Olympus OM-D E-M1X Review

January 24, 2019 | Mark Goldstein |
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The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is a new professional mirrorless camera offering enhanced reliability and performance.

The most compact and lightweight camera system in its class, the EM1X features a 20.4 megapixel Live MOS sensor, Cinema 4K movie recording, 18fps burst shooting with AF/AE tracking, the world’s best image stabilization, a re-developed and fast autofocus system, an integrated vertical grip, and two TruePic VIII image processors allowing for high-speed responsiveness and handheld High Res Shots.

The Olympus E-M1X will be available from late February, body only, priced at £2799.99 / 2999 EUR.

In addition, Olympus are introducing the FL-700WR high-performance electronic flash and the Wireless Commander FC-WR andWireless Receiver FR-WR accessories.

Finally, Olympus have announced the development of the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO super telephoto zoom lens and the M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20. Combining both products will make handheld super telephoto shooting possible at 2000mm (35mm equivalent). Both products are scheduled to go on sale in 2020.

Olympus Europe Press release

Olympus expands their line-up for professional photographers with a new OM-D camera and further telephoto lenses

New OM-D E-M1X takes professional user needs in focus with enhanced reliability and performance

Hamburg, 24. January 2019 – Olympus today introduces their new OM-D E-M1X camera: designed for the needs of professional users in terms of reliability, speed, precision and image quality, the E-M1X still remains true to Olympus’ promise to offer the most compact and lightweight camera system in its class.

Olympus’ newest addition to the professional OM-D line-up underlines the potential of the Micro Four Thirds sensor format and is packed with the latest imaging technologies in a robust casing with integrated vertical grip developed for maximum reliability and operability under all conditions. Featuring the world’s best image stabilization (IS) performance1, a re-developed and fast autofocus (AF) system, as well as two TruePic VIII image processors allowing for high-speed responsiveness and handheld High Res Shots, this powerhouse camera offers a compelling mix of impressive features and portability. In combination with Olympus’ high-resolution M.Zuiko lens line-up, it achieves high-end image quality and shows its true abilities especially in fields where portability, speed and reliability are absolutely essential – such as wildlife, documentary and sports photography.

Two years after laying down a marker in the professional camera category with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, new M.Zuiko PRO lenses and the launch of the Olympus PRO service, the new E-M1X will now be added to Olympus’ offering for professional users.

With its integrated vertical grip, the world’s best dust-, splash- and freezeproof body2 and numerous new features demanded by professional photographers, the E-M1X offers unprecedented control, ergonomics and stability while delivering professional results under all weather conditions. With a new gyro sensor, Olympus has taken their acclaimed 5-axis sync IS to a new level offering up to 7.5 shutter speed steps of compensation1. The OM-D AF system has been completely redeveloped, offering additional focal points and a new intelligent subject detection function to automatically track certain subjects. The high-speed shooting capabilities have been enhanced and anti-flicker shooting has been added. Further improvements i.a. include a handheld High Res Shot, a live ND filter functionality as well as a customizable menu, USB powering & charging capabilities and two UHS II SD card slots. In combination with high-quality M.Zuiko lenses, a new wireless flash and the image management software “Olympus Workspace”, the E-M1X is the perfect tool to capture professional results and work with them.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X - A new benchmark in durability, reliability and operability

With an integrated vertical grip, the E-M1X delivers that extra in secure holding and reliability many professionals were looking for. As the design is the same on both the vertical and horizontal grip, users enjoy the same intuitive hand movements in portrait and landscape format shooting.

The layout, shape, and height of all buttons and levers were completely redesigned to deliver controls enabling users to concentrate on shooting with the viewfinder – which features a new optical design with the industry’s top class magnification of 0.83x (35mm equivalent). A multi selector joystick is included in both the horizontal and vertical positions so that users can quickly shift focus areas. In addition to the standard lock lever, a new C-lock lever allows for locking the controls in the vertical position and locking selected controls only.

Thanks to renowned OM-D weather sealing – which has been taken to a new level in the E-M1X and makes it the world’s best – the camera has cleared Olympus’ in-house splashproof tests2 that are more rigorous than IPX1, allowing users to shoot in the most severe weather conditions. Dust-, splash-, and freezeproof2 performance is maintained even when connecting a remote cable, microphone, or headphones.

The sensor dust reduction system now features an improved Super Sonic Wave Filter (SSWF) with special coating which vibrates 30,000 times per second further reducing the possibility of dust or dirt ruining photos and equipment by factor 10. Further features enhancing the camera’s durability and reliability include a construction that dissipates heat when shooting movies and during sequential shooting and a top-class shutter operation life of 400,000 times.

