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Dallas

Moving from Nikon to Olympus

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I never thought the day would come when I would once again be without a Nikon camera in my kit. There was a brief period between 2001 and 2004 when I shot with Canon EOS but then I returned to my Nikon roots in late 2005 with the purchase of a D70. It wasn’t long before all my EOS kit was traded in for more Nikon lenses and flashes. I was happy again.

 

In 2009 I bought a brand new Nikon D700 and up until 2 days ago I had used that camera almost exclusively for all my professional assignments. Product launches, conferences, product photography, plus of course the wildlife and cultural safaris I’ve been organising all saw the bulletproof Nikon D700 getting used. It never failed me, except for the one time I stupidly broke off the battery compartment door by accident.

 

Photographers are mostly restless creatures. We like to keep pace with technology and having the latest hardware is always something to get enthused about, but since the release of the D700 I have remained very unenthused by anything new that Nikon has brought to market. The D800 with an eye-watering 36 million pixels flies in the face of everything I believe in when it comes to making photography easier, so that model never made it to me. It didn’t help that so many users were reporting serious issues with auto-focus either. The D600 followed as the next FX model and, well, the less said about it the better as far as I’m concerned. A product bellyflop if ever there was one. As we all know a few weeks ago they brought out the Nikon Df, a deliciously sexy looking camera with a price-tag that can only leave one wondering if the brains trust at Nikon HQ have been ingesting some kind of psychotropic substance.

 

The D4 and D3s would have been good for me, but as a regular Joe trying to scratch out a living in sub-Saharan Africa, they remain as financially elusive as buying a new F-type Jaguar.

 

So I got restless and frustrated that Nikon wasn’t bringing out anything I considered a worthy successor to the D700. I also got to the point where I looked at each subsequent Nikon DSLR release and thought to myself, “apart from the sensor, what’s really new here?”. The answer was a deafening nothing. The basic camera remained the same. Heavy, fundamentally mechanical and in some ways fraught with impracticalities when it comes to getting yourself into awkward positions to take photos. I began to look at alternative camera brands.

 

The one that caught my eye was the then new Olympus micro four thirds sensored, retro styled OM-D E-M5. I had previously owned two other Oly m43 bodies in the form of the original Pen E-P1 and E-P2 that I enjoyed using very much, but they couldn’t compete with my D700’s IQ. Eventually I sold them, however the thing that stayed with me about those Oly Pen cameras was just how awesome it was to put them in a little shoulder bag and walk around knowing that I wasn’t going to draw a lot of attention, especially compared to the bag I had to lug around whenever I took my Nikon anywhere.

 

One fine day I found myself visiting a local electronics store and they had an OM-D E-M5 in their display cabinet. I asked the sales person if I could give it a closer look. It didn’t take long for me to know I wanted one. My initial impression was that this was a very robust feeling camera. It had a heft to it that left you with little doubt that it was probably worth the somewhat equivalently hefty price tag. I was intrigued and typically I later became fixated on it, exploring online reviews about the camera with every spare moment. That led me to discover that the OM-D E-M5 was making a lot of very high profile photographers very excited about its capabilities.

 

A few months prior to this I had acquired a second Nikon D700 that had hardly seen any use and with the restlessness for something new growing bigger each day I thought “screw it” and I ended up selling that D700 to get the money to buy this Olympus OM-D E-M5.

 

For a guy who doesn’t usually take risks, this was a big one. I still remember thinking to myself that I must have been crazy to sell a top flight Nikon D700 to buy such a small camera, yet whenever I used the E-M5 I just connected with it on a level that I had never connected with any Nikon DSLR. I loved the touch screen at the back and I loved the fact that wherever I took the camera nobody ever looked at me twice, except to occasionally ask me why I was still shooting with a film camera. In some ways it felt liberating and in others it felt like I was cheating on my wife (entirely metaphorically speaking that is).

 

I bought the E-M5 in August of 2012 and I have loved using it ever since. I own 6 lenses for it at this time and there’s very little it can’t do. On our recent month long safari through South Africa’s Western Cape, Namibia and Botswana I used it 95% of the time while the Nikon D700 sat heavily in my ThinkTank roller case. Looking through the images I took on safari I couldn’t help but wonder why on earth I had sweated bricks dragging a nearly 20kg ThinkTank roller case from Durban to Cape Town on a plane when all I was using on that trip fit perfectly in the ThinkTank Retrospective 5 shoulder bag. My wife’s handbag is bigger than that. The only time I used the D700 with purpose was in Etosha for some wildlife shots using the Sigma 120-300/2.8 OS and then once in Botswana for birds. I think it gave me a dirty look when I did eventually pick it up.

 

While we were on that safari Olympus released a new OM-D body in the form of the E-M1. I remember sitting bolt upright in my hotel bed while I was reading the press release on my iPad. I wanted it right there and then. It addressed every minor shortcoming of the E-M5 (focus tracking being the main bugbear) and it added some other useful features too, not least of which is built-in wifi. Since its release it has been making a lot of photographers very happy. Why shouldn’t I be one of them?

 

Last week I decided that I was going to take another risk. I put my remaining Nikon D700 and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens up for sale. While I was doing that I checked out the shutter count on both cameras. The D700 had done just shy of 30,000 frames in almost 5 years. The OM-D had done over 18,000 frames in 15 months. Those numbers translate into 1200 shots a month with the OM-D versus 500 shots a month with the D700. More than double with Olympus. Any misgivings I had had up until that discovery flew right out the window because here was the bald faced truth in numbers that even the most inventive of statisticians could not argue with.

 

A couple of days ago that D700 of mine went to a new home and yesterday so did the Nikon 24-70/2.8 (my most used Nikon lens). For the first time in nearly a decade I do not own a Nikon camera. I have since placed an order for the E-M1, the Olympus 12-40/2.8 and also the Olympus 75-300mm which I have been hearing very good things about. I will use it as a walk around 150-600mm equivalent until I get the 40-150/2.8 Oly next year. That will bring the total number of lenses I have for m43 up to 9, all of which can fit into a very small bag and which cost way less than the equivalent lenses for the F mount.

 

Many people are asking me why I didn’t just hang onto my D700 and wait for Nikon to bring out something that would fit more with my needs. Some of them even call me crazy and shake their heads. I don’t care. The thing is I’ve been waiting for Nikon to bring out this mythical D700 replacement for many years. It ain’t happening. What has happened while I was waiting for Nikon to produce something that meant something to me though is that I have had a mind shift when it comes to what I need to work as a photographer. I don’t need the hassle of a big heavy system of bodies and lenses, nor do I need to “look the part” of being a pro photographer. It’s a pain having to drag heavy gear around with you all the time. All I need is the knowledge that the equipment I am using is capable of performing and right now I am very happy with the performance of the OM-D system and Olympus’ m43 lenses. They make me want to take my camera everywhere and that’s something I just haven’t ever wanted to do with my D700.


