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

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Olympus OM-D E-M1X

Features:
Build/Handling:
Metering:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
Image quality:
LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • + 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

Cons:

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

Product:

Olympus OM-D E-M1X review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£2,799.99 (Body Only)

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

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.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Olympus OM-D E-M1X: Features
  3. 3. Olympus OM-D E-M1X: Build and handling
  4. 4. Olympus OM-D E-M1X: Viewfinder and screen
  5. 5. Olympus OM-D E-M1X: Autofocus
  6. 6. Olympus OM-D E-M1X: Performance
  7. 7. Olympus OM-D E-M1X: Image quality
  8. 8. Olympus OM-D E-M1X: Verdict
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