Due to a cartridge insertion system for two BLH-1 batteries (also used for the E-M1 Mark II) in the E-M1X, users can capture up to 2,580 images before having to recharge. Featuring USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) from up to 100 W power sources, both batteries in the camera body can be fully charged in approximately two hours.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X - Re-developed autofocus system for optimal comfort, speed and precision

The OM-D AF system has been completely re-developed for the E-M1X: building on the 121-point all-cross-type on-chip Phase Detection AF sensor from the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, the AF algorithm has been re-worked and was dramatically improved. The E-M1X furthermore utilizes AF information from recorded images to enable quick tracking of unpredictable subject movements and changes in subject speed.

Various additional AF settings are available on the OM-D E-M1X, including different AF target modes (now supporting groups with 25 focus points) and custom AF area position settings when holding the camera vertically or horizontally. Focus points may quickly be shifted with the new multi selector (joystick).

A new intelligent subject detection feature allows the AF system to automatically detect specific subjects (motorsports, airplanes, trains), focusing and tracking the optimal area, so that users can fully concentrate on the composition.

With an AF low intensity limit of down to -6 EV steps4, the E-M1X also takes the worry out of shooting in low light.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X - High speed performance and excellent image quality

Speed and image quality of the new E-M1X are fueled by a 20.4 MP Live MOS sensor with a new coating in order to deliver improved sensitivity as well as two TruPicVIII high-speed image processors improving fundamental performance factors such as start-up time and recovery time from sleep mode. The dual processor design not only contributes to a faster camera, but also allows the support of two high-speed UHS-II SD card slots and enables the latest shooting functions such as Handheld High Res Shot, Live ND, and Intelligent Subject Detection AF.

With the E-M1X, Olympus engineers have taken image stabilization yet another step forward: by introducing a redeveloped gyro sensor, the camera allows for the world’s best compensation performance. In combination with a M.Zuiko IS PRO lens, this technology enables the 5-axis sync IS to compensate for approx. 7.5 shutter speed steps1, eliminating the need for a tripod and enabling free-hand shooting in various conditions.

With locked AF, the E-M1X features high-speed sequential shooting at a maximum of 60 fps to capture split-second moments that the human eye cannot see. With AF/AE tracking, a maximum of 18 fps may be reached.

The camera’s Pro Capture Mode records up to 35 frames retroactively from when the shutter button is released during shooting. This feature already received praise when being introduced on the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and is ideal for action photography to capture shots of subjects that move unpredictably.

In addition to high-resolution maximum 80 MP images that can be captured in Tripod High Res Shot, a Handheld High Res Shot functionality is now available on the OM-D E-M1X: designed for photographers who don’t want to be limited by using a tripod, this function generates a single high-resolution shot equal to that captured with a 50 MP sensor – without any signs of blur caused by handshake.

A new Live ND functionality incorporates slow shutter speed effects as though using an ND filter. The scene can be reviewed in the viewfinder and the effect edited before users take the photo. Effects can be set in five levels: ND2 (equivalent to one shutter speed step), ND4 (2 steps), ND8 (3 steps), ND16 (4 steps), and ND32 (5 steps).

Olympus OM-D E-M1X - Movie capabilities and other features

In addition to professional-quality photos, the new E-M1X is a master at movie-making. It features all the extras videographers need to capture moments as they happen. 

With the ultra-high Cinema 4K (C4K, 4096 x 2160) movie format, videographers not only have the highest recording resolution to date, but also more flexibility when it comes to postproduction.

The powerful 5-axis IS and electronic stabilization enable refined handheld 4K and C4K video recording with three selectable levels of movement compensation depending on the photographer’s posture and movement.

To counteract changing lighting conditions typical during documentary and nature shooting, the E-M1X supports log shooting. OM-Log400 delivers movies without loss of details in shadows or highlight blowouts, and greater freedom over video creativity through color grading.

Moreover, 120 fps high-speed movies are now supported in Full HD resulting in the capability to shoot cinematic movies with slow-motion perception.

The OM-D E-M1X contains a built-in GPS sensor, temperature sensor, manometer and compass, collectively known as ‘field sensors’. In addition to location information such as longitude and latitude, these sensors detect and record the temperature, elevation, and direction of the camera for adding detailed shooting information to images.

With an anti-flicker shooting feature, the camera detects the flicker frequency of artificial light sources and activates the shutter at peak brightness to minimize uneven exposures and coloring between sequential frames. Flicker scan suppresses striped patterns that can occur when using Silent Mode (electronic shutter) and when shooting movies, so that users can fine tune the shutter speed.

