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Olympus OM-D E-M1X Review

The photography business underwent significant disruption in the last year, with the introduction of several new camera systems and a proliferation of lens offerings to cater to these new cameras. However, Olympus’ most recent OM-D E-M1X is more comfortable since it utilizes the company’s established OM-D format while improving it in crucial areas.

It seems as though Olympus is aiming this model toward a wide variety of photographers. On the one hand, the E-M1X is aimed at consumers interested in cameras like the Nikon D5, Canon EOS-1DX Mark II, and Sony A9 due to its rapid burst shooting, hybrid phase- and contrast-detect autofocus, and new deep-learning-based AF settings for moving subjects.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X Features

The OM-D E-M1X is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most technologically advanced camera that Olympus has created to date, and the spec sheet shows that it is taking the fight to its competitors. This is just as well, given how much more severe the combined threat from established systems and newer ones showing plenty of promise now is. The spec sheet shows that it is taking the fight to its competitors.

In contrast to nearly all of its competitors, the camera sports a 20.4-megapixel Live MOS Four Thirds sensor, which is noticeably smaller than full-frame sensors and much more diminutive than APS-C sensors. The fact that the camera is geared toward capturing sports and activity means that resolution is not the primary concern; still, it will be interesting to observe how much longer the 20-megapixel barrier is maintained for sensors of this sort.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X Build Quality

The fact that the Olympus OM E-M1X-D has an integrated vertical grip is the design element that stands out as being most distinctively distinct from other mirrorless cameras. This is the first mirrorless camera to be released with a design like this, which is reminiscent of cameras like the Nikon D5 and the Canon EOS 1D X Mark II in terms of its aesthetic.

This serves two roles, much like the professional DSLRs that the E-M1X competes with. The fact that it has room for the two batteries required by the camera is the less fascinating of the two features.

These are held in place within a bracket that slides easily out from the side of the camera for your convenience. However, because the camera also has a USB port, you may not need to remove them as frequently as you might otherwise. If you do, you can charge them using the adapters included in the package.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X Autofocus

A significant portion of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II’s autofocusing system appears to have been carried over into the OM-D E-M1X. Once again, we have a hybrid contrast- and phase-detect autofocus technology named Dual F.A.S.T. AF. This provides 121 cross-type autofocus points that are spaced out over the frame.

There are, however, several significant deviations in the operation of the E-M1X system. The first difference is that the OM-D E-M1 Mark III has two AF Multi Selectors buttons, one for each direction. These controls make it easier to move the focusing point than on the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Even while looking via the electronic viewfinder (EVF), you may use the touchscreen to accomplish this; but having a tactile control can be pretty helpful.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X Performance

It is gratifying to discover that the Olympus OM-D E-M1X has an overall responsiveness that is on par with the features that will attract action photographers, such as the frame rates that range from 15 fps up to 60 fps at full resolution and the focusing technology that is powered by deep learning.

Once you switch on the camera, there is just the tiniest of delays until the viewfinder or LCD comes to life, and once it does, all of the information is there, and the focusing mechanism is ready to go to work.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X Image Quality

For this review, we had the good fortune to pair the OM-D E-M1X with a few of Olympus’s PRO lenses, such as the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm 1:2.8 PRO and the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO. If you have lenses of a comparable calibre, you will most likely be delighted with the results you can achieve with this camera. Indeed, it is feasible to capture photographs that have a reasonable amount of clarity while yet retaining their natural appearance even when shot at the lowest possible ISO setting of 200.

The colours caught in JPEGs with the Natural option set as the default have a more attractive brightness than those captured in raw files with the same setting, particularly in red tones. Despite this, the colours are still pretty true to life.

Suppose you need to utilize your photos immediately and are looking for a little extra oomph. In that case, you might find it more convenient to rapidly increase the saturation, contrast in-camera, or switch to the Vivid setting. In addition, the camera features scenes for Muted, Portrait, and Monochrome, a Custom mode and an extensive collection of ART filters. This means you can get various effects with the camera alone, without using any other software.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution5184 x 3888
Image ratio w:h4:3
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors22 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.4 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDual TruePic VIII
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 200-25600 (expands down to 64)
Boosted ISO (minimum)64
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes7 stops body only. 7.5 stops with 12-100mm lens.
CIPA image stabilization rating7 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsSuper fine, fine, normal
File formatJPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (12-bit ORF)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points121
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,037,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.65× (0.82× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/32000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync port)
Flash modesRedeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain), manual
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modesSingleContinuousBracketingSelf-timer
Continuous drive60.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 secs, custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedSpotSpot AF-area
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes4096 x 2160 @ 24p / 237 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 202 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 202 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 202 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesDual SD/SDHC/SDXC cards (UHS-II supported)
Connectivity
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes (USB-PD allows charging by laptop or external power bank)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11ac + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via smartphone or wired remote)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes (to IPX1 standards)
BatteryBuilt-in
Battery descriptionTwo BLH-1 lithium-ion batteries
Battery Life (CIPA)870
Weight (inc. batteries)997 g (2.20 lb / 35.17 oz)
Dimensions144 x 147 x 75 mm (5.67 x 5.79 x 2.95″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSBuilt-in
GPS notesAlso captures direction, temperature, pressure and acceleration

Olympus OM-D E-M1X Verdict

Where do we even start? A sturdy construction, superb handling, rapid autofocus, outstanding responsiveness, beautiful 4K video, and reliable image stabilization… Even though there isn’t nearly enough here to warrant such a significant price increase compared to the already existing E-M1 Mark II or other competing models, the E-M1X is still a delightful camera.

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