Sony Alpha A7 II vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

  • Full frame
  • 24 megapixels
  • Sony E (NEX)
  • 55
    Overall
  • 32
    Imaging
  • 64
    Features
  • 74
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • Four Thirds
  • 20 megapixels
  • Micro Four Thirds
  • 48
    Overall
  • 22
    Imaging
  • 85
    Features
  • 74
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Sony Alpha A7 II vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

In this review, we are going to provide a detailed evaluation and comparison of two different camera models that fall into the same category - Pro Mirrorless. Although these cameras are from the same category, they were introduced by different brands - Sony and Olympus. Although Sony Alpha A7 II and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II are both equipped with the same CMOS sensor, they boast of different resolution. Thus, Sony Alpha A7 II has a sensor with a resolution of 24.0 MP, while Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II has a different resolution of 20.0 MP.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Sony Alpha A7 II and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Sony Alpha A7 II Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 25600 (Expands to 50 - 51200)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 127 x 96 x 60 mm
  • Weight: 599 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Sony .
  • Replaced by Sony A7 III.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Key Features:

  • 20.0 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 25600 (Expands to 64)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 15.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 4096 x 2160 @ 24p / 237 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM, 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 134 x 91 x 67 mm
  • Weight: 574 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Olympus E-M1.

Sony Alpha A7 II was substituted by Sony A7 III.

Why is Sony Alpha A7 II a better choice than Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

NFC Yes vs No Easy wireless connectivity with compatible devices
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP vs 20.0 MP 16.7% more pixels
Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 vs 226.2 mm2 73.6% larger pixel area
Screen Resolution 1,230k dots vs 1,037k dots 15.7% higher resolution screen
Dxo Color Depth 24.9 vs 23.7 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 13.6 vs 12.8 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 2449 vs 1312 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Magnification 0.71 vs No 0.71 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II over Sony Alpha A7 II

Storage Slots 2 vs 1 Extra storage slot
Continuous Shooting 15 fps vs 5 fps 10 fps faster
Flash Range 9.1 vs No 9.1 better flash range
Number Of Focus Points 121 vs 117 4 more focus points
Screen Type Fully Articulated vs Tilting Flexible shooting positions
Touch Screen Yes vs No Easy control of camera functions
Weight 574 g vs 599 g 25 g lighter
Max Video Resolution 4096 x 2160 vs 1920 x 1080 Higher Resolution Video
Viewfinder Resolution 2,360k dots vs 2,359k dots 0% higher resolution

Key PROs of Sony Alpha A7 II and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Screen Size 3″ | 3″ Large display
Screen Resolution 1,230k dots | 1,037k dots High resolution screen
Screen Type Tilting | Fully Articulated Help viewing and changing settings easily
Viewfinder Electronic | Electronic Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Microphone Port Yes | Yes High quality audio recording option
Headphone Port Yes | Yes Better video control
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Image Stabilization Yes | Yes Built-in stabilization
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Environmental Sealing Yes | Yes Shoot at tough conditions

Key CONs of Sony Alpha A7 II and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Built-In Flash No | No No built-in flash

Sony Alpha A7 II vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Sony Alpha A7 II and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II from the front view.

Sony Alpha A7 II
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Sony Alpha A7 II
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 25g less than the Sony Alpha A7 II. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Battery values for Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Sony Alpha A7 II — 350 shots
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II — 350 shots
Min: 210 shots
Average: 432 shots
Max: 870 shots
Thickness values for Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Sony Alpha A7 II — 60 mm
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II — 67 mm
Min: 37 mm
Average: 63 mm
Max: 97 mm
Weight values for Pro Mirrorless cameras:
Sony Alpha A7 II — 599 g
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II — 574 g
Min: 465 g
Average: 672 g
Max: 1320 g

Comparing Sony Alpha A7 II and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Sony Alpha A7 II and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Sony Alpha A7 II features a 24.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a Bionz X processor . Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, in its turn, comes with a 20.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor and TruePic VIII processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Sony Alpha A7 II and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II by the size of their sensors.

Sony Alpha A7 II
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
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One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Sony Alpha A7 II has a sensor area 0.3x bigger compared to Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. What does it mean? This basically means that if you these cameras them with the same aperture and focal length, the first model will give you more control in terms of the blurry background and depth of field.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Sony Alpha A7 II and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Sony Alpha A7 II and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Sony Alpha A7 II Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Portrait Photography
99%
71%
Street Photography
97%
99%
Sports Photography
96%
96%
Daily Photography
69%
93%
Landscape Photography
99%
92%

Sony Alpha A7 II for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.4 x 13 mm) sensor

Sony Alpha A7 II for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Full frame(35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (127 x 96 x 60 mm)

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Four Thirds(17.4 x 13 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (134 x 91 x 67 mm)

Sony Alpha A7 II for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (117)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2449)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • Small battery life (350 shots)

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (15.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (121)

Disadvantages:

  • Small battery life (350 shots)

Sony Alpha A7 II for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (599 g)
  • Big size (127 x 96 x 60 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.4 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (574 g)
  • Big size (134 x 91 x 67 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Sony Alpha A7 II for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (35.8 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.6)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2449)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Good Dynamic Range (12.8)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.4 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (20 MP)

Comparison of Sony Alpha A7 II vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Sony Alpha A7 II or Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Sony Alpha A7 II and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Sony Alpha A7 II deserves a higher Total Score than the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Sony Alpha A7 II vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Sony Alpha A7 II Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
General
Brand Sony Olympus
Model Alpha A7 II OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Announced Nov 20, 2014 Sep 19, 2016
Body Type SLR-style mirrorless SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame Four Thirds
Sensor Dimensions 35.8 x 23.9 mm 17.4 x 13 mm
Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 226.20 mm2
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP 20.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 5184 x 3888
Max Native ISO 25,600 25,600
Max Boosted ISO 51,200 n/a
Min Native ISO 100 200
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Sony E (NEX) Micro Four Thirds
Number of Lenses 83 94
Focal Length Multiplier 1x 2x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No Yes
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 117 121
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Tilting Fully Articulated
Screen Size 3″ 3″
Screen Resolution 1,230k dots 1,037k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 2,359k dots 2,360k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.71
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 5.0 fps 15.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Yes Yes
Built-in Flash No No
Flash Range 0 9.1
Flash Modes no built-in flash Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(2nd curtain), Manual
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes No
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 90 80
DxO Color Depth 24.9 23.7
DxO Dynamic Range 13.6 12.8
DxO Low Light ISO 2449 1312
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p) 4096 x 2160 @ 24p / 237 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM, 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 4096 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S MOV, H.264
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port Yes Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 3.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 599 g 574 g
Physical Dimensions 127 x 96 x 60 mm 134 x 91 x 67 mm
Battery Life 350 shots 350 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model NP-FW50 n/a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots
Storage Slots 1 2

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