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An Olympus Beast Has Come

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Olympus South Africa has very kindly loaned me a new Olympus E-M1X for my safari starting next Monday, along with a 300mm f/4.0 PRO. I have to say ... this camera is way bigger than I thought it would be. It hearkens me back to my days of running around with a Nikon D2H. This is it next to my original E-M1. You can't really tell the depth of the grip from this image, but rest assured, it's considerably deeper than my camera. 

 

I will be writing a field diary during the course of the safari and posting it here on Fotozones, so if you are thinking of getting an E-M1X I will impart all my feelings and impressions on the machine as I use it on safari. :) 

 

3C582911-BEEC-484D-9798-E1146881358C.JPG

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A beast indeed - it is bloody humungous!

 

I can appreciate that there are important niches in all market places and the existence of the need for specialised products to address such niches, so it is interesting that Olympus have seen fit to produce such a product.  What will be more interesting will be to see if Olympus gains a following for this new camera.  Time will tell. 

 

Good luck Dallas with your impending safari trip.

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Thanks Hugh. I am beyond excited right now. I have half the gear packed, shooting a couple of properties today and tomorrow and then completing the personal packing before leaving on Saturday to meet up with my guests. 

 

As I just posted in the MFT board, Olympus have just announced a new firmware for the E-M1 Mk II that brings some of the X features to a smaller body. I suspect that a Mk III might be in the works soon as it's been 3 years since the Mk II came out. 

 

The X is a very specialist camera and I think it might struggle to gain traction in the market given that it is such a big body for a small sensor. However, it does offer many things that larger cameras don't offer, particularly this hand-held high res mode and some very advanced AF tracking for action shooters. Where it may win friends is that while the body is big, the MFT lenses are still comparatively small and really good, so for sports and wildlife shooters who travel a lot it becomes a feasible option.

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Good luck with that camera, Dallas, and enjoy the safari, although my first thought as a longtime Olympus fan was - "WTF, Olympus?"

 

As happens I have a bunch of cameras on my table at the moment:

 

N2kTdCb.jpg

 

A Minolta SR-T 101 with 58/1.4 lens was my first serious 35mm camera, identical to the one in the middle.

 

My second camera 8 years later was a jewel of design and compactness, a much loved Olympus OM-1, exactly like the one at front right. Olympus won me first with the size of the camera, as well as the size of the lenses. Everything was small and light, but performed easily as well as the Minolta.

 

My last digital purchase was a Fuji X-T2, almost identical in size to the X-T1 pictured at front left. Take away the L bracket and that camera is roughly the size of the 35mm Minolta camera, but a lot lighter - with battery but without lens it weighs 505gm. It got me away from the stupidly big and heavy Nikon D* bodies such as the hulk at back left, weighing a full two thirds less.

 

For comparison purposes in the photo, my first medium format film camera bought in this digital era was the Kiev-60 pictured in the middle rear. Built like a Russian tank it reminded me of the D* Nikons in size and weight - it weighs 1250gm without lens. I have migrated since to the physically smaller and somewhat lighter Pentacon Six cameras,  and which deliver superb medium format picture quality as can be expected. A Pentacon body without lens weighs almost exactly the same as the Minolta SR-T 101 with 58/1.4 lens - both are around 1030gm. The OM-1 weighs 730gm with 50/1.4 lens. The Nikon D3 without lens but with battery is just under 1500gm. You can see where I'm going with this.

 

The published weight of the m4/3 Olympus E-M1X body with batteries and without a lens is 997gm. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's as near as damnit equal to the weight of a medium format Pentacon Six film camera body, about a quarter more than an OM-1 with battery and a standard 50/1.4 lens attached, and just a third less than a house-brick Nikon D3 instrument of torture with battery and no lens.

 

I repeat  WTF, Olympus? 🙄 

"Beast" seems an apt description, Dallas.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, crowecg said:

Comparing beasts

https://camerasize.com/compare/#812,824

 

 sorry early link misbehaving- obviously not something to try from the phone.

 

 

I just thought the comparison with actual film cameras which have been the object of so much derision for their size and weight over the past couple of decades was interesting, what with the actual machines at hand to weigh on the same set of scales, and not some advertising company's imaginative ones. :D :D 

 

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This is the link to the Nikon D5 Olympus E-M1X comparison. There's not a hell of a lot in it, is there? 

 

I think that the reason for the size must have to do with ergonomics required of action photographers who are now used to wielding the monster bodies. Apparently they like them like that, so Olympus are making a play for that market. Whether or not they succeed will depend on the results, I guess. 

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2 hours ago, crowecg said:

Comparing beasts

https://camerasize.com/compare/#812,824

 

 sorry early link misbehaving- obviously not something to try from the phone.

 

 

I just thought the comparison with actual film cameras which have been the object of so much derision for their size and weight over the past couple of decades was interesting, what with the actual machines at hand to weigh on the same set of scales, and not some advertising company's imaginative ones. :D :D 

 

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1 hour ago, Dallas said:

This is the link to the Nikon D5 Olympus E-M1X comparison. There's not a hell of a lot in it, is there? 

 

I think that the reason for the size must have to do with ergonomics required of action photographers who are now used to wielding the monster bodies. Apparently they like them like that, so Olympus are making a play for that market. Whether or not they succeed will depend on the results, I guess. 


Whatever the reason, it's a complete shift from the traditional Olympus philosophy on photographic gear.