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I'm in a similar but not quite identical boat as Dallas. About a year ago, I bought in to the Olympus system. One of the reasons is that I noticed I was picking up my Nikon gear less and less except for action/sports shooting. When thinking of doing other types of shooting, I caught myself saying "ah, screw it, it's just too heavy and conspicuous". So, the gear sat on the shelf.

 

In buying the Olympus gear, I knew there would be limitations and compromises. I also knew from research and a trial run via rental, that with the exception of action/sports photography, the Olympus gear would be more than sufficient for my needs. Now, I don't hesitate to pick up the gear. If you look at most of my recent posts (with the exception of the Spirit Bear photo) you'll see that they were taken with the smaller, lighter gear and in some difficult circumstances. 

 

There's a good deal of truth in the old saying that the best camera is the one you have with you. Richard

 

 

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Dallas' post resonates with me. I am beginning to wonder whether the D700 will ever be replaced and why not. Is it because the D700 was under-priced at launch?

 

I think there's an element of truth in that. The D700 is, I venture, the most successful DSLR that Nikon has ever made. It's the most sought after DSLR I have ever encountered, except for maybe the Canon 5DII. Maybe they didn't make enough profit out of it and it probably hurt the sales of the D3 at the time, which might explain why they brought out the D3S and never put that sensor into a D700 like body. It would definitely have killed demand for a D3S.  

 

Whatever their reasons for not upgrading the D700 to something that appeals to a very broad spectrum of photographers remains something that only they can answer. In the meanwhile they bleed customers like me to companies like Olympus and Fujifilm. Heads should roll at Nikon, because I think they have truly lost their way in spite of the successes of the D3 years. 

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I think there's an element of truth in that. The D700 is, I venture, the most successful DSLR that Nikon has ever made. It's the most sought after DSLR I have ever encountered, except for maybe the Canon 5DII. Maybe they didn't make enough profit out of it and it probably hurt the sales of the D3 at the time, which might explain why they brought out the D3S and never put that sensor into a D700 like body. It would definitely have killed demand for a D3S.  

 

Whatever their reasons for not upgrading the D700 to something that appeals to a very broad spectrum of photographers remains something that only they can answer. In the meanwhile they bleed customers like me to companies like Olympus and Fujifilm. Heads should roll at Nikon, because I think they have truly lost their way in spite of the successes of the D3 years. 

If the D700 hurt the D3 sales, isn't that an indication that many, even professionals don't want cameras as big as a D3, D3s or D4, but still want a high quality camera body? Why doesn't Nikon want to cater to the needs of that market?

 

The more I know about the Nikon system and their lenses and camera modes, the more I ask myself what plans and ideas Nikon has for the future. I'm starting to think that they may be misguided. I have my quibbles with Nikon's lens line and Nikon's priorities there.

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Dallas,

 

You and others here have helped me with some critical thinking on my next move which will likely parallel yours. I'm moving toward an E-M1 system but still struggling somewhat with my personal choices. I'm sure the 12-40mm will be my main lens and my only reservation on whether or not to let it push out similar focal length primes is on how easy that combo will be to manage for all-day travel. Since this is my first experience with the OM-D system, will I have just a miniature pendulum on a rope around my neck or will this be somewhat of a more grippable in-the-hand tool. Time will tell, but excited about the possibilities.

 

Thank you for your sharing your journey.

 

Best Regards,

Roger


Best Regards,

Roger

X-Pro2 } 18-55mm | 35mm f/2 

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Dallas I've seen very nice photos with your OM-D and I can follow your thinking. In spring 2012 I bought a D800 and had 5 months of troubles until I got a working one. This certainly didn't help me to get enthusiastic about the new camera. The D800 I've got now is very good but I just don't feel like using it.

Then in autumn 2012 I bought the Fuji X-E1 and have used it for more than 99% of my photos since. I'm not ready to sell my Nikon gear and always think that there will be occasions to use the big gun. But it hardly ever happens. The Fuji is always with me and that's what counts. 

For now I keep my D800 but this may be my last DSLR for a long time. I always kept my FM-2 for so I might keep the D800 as well  ;)

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I can empathise with the whole sentiment in Dallas' post, and there's no need to write at length of the similarities to my path in extracting myself from the DSLR mindset. My "second D700" came by way of the D600 I bought after I sold the D3s because its weight and bulk had become so wearying that I was using the X-Pro1 all the time instead. The return to the d600 was only a guilt thing in that I thought my clients would expect to see a big, black Nikon in may hands rather than something that looked like an old film camera.


Well that saga is history, after an all -in brawl with Nikon to refund me for their attempt to offload one of their old-stock dirty sensor D600 models onto me, the door to DSLR is firmly shut for me now. The salient point is that I was wrong in what I assumed - not one of my clients has ever said anything about me using the Fuji, something I should have paid more heed to. In fact no-one's even commented when I pull a little DP3 Merrill out and start using that. If ever there was something that looked like an amateur P&S camera, the DP Merrills are it.

 

So I've come to the conclusion that we are too forum-driven in this business, and confuse the opinions and comments of members of special interest forums with what happens in the real world. We get defensive and enter arguments over things that the real world doesn't even pay a passing thought to, and base too much of what we do and what equipment we feel we should have according to the weight of opinion expressed by people most of us do not know personally and probably will never meet, either.

 

To that end the most specific forum I'll get involved with in the future is something like FotoZones, where the subject parameter is broad. The schtick one gets when commenting unfavourably in a forum that's brand-specific like NikonGear is really out of proportion to the original comment made, and is both relentless and unpleasant. These are two things I no longer need in the naturally reducing time I have left to enjoy both my life and my passion for photography.

Edited by Alan
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We get defensive and enter arguments over things that the real world doesn't even pay a passing thought to

Very true, and I have been thinking along similar lines.  Our interests here are shared, and we benefit from the variety of views and experience here, but these things are not important in the great scheme of things.  And yet for some reason we sometimes get personal, take offence, express ourselves in ways which are sometimes aggressive and unfriendly.  My early New Year resolution is to avoid personal negativity on these sites.

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The EM-1 is very tempting.  Continuous tracking AF is a big deal for me.  Thing is, I really enjoy using the D800 and the results I get, but it is heavy, and so are the lenses I like to use.  This is not an easy decision, and will not be made until 2014.

