OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1X FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I have had the Olympus OM-D E-M1X in my hands for a week. It has been a busy week in other areas, but I have managed to get out a couple of nights for a play. As an Olympus Visionary, I was also invited away for a couple of days for a pre-launch play with the camera. This was such a buzz. We had the opportunity to experiment with the incredible focusing features of the new camera with some rally cars and an aerobatic plane, more on that soon.

It fits in my hand beautifully. I have been using 2 Olympus OM-D E-M1 mk2’s for about a year now for all of my commercial photography, and most of my Light Painting. The battery grip has never left those cameras, they simply fit in my hand so much better, I do have solid hands. So when I picked up the E-M1X for the first time it just felt right, balanced and natural. The controls, and there are some great additions, just sat where I needed them.

When we were invited away for a play with the camera, pre-launch, we were using the insane autofocusing in the camera to capture some rally cars and an aeroplane, two of the added Intelligent Subject Detection modes, vehicle and aircraft. This was just madness. I am neither an automotive, or aircraft photographer, but this crazy feature meant I came back with endless shots that were in focus and actually pretty fancy I reckon. I was using a 300mm (600mm FF EQ) and the camera just locked onto the plane like glue, even when it left the focus area, it felt like it was just sitting there waiting for the plane to come back, then just locked back on!

The very first hand held hi res shot I took was in an area of a hotel. My thought process was that this may be what a real estate agent might shoot. I had not used the feature yet, and simply dropped it into hi res mode, stood as still as possible, and boom, a 50mp (8160x6120) raw file. Hand held at 1/80th of a second at iso800 no less. With a little more time, I was racing to breakfast, I may have captured something more akin to what a real estate photographer might have captured, but this was pretty nuts. Here is the full image (as a 1920x1080 file) and a crop showing some of the crazy detail.

So I now have this camera in my possession and am ready to start using it both in my fine art work, Light Painting, and in my commercial work.

On my first night out I captured a series of Light Painting images. No surprise, they were just bang on. The camera felt great! I was flipping the tripod upside down to get some low down shots, and the camera felt light to be doing that with. The focusing was easy, and the final images were gorgeous.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X, Mzuiko 17mm F1.2pro, iso200, F5.6, 182s

Olympus OM-D E-M1X, Mzuiko 17mm F1.2pro, iso200, F5.6, 182s

Before we headed out to the salt, I needed to capture a quick couple of interviews for a documentary I am working on. Some would say this is madness, but the very first footage I ever captured on this camera, with any intent, was an interview that could not be repeated easily, but I really wanted to test the new OM-Log mode. I have not shot a lot of Log, on any system, but I know the benefits for sure. A flat profile, giving more latitude in post. This interview is being used alongside an interview shot on a very high end cinema camera. Using the OM-Log would give me that latitude in post production to try and match that footage. I was stoked with what I captured! Here is a quick snippet of the video that is shot in OM-Log, then I have applied the Olympus supplied LUT, and added some adjustments in Premiere, I could not be more happy.

So where to next? well I have a bunch of pretty exciting video and still projects coming up. I am really excited about shooting some video footage using the new stabilisation. It has always blown me away and the E-M1X stabilisation looks to be considerable improved.

There has been a huge amount of accolades for this camera already. No surprise really, it is a powerhouse. Professional sports and wildlife photographers will love it. But if you are like me, a bit old and worn down, and travel a lot with my gear, it really once again boils down to the amazing compact, lightweight nature of the Olympus systems.

Watch this space for a bunch more video and Light Painting madness.

Oh, go and hold one of these cameras, its the only way to understand it.

Peace, Denis