A new Wi-Fi capture allows tethered shooting without a cable and makes it possible to transfer images wirelessly to a computer with the “Olympus Capture” camera control software.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X - Availability & Pricing

The OM-D E-M1X is compatible with Olympus’ range of professional-grade Micro Four Thirds lenses and accessories, including tailor-made camera bags, electronic flashes and flash accessories (see below).

The OM-D E-M1X will be available from late February as a body only at RRP of 2.999 EUR. Owners of the camera may take part in the Olympus PRO service offering as described at www.olympus.eu/proservice.

In the UK, the OM-D E-M1X will be available from late February as a body only at RRP of £2799.99. Dedicated pre order offers are in place via selected retailers to offer customers a £200 trade in discount plus touch and try events available via https://www.olympus-imagespace...

Like every Olympus camera and lens, the E-M1X comes with a free six-month warranty extension6 when registered via the MyOlympus platform at www.my.olympus.eu.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X - Selected accessories 

With the E-M1X, a new image management software as well as a new electronic flash and wireless commanders will be launched.

“Olympus Workspace” image management software

This image management software delivers authentic image viewing and editing functions featuring various workflows for professional photographers. Olympus Workspace can be downloaded free of charge for users who own an Olympus camera.

Electronic Flash FL-700WR

The FL-700WR is a high-performance electronic flash compatible with wireless radio wave shooting. During wireless shooting, it can be used as a commander or flash with built-in receiver. The compact, lightweight design delivers excellent portability with high intensity at a maximum guide number of 42 (ISO 100/m). Due to a dust-, splash-and freezeproof (-10°C) construction, the flash offers reliability when shooting in a variety of environments including rain.

Wireless Commander FC-WR & Wireless Receiver FR-WR

The FC-WR and FR-WR can control multiple flash units remotely from the camera, enabling versatile wireless flash photography. As is the case with the FL-700WR flash, dust-, splash-, and freezeproof (-10°C) design allows use in a variety of fields. The commander can connect to three groups and an unlimited number of flash units. 

Outlook: Development announcement for new telephoto lenses allowing for super telephoto handheld shooting

To further enhance the telephoto shooting capabilities of the E-M1X, Olympus today announces the development of the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO super telephoto zoom lens. Also in development is the M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20. Combining both products will make handheld super telephoto shooting possible at 2000mm (35mm equivalent). With these products, Olympus is going to further expand its super telephoto line-up, maximizing the advantages of the Micro Four Thirds system, namely features such as excellent image quality, a compact, lightweight design, and great portability.

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO is a super telephoto zoom lens in the M.Zuiko PRO series designed for excellent optical performance in a compact, lightweight form, along with dust-, splash-, and freezeproof (-10°C) performance and superb portability due to its compact construction. It will feature a built-in 1.25x teleconverter, which can instantly be extended to the maximum focal length of 1000mm5 (35mm equivalent). Also incorporating in-lens IS, the lens will support 5-axis Sync IS when operating in concert with the image stabilization of the camera body. The built-in teleconverter provides convenience, making it the optimal super telephoto zoom lens for wildlife and sports photography. This product is scheduled to go on sale in 2020.

The M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter, MC-20 is a teleconverter that doubles the focal length of the master lens, and features excellent portability as well as dust-, splash-, and freezeproof (-10°C) performance. It can be attached to the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO currently in development as well as the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4.0 IS PRO and M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO lenses. Not only does this item extend the telephoto range, but it also doubles the maximum shooting magnification of the master lens for unprecedented super telephoto macro shooting. This product is scheduled to go on sale in Summer 2019.

Product specifications are subject to change without notice. Please check the Olympus website at www.olympus-europa.com for the latest specifications.

1 Approx. 7.5 EV steps compensation in combination with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO at a focal distance of 100mm (35mm equivalent: 200mm) and halfway release image stabilization: Off. Conforms to CIPA standards, when corrected on 2 axes (Yaw and Pitch). Current as of January 24, 2019.

2 Dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) according to Olympus test conditions. Conforms to IPX1 based in IEC Standard publication 60529.

3 Recommended Retail Price

4 Lens used: M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm F1.2 IS PRO

5 When using the built-in teleconverter. Widest aperture setting is F5.6.

6 Six months on top of the statutory warranty in the country of purchase.

New weather-sealed flash equipment strengthens Olympus’ line-up for professional photographers

Reliable flash system for wireless shooting to complement the coming OM-D E-M1X camera

London, 24. January 2019 – Olympus further expands their line-up for professional photographers with a new weatherproof flash system designed for wireless radio wave shooting in any environment.

