The latest camera in its interchangeable-lens Micro Four Thirds system is the Olympus OM-D E-M1X, designed with the needs of professional photographers in mind. Though the previous flagship, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, remains in the lineup, the E-M1X has several noteworthy features for photographers looking to upgrade.
The physical design of the OM-D E-M1X helps communicate that this is a professional camera, with its integrated vertical grip that not only makes it easier to shoot in vertical orientation, but also offers dual-battery capacity, which Olympus states will provide approximately 870 shots. You can also power the camera and charge the batteries with a USB-C power source. The magnesium alloy body incorporates extensive weather sealing, and for pros who consider shutter actuation lifespans, the OM-D E-M1X boasts up to 400,000.
One of the headline features of this camera is its in-body image stabilization, which provides up to 7 stops of stabilization with every lens, and up to 7.5 stops when paired with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO lens.
The camera can shoot at speeds up to 18 fps with AF/AE tracking and in silent mode, or up to 60 fps with focus and exposure locked. Another feature to help capture the decisive moment with fast moving subjects such as wildlife is the Olympus Pro Capture Mode, which when activated, buffers up to 35 frames continuously and, when the shutter is fully depressed, records the preceding 35 frames.
On the introductory press call prior to today’s announcement, Olympus noted that many of the features of this camera were designed to augment the lightweight, portable nature of the Micro Four Thirds system, with the goal of reducing the bulk and weight of the gear photographers typically carry into the field. The 7-stop stabilization system is one example of this. Two others are Handheld High Res Shot Mode and Live ND. Handheld High Res Shot Mode, which allows the camera to create 80-megapixel image files of static subjects—great for landscape photographers—without needing to use a tripod. Live ND combines multiple exposures captured in quick succession to provide slow-shutter effects, with settings equivalent to 1-stop, 2-stop, 3-stop, 4-stop and 5-stop ND filters.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X will be available in late February, priced at $2,999 for the body only. For additional information, see the press release below.
INTRODUCING THE OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1X® OFFERING UNRIVALED SPEED AND SYSTEM MOBILITY
Latest OM-D Body Provides Absolute Confidence for Professional Photographers
CENTER VALLEY, PA., January 24, 2019 – Today Olympus expands the OM-D series with the introduction of the OM-D E-M1X professional Micro Four Thirds® interchangeable lens camera. 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. This new professional model, positioned alongside the award-winning Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, incorporates an integrated vertical grip to provide a secure grip and superior operability, whether held horizontally or vertically, and offers the world’s highest image stabilization performance with approximately 7.5 shutter speed steps of compensation. Zero-lag Pro Capture Mode and 60 fps high-speed continuous shooting ensures photographers never miss a shot. Its dual TruePic VIII Image Processors provide for high-speed responsiveness and a handheld High Res Shot Mode. The camera’s 121-point all-cross-type on-chip Phase Detection AF sensor and an AF Multi-Selector provides greater freedom over composition. When pairing the OM-D E-M1X with the versatile, excellent image quality of Olympus M.Zuiko lenses, this compact, lightweight, high quality camera system demonstrates its true capabilities in situations where portability is essential, including sports and wildlife photography.
• Integrated Vertical Grip
• Precise Autofocus system with AF Multi-Selector, All-Cross-Type On-Chip Phase Detection AF Sensor, and Intelligent Subject Detection AF
• Pro Capture Mode and 60 fps High-Speed Sequential Shooting
• Dual TruePic VIII Image Processors
• The World’s Highest Image Stabilization Performance
Integrated Vertical Grip Construction
To meet demands from professional users who place importance on a secure grip during shooting, the OM-D E-M1X features integrated vertical grip construction, designed to provide an improved grip with a deep finger rest whether holding the camera horizontally or vertically. The ergonomic design reduces fatigue when shooting for long periods of time.
Redesigned Button Layout
The layout, shape, and height of all buttons and levers have been completely redesigned to enable users to concentrate on shooting through the viewfinder. A multi-selector is included in both the horizontal and vertical positions so that users can quickly shift focus areas while looking through the viewfinder. A new C-LOCK lever allows the user to select and disable numerous buttons and dials on the camera when in the vertical or horizontal position to substantially mitigate any the risk of accidental changes in settings.