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Guest Steve060758

I can relate to this. Although my avatar has me holding the D300, I've also migrated to the OM-D full time. I sold my D7000, D300 and Fuji XE-1 and moved to Olympus (OM-D EM-5) full time. I have the 17mm 1.8, Panasonic 25mm 1.4, 45mm 1.8, saving up for the 75mm 1.8, 12-50 mm kit and the 40-150mm consumer zoom and I couldn't be happier. Next summer I'll get the EM-1.

 

The quality of the images is excellent, the size and weight of the camera is great, and the lens choice is great. Micro 4/3's is a mature system in every way.

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The EM-1 is very tempting.  Continuous tracking AF is a big deal for me.  Thing is, I really enjoy using the D800 and the results I get, but it is heavy, and so are the lenses I like to use.  This is not an easy decision, and will not be made until 2014.

 

Well, I should hopefully have my E-M1 in a couple of weeks. They are waiting for the shipment to clear customs here. When it arrives I will be sure to keep everybody up to date with how it goes as my main camera. I'm also going to look into some of the 4/3rds glass for safaris, although I might have a problem acquiring those - they are not cheap! In the meantime I have also ordered the new 75-300 consumer zoom which has been getting very good reviews. My first safari was done with the Nikon 70-300 VR and I have heard that this Olympus lens is better than it. So we shall see... 

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Well, I should hopefully have my E-M1 in a couple of weeks. ... 

 

Looks like I am one step ahead of you on this Dallas.  I gave up buying an E-M1 for personal reasons but managed to borrow one from my brother who said that he will not need it for some time.   ;)

 

The E-M1 is not perfect mind you.  I have to use manual focus when shooting out from inside an aircraft as CDAF will not work properly.  But it is lithe and fast and a joy to use with the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 as well as the Panny 12-35-100mm f/2.8 zooms.  

 

The E-M1 is a great camera and if Nikon is ever going to make a mirrorless camera, the E-M1 is the benchmark against which it should measure any mirrorless initiative.  The controls and my ability to change camera settings without taking my eyes off the viewfinder is I would say even better than the D700/D800 which I have essentially mastered though continuous use.

Edited by Larry

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Seems to be a growing club of dslr expatriates, and I will be joining that club soon.  My poor neglected low-mileage D3s has been sitting in a bag, unused these many months.  I'd been using Sony NEX gear, which started the decline of dslr use for me.  Have now switched to Fuji X gear, and don't see a good reason to keep the D3s around now.  My newest Fuji, an X-E2 should arrive in two days, after which I will be putting the D3s up for sale.  Dallas, I can relate to the unease you felt about parting with your D700.  I'm finding it strangely difficult to pull the trigger and let go of the D3s, but can hardly justify that amount of $$ sitting in unused gear.

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Just resist the urge (as I failed to do) in panicking with all the negativity that will be directed your way into actually thinking that getting rid of the house brick was a bad move and that you have to have a viable Nikon outfit in the house to justify the tag of "photographer", or some such nonsense.

 

My failure to resist saw that whole bloody D600 saga unfold, the brawl I had with Nikon to refund me the kit price when they failed to get the sensor clean and insisted that replacing the "shutter plate" was all they were obliged to do in meeting my purchase of a "new" camera. I'll be smarting over that for a while yet, because while I got the refund (less the $80 in postage it cost me for returning the camera twice, which they chose not to refund), I'm going to lose heavily on the two other zoom lenses I bought to make the outfit viable (18-35 & 70-300 to go with the kit's 24-85), as there was nothing wrong with them, they're almost unused and as I never really had the chance to fill out the registration they're being sold at 25% off with a 12 month warranty to some fortunate Nikon owner. They're useless to me as I don't have a Nikon that will run these lenses (the F4 won't talk to a G lens), and I'll never buy Nikon again, no matter what magic they might introduce in the future.


As has been noted before and I agree - I'm a vindictive bastard, to the point that I'll make my point even though it may hurt me. It's been a lifelong curse, but in the absence of the ability to physically harm those who may wrong me, I do my best to make them regret they'd ever messed with me anyway through other means.

 

Which is also why this further precis of the D600 debacle appears here yet again. :P:D .

 

Meanwhile I'm getting close to two years of Fuji X-Pro1 ownership, I'm still loving that camera, also loving what the Sigma DP Merrills are doing for me, and hell would freeze over before a new but clackity 1950's technology SLR form of digital camera ever makes it into my hands again, especially one with Nikon on the prism. My F4 can stay, though, because that's from a time when Nikon had the right idea about both the equipment they made and the relationship they had with their customers.

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I think the DSLR will still have a place for many, but it's kind of like the medium format cameras of the last century vs the 35mm cameras, except now we're down a size or two and we're not that compromised on image quality for the smaller format.

 

The only areas that the Nikon system could outperform my Olympus system was in TTL flash use and tracking moving subjects. The latter area has now been caught up and I reckon once I get a little more used to the Oly TTL flash I will be able to work with it easily enough. 

 

I still have a bunch of Nikon F mount lenses around that I will hold onto for a while, because they will always find new homes easily enough and I won't take that much of a hit on them, but the D700 body I had to let go of now because in a few months time I think it will have depreciated even more in value. Besides, if I ever really need to get another Nikon I can, easily enough. 

 

I just got back from my morning kettlebell training class and while I was doing the snatches and presses I was thinking, "Hey, my right shoulder doesn't hurt anymore." A pleasant side effect of not having carried the D700 and the big lenses anywhere since about July. 

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Same thing happened (unhappened?) to my back - with a DSLR, associated lenses and tripod all hooked up to or in the backpack, I was continuously in pain in the small of my back which went on for about 7 years, and I never could work out why.

 

When replaced with Fuji cameras, lenses in LowePro Tech vest, Gitzo CF tripod in slung bag, within a couple of months there no back pain whatsoever. A real relief after so many years of suffering. Anyone who has had chronic lower back pain will attest to the word "suffering" being apt.

Edited by Alan

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Guest Colin-M

One thing that has made me cautious about moving away from DSLRs so far has been the apparently more limited options on telephotos. I don't generally use zooms and most of the Sony & Olympus Prime teles I've seen so far have had a very high price tag against them.

 

So I was interested in Dallas's comment about getting the Olympus 75-300mm. This would be twice the reach of the Nikon 300m I currently have, but I wasn't sure about the f6.7 aperture at the long end. Can those of you who know how this will fit in with m4/3 cameras (plus stabilisation) tell me what sort of results we could expect in practice with this lens?

And can you allow for people who don't have access to the bright SA sun too! ;)

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One thing that has made me cautious about moving away from DSLRs so far has been the apparently more limited options on telephotos. I don't generally use zooms and most of the Sony & Olympus Prime teles I've seen so far have had a very high price tag against them.

