Olympus E-M1X Field Test
Olympus E-M1X Field Test Part I
Olympus' new flagship camera delivers an excellent user experience
One of the unchanged components is the image sensor, which is the same 20-megapixel Four Thirds sensor as in the E-M1 II. With nearly every major brand offering full-frame cameras (or medium-format cameras in the case of Fujifilm), the E-M1X's sensor seems smaller than ever nowadays. There are advantages and disadvantages of a smaller image sensor, which I'll discuss in this Field Test, but the point remains that some people will always scoff at the idea of a $3,000 Micro Four Thirds camera. I understand the sentiment, but there is, of course, much more to consider with a camera than just its sensor.
In this first Field Test, I will be focusing on the camera's design, overall shooting experience and discuss how the E-M1X performs within the context of both wildlife and landscape photography. Part II will focus on image quality and video performance and tie up some loose ends.
Olympus E-M1X Field Test Part II
A closer look at the E-M1X's image quality and video performance
Given that the E-M1X has the same 20-megapixel image sensor as the E-M1 II, there are not many surprises here in terms of image quality. The E-M1X has a native ISO range of 200 to 25,600, which can be expanded down to ISO 64, although the top limit of 25,600 is set.
Like the E-M1 Mark II, the E-M1X delivers solid image quality across much of its ISO range. From ISO 200 through ISO 1600, image quality is really good and certainly up to the task of making high-quality prints. At ISO 3200 and 6400, the camera begins to show a bit more noise, although you can still work raw files into usable form.
Olympus E-M1X Field Test Part III
In its element in the elements, shooting NASCAR at a stormy Daytona Speedway
Note: My photos throughout this article, as well as those from motorsports pro Jason Reasin, have all been edited to the photographer's tastes using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. For my images, you can click the links beneath each photo to see a 1:1 Lightroom-edited version, or JPEG / raw files straight out of the camera.
Why Daytona? The Olympus E-M1X is a motorsports specialist
Last January, just days before the launch of its latest flagship, the OM-D E-M1X mirrorless camera, Olympus announced its sponsorship of the Photographers' Room in Daytona's Infield Media Center. The subsequent E-M1X launch a few days later made sense of the news, as Olympus' new offering not only offered top-notch burst-shooting performance, but specifically targeted motorsports shooters (amongst others) with its deep learning-based Intelligent Subject Detection autofocus mode.