible to shoot in 4:3, 1:1, 16: 9, 2:1 and 65:24.

The image sensor is paired with a new Venus Engine processor. This enables a maximum shooting rate of 6fps with continuous autofocusing. If you can do without C-AF, however, the rate can be pushed to 9fps. Alternatively, in 4K/6K Photo mode, it’s possible to shoot 4K images at 60fps or 6K images at 30fps.

Panasonic is aiming the Lumix S1 at creatives who want to be able to shoot both stills and video. On the video front, the headline feature is that the S1 can shoot 4K (3840×2160) at 60fps and 150Mbps. However, if you want to keep the full width of the sensor, the maximum frame rate for 4K video is 30fps.

There’s also an HEVC shooting option at 4:2:0 10-bit for internal recording. This option is missing from the Lumix S1R.

Helpfully, Panasonic’s Dual IS system is incorporated. This stabilises images and video.

In addition, Panasonic is going to introduce an optional (paid for) firmware update for the Lumix S1 to introduce full V-Log recording. This will also enable 4:2:2 10-bit 4K 24p/30p internal video recording and 4:2:2 10-bit 4K 60p HDMI output.

Panasonic G9

Panasonic G9 Review

Price when reviewed

£1499

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For

  • As fast as the Sony A9
  • Excellent buffer
  • Superb EVF and screen
  • Stabilisation system rated at 6.5EV
  • Weather-sealed

Against

  • Four Thirds sensor
  • 400-frame battery life
  • Oddly positioned joystick
  • Burst Mode (electronic shutter): 20fps with C-AF
  • Burst Mode (electronic shutter): 60fps with S-AF
  • Burst Mode (mechanical shutter): 9fps with C-AF
  • Burst Mode (mechanical shutter): 12fps with S-AF

The G9 boasts Dual IS, a system that can combine 5-axis sensor shifting-stabilisation and lens-based stabilisation. The lens based-stabilisation aspect is particularly important with long lenses.

In the G9, Panasonic’s impressive Dual IS delivers a correction of 6.5EV at all focal lengths, which puts it on a par with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. It also functions in both stills and video mode.

One aspect that impressed us straight away with the G9 was its autofocus system. When we directed it towards a low-light area with low contrast, it latched on to the subject very quickly, with no noticeable hesitation or indecision.

This proved very useful when photographing wildlife by torchlight or when it was heavily camouflaged by a dense thicket.

Pentax K-1 II

Price when reviewed

£1799.99

$1999.95
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For

  • Captures superb detail
  • Pixel Shift Resolution II
  • Excellent colour
  • Weather-proof

Against

  • Poor menu system
  • Focusing in live view a little slow
  • Sensor: 36.4 million Full-frame (35.9 x 24mm)
  • Processor: PRIME IV
  • Autofocus: 33-points with 25 cross-type
  • Sensitivity: ISO 100-240,800

There aren’t a whole lot of differences between the Pentax K-1 II and the K-1, but chief among them was an upgrade to Pentax’s Pixel Shift Resolution System. This is now called Pixel Shift Resolution System II and includes a Dynamic Pixel Shift Resolution mode, which is designed to record better colour and definition.

It works by moving the sensor by a pixel width between each of four shots which are then composited into one image. For the first time there are two modes for this.

The first being the one we have seen before that should only be used when the camera is on a tripod and with a motionless subject. A second new option is able to cope with moving subjects and the camera being hand-held. Pentax still recommends using a tripod for the best results though.

Pentax says Pixel Shift Resolution II obtains RGB colour data for each pixel to produce super-high-resolution images with finer details and more truthful colours than those produced by ordinary full-frame sensors.

In the new Dynamic Pixel Shift Resolution mode, which can be used during handheld shooting, this system can be used jointly with the camera’s shake-reduction mechanism, since it synthesizes the captured super-high-resolution images by detecting the slight fluctuations of the subject’s position during continuous shooting.

The camera also provides ON/OFF switching of the Motion Correction function, which detects moving elements of the continuously captured images to minimize the effect of movement during the image synthesizing process.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Price when reviewed

£1599.99

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For

  • Compact size with vari-angle screen
  • Great feature set
  • Excellent lens range

Against

  • Sub-APS-C size sensor
  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Sensor: Four Thirds type 20.4 MP Live MOS sensor
  • Announced: 12th February 2020
  • Processing engine: TruePic IX
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with 121-point all cross-type focus points
  • Max continuous shooting rate: 18fps AF/AE mechanical shutter (C-AF), 60fps in electronic shutter (S-AF)
  • Max video resolution: C4K (4096 x 2160) at 30/25p
  • Viewfinder: 2,360,000-dot electronic viewfinder
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 64-25,600
  • Screen: Vari‑angle 3-inch 1,037,000-dot touchscreen
  • Storage: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC (1 UHS-I and 1 UHS-II)
  • Dimensions (LxHxW): 134.1 x 90.9 x 68.9mm
  • Weight: 504g body only, 580g with battery and SD card

Olympus’s image stabilisation (IS) is excellent and it’s been upgraded for the E-M1 Mark III to enable up to 7.5Ev of shutter speed compensation across 5 axis with a stabilised lens.

Even without a stabilised lens it’s said to enable up to 7Ev compensation. This has been achieved by using the same gyro as is in the E-M1X.

