My Take On The E-M1 Mk II Price Uproar

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of months (understandable given all the coverage of the electoral circus in the USA), you probably know that lots of people are absolutely outraged by the retail price of the new E-M1 MkII ($1999 in the USA). Lots of people seem to be frothing at the mouth, lots of expletives have been thrown about and millions of keystrokes have been spent on bashing Olympus throughout cyberspace. I’ve been taken aback by all this anger and hate-spewing, where does it come from? After-all, there is a simple solution: if you don’t think the camera is worth the price, don’t buy it! Given the competitiveness of the ILC market I’m pretty sure that Olympus didn’t price this camera without careful considerations of all the pros and cons related to it. But I think a lot of people thought they were going to get this new pro-grade camera with near super-natural speed and functionality for the same price as the original, so they are very disappointed…

Now I have to admit that I was a little disappointed myself because I thought the camera would come out around $1599 or $1699. So yeah, it is priced quite a bit higher than I had hoped. But you know what? I just bought a 1st generation E-M1 for $700 a few months ago and I’m perfectly happy with that camera. Sure, I’d like a bit more battery life, a bit more resolution and a bit more C-AF performance. But none of those would be enough to make me buy a new camera at this point, even if it was at $1599. What I’ve got right now suits my needs quite well. In fact, if I were to buy a second camera it would likely be a cheaper and smaller rangefinder style camera like the Lumix GX-85 or the PEN E-P5. But I’ll probably buy a couple of lenses instead, including the new 12-100mm and the 60mm macro.

em1-iic

However, if you are someone who needs the extra stop of IS (two if you pair it with the new 12-100mm f/4.0) or if you need the extra stop of High-ISO performance or you need 4K Cinema or you need to shoot 15-18 fps with excellent C-AF tracking or you need to shoot 60fps with S-AF, then this camera is actually a pretty good deal and an extra $300 won’t matter to you. If you are a pro or semi-pro and you have invested in Olympus pro glass, then this camera is a no-brainer. Will this camera help move people from full-frame DSLRs to M4/3? Probably not, except perhaps for wildlife shooters who like to trek in the forest and climb mountains and would rather carry 5lbs of gear than 25lbs.

But as much as I would have liked this camera to be priced lower, is it really overpriced? Just the fact that almost 4 years of inflation have passed since the original E-M1 plus the fact that the Japanese Yen has appreciated about 20% in the last few months, this alone nearly justifies the entire 33% price hike. Add to this the Japanese earthquake that has caused a rise in sensor prices…

But lets just look at the technology that went into this camera. A new custom-designed just for this camera sensor that bumps resolution up 25% while still managing to improve noise and DR and includes 121 cross-type phase-detect autofocus points as well as 121 contrast-detect points and has greatly reduced rolling-shutter effects. This alone probably cost a bundle. Dual quad-core processors with a super-fast data bus (this camera is almost certainly more powerful than your laptop computer) and increased buffer sizes all while lowering battery consumption. Just imagine the amount of technology and R&D that had to go into this. The best IBIS on the planet with 5.5 stops of stabilization in-camera and a further stop when combined with a compatible lens for an absolutely mind-boggling 6.5 stops of stabilization. If you do the math and start with the rule of thumb that 1 over the focal length (FF Equivalent) is the minimum safe hand-held shooting speed, then you you should be able to reliably hand-hold a 100mm (200mm FF eq.) lens at 1/2 of a second. Several testers have reported getting sharp multi-second hand-held exposures at 12mm. This is game changing, mind-boggling performance.

Then there’s the capability to shoot at 15fps (18fps with electronic shutter) with full continuous AF and AE and 60fps with AF and AE locked on the first frame. This too, is mind-boggling performance and faster than the huge $6000 flagships from Nikon and Canon. The Mk ii also features a Pro-Capture mode that starts buffering at full 60fps when you half-press the shutter and keeps the last 14 shots when you fully press the shutter. This is similar to Panasonic’s 4K Photo mode but it works at full 20 Mpix and 60fps instead of 8Mpix at 30fps. Truly astonishing.

E-M1 Mk-II's new capabilities
E-M1 Mk-II’s new capabilities

So I say the technology alone and the amazing capabilities that this camera provides justify the price of entry. These things require a lot of R&D and miniaturising and manufacturing this kind of electronics isn’t trivial either. Is there any other camera that provides this combination of functionality, speed and ruggedness in such a compact package at anywhere near this price? I don’t know of any at this time. This is market-leading capability.