High Magnification, High-Speed Viewfinder
The viewfinder features a new optical design using an industry-leading magnification of 0.83x (35mm equivalent). This four-element configuration designed with aspherical and high reflective index lenses provides a clear, distortion-free display right up to the edge of the viewfinder. As found on the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, a 120 fps (progressive scan) high-speed frame rate with a 0.005 second latency are provided for stress-free moving subject photography.
Advanced Durability and Reliability
The OM-D E-M1X clears Olympus’ in-house splashproof tests that are far more rigorous than IPX1 water ingress testing. The body is designed for shooting in the severe conditions professional photographers often find themselves. Dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof (14°F / -10°C) performance is maintained even when the remote cable, microphone, and headphone jacks are in use, enabling shooting that is not affected by poor weather. A new coating is used on the Super Sonic Wave Filter, which vibrates at 30,000 times per second to remove dust and dirt, boosting dust removal effectiveness by 10% compared to previous Olympus models. The OM-D E-M1X also features durability and reliability to put pro photographers’ minds at ease, including construction that dissipates heat when shooting video and during high speed shooting in very hot conditions, which can typically cause the temperature to rise and limit functionality, as well as a shutter life actuation counts of 400,000 .
The OM-D E-M1X is equipped with a cartridge battery insertion system with the capacity for two BLH-1 lithium-ion batteries (also used in the OM-D E-M1 Mark II). Users can capture up to approximately 870 shots and easily replace the batteries even when the camera is attached to a monopod or tripod. The camera also supports USB-C power delivery from a maximum 100 W USB-C standard power source with no special adapter required. This makes it possible to charge the two BLH-1 batteries in the camera body in approximately two hours.
AF Area Multi Selector
A multi selector is included in both the horizontal and vertical positions on the OM-D E-M1X allowing users to quickly shift the AF area while looking through the viewfinder. A distinctive attribute of this joystick is that it allows for diagonal movement of the AF point, where most other cameras only allow for left, right, up and down movement, and in only one direction at a time. This feature makes it possible to smoothly shift AF areas during sequential shooting and video recording.
121-Point All-Cross-Type On-Chip Phase Detection AF Sensor The precise 121-point all-cross-type on-chip Phase Detection AF sensor currently available on the OM-D E-M1 Mark II is also featured on this model for more accurate and greater freedom for focusing in various situations. Olympus on-chip Phase Detection AF delivers Live View images and utilizes autofocus information from recorded images for quick tracking of unpredictable subject movement and changes in subject speed. The AF low-light limit when an F1.2 lens is attached is -6 EV, allowing for high-precision focusing in both dark situations and low-contrast subjects.
Various Autofocus Settings
Various autofocus settings are available on the OM-D E-M1X to meet the needs of professional photographers, including multiple AF Target Modes, AF area position settings when holding the camera vertically or horizontally, and turning the focusing ring in C-AF AF to instantly switch to manual focus using C-AF+MF Mode. The new 25-Point Group Target and Custom AF Target have been added to the available AF Target Modes for greater operating freedom.
High-Speed Sequential Shooting
The OM-D E-M1X features high-speed sequential shooting at a maximum60 fps for capturing scenes in high definition that even the human eye cannot see. Both the 60 fps high-speed continuous shooting in AF/AE Lock, and maximum 18 fps continuous shooting with AF/AE Tracking can be used in Silent Mode for shooting a variety of activities, performances and events where the photographer does not want to disturb others with the sound of the shutter.
Pro Capture Mode
Pro Capture Mode records up to 35 frames retroactively from when the shutter button is released with no blackouts (image loss) during shooting, recording at 20 million pixels and offers support for RAW capture. This feature has received high praise from professional photographers since its introduction on the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and is effective for capturing artistic images of subjects that move unpredictably.
Dual TruePicVIII High-Speed Image Processors
The OM-D E-M1X is equipped with two TruePic VIII Image Processors, providing quicker start-up times and recovery from sleep mode, and supporting the two high-speed UHS-II SD card slots for overall high-speed responsiveness. This not only contributes to a faster camera, but also supports new camera functionality, including Handheld High Res Shot Mode, Live ND, and Intelligent Subject Detection AF.