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I cannot see myself lining up to get an E-M1X anytime soon!  LOL

 

 

Edited by Hugh_3170
spelling, Argh!

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3 hours ago, Alan7140 said:

 

I just thought the comparison with actual film cameras which have been the object of so much derision for their size and weight over the past couple of decades was interesting, what with the actual machines at hand to weigh on the same set of scales, and not some advertising company's imaginative ones. :D :D 

 

I think your film cameras win the size battle quite easily.  I will have to have a bit of a dig in the back of the cupboard and find the old F70 SLR for a comparison with my digital options.  

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16 hours ago, crowecg said:

I think your film cameras win the size battle quite easily.  I will have to have a bit of a dig in the back of the cupboard and find the old F70 SLR for a comparison with my digital options.  


The D3 was only here temporarily, but it was the first time I had seen and hefted a D* Nikon since acquiring the medium format Soviet & DDR cameras, and I was genuinely taken aback at just how awkward and heavy the D camera was, not to mention how much more complicated, with all those buttons, screens and plethora of menu options obfuscating the reason for the thing's existence, namely taking photographs. I think we maybe forgot too quickly and easily how simple the actual taking of photos used to be without Nanny Digital taking control.

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I don't know about the new Nikon and Canon mirrorless cameras, but in terms of complexity, I have never encountered anything as complex as the E-M1X. It must be the most complex camera ever made. The downloadable PDF manual is 683 pages long! The amount of customisation available is mind boggling, especially around the autofocus system. I will get into it in more detail when I begin my field testing, but yes, I do agree that simplicity is a virtue in photography. However, I suppose one only has to venture into the land of Dpreview's "community" for a short while to discover that complexity is the new black and is to be lauded as such. 

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Sadly the simplicity of the Nikkormats,  OM1s, Spotmatics, FTbs, SRT101s etc  etc seem to be long since gone.

 

 

 

Edited by Hugh_3170

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2 hours ago, Hugh_3170 said:

Sadly the simplicity of the Nikkormats,  OM1s, Spotmatics, FTbs, SRT101s etc  etc seem to be long since gone.

 

 

 

Leica rules OK ... at a price!!

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Still trying.

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Leica indeed does rule ok. My Leica Q is a joy to shoot with and produces what I consider to be good images. The manual focus, in particular, is wonderful.

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Sadly, the Leicas were out of my price bracket way back then.  But no denying their simplicity and finesse.

 

I have kept my Nikkormats and last year bought a near mint FT3 complete with a mint 50mm f/1.4 lens for an extremely low price. :)

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7 hours ago, Hugh_3170 said:

Sadly, the Leicas were out of my price bracket way back then.  But no denying their simplicity and finesse.

 

I have kept my Nikkormats and last year bought a near mint FT3 complete with a mint 50mm f/1.4 lens for an extremely low price. :)

I was hoping to buy a Nikkormat in the mid 70s but sadly I couldn't afford it. The alternative, which I bought, the Pentax Spotmatic F was £10 cheaper! (That was 10% cheaper). I still have the Spotmatic F but it is sadly in need of repair. It will cost about £200 to put right but I'm sorely tempted as it was always a joy to use.


Still trying.

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The Spotmatic F was considered a very desirable camera back then.  £200 today is probably the equivalent of £20 back then, so the repair cost may not be too out of line.  Good luck - it is nice to see these oldies working..

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I can vouch that the D3 and F5 are pretty much the same size as I can't bear to part with them .. the D850 UG is a mere 404 pages (15 MB pdf), but then there's the Movie Guide and 2 Tech Guides, 1 general & 1 Movies ! In total, 37 MB !

 

cheers, Maurice


"Wild things are always faster"

from 'Two Dogs' by Philip Hodgins

Wild-Things@btconnect.com

www.Wild-Things-Photography.com

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Mmmm... Nikon F5 was my first professional camera. I swapped a Bronica ETRS system that I had no idea how to use for it. 

 

My favorite pro 35mm body on the Nikon side was probably the F2 Photomic and then the F4s. The F4s was I believe the most lens compatible body Nikon ever made. You could mount just about any Nikon lens onto it and get it to meter. 

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The Nikon Df has a high degree of backwards lens compatibility.  It has a D4 sensor tweaked for low ISO performance.

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Not really familiar with the cameras that came after my last Nikon (D700), but the F4 had a hinged AI tab so you could mount non-AI lenses onto it and they would work. I know that some Nikon F mounts would run into physical problems with non-AI lenses because they wouldn't sit flush with the mount. 

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Yes, the Ai tab is the key issue  - the Nikon Df has a hinged Ai tab as does the D4 (and many of the early Ai compatible manual film cameras - even my Nikkormat FT3).

 

In addition, the Nikon Df's "Non-CPU lens Data" menu allows one to specify whether the lens is Ai or Non-Ai; if the latter, one has to flip up the tab and set the desired aperture on the lens.

 

If Nikon were really serious with backward lens compatibility with their older F-Mount lenses, then all of their DSLR cameras would be set up  in this way  - just like the  Df.

 

 

13 hours ago, Dallas said:

Not really familiar with the cameras that came after my last Nikon (D700), but the F4 had a hinged AI tab so you could mount non-AI lenses onto it and they would work. I know that some Nikon F mounts would run into physical problems with non-AI lenses because they wouldn't sit flush with the mount. 

 

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