I also hear a lot of people complaining that this much money for a M4/3 camera is ridiculous or that for the price you can get an APS-C or even a FF camera with better image quality. I see two things wrong with this statement. First, there is the assumption that M4/3, being smaller, must be cheaper. While it is true that M4/3’s biggest successes have mostly come from small and affordable cameras, M4/3 has never been about cheap, but rather about a quality yet super-compact camera system. We have tons of excellent yet very small and lightweight lenses. It’s always been the case that you could find better sensor image quality at a lower price in the consumer-level APS-C cameras from Sony, Nikon or Canon, this is nothing new with the Mk-II. If pixel-peeping and obsessing over resolution and noise is your thing, then M4/3 is not for you, move on please. The smaller sensor will always be at somewhat of a disadvantage on that front. But those cheaper DSLRs will not have the functionality, speed, IBIS and build quality of the OM-Ds. Plus if you want top-notch optics, you’re pretty much stuck with buying their huge, heavy and pricey FF pro glass.

Bottom line is that if size and weight are not priorities for you, but pixel-peeping qualities are, then the M4/3 system is not going to be your best choice. But I myself just moved from a pro Nikon FF setup with all three f/2.8 pro zooms to M4/3 and I’m very happy to have traded-off a bit of image quality in order to have a system I can carry with me everywhere I go and that I actually enjoy using. In fact the superb IBIS and creative modes like Live Composite and Focus Stacking are opening new creative capabilities and making me enjoy photography a whole lot more. So in my mind, if you are comparing an M4/3 camera to an APS-C or FF DSLR it shows that you are missing the whole point of the M4/3 system in general and the OM-D line in particular: top-notch capabilities in a super compact system. And yes I say system, including the lenses, because a FF Sony A7 is basically the same size as an E-M1, but the lenses are huge!

Oly vs. Sony w. 24-70mm f/2.8
Oly vs. Sony w. 24-70mm f/2.8

So let’s chill a little bit on the price thing would you? Is the Mk-II expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? If you need that kind of capability, absolutely, it’s a bargain. If not, get yourself an E-M5 Mk-II or a G-85. You do not care about the compactness of the M4/3 system? Then look elsewhere and save yourself some money. But stop saying that Olympus is price-gouging. I highly doubt it. This is one of the most advanced cameras on the market today, at any price.

You can buy this fine camera from Amazon:

Or B&H: OM-D E-M1 Mark II Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)

27 Comments

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  1. 3
    Guido

    The problem is that the masses were misled, like you say $1599-$1699 was the rumored price. So for me and my $1600 it will be Pany/Lecia 100-400mm and I’ll run my M5 for one more year.

  2. 4
    Martin Hollands

    I think a lot of the grief was caused by Olympus who stated that it would be around the same price as the original, and then when released it was far from being around the same price.

  3. 5
    john callery

    Agreed and well said. We are living in a time where technology is a great value. My father bought a light meter in 1965 for $300 U.S. dollars. In today’s dollars that is the equivalent of $2250. Keep in mind that was just the light meter, I never knew what he spent on his cameras.

    • 6
      sduford

      That’s not about the lens, that’s about the sensor, and yes that’s why there is more noise with the M4/3. Nobody is hiding anything or fooling anyone. As I stated quite plainly, there is a difference in image quality so the M4/3 isn’t for pixel peepers.

      • 7
        Eric Flasdorp

        Not about the lens? Really? You think that when two lenses, both with the same angle of view, one with a 10mm lens opening and the other with a 20mm lens opening, capture the same amount of light?
        If you want a fair comparison, you need to compare the F/2.8 Olympus against a F/5.6 Sony. Then the lenses perform equal in both DOF and light transmittance, and THEN it’s all about the sensor.

        • 8
          sduford

          f/2.8 represents the light transmission as a ratio of aperture and focal length. So yes the light transmission is the same because the focal length on the M4/3 is half that of the equivalent FF lens, so it only needs half of the glass opening to bring in the same light. That’s why a 1/200sec at f/2.8 and 100 ISO is the same exposure on any system and regardless of the focal length. So yeah, if you are in the field trying to catch a bird with an Olympus 300mmm f/4.0 you are getting the same field of view and exposure as the guy with the Nikon FF with a 600mm f/4.0. The Olympus will have twice the DOF, which in this case is actually an advantage. Yes the Nikon will have about two stops less noise but I’ll gladly make that sacrifice so I don’t have to carry around a huge $12,000 lens that weighs 10 lbs and can’t be shot hand-held.

