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
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.
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 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.