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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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Posted (edited)

Comparing beasts

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

 

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

 

Edited by crowecg

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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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Posted (edited)

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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Posted (edited)

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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      Gorgeous colours from the Olympus. No adjustments in post.
       
       
      Cool Things I Liked
       
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      Conclusion
       
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      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 not-so-insignificant $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
      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 not-so-insignificant 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 not-so-insignificant $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.

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