So I was interested in Dallas's comment about getting the Olympus 75-300mm. This would be twice the reach of the Nikon 300m I currently have, but I wasn't sure about the f6.7 aperture at the long end. Can those of you who know how this will fit in with m4/3 cameras (plus stabilisation) tell me what sort of results we could expect in practice with this lens?

And can you allow for people who don't have access to the bright SA sun too! ;)

I still hold on to my Nikon, and the telephoto end is one of the reasons for that. Which Nikon 300mm are you talking about?

There is still nothing in the m43 system that I think could replace my Nikon 300/4.

Edited by bjornthun

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Colin, I will have my new Oly kit sometime next week, so will let you know about the performance of that lens. I have ordered it based on very good reviews from trusted sources, both online and personal.

The IBIS is amazing and from what I have heard so far from E-M1 users it has gotten even better. If you are shooting stationary objects apparently you can get down to previously unheard of slow shutter speeds and still get sharp images.

This lens will be a stop gap for me until the 40-150/2.8 comes out next year. Rumoured price for that one is said to be around the $1200 mark.

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43rumors says that the 40-150/2.8 comes in second half of 2014 and that the ultra wide pro zoom will come in 2015. They rank this rumour FT5. There has been a delay.

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Guest Colin-M

I still hold on to my Nikon, and the telephoto end is one of the reasons for that. Which Nikon 300mm are you talking about?

There is still nothing in the m43 system that I think could replace my Nikon 300/4.

Hi bjornthun, yes it's the 300mm f4 AF-S

The Sony & Olympus tele alternatives are more in the price league of the f2.8 version (and I'm sure they're very good, but would make moving from Nikon financially painful)

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Guest Colin-M

The IBIS is amazing and from what I have heard so far from E-M1 users it has gotten even better. If you are shooting stationary objects apparently you can get down to previously unheard of slow shutter speeds and still get sharp images.

.

That's good Dallas.

 

I had in-camera stabilisation a few years ago with Minolta and was very happy with it. By comparison, the only Nikon lens I have with VR is the 105mm - not really the ideal candidate (though it has helped me take some sharp concert pictures at very low shutter speeds).

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Hi bjornthun, yes it's the 300mm f4 AF-S

The Sony & Olympus tele alternatives are more in the price league of the f2.8 version (and I'm sure they're very good, but would make moving from Nikon financially painful)

It's the same one that I have. I think it would be great if Sigma introduced the 150/2.8 macro for m43, since it's good and more in the same leage as a 300/4 regarding price. A 150/2.8 would be great for carrying with you, and you get the shutter speeds of a 300/2.8 on 35mm format.

Btw. Sigma is rumored to have designed the Oly 75/1.8, so maybe... :)

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Guest TonyA

Seems to be a growing club of dslr expatriates, and I will be joining that club soon.

 

I have joined the club much earlier last year when i sold my d700 to fund the EM-5. As a hobbyist, the decision to switch gear is easy,  more so to when it involves one's shoulder. My usual travel lens with the d700 are the 24-70mm, 50/1.8, and 70-300mm VRii, thus a more lighter gear is utmost important for me. 

 

After i returned from my last year USA trip bringing along my EM-5 with Oly 12/2 & 45/1.8 and the pana 25/1.4, the camera did not disappoint me and  was very happy with my present set up, thus i sold my nikon 85/1.4 and 24-70/2.8.

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      So we now have a giant MFT camera that feels like a Nikon D5. Why didn’t they do what Panasonic has done and make a bigger sensor too? Good question. Why stick with MFT sensors if you want to attract the sports and wildlife shooters of the world? This is where the concept of MFT begins to make sense. The main advantage to be had when shooting this small format as opposed to 35mm is that MFT lenses are comparatively diminutive. For example, on my safari I packed in the Olympus 300/4.0 PRO as well as my older 50-200/2.8-3.5 SWD and a third un-gripped body with the Olympus 12-100/4.0 PRO. I also had the Pan/Leica 8-18mm lens in my bag because I wanted to make some photos of the lodge while I was there. Those items I took as a carry on in the ThinkTank Airport Advantage roller and while the bag was not exactly light once my laptop and other peripherals were in it (about 15kg total), had I wanted a similar focal range shooting a 35mm system, I would have had to pack a 600mm f/4.0, 200-400mm f/4.0 and a regular camera with professional wide angle and ultra-zoom lenses. There is no way you could take that as a carry on with 35mm, so you’d have to bring a hard case and pay for the extra baggage. You then also have the added stress of wondering if your precious gear will make it to its destination. Having been in this exact situation many times before moving across to MFT from Nikon 35mm I know exactly what the challenges of travelling with large lenses and heavy gear are.
       

      This is the gear I took on the safari in the ThinkTank Airport Advantage.
       
      Conversely travelling with MFT is easy. Even with the giant E-M1X body, the space and weight savings of the incredible Olympus PRO and Panasonic/Leica lenses is a Godsend. Also consider the additional overhead of having to bring along a support system for your big 35mm glass because I doubt you’re going to want to hand hold a 600/4.0 lens if you’re going on a photography trip where such a lens is wanted. You’ll also need to pack a monopod and probably a gimbal head too. MFT systems like Olympus don’t require any support other than your hand, even when shooting the 300mm f/4 PRO. The IBIS and lens IS combine incredibly well.
       
      Given its considerable girth, for the E-M1X to make sense as a photographic tool that is intended to win over 35mm users it also needs to have some other things going for it. It will need to have seriously fast and accurate auto-focus, plus it will need to offer decent image quality in low light. This is where things get interesting. Read on!
       
       
      Auto Focus
       
      I’m not a back-button focus photographer. I can understand the principle behind this method and I have tried it a few times, but I have been using single point AF-S for so long that trying to change that deeply ingrained behaviour is really hard for me. I’ve also never set up any of the cameras I have ever owned to work in AF-C mode with any degree of success, so I tend to stab at the shutter button rapidly to keep slow moving things in focus (it’s very rarely that I will find myself photographing fast moving subjects). This method has worked for me for quite a long time now. So when I started reading the autofocus section in the E-M1X manual (which itself is a gargantuan 680-odd pages long in just English alone!) I was staggered by the array of setup options for the AF system of the E-M1X. I simply didn’t have enough time before my safari to comprehend all the options it offers, let alone try them out in practical situations.
       
