Olympus E-M1X Field Test Part I

Olympus' new flagship camera delivers an excellent user experience

by Jeremy Gray |

The Olympus E-M1X takes much of what has made high-end Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras popular and turns the dial up to 11. While there are a lot of similarities between the E-M1X and the E-M1 Mark II, many aspects of the camera have been adjusted, improved or are altogether new to the E-M1X.

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

by Jeremy Gray |

In my first Field Test of the Olympus E-M1X, I focused on the camera's design, usability, autofocus, performance and discussed using the E-M1X in the field within the context of landscape and wildlife photography. So far, my impressions of the E-M1X have been very positive, and it has become my favorite Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera. With that said, it being a Micro Four Thirds camera results in some concerns with respect to image quality. I will be further discussing image quality in this second Field Test. Also, I will be looking at the camera's video features and performance. Finally, I will offer my concluding thoughts on the E-M1X in general and how it fits into the current pro camera landscape.

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

by Mike Tomkins |

Every now and again, a shooting opportunity comes along that seems to have your name written on it. As a long-time motorsports fan, one such opportunity came together for me recently in Daytona Beach, Florida. The motorsport press was in town for two back-to-back events at the world-famous Daytona International Speedway, and camera maker Olympus Corp. was there both to offer assistance to pros shooting with its gear, and to give those shooting other brands a chance for a side-by-side comparison with its Micro Four Thirds system.

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.


Editor's Picks