It’s the sensor-shifting power of the in-body image stabilisation system (IBIS) that enables the OM-D E-M1 III’s High Res Shot mode. The good news here is that in addition to the 80Mp Tripod High Res Shot mode, there’s also a 50Mp HandHeld version.

An option in the menu allows you to select Handheld or Tripod mode. Then all you need to do is set the camera to High Res Shot via the drive settings. One press of the shutter release triggers the camera to shoot a series of images each with the sensor in a slightly different location.

The images are then composited in-camera to create one larger picture (raw and/or Jpeg) with more detail.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Review

Price when reviewed

£1099.99

$1199.99
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For

  • Images full of detail
  • Low noise at higher ISOs
  • Superb stabilisation

Against

  • Image quality can't quite match full-frame
  • Dynamic range could be better
  • Camera type: Mirrorless camera
  • Sensor: 20.4Mp Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Processing engine: TruePic VIII
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 64-25,600
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with 121 (all cross-type) phase-detection AF points
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: Mechanical shutter: 10fps with focus and exposure fixed at the start of the burst, 6fps with C-AF, Electronic Shutter 30fps and 10fps
  • Max video resolution: C4K 24p at up to 237Mbps / 4K 30p, 25p, 24p at 102Mbps
  • Live Bulb Shooting Options: Live Composite, Live Time, Live Bulb, Focus Bracketing, Focus Stacking, 50Mp High Res Shot modes
  • Viewfinder: 2,360,000-dot electronic viewfinder
  • Screen: Vari‑angle 3.0-inch 1,037,000-dot touchscreen
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 125.3 x 85.2 x 9.7mm
  • Weight: 414g including battery and memory card, 366g body only

Technically the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III sits below the OM-D E-M1 Mark II in Olympus’s interchangeable lens camera line-up but it has an updated processor that gives its smaller body a slight edge for speed and AF performance.

It also produces nice images and the stabilisation system is incredible, enabling you to hand-hold the camera and get sharp images with exposures measured in whole seconds.

Incredibly, the OM-D E-M5 Mark III can deliver up to 5.5Ev with a non-stabilised lens and 6.5EV with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO at 100mm (200mm equivalent).

Olympus’s stabilisation system is the best around and it really delivers in the OM-D E-M5 Mark III. I shot a video while walking up and downstairs and the results are great. It almost makes a motorised gimbal pointless.

Meanwhile, in stills mode it can enable sharp images to be shot hand-held at shutter speeds measured in whole seconds. With the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 lens at the wider end, for example, I have perfectly sharp shots captured with exposure times longer than 3 seconds. With an elbow rest and careful breathing, I was even able to get sharp images with 8-second exposures.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Price when reviewed

£1499

$1299
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For

  • Fast and accurate focusing with moving subjects
  • Superb stabilisation system
  • Innovative features

Against

  • High price
  • Comparatively small sensor limits scope to restrict depth of field
  • High Res Shot mode a tripod only mode
  • Camera type: Mirrorless camera
  • Sensor: Four Thirds-type 20.4Mp Live MOS
  • Processing engine: TruePic VIII
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with 121 all cross-type focusing points
  • Max continuous shooting rate: 18fps with AF tracking, 60fps with AF locked on first frame with electronic shutter
  • Max video resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160) at 24p
  • Viewfinder: 2,360,000-dot electronic viewfinder
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 64-25,600
  • Screen: Vari‑angle 3-inch 1,037,000-dot touchscreen
  • Storage: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 134.1 x 90.9 x 68.9mm
  • Weight: 498g (body only), 574g (including battery and memory card)

The E-M1 II is a complex and versatile camera. It takes a while to get to discover all its features and understand some of its quirks, but it’s a rewarding experience.

Its stabilisation system is incredible and allows you to rethink how you shoot, leaving the tripod behind and avoiding high ISO settings. Olympus has also packed in the clever technology that we have come to expect with Live Bulb, Live Time and Live Composite mode making long exposure photography easy and in-camera focusing stacking enabling greater depth of field than is normally possible. In addition, High Res Shot mode turns this 20Mp camera into a 50Mp device – and you can use it for normal landscape photography with no concern about a breeze blowing through the trees.

High Res Shot mode has impressed us in the past with its ability to produce larger files with greater detail by combining a sequence of images in-camera. According to Olympus the latest version of the system in the OM-D E-M1 II produces images with resolution equivalent to 50Mp shots. It can also compensate for the slight movement in landscape scenes – leaves and grass etc.

Olympus’s Image Stabiliser (IS) is widely respected, but the latest version in the E-M1 II raised a few eyebrows at the launch event because it’s capable of extending the safe hand-holdable shutter speed by up to 6.5 stops with stabilised lenses like the new Olympus 12-100mm f/4.0 IS Pro. That’s an incredible figure, higher than any other camera. It could produce some interesting creative opportunities that are only normally possible with a tripod.

Further good news is that the Olympus OM-D E-M 1 Mark II is capable of recording 4K footage at up to 30p. Combining this with the claimed IS performance could mean the OM-D E-M1 Mark II prove popular with run-and-gun shooters.

Add in a high-quality viewfinder and a vari-angle touch-screen that helps you shoot from more creative angles and you have a very attractive camera.

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