Olympus OM-D E-M1X review

April 10, 2019

Overall Rating:


Olympus OM-D E-M1X

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  • + Superb build quality and ergonomics make the camera a joy to shoot with
  • + Excellent JPEG output with well-judged exposure and attractive colour
  • + Incredibly effective in-body stabilisation keeps images sharp
  • + Very effective continuous autofocus and subject detection
  • + Huge range of useful additional photographic features


  • - Bulky body
  • - Lower high-ISO image quality than larger-sensor peers
  • - Restricted top-quality telephoto lens range



Price as Reviewed:

£2,799.99 (Body Only)

Andy Westlake investigates Olympus’s innovative new flagship camera: a pro-focused, rapid-shooting Micro Four Thirds powerhouse


Olympus OM-D E-M1X: At a glance:

  • £2799.99 body only
  • 20.4MP Four Thirds MOS sensor
  • 121-point phase-detection AF
  • 15fps shooting (10fps with C-AF)
  • 2.36m-dot EVF, 0.83x magnification
  • 3-in fully-articulated touchscreen
  • 5-axis in-body stabilisation, up to 7.5 stops

[jwplayer key=”lmYHDNm6″]

In October it will be 100 years since Olympus’s foundation, and to celebrate, the firm has produced a real statement model for Micro Four Thirds. The OM-D E-M1X takes all the things that its previous flagship OM-D E-M1 Mark II did particularly well – high-speed shooting, autofocus tracking, in-body stabilisation and durability – and cranks the dial to up 11. At £2800 body-only it doesn’t replace the Mark II, but instead forms a new tier in the line-up.

Olympus E-M1X

The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is designed to balance well with larger lenses such as this 40-150mm f/2.8

In essence, the E-M1X is designed for shooting sports and wildlife under demanding conditions. It’s one of only a handful of cameras to include an integrated vertical grip for portrait-format shooting, alongside the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and Nikon D5. Its mirrorless design means that it’s not as huge as these two behemoths, but it still weighs in at almost a kilogram. At first sight this is a strange choice from Olympus, but after using the camera for a while, I can see the point. Many photographers habitually use add-on grips when shooting action with long lenses, and integrating the grip has allowed for a more robust body with additional controls and features.

Olympus E-M1X motorsport sample

The E-M1X is all about shooting sports and action. Olympus OM-D E-M1 X + M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS PRO, 1/160sec at f/8, ISO 200

Olympus is making a number of eye-catching claims for the E-M1X. It says it has the world’s best dust, splash and freeze-proofing for shooting in severe weather; the most effective image stabilisation; the industry’s highest viewfinder magnification, and a remarkable battery life of 2,580 shots. Notable new features include AI-powered subject-detection autofocus, a hand-held version of the firm’s high-resolution composite mode, and a Live ND function for shooting long exposures.

  • Sensor: 20.4MP Live MOS, 17.4 x 13mm
  • Output size: 5184 x 3888
  • Focal length mag: 2x
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Shutter speeds (mechanical): 60sec – 1/8000sec
  • Shutter speeds (electronic): 60sec - 1/32000sec
  • Sensitivity (standard): ISO 200-25,600
  • Sensitivity (extended): ISO 64-25,600
  • Exposure modes: PASM, B, Video, Custom x 4
  • Metering: Pattern, Centre Weighted, Spot, Highlight Spot, Shadow Spot
  • Exposure compensation: +/- 5EV in 0.3 EV steps
  • Continuous shooting: 60fps (fixed focus), 18fps with AF
  • Screen: 3in fully-articulated touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: 2.36m-dot, 0.83x magnification
  • AF points: 121, phase detection, all cross-type
  • Video: Cine 4K (4096 x 2160), 30p, 102Mbps
  • External mic: 3.5mm stereo
  • Memory card: 2x SD, SDHC, SDXC (both UHS-II)
  • Power: 2x BLH-1 Li-Ion
  • Battery life: 2850 shots
  • Dimensions: 144.4 x 146.8 x 75.4mm
  • Weight: 997g (with batteries and cards)

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