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Olympus Unveils the OM-D E-M1X Pro Micro Four Thirds Camera


After weeks of leaks and teasers, Olympus has officially unveiled the new Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera. It’s a Micro Four Thirds camera designed for professional photographers.

“The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is packed with industry-leading speed, performance, reliability and high-quality image output that rivals that of full-frame DSLRs,” Olympus says.

One of the main things you’ll notice first about the camera is the integrated vertical grip, which gives the camera dual batteries and the same shape as pro DSLRs such as the Canon 1D X II and the Nikon D5. The grip allows photographers to use the same secure grip on the camera with a deep finger rest whether shooting in portrait or landscape orientation.

“The ergonomic design reduces fatigue when shooting for long periods of time,” Olympus says.

The new vertical grip brings a redesigned physical interface — the layout, shape, and height of all buttons and levers on the camera have been redesigned to help photographers focus on shooting rather than fiddling with controls. A new C-LOCK lever on the camera lets you disable various buttons and dials to prevent things from being accidentally touched.

Using two BLH-1 lithium-ion batteries at the same time allows photographers to capture roughly 870 shots on a charge. Batteries in the cartridge insertion system can be replaced even while the camera is mounted to a tripod. USB-C can be used to deliver constant power to the camera from a maximum 100W power source without any special adapter — this also allows the batteries to be charged in-camera in just two hours.

Inside the E-M1X is a 20.4-megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor backed by Dual TruePic VIII image processors. The sensor can capture at a staggering continuous speed of 60 frames per second with AF/AE Lock. Drop down to 18fps and AF/AE Tracking can be used in Silent Mode.

Like the E-M1 Mark II, the E-M1X has a Pro Capture Mode that can store up to 35 20MP RAW frames retroactively from when the shutter button is released,

“This feature has received high praise from professional photographers […] and is effective for capturing artistic images of subjects that move unpredictably,” Olympus says.

A High Res Shot mode can be used to shoot 80-megapixel ultra-high-res photos by capturing multiple 20MP shots and combining the data. It can be used both on a tripod and while shooting handheld.

On the sensor are 121 all-cross-type Phase Detection autofocus points — the same as what’s found on the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. The AF system features a multi-selector joystick for selecting AF areas (with diagonal movements possible), intelligent subject AF, tracking of unpredictable subject movements and speed changes, a -6 EV low-light AF limit with f/1.2 lenses, multiple AF Target modes, AF area position settings, and switching to manual focus by turning the focusing ring.

Another major feature of the E-M1X is its image stabilization system, which Olympus says offers the world’s highest performance. It provides an impressive 7.5 shutter speed steps of total compensation when using the stabilized M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO lens. And with body stabilization alone, the camera provides 7 stops of compensation.

Interestingly enough, Olympus claimed back in 2016 that the theoretical limit for stabilization at the time was 6.5 stops “due to the rotation of the earth interfering with gyro sensors.” Well, Olympus has apparently overcome that little problem in the E-M1X.

On the back of the camera is a 3-inch 1.037-million-dot Vari-Angle touchscreen.

Above it is a 0.83x magnification (35mm equiv.) distortion-free electronic viewfinder with a 120fps (progressive scan) high-speed frame rate and a 0.005s latency.

Build-wise, the E-M1X is designed to withstand much of what nature can throw at it. It’s dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof (14°F/-10°C) even when accessories such as a remote cable, microphone, and headphone are plugged into the camera. A Super Sonic Wave Filter in the camera between the shutter and sensor vibrates at 30,000 times per second to help remove dust and dirt, and it features a new coating that boosts its effectiveness by 10%.

The camera boasts a “construction that dissipates heat when shooting video and during high-speed shooting in very hot conditions,” Olympus says. The shutter in the camera is rated for 400,000 actuations.

Other features and specs of the E-M1X include a Live ND (from 1 stop to 5 stops) for slow shutter effects without an ND filter, built-in GPS, a temperature sensor, a manometer, a compass, anti-flicker shooting under artificial light, Olympus Capture for transferring photos over Wi-Fi in a studio, stabilized 4K video, OM-Log400 video, and 120fps high-speed video.

Here are some sample photos captured with the E-M1X:

The new Olympus OM-D E-M1X will start shipping in late February 2019 with a price tag of $3,000.