          Everything in life is a compromise, I’ll give up some noise in exchange for a system that I can carry around everywhere I go without breaking my back. Plus I grew up on film, where 400 ASA boosted to 1600 with tons of grain was the low-light norm. My E-M1 at 6400 ISO is cleaner than that, heck, it’s cleaner than my D700 FF from just a few years ago. But if you like to obsess with noise at 100% on your computer screen, be my guess. Meanwhile I’ll go out and enjoy photography with my tiny M4/3 kit while the FF Nikon stays at home.

          • 9
            Eric Flasdorp

            “That’s why a 1/200sec at f/2.8 and 100 ISO is the same exposure on any system and regardless of the focal length.”

            It’s not. As I said, the differences are compensated for by using more amplification (when pixel counts are the same for the small and large format camera) or by using less pixels on the small format camera (to get the same amount of light per pixel).
            On a single format, F/2.8 will perform the same for all focal lengths because the angle of view (the angle from which the lens captures light) changes. When the angle of view is the same on different formats, however, the psysical size of the lens opening determines how much light is being captured, not the relative size. In fact, you admit this yourself when you say you’ll get two stops more noise. As I said: less light, more signal amplification.

            In terms of price, when you want to capture the same field of view AND the same amount of light, small form factors are actually more expensive because they require more complex lens designs. The Nikon guy can use an F/4.0 design while the MFT guy will need an F/2.0 design. There’s no direct 300/600mm comparison available, but you might want to check prices on the Nikon 70-200/4 and the Olympus 35-100/2. Or any other couple of similarly performing lenses. Think about that when you’re shooting birds together again.

          • 10
            sduford

            “It’s not. As I said, the differences are compensated for by using more amplification (when pixel counts are the same for the small and large format camera) or by using less pixels on the small format camera (to get the same amount of light per pixel).”

            Sorry but you are dead wrong about this. The F-stop aperture is strictly a physical measurement, it’s the ratio of focal length over the aperture opening. So for example, a 100mm focal length with a 50mm opening gives you 100/50 or f/2.0 and the equivalent FF lens at 200mm needs a 100mm opening to achieve the same f/2.0. The two lenses let in the exact same amount of light. It has nothing to do with the sensor or the electronics. It is purely an optical measure. BTW, the F-stop doesn’t account for small losses in the glass, this is why in cine industry they use T-Stop (True F-Stop), which is a true measure of how much light comes through, including losses.

            The amount of amplification in the camera is related to the ISO. Because the pixels are smaller and gather less photons they need more amplification to achieve a given ISO than the bigger sensor, and that’s why you have more noise at any given ISO for a sensor with smaller detection sites (pixels).

            Get your facts straight before you attack people or tell them that they are “fooling” people. I will end this conversation here.

        • 11
          r. mulligan

          On multiple points, you miss the point of photography.

          When a shot is taken, the light available is the light one has to work with. If f2 is the necessary fstop, and your lens is f2.8, you have to either up the iso or slow the shutter. All the talk of relevance is subjective: you prefer less depth I prefer more. Comparing a 5.6 to 2.8 is solely to have a comparison to talk about but makes no sense in the real world because the above example means such two lenses (5.6 vs. 2.8) are not equally capable of capturing a photo per respective sensor. Only lenses at the same fstop are comparable because that’s what is necessary for the shot at hand.

          The only reason ff allows more light in is because it NEEDS it. The sensor is 4 times the size. You see it as an advantage but only because the isolated concept of more light transmission sounds better.

          Your argument is premised on that fact that highest image quality is the only parameter that all cameras are to be compared with. It’s not. It’s just your personal view of photography. If under extreme shooting conditions, the argument could be more about having enough gear to cover the needs of your shot and having enough capacity as a human to perform the task of shooting. These favor a lighter system.

          What if I prefer to shoot with the new mirrorless medium format cameras? Now I can use your argument against you. Sweet! If you can’t see this then you have a real problem with rational thinking.

          My argument says that if I chose medium format, I’ll have to slow the shutter or up the iso because medium format lenses are even slower then ff. But my camera will have more light transmission so I win!!!!! wtf? I didn’t know I was competing, just trying to shoot a damn image.