The electronic flash FL-700WR, Wireless Commander FC-WR, and Wireless Receiver FR-WR are scheduled to go on sale together with Olympus’ latest professional camera OM-D E-M1X in late February 2019.

FL-700WR: High-intensity, weather-resistant performance with a maximum guide number of 42

This compact, lightweight flash features a maximum guide number of 421 (ISO 100/m). The dust-, splash-, and freezeproof2 construction offers reliability when shooting in a variety of environments, including rain (when paired with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X or other dust- and splashproof body and lens combinations). Users may enjoy full flash power after charging for approx. 1.5 seconds3 for quick, comfortable and easy use. As a result of the short charging time, sequential flash photography4 at 10 fps is possible.

The flash is capable of wireless radio wave communication, which allows for operation even in bright locations and with obstructions in the area. It can communicate up to a distance of 30 m, making accurate communication possible, even when the flash is set behind the subject.

The FL-700WR can be used as a commander or a flash with built-in receiver. When used as a commander, it has the ability to connect to three groups and an unlimited number of flash units. Users can select which group to fire, and configure the flash intensity compensation. It can also be used in the conventional RC mode (optical communication) as a slave flash.

Versatile shooting modes & enhanced basic features

Multi Flash mode5 makes it possible to express subject motion by firing multiple times during long exposures or bulb shooting. The intensity, interval (frequency), and number of shots can be configured for the perfect settings to match the subject.

Features such as High Res Shot6, Focus Stacking, and Focus Bracketing, included on models such as the OM-D E-M1X and OM-D E-M1 Mark II can be used with this flash.

Further enhanced basic features include the following:

1) Super FP flash: Enables high-speed synchronization exceeding the camera’s maximum sync speed.

2) First-curtain/second-curtain Sync: Fires when the shutter curtain opens or closes .

3) TTL mode: The flash fires (pre-flash) to measure the required intensity and the output is automatically adjusted to the optimal level.

4) Equipped with an LED light for movies: 77° angle of illumination, and 100 lux brightness emittance from 1 meter away.

5) Bounce: The bounce angle can be adjusted within 180° horizontally and 90° vertically. 

6) Equipped with a catchlight panel and wide panel: The firing angle covers the focal length of 7mm (35mm equivalent: 14mm ) when using the wide panel.

7) Equipped with auto zoom : The firing angle is supported on lenses with a focal length of 12-75mm (35mm equivalent: 24-150mm).

8) Charging completion indication: The FL-700WR flash emits an electronic sound when charging is complete.

FC-WR (Wireless Commander) and FR-WR (Wireless Receiver): Maximum reliability and intuitive control with unlimited flash units

The FC-WR can control multiple flash units remotely from the camera, enabling versatile wireless flash photography. As is the case with the FL-700WR flash, a dust-, splash-, and freezeproof (-10°C) construction allows use in a variety of fields. The commander can connect to three groups and an unlimited number of flash units. 

The FC-WR has independent buttons for group A, B, and C, making it possible to quickly configure settings for each group as well as adjusting the shooting mode and flash intensity while looking at the monitor.

Groups and channels can easily be set and checked on the FC-WR and FR-WR.

Other functions include the following:

1) FR-WR sync terminal: The FR-WR sync terminal can be used to connect commercial flash units, such as a monoblock flash, which can then be remotely fired.

2) FR-WR charging completion indication: When flash charging is complete, the flash emits an electronic sound.

Availability & pricing

The entire flash system will be available from late February 2019 at the following RRPs7: £329.99 (FL-700WR flash), £279.99 (Wireless Commander FC-WR), £179.99 (Wireless Receiver FR-WR)

Product specifications are subject to change without notice. Please check the Olympus website at www.olympus.co.uk for the latest specifications.

1 Firing angle of 75 mm / standard light distribution mode, ISO 100/m

2 When using in low temperature environments, please warm the battery by keeping it in a pocket

3 When using Ni-MH batteries. Approx. 2.5 seconds when using alkaline batteries

4 Only when using OM-D E-M1X or OM-D E-M1 Mark II with mechanical shutter at a firing ratio of 1/16 (as of January 2019)

5 Only when using OM-D E-M1X, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, OM-D E-M10 Mark III or Olympus PEN E-PL9 (as of January 2019)

6Only when using manual settings only. Not valid for Handheld High Res Shot on the OM-D E-M1X

7 Recommended Retail Price

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