      As mentioned I always set up AF to use a single point in AF-S mode and I recompose once I see the green dot. I don’t use the grouped points, so for me learning something as sophisticated as the AF system on the E-M1X is going to require a specific set of applications, which currently I don’t have in my work. For people who shoot birds in flight, aviation, motorsport and fast action sports such as soccer, ice-hockey and the like, this is probably going to be a winner, especially since they have built in subject recognition for certain things like cars, trains and planes. Apparently these subjects will be added to in firmware as they build up better data on new ones. I can imagine that leopard detection might be a thing in the future.
       
      One feature that I didn’t try but thought was interesting is the Len Focus Range. This setup allows you to define the distances that the AF system should work in. It basically allows you to tell the camera not to focus on objects that are a certain distance away from you. For example, if you are shooting a sport like boxing or ice hockey, you could set this up to avoid focusing on the ropes and/or plexiglass between you and what you’re trying to shoot. Some lenses will have these limits built in, but with the E-M1X you can specify exactly how many metres you want to work within.
       
      Another thing I liked about the X is that you can assign the Home position for the single AF point to be in a different position when shooting in the portrait orientation. This is really handy for events when I find myself having to shift the AF point between shooting people at a podium and then switching to the audience in landscape orientation. Very nice feature.
       
      What I can tell you about the AF system as I used it, is that it’s reassuringly lightning quick and accurate for the wildlife subjects I was photographing. There’s no hunting unless you miss a contrast point, like all cameras I have ever tried. Focus is almost instantaneous, even when subjects are not so close.
       
      In summary, I don’t think that anybody coming from 35mm will be disappointed with the AF capability of the E-M1X. If anything they might be pleasantly surprised given the sheer array of options available to control how the system works.
       
       

      Wildebeest in the misty morning, no problem with auto focus here in spite of the grass
       

      Using my "repeated stabbing" AF technique I managed to get a moderately sharp image, but I reckon had I used the camera's AF-S mode here the shot would have been better. 
       
       
      Speed
       
      One of the biggest advances Olympus made with this camera is the CPU speed. This is a very fast camera in terms of how quickly it processes and reads off data from the sensor. It’s so fast that you can do sensor shift high resolution images handheld. I didn’t really try this out properly, plus Lightroom can’t read the resulting .ORI files so the handful of shots I did take with this mode active, I have to process in Olympus Workspace, which I am completely new to. Sorry! As such I can’t formulate an opinion right now on how useful it is based on such a small sample of images, but what I can say is that on stationary subjects I think it can work quite well. I’d love to try it out in studio doing product photography, but I think there might be some issues syncing it with studio strobes.
       
      Getting back to the intended sports user of this camera, there is the not-so-insignificant Pro Capture mode to consider as a lure for the photographers who want to simplify their lives and get great action every time. Basically with the mode active the camera writes continuously to the buffer while you are holding the shutter button halfway down. As soon as your critical capture moment arrives you trip the shutter and the camera will record whatever it has currently in the buffer to the card(s). This is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel really, especially if you have the patience to sit with your finger on the trigger waiting for a bird to take flight. You can’t miss the shot. Unless you’re like me and you get tired of waiting and the bird chuckles at you as you put down the camera just before it flies away.
       

      I'll settle for stationary birds
       
      On the subject of Pro Capture, this mode is set by changing the drive mode in Super Control Panel (SCP). However, the thing is you may (like me) forget to switch this back to a regular drive mode after failing to record the wretched lilac breasted roller taking off, and then at your next sighting you will end up with dozens of images of a stationary buffalo. Or worse still, you’ll be wanting to shoot a sequence of something happening, but after you accidentally trigger Pro Capture you will have to wait for the camera to write its buffer onto your card. If you have a not-so-fast card like me this could be a few seconds, followed by several more trying to remember where to switch off the Pro Capture mode. Ideally I’d love to be able to have Pro Capture activate by holding down a custom function button together with the shutter button. A Fn button on the PRO lenses would be an ideal setup for this pretty cool feature. While I had the E-M1X I couldn’t see a way of being able to assign that particular feature to any of the custom function buttons, so hopefully Olympus’ engineers will read this criticism and work out a way of doing it in future firmware upgrades. I did manage to set up a quick switch between normal and Pro Capture by using the Custom Modes, but that requires remembering to change modes between sightings. Duh.
       
      Regarding Custom Modes there are four of these that are assignable to the PASM dial, so if your memory is better than mine you can set up each custom mode for a different type of shooting simply by changing the mode. However, you’re going to have to have a Gary Kasparov like mind because the sheer number of custom settings on a camera like the E-M1X is mind-boggling. There are pages and pages and more pages of custom settings in the menus and if you’re not used to the way Olympus does menus, you’re either going to go stir crazy or require a lot of patience (and batteries) to get the better of it all. It’s not insurmountable though and experienced Olympus users will probably be able to set up their custom modes quite easily after a few weeks with the camera in the field.
       
      One thing I really liked about the X is that there is a Custom Menu area where you can save up to 5 pages of menu items that you regularly need to access. Storing an item in there is as simple as pressing the Record video button while the item is selected in the menu. That’s a very big plus for me and goes a long way towards personalising the Olympus menu system.
       
       
      Stabilisation
       
      The IBIS and lens IS combine in the E-M1X to create an extraordinary amount of stabilisation. I was using the 300/4.0 PRO on this body almost exclusively for the duration of our 7 days in Sabi Sabi and occasionally I would shoot birds sitting on nearby branches. When I do my focus and recompose technique the subject does what I can only describe as a “moonwalk” glide from one part of the frame to the other. There is absolutely no camera shake at all handheld, which when you consider that you are using a 4.1˚ angle of view is bonkers! Olympus claim a 6 stop advantage in handheld photography and I have no doubt that this is true. Given my sloppy technique this is yet another Godsend to make my images look much better than they should.
       

       

      Stabilisation with long lenses is incredible.
       
       
      Battery
       
      Battery life was pretty decent. The camera comes with two batteries and typically I only exhausted about 50% of the one each day. Granted I don’t shoot as much as everybody else. On this safari I took a total of 1726 images with the E-M1X, averaging 288 per day. So, assuming I were to exhaust both batteries in a day I would be able to shoot over 1000 frames before having to recharge them.
       
      However, it is also possible to charge the camera via USB-C, so if you did get trigger happy enough to shoot that many in a day on safari, you could recharge from a  power bank between sightings. Or just buy more batteries.
       

       
       
      Low Light
       
      Right, this is where the rubber hits the road as far as getting 35mm power-users interested in switching to MFT. I’ll say it at the outset, I was disappointed in the low light performance of the E-M1X sensor.
       