          • 12
            Eric Flasdorp

            A 35mm camera with F/5.6 lens will capture the same amount of light as an MFT camera with F/2.8 lens, and will produce exactly the same results if the sensors are equally capable. If you don’t trust me, check an encyclopedia or any other reliable source of information. You might need a higher ISO on the 35mm camera then, but the S/N ratio on that higher setting will be the same as on the lower setting of MFT. And FF does not need more light. This is just basic physics. Not just my opinion, nothing subjective, but facts.

            For the rest, you clearly missed the point of my comments entirely. We’re not competing, but comparing, and in my opinion Duford made a false comparison because he chose two lenses in his size comparison with different characteristics. I also never stated that this is the only or the most important aspect of photography. And if you want to use my own argument ‘against me’ by shooting MF, that’s fine, because I have nothing against people using MFT. My only complaint is with the size comparison, not with the overall values of different platforms and the value of choice. I use different formats myself and see value in all of them.

            If you can’t do that, and need false beliefs about your MFT camera to be able to enjoy it, go on believing whatever you want. Or buy a system you can enjoy without lying to yourself.

          • 13
            sduford

            Wow Eric, you sure are persistent. COuldn’t leave well enough alone? You are correct when you say:

            “A 35mm camera with F/5.6 lens will capture the same amount of light as an MFT camera with F/2.8 lens, and will produce exactly the same results if the sensors are equally capable.”

            But this is purely because of the sensor, not the lens. The two lenses, as in my size comparison, are letting in the same amount of light because they have the same aperture, f/2.8. The size difference is mostly because the FF one has twice the focal length of the MFT one. There is also a difference because the Sony mount requires a much longer flange distance. So this is my problem with your affirmation. The two f/2.8 lenses do let in the same amount of light, that’s not my opinion, simple physics. I even showed you how f/2.8 is calculated to prove my point. Don’t take my word for it, you can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-number. Have you taken college physics?

            I’ve agreed with you that the FF SENSOR is gathering four times as much light and because of that it requires less amplification to achieve a certain ISO and therefore will have less noise, but somehow you’re not listening to me. So I’m not denying the limitations of the MFT format and that it has more noise. I’ve said it clearly all along and it’s all over this website. That’s a compromise I’m happy to make because I enjoy the smaller size and I can carry my camera wherever I go and the image quality of today’s MFT is plenty good enough for my needs.

            What I have a problem with is you saying that I’m fooling people because those two lenses are not equivalent, that the MFT lens let’s in less light. That is simply not true, two f/2.8 lenses let in the same amount of light (not including small differences in losses through the glass). It is the sensor that gathers less light because it has less surface area, not the lens. So yes, the two lenses in that picture are absolutely equivalent in terms of light gathering and field of view. They only differ in depth of field. The FF lens has less DOF because it has twice the focal length. It also needs a front element that is twice as wide to achieve its f/2.8 aperture because it has twice the focal length and the aperture is the ratio of the focal length over the diameter.

            So let me see if I can resume in clear terms:

            Yes, the FF sensor gathers four times more photons so it requires less amplification to achieve a given ISO and therefore produces less noise and should also have better dynamic range because of the lower noise floor.

            No, the FF lens doesn’t let more light in. If it has the same aperture, it lets in the same amount of light, that’s simple physics. A tiny 50mm f/2.8 lets in the same amount of light as a humongous 600mm f/2.8. A FF lens is larger than the equivalent MFT lens because it has twice the focal length to achieve the same field of view, not because it lets more light in.

            Yes, a 12-35mm f/2.8 on MFT is equivalent to a 24-70mm f/2.8 on FF except for depth of field. So the size comparison between the two is completely relevant. I can do the exact same thing with my 12-35mm that you can with your 24-70mm except with more depth of field which can either be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on what your doing. Yes, I will have more noise on my MFT than you on a FF, but that’s only because I have a smaller sensor, not because I have a smaller lens.

            And yes, a wildlife photographer with the Olympus 300mm f/4 can take the same shots as the Nikon guy next to him with a FF 600mm f/4. In fact, he has a huge advantage because he can hand-hold it and he has twice the depth of field (which is very shallow with at these focal lengths). Yes, he will have about two stops more noise at a given ISO but because of his superior image stabilisation and deep depth of field he can shoot wide open and at much lower shutter speed and will easily regain those two stops of noise. And even more importantly, he will have saved about $10,000 and 8Kg and will be able to go places the Nikon guy can’t and shoot from the hip while the Nikon guys is setting his tripod. The biggest drawback the Olympus guy had, before the E-M1 Mk-II, was the poor Continuous AF tracking, which seems to be fixed with this new camera.

