The Olympus E-M1 Mark II Can Capture Sharp 5 Second Exposures Hand-Held!


Olympus has said the only thing standing between the OM-D E-M1 Mark II and better stabilization is the rotation of the Earth—and so far, the camera’s bite is living up to the bark. In fact, the 6.5-stop stabilization is so powerful, it looks like you can capture sharp hand-held 5 second exposures!

If that sounds too amazing to be true, join the club. Even the photographer who captured the shots we’re about to show you can hardly believe it. Robin Wong, an Olympus Malaysia employee, posted these shots on his blog. Hand-held photos he says were turning out sharp at a whopping 5 seconds.

“No tripod was used for this shot,” he explains on his blog. “I initially started shooting at 1 second shutter speed, I got away with sharp results, so I kept pushing to 2 seconds, 3.2 seconds, and finally 5 seconds. Images started to show signs of blurring at 6 seconds. My limit was at 5 seconds, hand-held. If this 5-Axis Image Stabilization does not impress you, I seriously do not know what will!”

He shared a couple of examples, along with 100% crops:

12-100mm PRO, F/9, 5s, 12mm, ISO64
12-100mm PRO, F/9, 5s, 12mm, ISO64


12-100mm PRO, F/6.3, 5s, 12mm, ISO200
12-100mm PRO, F/6.3, 5s, 12mm, ISO200


Now, you may be thinking (we were) “this guy is an Olympus employee… I’m not convinced.” But this isn’t the first example we’ve spotted this weekend of insane results shooting hand-held with the E-M1 Mark II. The tweet below by Drift Magazine Editor in Chief Adam Goldberg was the first.

He was shooting 4 second exposures, and the results speak for themselves:

Of course, there’s some “stabilization” used for these shots—meaning you’re not going to be able to stand on your own without leaning on something and get these results.

“I also must be honest that, if I were standing freely, without any support, [not] bracing myself against anything, I can only shoot at about 1 to 2 seconds shutter speed,” explains Wong. “Anything longer than 2 seconds, my legs started to wobble!”

The 5-second exposures above were shot while Wong was “either sitting down on the pavement (twin towers) or braced/leaning myself on a wall or something.” But if 1-2 seconds truly hand-held and 5-seconds “mostly” hand-held doesn’t impress you, your standards are frankly too high.

To see some more photos Wong has been taking with the E-M1 Mark II, head over to his full blog post… the sample shots have us super excited about this M43 monster.

Image credits: Photos by Robin Wong and used with permission.