      For starters, it doesn’t seem possible to be able to set Auto-ISO to go above 6400 on the X. None of the expanded ranges are available when using the auto mode while shooting RAW, which I think is just silly. This is how I shoot these days. I always use Auto-ISO. On the original E-M1 I sometimes let this go as high as 12800 and while the images may appear grainy they have a certain film-like charm to them. You can’t do that on the X. You have to set ISO 12800 or above manually.
       
      As far as graininess goes, 6400 on the E-M1X is very grainy and there is also a major loss of colour fidelity. To be honest I was expecting much better performance from the sensor at high ISO, so for me this is a deal breaker. Since the camera is intended to compete against the likes of the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS 1D series (where higher ISO is a forte), it sadly falls well short in this area.
       
      Having said that, I think that if you buy this camera and invest some time in learning how to deal with the grain and colour issues in post production you could probably get some very good results.
       

      Shot at ISO 6400, you can see the grain in the background, plus there has been a general loss of colour saturation.
       

      But then in good light you'll get rewarded.
       

      Gorgeous colours from the Olympus. No adjustments in post.
       
       
      Cool Things I Liked
       
      The sound of the mechanical shutter is really soft. It’s a lot quieter than my old E-M1 and if you are in the business of shooting in quiet places (churches, meetings, etc) you may not even have to switch to electronic shutter and risk the rolling effects thereof. It’s nice and quiet.
       
      I really appreciated the built in GPS and weather sensor on the E-M1X. This camera will tell you what the barometric pressure, altitude and ambient temperature was on every shot you take. I wish Lightroom would pick up those EXIF fields, alas you have to use the Olympus Workspace software to read them.
       
       
      A Couple Of Nit Picks
       
      There are a couple of things that I didn’t like, most notably there is no loop for a grip strap in the base of the camera so you would have to put a plate onto there to accommodate one (I used the Peak Design Clutch with its little plate). That seems like a daft omission to me because the moment you have to put a plate on the grip you lose the comfort of shooting with it in portrait mode.
       
      I was also a bit disappointed with the EVF. The refresh rate and colour was all good, but it just seemed to lack a bit of bite. The EVF on my old original E-M1 seems sharper to my eyes, which is a little weird. I did try adjusting the diopter a few times, but it didn’t seem to improve things. It could have been a contrast setting in the menus that I missed?
       
      The one thing I really don’t like (and I have expressed my dislike of this before) is the flip out LCD screen. This is something video producers want, but as a stills photographer I truly don’t want this as it’s a very weak point of the camera just waiting to snap off in the right circumstances. I much prefer the tilting screen of the original OM-D’s. Olympus should make it an option for this kind of premium camera: which type of LCD screen would you prefer, Mr. Customer?
       
       
      Conclusion
       
      I wish that I could have kept the camera for just a little bit longer as there are many other areas I would have liked to explore its performance in, especially my daily bread and butter work of property and product photography. Alas, they are in short supply around here so it had to go back post haste.
       
      My overall impression is that it is quite an impressive machine. It offers the photographer a lot of very cool features, excellent customisability and ergonomics. It is a specialist camera, however, and as such I think that the intended market for it is going to be a hard nut for Olympus to crack, especially given its lack of high ISO performance, which is something the sports photographers demand.
       
      If you’re a day shooter or you shoot action in well lit arenas then the advances this machine brings in terms of auto-focus and customisability, plus the sheer plethora of outstanding MFT lenses available for the system makes it a very attractive option, especially for those who travel a lot for photography. You get the ruggedness, heft and weather proofing of a pro body and the lightness and compactness of much smaller lenses.
       
      For me personally I would love one, after all I got more keepers on this most recent safari than in all the 10 years of safaris preceding it, but… there is the matter of that eye-watering $3000 price tag to consider. With the recent firmware upgrade to the E-M1 Mk II now bringing its feature set closer to that of the X, it is going to be much harder for Olympus to pitch this camera at the wider market and existing MFT users with that price tag. If it were closer to $2000 I might be a lot more interested in buying one.
       
      My final advice? If you want the very best camera that MFT can currently offer you for stability, video features, ruggedness, crazy feature set and customisability, get the E-M1X. If you are expecting par performance with a 35mm pro camera for low light, rather save $1500, wait for the sensor technology to improve and get the E-M1 Mk II for now.

      View full article
    • By Dallas
      Olympus South Africa very kindly loaned me an E-M1X for my recent Photo Safari to Sabi Sabi and while I only had a few days before leaving on the trip to become accustomed to the camera, I did manage to produce some great images (by my standards) while using it in conjunction with the Olympus 300mm f/4.0 PRO.
       
      The first thing that struck me about this camera when taking it out of the box is the sheer size of it. It is huge. If you’ve been using Micro Four Thirds bodies to get away from the bulk of traditional DSLR’s then you will not want this camera. I was quite shocked at its size initially, especially when compared to my gripped E-M1 (original) which I have been shooting since 2014. The Nikon D5 is only 15mm bigger in terms of depth, height and width all around, so for a small sensor camera to be so close in size to a flagship 35mm camera begs some serious questioning of the makers.
       

      Side-by-side view of the E-M1X and the original E-M1 with its grip
       
      So why did Olympus make this camera so big? When you begin handling it the answer falls into place. It’s designed for sports and action photographers who are used to the speed and heft of cameras like the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS 1D series. That’s the user market Olympus are targeting with this machine. It feels substantial in the hands and the ergonomics are such that if you’re used to a bigger camera, moving across to the E-M1X will be much easier for you to adapt to, especially since the Olympus is so highly customisable that you could easily set it up to pretty much emulate the ergonomics of your big DSLR. Well, maybe not the Canons which often require simultaneous button presses to activate certain things, but most certainly it would be easy for a Nikon shooter to make the change.
       

      Not much in it, dimension wise, is there? 
       
      So we now have a giant MFT camera that feels like a Nikon D5. Why didn’t they do what Panasonic has done and make a bigger sensor too? Good question. Why stick with MFT sensors if you want to attract the sports and wildlife shooters of the world? This is where the concept of MFT begins to make sense. The main advantage to be had when shooting this small format as opposed to 35mm is that MFT lenses are comparatively diminutive. For example, on my safari I packed in the Olympus 300/4.0 PRO as well as my older 50-200/2.8-3.5 SWD and a third un-gripped body with the Olympus 12-100/4.0 PRO. I also had the Pan/Leica 8-18mm lens in my bag because I wanted to make some photos of the lodge while I was there. Those items I took as a carry on in the ThinkTank Airport Advantage roller and while the bag was not exactly light once my laptop and other peripherals were in it (about 15kg total), had I wanted a similar focal range shooting a 35mm system, I would have had to pack a 600mm f/4.0, 200-400mm f/4.0 and a regular camera with professional wide angle and ultra-zoom lenses. There is no way you could take that as a carry on with 35mm, so you’d have to bring a hard case and pay for the extra baggage. You then also have the added stress of wondering if your precious gear will make it to its destination. Having been in this exact situation many times before moving across to MFT from Nikon 35mm I know exactly what the challenges of travelling with large lenses and heavy gear are.
       