            This isn’t my opinion, it’s plain verifiable facts. I’m not hiding anything, denying any limitations or fooling anyone. Now please do not post more on this subject here. Either you got it now or you never will. I will not approve more of your comments on this subject nor waste anymore time arguing with you. If you still disagree, just move on and be happy.

  4. 16
    Gary Hansen

    Articulated beautifully. Yes Olympus set people up for disappointment with the promise of a price point slightly above the OM-1. Not a good strategy and bound to result in anger and disappointment, especially with folks who thought they could afford the new camera but can’t. But what a camera, if all the preliminary reviews are even close to being accurate! For me though, it’s the size, not only of the camera, but especially the lenses (as the author has visually demonstrated). And to get 61/2 stops of IS is insane! Yes the new camera is pricey, and I feel for those who just can’t stretch their budget quite far enough to get this new tool. But those of us who are fortunate enough to afford it without selling our firstborn, we are absolutely getting our money’s worth of advanced technology, portability, and a higher percentage of “on the money” shots. For me, anyway, dumping my Nikon burden three years ago for the EM-5 was a decision I doubt I’ll regret. So, for the pixel peepers, please keep your Nikons and Canons, I’d rather go light and more maneuverable. 61/2 stops! I can hardly wait. Thanks again to the author for articulating why, I personally, anticipate no buyers regret for my own decision to buy this sweet camera.

  5. 17
    Eric Flasdorp

    “These things require a lot of R&D…” So did the tech in the previous E-M1. You make it seem like the previous model was just slapped together without R&D.

    “…because a FF Sony A7 is basically the same size as an E-M1, but the lenses are huge!” Yes, when you compare a fullframe F/2.8 to a MFT F/2.8. But who are you trying to fool here?

  6. 20
    godfreydigiorgi

    My Olympus E-M1 was one of the first my local dealer received and cost me $1699 in October 2013. It’s been worth every penny. The new model, improved in almost every way, is priced at 18% more in an era where prices are rising on almost everything.

    What’s the big fuss about? Seems a lot of nonsense to me.

  7. 21
    Jeff

    Thanks, Sylvain, for a thoughtful and appropriate commentary. I watched the buildup to the Canon 5D MK IV release with great interest, being a 5D III owner. Same kind of speculation as with the new E-M1: “It should have these features and price,” “It should have this speed,” “The sensor should be this or that size,” etc., and when it came to market there was an outcry about the ‘only’ 7fps, the ‘only’ 30MP (while the similarly priced 5DS has 50MP), the lack of a high speed card slot, the lack of Cinema 4K, and all the other complaints. Yet at $3500 it sold well, and it has received generally positive reviews, as well the requisite commenters who are angry at the lack of this or that and threaten to take their ball and go home.

    I am also a recent MFT enthusiast and E-M1 owner and also watched with interest the hype surrounding the E-M1 II. While it did arrive with a higher price than originally expected, I could not help but make the comparison to the Canon release a few months ago: 15fps mechanical vs 7 fps. 18-60fps electronic vs… well, 7fps. Fast UHS II card slot vs no fast slots. Dual quad core processors vs a previous generation single processor. 5-axis IBIS vs no IBIS at all. High res EVF vs no EVF. Full cinema 4k vs 1.74 cropped 4k. Focus peaking, zebras and magnification while recording vs none of that on the Canon. Fully articulating screen vs no screen movement on the Canon. 121 all cross type focus points, both contrast and phase, vs only 41 cross type with only 61 total. Pro Capture mode, for Pete’s sake! Who else does that? And for a really useful Pro feature, the L Fn button on the pro lenses. If you’ve got your eye to the viewfinder and can’t afford to look away, you’ve got the option to make a quick adjustment, like switching to tracking AF if a subject suddenly moves, and same idea with the AF-MF clutch system on the PRO lenses: no need to find an on/off button. These are two of the best in-the-field features that have ever been conceived, and you can’t find them on a Canon or Nikon system.

    If the 5D IV had arrived with all these features everyone would have been struck dumb with surprise and amazement and would not have hesitated a second to spend the $3500. And still it is selling well.

