Olympus EM10 Mark II tips

Robin Wong’s Cheat Sheet
[Camerlab tips here]
Tips by Travis

Electronic Shutter

The EM10 Mark II offers mechanical shutter range from 60 seconds to 1/4000 and the shutter sound itself is a satisfying click that’s not too loud. By default the EM10 II employs a mechanical curtain at the front and end of exposures.

If you prefer complete silence you can enable the Electronic Shutter option, indicated by a heart icon on the Drive menu. In addition to operating silently, the electronic shutter extends the maximum shutter speed to 1/16000, giving you two more stops of exposure control over the mechanical shutter – handy if you’re shooting with large apertures under bright conditions or want to freeze the fastest action.

Electronic shutters are great for silence and avoiding vibrations, but due to the readout speed of most sensors, they’re not suitable when the subject – or camera – are in motion as the image can suffer from undesirable skewing artefacts – something I noticed on the EM10 II with only modest motion. They can also suffer from banding under some artificial lighting, but if you’re careful they can still prove useful in discreet environments.

Anti-Shock Shutter

Like the EM1, there’s also a variety of Anti Shock options which employ an electronic first-curtain shutter and a variety of delays to reduce the potential impact of the shutter causing unwanted vibrations. The shortest delay is zero seconds, which makes the Anti Shock mode practical for normal handheld use.

Note the Anti Shock mode can still suffer from skewing artefacts if the camera or subject are moving at speed (something I confirmed myself), so Olympus only offers it up to speeds of 1/320. Beyond this, shutter shock is no longer a big issue so the camera reverts to its mechanical shutter to avoid any potential artefacts. Ultimately like the full electronic shutter, I’d recommend experimenting with Anti Shock under a variety of situations to see where it could work for you and where the benefit is out-weighed by potential artefacts.

Focus Bracketing

Once enabled, the Focus Bracketing mode switches the EM10 II to high speed capture and the electronic shutter. It starts at the current focus position and gradually focuses further away during the sequence, so you have to ensure you’re initially focused on the nearest part of the subject rather than its middle. A typical 100-frame burst takes about three seconds and during the capture you’ll see the band of focus gradually receding into the distance, hopefully reaching the end of your subject; some trial and error will be necessary. Also note the electronic shutter can be susceptible to banding from artificial lighting if you’re using shutters that aren’t evenly divisible by their frequency. Probably more annoying though is the fact you can’t trigger the process using a self-timer or over Wifi from the app, so to avoid touching and wobbling the camera you’ll need to use a cable release accessory.