Olympus has officially announced its new flagship camera, the E-M1X. Basically everything you love about the E-M1…taken a step further in most cases. Everyone has posted the specs and the press announcements, so I am going to skip that here. I wanted to go over a few items that I think are interesting considerations.
-Larger viewfinder magnification is .83. Nice view, despite being the same screen in the viewfinder. I don’t find the screen as bad as most people are yelling about. I don’t blacks that aren’t 100% black as long as I have the refresh and blackout so low that it feels real like an OVF. In many cases, the E-M1 even felt like that. So I think this will be fine.
-Still 12 bit RAW. It is lossless however, and there is no AA filter, so same sharp and wonderful files. Not sure why they have chosen not to go 14 bit. It would be nice to have that as an option at least. Or 16-bit mode in a single-shot or high-res mode for instance.
-Both card slots are UHS-II now. Nice.
-Focus stacking is now available with all the pro and macro lenses apparently. I don’t recall this being the case with the E-M1.2.
-Art filters are obviously included, there just isn’t an art filter mode on the dial. Instant film got added as an art filter.
-120fps available in FHD video. Still nothing more than 24p in C4k.
-A flat profile, and OM-Log400 are available with 4:2:2 out over HDMI. I’m curious about this. A log profile…but no zebras? You would think they would include that, or at least a way to measure exposure tighter for log exposure.
-Tethering via Wi-Fi available at 5ghz speeds. This is a feature that has me considering the camera alone. You can shoot into Olympus capture with no capable and still operate the camera remotely. Very nice feature.
-4 Custom modes available from the top dial. Bulb mode available from the top dial! EXCELLENT!!!!
-Custom MENUS!!!! We now have a menu that has 5 tabs, and each tab can store 7 different menu options! That means you can go through and pick custom menu options that you want to access, and put them all on one page for instance for immediate access. FINALLY!!!! This in itself will eliminate most deep menu diving. Between this and the super control panel, the camera just got a lot faster to use.
-Olympus claims almost 6 hours of video recording time with the two batteries. Why do they still have the 30 minute limit!!!! This would have been great for long run event recording. I would have preordered already for this. Oh well. At least we don’t have to worry about swapping batteries as often.
-Handheld High Res mode. Very promising. The examples i’ve seen from this already seem quite interesting. I definitely want to spend some more time with this feature before deciding it’s effectiveness. I wonder how different this looks from the tripod mode despite the smaller MP count.
-Live ND filter mode. This is a feature a lot of people will be using. Sometimes filters are just not convenient or I didn’t expect to do a running water shot. It’s bright and I can’t stop down enough. Perfect! I’m sure there will be all kinds of interesting creative uses for this.
-Customizable AF areas. You can select which points make a group and save them. Very cool. Apparently you can also customize how the AF works in horizontal vs portrait orientation. That means AF will readjust as you rotate the camera. Very welcome feature.
-Planes, Trains, and Autos AI focus recognition? The automotive sports I get…I just never realized trains and planes were as big of a niche as I thought they were. I would have thought animals, or birds, or people in some form would have been at least one of those. We’ll see how these grow or upgrade in future firmware potentially.
Who is this camera for? Yes yes, it’s bigger. We all know, and everyone has complained. Ok, can we get past that? I think the body is appropriate for who it’s intended for.
Aside from the wildlife, nature, and sports shooters, I think this camera is going to make a boatload of surf photographers very happy. (no pun intended if you know surf work…) 7 stops IS, that speed, the water IPX rating, and quality of image with excellent telephotos is asking to shoot water sports. It also allows a lot of telephoto range to be handheld which most surf pros are not accustomed to. The integrated grip makes it much more comfortable.
The body I think will be a lot more comfortable with heavy winter gloves on. The buttons actually appear to have some size and space on them. And the addition of the third button on the top left is welcome too. Even less needing to go into the SCP or menus.
I will have more to comment on this camera soon. I will be attending one of Olympus’ release events and will hopefully get to try the camera out. More soon.