      This is the gear I took on the safari in the ThinkTank Airport Advantage.
       
      Conversely travelling with MFT is easy. Even with the giant E-M1X body, the space and weight savings of the incredible Olympus PRO and Panasonic/Leica lenses is a Godsend. Also consider the additional overhead of having to bring along a support system for your big 35mm glass because I doubt you’re going to want to hand hold a 600/4.0 lens if you’re going on a photography trip where such a lens is wanted. You’ll also need to pack a monopod and probably a gimbal head too. MFT systems like Olympus don’t require any support other than your hand, even when shooting the 300mm f/4 PRO. The IBIS and lens IS combine incredibly well.
       
      Given its considerable girth, for the E-M1X to make sense as a photographic tool that is intended to win over 35mm users it also needs to have some other things going for it. It will need to have seriously fast and accurate auto-focus, plus it will need to offer decent image quality in low light. This is where things get interesting. Read on!
       
       
      Auto Focus
       
      I’m not a back-button focus photographer. I can understand the principle behind this method and I have tried it a few times, but I have been using single point AF-S for so long that trying to change that deeply ingrained behaviour is really hard for me. I’ve also never set up any of the cameras I have ever owned to work in AF-C mode with any degree of success, so I tend to stab at the shutter button rapidly to keep slow moving things in focus (it’s very rarely that I will find myself photographing fast moving subjects). This method has worked for me for quite a long time now. So when I started reading the autofocus section in the E-M1X manual (which itself is a gargantuan 680-odd pages long in just English alone!) I was staggered by the array of setup options for the AF system of the E-M1X. I simply didn’t have enough time before my safari to comprehend all the options it offers, let alone try them out in practical situations.
       
      As mentioned I always set up AF to use a single point in AF-S mode and I recompose once I see the green dot. I don’t use the grouped points, so for me learning something as sophisticated as the AF system on the E-M1X is going to require a specific set of applications, which currently I don’t have in my work. For people who shoot birds in flight, aviation, motorsport and fast action sports such as soccer, ice-hockey and the like, this is probably going to be a winner, especially since they have built in subject recognition for certain things like cars, trains and planes. Apparently these subjects will be added to in firmware as they build up better data on new ones. I can imagine that leopard detection might be a thing in the future.
       
      One feature that I didn’t try but thought was interesting is the Len Focus Range. This setup allows you to define the distances that the AF system should work in. It basically allows you to tell the camera not to focus on objects that are a certain distance away from you. For example, if you are shooting a sport like boxing or ice hockey, you could set this up to avoid focusing on the ropes and/or plexiglass between you and what you’re trying to shoot. Some lenses will have these limits built in, but with the E-M1X you can specify exactly how many metres you want to work within.
       
      Another thing I liked about the X is that you can assign the Home position for the single AF point to be in a different position when shooting in the portrait orientation. This is really handy for events when I find myself having to shift the AF point between shooting people at a podium and then switching to the audience in landscape orientation. Very nice feature.
       
      What I can tell you about the AF system as I used it, is that it’s reassuringly lightning quick and accurate for the wildlife subjects I was photographing. There’s no hunting unless you miss a contrast point, like all cameras I have ever tried. Focus is almost instantaneous, even when subjects are not so close.
       
      In summary, I don’t think that anybody coming from 35mm will be disappointed with the AF capability of the E-M1X. If anything they might be pleasantly surprised given the sheer array of options available to control how the system works.
       
       

      Wildebeest in the misty morning, no problem with auto focus here in spite of the grass
       

      Using my "repeated stabbing" AF technique I managed to get a moderately sharp image, but I reckon had I used the camera's AF-S mode here the shot would have been better. 
       
       
      Speed
       
      One of the biggest advances Olympus made with this camera is the CPU speed. This is a very fast camera in terms of how quickly it processes and reads off data from the sensor. It’s so fast that you can do sensor shift high resolution images handheld. I didn’t really try this out properly, plus Lightroom can’t read the resulting .ORI files so the handful of shots I did take with this mode active, I have to process in Olympus Workspace, which I am completely new to. Sorry! As such I can’t formulate an opinion right now on how useful it is based on such a small sample of images, but what I can say is that on stationary subjects I think it can work quite well. I’d love to try it out in studio doing product photography, but I think there might be some issues syncing it with studio strobes.
       
      Getting back to the intended sports user of this camera, there is the not-so-insignificant Pro Capture mode to consider as a lure for the photographers who want to simplify their lives and get great action every time. Basically with the mode active the camera writes continuously to the buffer while you are holding the shutter button halfway down. As soon as your critical capture moment arrives you trip the shutter and the camera will record whatever it has currently in the buffer to the card(s). This is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel really, especially if you have the patience to sit with your finger on the trigger waiting for a bird to take flight. You can’t miss the shot. Unless you’re like me and you get tired of waiting and the bird chuckles at you as you put down the camera just before it flies away.
       

      I'll settle for stationary birds
       
      On the subject of Pro Capture, this mode is set by changing the drive mode in Super Control Panel (SCP). However, the thing is you may (like me) forget to switch this back to a regular drive mode after failing to record the wretched lilac breasted roller taking off, and then at your next sighting you will end up with dozens of images of a stationary buffalo. Or worse still, you’ll be wanting to shoot a sequence of something happening, but after you accidentally trigger Pro Capture you will have to wait for the camera to write its buffer onto your card. If you have a not-so-fast card like me this could be a few seconds, followed by several more trying to remember where to switch off the Pro Capture mode. Ideally I’d love to be able to have Pro Capture activate by holding down a custom function button together with the shutter button. A Fn button on the PRO lenses would be an ideal setup for this pretty cool feature. While I had the E-M1X I couldn’t see a way of being able to assign that particular feature to any of the custom function buttons, so hopefully Olympus’ engineers will read this criticism and work out a way of doing it in future firmware upgrades. I did manage to set up a quick switch between normal and Pro Capture by using the Custom Modes, but that requires remembering to change modes between sightings. Duh.
       
