So what do you think of "Mark [x]" updates? Should those be considered "new" cameras?
In the auto industry the categories seem a little more settled. Cycles are set at 4–10 year intervals, more or less; "mid-cycle refreshes" are common and understood; and "unchanged since last year" might prevail even when minor enhancements have been made.
Seems like "Mark [x]" really means "You want the latest and/or the best, right?" It speaks to the optimizers in all of us.
But on to the news. Refreshed:
The major reason the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is so appealing is that Olympus doesn't give its cameras away. The E-M1 is really the camera in the lineup to have, but it costs $1,300. For that amount you can get a lot of DSLR, or, say, two Sony A6000's with $200 left over.
What should be is that the E-M1 should cost $950 and then every Olympus fan should have that.
The budget E-M10—it's only been out a year and a half—was originally a stripped-down E-M5. But at $600, the price was a lot easier to bear.
I said "was." The E-M10 Mark II will add Olympus's well-sorted 5-axis stabilization from the E-M5 Mark II, among other improvements, for only $50 more. Should you pay $50 for Olympus's IBIS? Beyond a shadow of a doubt you should. The E-M10 is maturing beautifully.
The E-M5 Mark II is the orphan in the lineup, to be honest. (From a cost/value perspective, anyway. Notwithstanding which, it sells well.) At $1,100 it's only $200 less than the E-M1, and we'd much rather have an E-M1. And it's hundreds more than the new E-M10 Mark II, despite only being a little better. With that small a difference, it might be best to find a way to save up the extra $200 for the E-M1.
If you can't have an E-M1, the E-M10 Mark II will soon be the Olympus to have. The savings are significant, the sacrifices few. Wait for it.
The World's Best Camera made better
Different companies make haste...differently. If it's been a year and a half since the just-replaced E-M10 was brand new, it seems like it's been almost that long just since the Leica S (Typ 007) was announced. And it's not shipping yet, quite. (Should be by next month.)
Here's what the press release leads with:
New image sensor and new processor for increased image quality and higher speed:
The Leica MAX CMOS image sensor and the Leica Maestro II image processor deliver lightning-fast speeds and dramatically increase the versatility of the Leica S (Typ 007). With a burst shooting speed of up to 3.5 frames per second, full-HD video in full-frame medium-format sensor size, 4K video recording in Super 35 format, fast Live View mode and exceptional image quality at all ISO settings, the Leica S (Typ 007) demonstrates its status as the benchmark in the medium-format segment. The 2 GB buffer memory ensures smooth shooting of rapid sequences and, despite its more than doubled burst rate capability, the new focal plane shutter in the camera offers a further increased service life of at least 150,000 cycles.
Faster autofocus for subjects in motion:
The revised autofocus system brings not only higher speed, but also more reliable and more precise focusing. To ensure optimum sharpness and precise tracking of moving subjects, the Leica S (Typ 007) features a predictive autofocus mode: the camera registers the motion of the subject and determines the distance to it at the moment of exposure. In combination with its astonishing image quality and high burst rate, the Leica S (Typ 007) sets entirely new standards for dynamic medium-format photography.
There are other improvements, including integrated Wi-Fi, GPS, a position sensor, a stainless-steel bayonet mount, and an improved viewing screen. The screen features Corning Gorilla Glass (or, as Leica styles it, Corning® Gorilla® Glass®), made by Corning, Inc., based in the town of Corning, New York, just down the road from my new home. As far as I know, which admittedly isn't very far, Gorilla glass was developed for Apple, for iPhones.
It's one way in which, as Leica says, "Leica S-Cameras are designed and constructed for many years of daily use." No doubt true. But we have to note that the universe has changed a bit since the S v.1.0 came out...both the Sony A7R II and the Canon 5DS have now surpassed the pixel count of the extra-large S sensor. Maybe somebody who can will do an IQ shootout, which would be interesting as a snapshot of the state of the state-of-the-art.
One thing hasn't changed: the Leica S lenses are the best you can buy for pictorial photography. It's a bit of a question how significant that is, or how much better they are than other "merely great" lenses for other systems. But hey, some people really do want the latest and/or the best.
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Jack: "The big Leica news was the price, only 16 times the price of the Olympus rather than the initially announced 24 times."