Review My experience with the EM1-mk2 at sports


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Apr 24, 2018
SF Bay Area, California, USA
To those of you using the EM1-mk2, this is probably old news.

School having just started, I finally got to give my EM1-mk2 a workout shooting sports.
While I am still getting familiar/learning to use the EM1-mk2 (with latest FW), I am liking it :thumbup:
It fixed all of the issues that I had with the EM1-mk1.
So far I've shot volleyball, tennis and water polo with it. I am still using the D7200+70-200/4 for football, because I don't have the 40-150/2.8.

The high frame rate of the e-shutter.
  • At 18fps in LOW, it is a kick in the pants to me. My Nikon D7200 only does 6fps.
    • I've been able to get more of the keeper pics that I want in tennis.​
    • Though some of the players are too fast for even 18fps.​
  • I plan to try 60fps HIGH, for the better tennis players. But I am dreading the amount of frames that I have to go through and cull.
  • BUT, this high frame rate is a double edge sword. On the last two tennis matches I shot, #1 was over 3,600 frames, #2 was about 3,100 frames. :eek:
    And that was in LOW at 18fps. This creates a LOT of frames that I have to cull through.
Pro-Capture (PC) is neat.
  • I can setup on a subject and half press, and wait for the event to happen. If it does not, I release the shutter, and have not shot a bunch of useless frames.
    • Neat, but I have to retrain my brain, going back and forth between a camera without PC (D7200) and a camera with PC (EM1-mk2)​
  • This is obvious, PC is not magic. You need to set up on the subject for a second or so. You can't just whip the camera put it on the subject, shoot, and think that PC got the frames before you even had the camera on the subject. It is just understanding how PC works.
  • RTFM, Pro-Capture limits the min aperture to f/8. If f/8 is blinking, you need to adjust the exposure. So on slow lenses like the 75-300/4.5-6.3, at 300mm I have LESS than ONE stop of aperture range (from f/6.3 to 8) for exposure control :eek:
    • So M or A, would be more appropriate than S.​
    • Now after RTFM, I know better how to set the exposure; just put it at f/8 in M or A.​
Auto ISO
  • I can specify a floor shutter speed, at which point the ISO should go up. So for sports I can specify a higher floor than non-sports. :thumbup:
    • The mk1 is only auto, with a floor at 1 / (2 x focal length) with the mech shutter.
    • The mk1 e-shutter has a FW bug, it does not even do that and keeps going down to a practically useless 1/13 sec floor. :eek:
  • Yet another different battery, 3 Olympus and 3 different batteries. ☹
  • But, with the power hungry 12-100/4, the larger mk2 battery lasts much longer than the smaller battery of the EM1-mk1 (which only lasts 2-1/2 hrs). :thumbup:
  • Based on my limited experience with the EM1-mk1 and mk2, I think ALL of the other Olympus except the EM1-mk2 and EM1X, will have a significantly shortened battery run time with the power hungry 12-100.
  • In most sports, I generally use single point AF, because of the close presence of other players to my subject, that I do NOT want to focus on.
  • The 3x3 area mode worked well for tennis, most of the time. This made it easier for me to shoot tighter shots. I just had to keep clear of the net and score sign.
  • For tennis doubles, I sometimes had to go back to single point, to avoid focusing on the wrong player, when they were visually close together.
  • My focus hit rate has been very good. 😊
  • Does not have the frozen frame after a burst, which the mk1 does. YAY :thumbup:
    • This makes following action almost as easy as it is with a dSLR.​
    • For me, this is a fatal problem with the mk1.​
  • In continuous shooting with e-shutter, the AF point indicator stays visible and is easy to see.
    • On the mk1, the AF point indicator disappears in e-shutter mode, so I am almost aiming blind and guessing where the AF point is.​
  • I really like using the EVF when the lighting is challenging, as I can see my exposure adjustment real time, vs. guess, adjust, chimp, repeat, as I do with a dSLR.
  • I really like the level indicator in the EVF. It helps me to level the image. Because for some reason, I tend to hold the camera tilted. I think this tilted holding has come with age, as I did not do that when I shot with my film camera.
Back screen
  • I prefer the tilting screen of the mk1 to the swivel screen of the mk2. A tilting screen is faster for me to use, and its use is not affected by an L-bracket, which I like to use.
  • I don't like the position of the right strap lug. The strap gets in the way of my right hand working the controls.
    • My plan is to get and use a RRS L-bracket, with the right strap attached to the plate. This is how I have my other cameras configured, to get the strap out of the way of my right hand.
Lens (OK this not the camera, but it affects sports shooting)
  • I wish Olympus has a zoom where the zoom ring is as light and smooth at the Nikon 70-200/4, where I can easily work the zoom with my fingers.
    • If Panasonic can almost do it with the P-Lumix 12-60, Olympus should be able to do it as well.​
  • I wish the Olympus non-Pro lenses had a smoother zoom ring, like the P-Lumix 12-60. My 40-150R and 75-300 both have plastic-on-plastic stickiness, which makes easy zooming difficult.


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
May 7, 2012
Puget Sound
Real Name
Still setting up my Mk II. While my delay in getting going with this new body is mostly due to my schedule, I do have to admit this is the first Oly/Nikon body that my familiarity with the menu system only took me so far. I have six detailed articles bookmarked for reading when I set up the body! The body reminds me a lot of the old Golf/Rabbit GTI. It looks and feels like its predecessor, but has a lot of added horsepower under the hood.

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