      Regarding Custom Modes there are four of these that are assignable to the PASM dial, so if your memory is better than mine you can set up each custom mode for a different type of shooting simply by changing the mode. However, you’re going to have to have a Gary Kasparov like mind because the sheer number of custom settings on a camera like the E-M1X is mind-boggling. There are pages and pages and more pages of custom settings in the menus and if you’re not used to the way Olympus does menus, you’re either going to go stir crazy or require a lot of patience (and batteries) to get the better of it all. It’s not insurmountable though and experienced Olympus users will probably be able to set up their custom modes quite easily after a few weeks with the camera in the field.
       
      One thing I really liked about the X is that there is a Custom Menu area where you can save up to 5 pages of menu items that you regularly need to access. Storing an item in there is as simple as pressing the Record video button while the item is selected in the menu. That’s a very big plus for me and goes a long way towards personalising the Olympus menu system.
       
       
      Stabilisation
       
      The IBIS and lens IS combine in the E-M1X to create an extraordinary amount of stabilisation. I was using the 300/4.0 PRO on this body almost exclusively for the duration of our 7 days in Sabi Sabi and occasionally I would shoot birds sitting on nearby branches. When I do my focus and recompose technique the subject does what I can only describe as a “moonwalk” glide from one part of the frame to the other. There is absolutely no camera shake at all handheld, which when you consider that you are using a 4.1˚ angle of view is bonkers! Olympus claim a 6 stop advantage in handheld photography and I have no doubt that this is true. Given my sloppy technique this is yet another Godsend to make my images look much better than they should.
       

       

      Stabilisation with long lenses is incredible.
       
       
      Battery
       
      Battery life was pretty decent. The camera comes with two batteries and typically I only exhausted about 50% of the one each day. Granted I don’t shoot as much as everybody else. On this safari I took a total of 1726 images with the E-M1X, averaging 288 per day. So, assuming I were to exhaust both batteries in a day I would be able to shoot over 1000 frames before having to recharge them.
       
      However, it is also possible to charge the camera via USB-C, so if you did get trigger happy enough to shoot that many in a day on safari, you could recharge from a  power bank between sightings. Or just buy more batteries.
       

       
       
      Low Light
       
      Right, this is where the rubber hits the road as far as getting 35mm power-users interested in switching to MFT. I’ll say it at the outset, I was disappointed in the low light performance of the E-M1X sensor.
       
      For starters, it doesn’t seem possible to be able to set Auto-ISO to go above 6400 on the X. None of the expanded ranges are available when using the auto mode while shooting RAW, which I think is just silly. This is how I shoot these days. I always use Auto-ISO. On the original E-M1 I sometimes let this go as high as 12800 and while the images may appear grainy they have a certain film-like charm to them. You can’t do that on the X. You have to set ISO 12800 or above manually.
       
      As far as graininess goes, 6400 on the E-M1X is very grainy and there is also a major loss of colour fidelity. To be honest I was expecting much better performance from the sensor at high ISO, so for me this is a deal breaker. Since the camera is intended to compete against the likes of the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS 1D series (where higher ISO is a forte), it sadly falls well short in this area.
       
      Having said that, I think that if you buy this camera and invest some time in learning how to deal with the grain and colour issues in post production you could probably get some very good results.
       

      Shot at ISO 6400, you can see the grain in the background, plus there has been a general loss of colour saturation.
       

      But then in good light you'll get rewarded.
       

      Gorgeous colours from the Olympus. No adjustments in post.
       
       
      Cool Things I Liked
       
      The sound of the mechanical shutter is really soft. It’s a lot quieter than my old E-M1 and if you are in the business of shooting in quiet places (churches, meetings, etc) you may not even have to switch to electronic shutter and risk the rolling effects thereof. It’s nice and quiet.
       
      I really appreciated the built in GPS and weather sensor on the E-M1X. This camera will tell you what the barometric pressure, altitude and ambient temperature was on every shot you take. I wish Lightroom would pick up those EXIF fields, alas you have to use the Olympus Workspace software to read them.
       
       
      A Couple Of Nit Picks
       
      There are a couple of things that I didn’t like, most notably there is no loop for a grip strap in the base of the camera so you would have to put a plate onto there to accommodate one (I used the Peak Design Clutch with its little plate). That seems like a daft omission to me because the moment you have to put a plate on the grip you lose the comfort of shooting with it in portrait mode.
       
      I was also a bit disappointed with the EVF. The refresh rate and colour was all good, but it just seemed to lack a bit of bite. The EVF on my old original E-M1 seems sharper to my eyes, which is a little weird. I did try adjusting the diopter a few times, but it didn’t seem to improve things. It could have been a contrast setting in the menus that I missed?
       
      The one thing I really don’t like (and I have expressed my dislike of this before) is the flip out LCD screen. This is something video producers want, but as a stills photographer I truly don’t want this as it’s a very weak point of the camera just waiting to snap off in the right circumstances. I much prefer the tilting screen of the original OM-D’s. Olympus should make it an option for this kind of premium camera: which type of LCD screen would you prefer, Mr. Customer?
       
       
      Conclusion
       
      I wish that I could have kept the camera for just a little bit longer as there are many other areas I would have liked to explore its performance in, especially my daily bread and butter work of property and product photography. Alas, they are in short supply around here so it had to go back post haste.
       
      My overall impression is that it is quite an impressive machine. It offers the photographer a lot of very cool features, excellent customisability and ergonomics. It is a specialist camera, however, and as such I think that the intended market for it is going to be a hard nut for Olympus to crack, especially given its lack of high ISO performance, which is something the sports photographers demand.
       
      If you’re a day shooter or you shoot action in well lit arenas then the advances this machine brings in terms of auto-focus and customisability, plus the sheer plethora of outstanding MFT lenses available for the system makes it a very attractive option, especially for those who travel a lot for photography. You get the ruggedness, heft and weather proofing of a pro body and the lightness and compactness of much smaller lenses.
       
      For me personally I would love one, after all I got more keepers on this most recent safari than in all the 10 years of safaris preceding it, but… there is the matter of that eye-watering $3000 price tag to consider. With the recent firmware upgrade to the E-M1 Mk II now bringing its feature set closer to that of the X, it is going to be much harder for Olympus to pitch this camera at the wider market and existing MFT users with that price tag. If it were closer to $2000 I might be a lot more interested in buying one.
       
      My final advice? If you want the very best camera that MFT can currently offer you for stability, video features, ruggedness, crazy feature set and customisability, get the E-M1X. If you are expecting par performance with a 35mm pro camera for low light, rather save $1500, wait for the sensor technology to improve and get the E-M1 Mk II for now.
    • By Dallas
      We have not reviewed this lens yet. If you have tried it, please enter your comments below.
    • By Dallas
      We have not reviewed this lens yet. If you have tried it, please enter your comments below. 
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