Olympus E-M1X Performance


Timing and Performance

Outstanding performance.

Startup/Play to Record

Power on
to first shot

~0.8 second

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.6 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Powering on and taking a shot was fast for a mirrorless camera, at about 0.8 second. Switching from Play to Record mode and taking a shot was a bit faster, at about 0.6 second. Very good performance here (the same as the E-M1 Mark II), though some DSLRs are faster.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
(Mechanical (default) / Anti-shock / Electronic Shutter)

Full Autofocus,
AF-S, Center AF

0.087/0.099/0.084
second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting. (All AF timing tested with Olympus 45mm f/1.2 Pro M.Zuiko prime lens.)

Manual Focus

0.060/0.072/0.065
second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Prefocused

0.038/0.065/0.044
second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Testing the Olympus E-M1X's ability to determine that it's properly focused when shooting the same target multiple times in AF-S (single-shot AF) mode using the center AF point (our standard Full AF lag test), we found its full autofocus shutter lag was incredibly fast at only 0.087 second in the default mechanical shutter mode. That's over 20% faster than the E-M1 II in our static test, and we expect an even greater improvement in AF tracking performance, however that's not something we can currently test in our lab.

Shutter lag in manual focus mode was very low at only 0.060 second, and prefocused shutter lag was even lower at 0.038 second. Excellent performance here, but the E-M1 II tested a little faster at 0.052 and 0.032 second respectively.

We also tested the E-M1X's anti-shock (EFCS) and electronic shutter modes. Anti-shock mode added a slight delay, but full AF lag was still very fast while manual focus and prefocused lag times were still very good. Interestingly, electronic shutter (Silent) mode was actually slightly faster than the default mechanical mode for full AF lag, and only slightly slower than the mechanical shutter for manual focused and prefocused lags.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.


Single-Shot Cycle Time and Burst Modes

Single Shot mode
Large/Super Fine JPEG

0.46 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depth in single-shot mode).

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/SF JPEG

0.53 second

Time per shot, averaged over a few frames (we no longer test for buffer depth in single-shot mode).

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H mode
Large/Super Fine JPEG

0.07 second
(15.0 fps);
119 frames total;
5.9 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over ~20 frames. Slows to an average of 9.9 fps when buffer is full, which is still fast!

Continuous H mode
RAW

0.06 second
(15.6 fps);
97 frames total;
7.2 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over ~20 frames. Slows to an average of 7.7 fps when buffer is full, which is still quite fast.

Continuous H mode
RAW + L/SF JPEG

0.07 second
(15.0 fps);
66 frames total;
11.3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over ~20 frames. Slows to an average of 4.9 fps when buffer is full.

Silent H mode
Large/Super Fine JPEG

0.02 second
(60.7 fps);
49 frames total;
5.8 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over ~20 frames. Slows to an average of 9.4 fps when buffer is full, with a lot of cycle variation.

Silent H mode
RAW

0.02 second
(60.7 fps);
49 frames total;
6.1 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over ~20 frames. Slows to an average of 5.9 fps when buffer is full, with a lot of cycle variation

Silent H mode
RAW + L/SF JPEG

0.02 second
(60.7 fps);
48 frames total;
11.3 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over ~20 frames. Slows to an average of 3.9 fps when buffer is full, with a lot of cycle variation.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a 64GB Lexar Pro 2000x UHS-II SDXC card. Slower cards or using slot 2 can produce correspondingly slower clearing times and may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were quite fast at about half a second for JPEGs and RAW+JPEGs. (Note that we no longer test single-shot mode with just RAW files, as the results are usually somewhere in between.)

In Continuous H mode using the mechanical shutter, the E-M1X captured Large/Super Fine JPEG frames at 15 frames-per-second, 12-bit RAW frames at about 15.6 fps, and RAW+JPEG frames at 15 fps. Outstanding performance here, meeting or exceeding Olympus' 15 fps spec and very similar to the E-M1 II. Note that AF and AE are locked at the first frame of a burst in this mode. The E-M1X is spec'd to shoot at 10 fps with AF and AE updated between frames just like the E-M1 II, however we did not test that mode in the lab.

In Silent Continuous H mode which uses the electronic shutter (as does Pro Capture mode), the E-M1X was able to shoot full-resolution images at an astonishing 60.7 frames-per-second no matter the file type, about the same speed as the E-M1 II. Again, this is with AF and AE locked at the first frame. Olympus rates Silent and Pro Capture modes with continuous AF/AE at 18 fps, again the same as the E-M1 II.

Buffer depths were also outstanding, ranging from 119 frames when shooting best quality JPEGs to 66 frames when shooting RAW+JPEG frames before the camera slowed down in Continuous H mode, when tested with our fast 64GB Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II SDXC card (rated for 260MB/s writes and 300MB/s reads). These are similar buffer depths as the E-M1 II.

In Silent Continuous H mode at 60.7 fps, the buffer depth was still a very generous 48 to 49 frames before the camera slowed, again very similar to the E-M1 II. Buffer-full rates weren't too bad either, with the camera able to shoot JPEG or RAW files at between 5.9 and 9.9 frames per second depending on the mode, however there was a lot cycle-to-cycle variation.

Buffer clearing was quick considering the buffer sizes, taking only about 6 or 7 seconds after a max length burst of JPEGs or RAW files, or about 11 seconds for RAW+JPEG. Buffer clearing times for JPEG or RAW files were similar to the E-M1 II, but it's interesting that buffer clearing for RAW+JPEG files was almost twice as fast as the E-M1 Mark II with the same card, target and settings. It's also worth noting that both of the E-M1X's card slots support UHS-II cards, while only one slot on the E-M1 II did.


Bottom line, the E-M1X's performance was outstanding with reasonably fast startup, very fast autofocus, very low shutter lag, fast cycle times, amazing burst performance, and excellent buffer depths. Performance was similar to the E-M1 II, but with faster autofocus and quicker buffer clearing when shooting RAW+JPEG files.

Battery

Battery Life
Excellent battery life for a mirrorless camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard)
870 shots
Still Capture,
(Quick Sleep Mode enabled)
2580 shots

The Olympus E-M1X uses dual BLH-1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs for power (though it can run on one), and comes with two batteries and two battery chargers. In-camera charging is also supported.

Battery life is CIPA-rated for 870 shots per charge (Olympus did not specify if that is with the EVF or LCD), which is excellent for a mirrorless camera, and you can expect to shoot many more shots in typical real-world usage. The E-M1X also has a Quick Sleep Mode which when enabled, increases battery life to a whopping 2580 shots per charge according to Olympus.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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