    The Olympus is $1999. Compared to the 5D4 that’s a savings of $1500 – FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS – to get a selection of features and capabilities that exist in no other camera system. Yes, compared to slower, smaller, much-less-featured cameras it’s a big difference, too. But there is no need to compare to cheaper cameras; millions of Canon shooters have Rebels with cheap, slow lenses, and millions of mirrorless shooters have cheaper cameras with slow lenses, and they’re happy with them. As with many products – phones, cars, coffee machines – there are many levels of quality and feature packages in cameras. But when looking at price vs performance – and with some features, ONLY performance – compared to every other camera out there, from any company, no one can touch the E-M1 II. It’s $1999, and it’s worth it.

  8. 22
    fromthefox

    Well written Sylvain, I enjoyed your thoughts on the new EM-1 Mark II. I do find it rather funny all of the trolls out in the interweb who have never used, much less held the Mark II in their hands, feel that they can definitively state that a camera is not a good value or over priced.

    I am presently waiting my evaluation copy of the EM-1 Mark II and the new M. Zuiko 25 1.2 with great expectation. After forty years of professional photography, and buying into just about every system throughout the years, this might just be the ticket! And a whole lot less expensive and lighter than replacing my 1Dx’s and 5D MkIII with the latest versions. Now if I personally could shed a few pounds…

  9. 23
    SteveH

    Well done. For those who disagree just move on. If the Mark II is too much for the pocketbook stop whining and move on. Sylvain’s comments on quality and performance of the new camera are worthwhile but responding to the whiners is unnecessary. It seems that the uproar over the election has spawned a new crop of narcissists.

  10. 24
    NPrincen

    Really? People still do not know that the price of something has nothing to do with the cost to produce it? Economics 101 – The price of a product is entirely set by what people are willing to pay for it. The $2,000 price of the EM-1 II is a test to see if the market is willing to bear this price. If enough people buy at this price, then Olympus will keep the price there. If people don’t buy, the price will fall. It is as simple as that.

    Other factors, like the price of sensors after the earthquake, the inflation rate, and the strength of the Yen have absolutely nothing to do with the eventual equilibrium price of the camera in the open market. Those factors go to the cost of production. If Olympus has made a compelling enough product that it will sell at the price asked, then maybe they can make a profit if the cost of production is kept below the price. This is the way the economic system works. Companies try to make compelling products that will sell at high prices and try to figure out how to produce them for low cost. This is how successful companies make a profit.

    So, the author of this article needs to go back and learn these facts before attempting to justify the price by referencing high costs of production. The only justification for the high price is the perceived value to the customer and that is a matter of individual choice. Companies test the market with higher prices all the time. They are trying to determine price elasticity or how the price affects sales volume. So, think of this as a test. If the EM-1 II sells well at this price, expect all similarly specified future cameras to be priced there or higher.

    • 25
      sduford

      Did you actually read my article? I talked about R&D and manufacturing costs saying that this alone would already be enough to justify the price. But you missed my whole point about the ground-breaking functionality this camera provides, making it well worth the price to those who need it.

  11. 26
    George

    Comparing prices lately I can get ff lens for the same price or cheaper. I have been the mind set of getting better glass for my Nikon instead of the Olympus stuff e.g. for the price of the 12-100 f4 i can get a really goot 70-200 f2.8 for my my Nikon.

    • 27
      sduford

      Hi George, that’s fine if you think FF suits your needs better but you’re comparing apples to oranges here. The 12-100mm would replace both a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm. It is really a remarkable lens with an equivalent range of 24-200mm, excellent close-focus capabilities and all this while maintaining superb optical quality throughout the zoom range. Last but not least, combined with E-M1 II’s IBIS, it gives you an astonishing 6.5 stops of stabilization. It is really a stunning travel lens.

      The latest Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E lens is $2800 and it finally fixes the serious focus breathing issue from which the two previous G versions suffered (I own one). To replace the range, stabilization and quality of the 12-100mm you would need to buy both the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E VR + the 24-70mm f/2.8E VR which will set you back $5,000 and weight about 5.5lbs, vs the 1.3lbs and $1300 of the 12-100mm which is itself smaller than just the 24-70mm f/2.8. Granted it’s only f/4, but that’s a worthwhile compromise for this kind of range, optical quality and travel portability.

      But to me the point of the OM-D system isn’t price. It’s about having a highly capable high-quality system that is very compact and lightweight. I really don’t care if it costs more or less than an equivalent Nikon setup. I have a Nikon D700 with the trinity of f/2.8 zooms and it rarely sees the light of day because it’s just too damn big and heavy. My OM-D is always with me.

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