Olympus tempts professionals with OM-D E-M1X MFT camera
Back in 2016, Olympus launched a formidable mirrorless assault on DSLR cameras when it revealed the OM-D EM1 MkII Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens camera. Now the company has announced a new flavor aimed at professional photographers – the OM-D E-M1X – that's built for on location comfort and is all about speed.
The M1X looks to offer the same megapixel count as the EM1 MkII, sporting a 20.4 megapixel Micro Four Thirds (17.4 x 13 mm) Live MOS image sensor, but has been treated to two TruePic VIII image processors for improved performance. This combination offers up to ISO25,600 sensitivity, 60 frames per second in AF/AE Lock continuous shooting, or 18 fps with AF/AE tracking engaged, and what's claimed to be the world's highest image stabilization performance of approx. 7.5 shutter speed steps compensation.
In addition to a 121-point contrast autofocus system, the M1X rocks 121-point all-cross-type on-chip phase detection autofocus. Thanks to strategically-positioned multi-selector joysticks, focus points can be adjusted in both horizontal and vertical shooting positions, including diagonal movement of the AF point.
Olympus says that it has completely redesigned the layout, shape and height of all of the buttons and levers around the dust-, splash- and freezeproof magnesium alloy body, with a new C-Lock lever available to select or deselect various dials and buttons to help prevent accidental settings changes while out and about.
Shot framing is undertaken using the four element 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder – with 0.83x magnification, 120 fps progressive scan and latency of 0.05 seconds for the promise of responsive, distortion-free scene framing "right up to the edge of the viewfinder" – or in Live View on the 3 inch vari-angle touchscreen display.
The camera has two High Res Shot modes, where some image sensor trickery is performed to capture up to 80 megapixel stills – either with a tripod or in the hand. A Pro Capture Mode keeps up to 35 frames in the buffer when the shutter release button is pressed half way. Slow shutter speed effects are possible courtesy of the Live ND feature, and Intelligent Subject Detection doesn't just keep moving faces and eyes in sharp focus, but can also keep track of planes, trains and automobiles too.
On the video front, users can look forward to stabilized 4K recording at 30 fps, with 120 fps available for Full HD slow motion footage.
Elsewhere, there's built-in GPS, temperature sensor, manometer and compass to record location, temp, elevation and camera direction information with images. The M1X records to two UHS-II SD card slots, wireless transfer of photos to a computer can be undertaken over Wi-Fi, and users can expect up to 870 stills per 2 hour charge of its dual Li-ion batteries over USB-C.
The OM-D E-M1X camera in due for release in late February for a body-only price of US$2,999.99.