Handheld High Res Shot
In addition to ultra-high-resolution maximum 80M High Res Shot images that can be captured using a tripod, Handheld High Res Shot Mode is now available on the OM-D E-M1X, in response to many requests received from professional photographers. This feature is particularly useful for capturing high-definition shots in locations where it is impossible to use a tripod, including when moving from place to place, such as hiking.
Live ND is included on the OM-D E-M1X for slow shutter speed effects without the need for an ND filter. This new technology combines multiple exposed images in camera to attain slow shutter effects. It is also possible to check the slow shutter effects in the viewfinder before shooting for improved efficiency. 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).
Intelligent Subject Detection AF
Artificial Intelligence (AI) based Deep Learning technology was utilized to develop new algorithms for the Intelligent Subject Detection AF feature. It detects three different types of subjects, including motorsports, airplanes, and trains, focusing on and tracking the optimal area. For example, it sets pinpoint focus, locking onto the driver’s helmet during motorsports, automatically detecting the subject, enabling improved autofocus precision so users can focus on the composition.
World’s Highest Image Stabilization
The OM-D E-M1X’s new gyro sensor enables superior image stabilization performance, delivering a maximum of 7.0 shutter speed steps of compensation performance when using the camera body stabilization alone, and the world’s highest 7.5 shutter speed steps of compensation when combined with the stabilized M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO lens. This feature makes handheld shooting possible at lower shutter speeds than ever before, which is perfect for nighttime and indoor shooting.
• Field Sensor System and Built-In GPS: 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, including longitude and latitude, these sensors detect and record the temperature, elevation, and direction of the camera for adding detailed shooting information to images.
• Anti-Flicker Shooting and Flicker Scan: With anti-flicker shooting, the camera detects the flicker frequency of artificial light sources, including fluorescent lighting and activates the shutter at peak brightness to eliminate 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.
• Olympus Capture: Olympus Capture camera control software now supports the transfer of recorded images over Wi-Fi®. This new feature makes it possible to transfer images wirelessly to a computer when shooting in the studio without connecting a USB cable. Both 2.4 GHz and high-speed communication 5 GHz bandwidths are available.
• Handheld 4K and Cinema 4K: Powerful 5-Axis Image Stabilization and electronic stabilization enable ultra-smooth handheld 4K and cinema 4K video recording, without the need for stabilizing gear. Image stabilization effect can be selected from three levels depending on the photographer’s posture and movement.
• OM-Log400: The OM-D E-M1X supports OM-Log400 shooting, which allows for shooting without loss of details in shadows and highlights and without blowouts, along with color grading via a computer for a high degree of freedom over images.
• High-Speed Movie (120 fps): 120 fps high-speed movies are now supported in Full HD. Slow-motion playback can make for more impressive imaging expressions.
Separately Available Accessories:
FL-700WR Electronic Flash
FL-700WR Electronic Flash is a high-performance wireless radiowave shooting compatible electronic flash. During wireless shooting, it can function 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). The dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof (14°F / -10°C) performance offers reliability when shooting in a variety of environments including rain, when paired with the OM-D E-M1X, and other splashproof and dustproof body and lens combinations. Full flash intensity is possible with an approximate 1.5 second charging time for comfortable, easy shooting. Because charging time is short, sequential flash photography at 10 fps is possible.
Wireless Commander FC-WR & Wireless Receiver FR-WR:
Wireless Commander FC-WR and Wireless Receiver FR-WR can control multiple flash units remotely from the camera, enabling versatile wireless flash photography. As is the case with the Electronic Flash FL-700WR, dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof (14°F / -10°C) design allows use in a variety of fields. When paired with weathersealed cameras, lenses, and flash units including the FL-700WR or high-capacity Electronic Flash FL-900R, users can perform wireless flash photography comfortably even in the rain. The commander can connect to three groups and an unlimited number of flash units. Users can also select which group to fire and not fire and configure the flash intensity.
Olympus Workspace image management software
This new image management software delivers authentic image viewing and editing functions. RAW processing preview speed is now faster to streamline the post-shooting workflow. The rating function has also been improved for speedy selection of the best shots from large collections of images. A multi-window environment is now supported along with other comfortable controls for a more satisfying work process. Olympus Workspace can be downloaded free of charge for users who own an Olympus camera.
U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X (black) will begin shipping in late February 2019 for $2,999.99 (U.S.) and $3,899.99 (CAD).