5 Star Camera, No Doubt

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3Percent
3Percent Contributing Member • Posts: 617
5 Star Camera, No Doubt
42

Talk about a surprise this camera was...

What initially started as a scratch that itch/I'm just curious purchase, quickly developed into admiration and appreciation of it's design. My past experience with Olympus has been pretty much limited to hobby/pleasure photography only on the side, but with the E-M1X I can say this is truly the first Olympus that I would use for my pro work.

Not only is it such a pleasure to shoot with, with the ergonomics and build quality are simply top rate, and I mean TOP RATE. I also love holding and using this camera as much as possible and find reasons to do so. It's that good.

I'm also very much impressed with the image quality too.

The sensor performs very well for single exposure images, well enough in my mind to have caught up with many high end/pro level APS-C cameras I've used/use which makes it useable for me in many pro circumstances.

The icing on the cake for me at least, is in its HHHRM mode, where the mixture of it's mind blowingly good image stabilization along with excellently executed in camera stacking/processing - produces images that can often exceed the quality of my 5DSR or even at times (believe it or not) rival images I've made with my 50mp Fujifilm 50R.

Images with HHHRM look almost noise free at ISO 6,400 too, which blew me away. Being able to use most of the ISO range with little to no penalty of noise, makes it a complete game changer - and I hate that overly used phrase. But I mean it, it does change the way you look at a camera as a solution to imaging.

The combination of the stacking and the best image stabilization I've ever used before means that more opportunities present themselves than ever before without the crippling aid of a tripod. I've been able to hand hold HHHRM shots up to a full 3 seconds with no errors- and be super sharp at 100% viewing. In practice this is mindblowing. I could talk all day long about HHHRM and still have something to say, but it's definitely one of the big reasons I fell in love with the M1X.

Now admittedly autofocus performance isn't as great as my higher end Canon's, but it's performance is good enough to be completely within the realm of reliably useable for pro action work with the right lens pairing (pros should know what I mean by that). After some practice and tweaking of menu's, I was able to get in sync with the M1X to the point where I could reliably produce excellent results for action subjects without too much extra effort or degradation of overall image quality compared to my other gear.

The difference between it and my best pro gear is definitely noticeable, but, the M1X has more rabbits in its hat than those cameras do, it can simply do more. So overall I see it as an equal- but- different tool.

An oddity that I must confer, is it's heat pipe technology. I do a lot of sunny outdoor work, and cameras get hot in my hand, fast. The heat pipe tech on this camera is so efficient at keeping the camera cool for video, that it even helps keep it cool when I'm in the sun. This makes less sweaty hands (sorry for the detail), and every little bit helps there. Fact is, the M1X is overbuilt for cooling and obviously that has multiple benefits but this is just a side bonus benefit worth sharing, a rather neat one if I must say so.

I love its viewfinder. Its large, instantaneous, pleasing to look through. Olympus has done some tweaking to its contrast and speed that seem to mimic OVF's rather well. It's been panned for not having enough resolution but I think most people may not mind if they actually held it and used it. It certainly is not a criticism I have of this camera rather it is something I like very much. It seems just right, in a way that you have to use to understand. Easier on the eye, if it were.

Battery life is as good as it gets in mirrorless land, almost rivaling my pro bodies with integrated grips- not as good, but certainly good enough. In camera charging is awesome and completely mitigates the advantage other pro cameras have. Batteries are light but I've seen no need to carry extras yet as I can easily get 2,000 shots on a single charge of dual BLH-1 batteries- sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the gig/circumstances.

It's weather sealing and build quality give me the rare kind of confidence to shoot in any outdoor scenario, monsoons, desert wind storms, boats with water spray, you name it. Only a handful of cameras I've ever used give me this level of confidence but this is the smallest and lightest pro level body that I'd use in those scenarios to date. Build is so rock solid, and you can feel it in all of the buttons, dials, and rubber too. It doesn't get better really. And oh my god, my hands love holding it all day long. Big lens, or small lens, its hard to put down. This camera is my first choice for outdoor work, period.

I could go on and on about this camera, but I will end on this note.

Not only is it my favorite Olympus camera of all time, but it's also my favorite mirrorless camera to date. I haven't used Nikons Z9 yet or Canon's R3 extensively, but I've held them at the counters in shops and have to say that I'd pit the M1X right there with them, only with much less layout/expense.

The M1X is convincingly a pro level camera. During my time with it, it has done nothing but exceeded all expectations and my respect goes out to the engineers for creating such a fine imaging device. It's a multi-functional tool that seems to have no real weak points and is supported with a huge catalog of lenses- not as many as the EF or F mount, but very close. It may not be the very best at everything it does but it is certainly one of the best at everything and is likely the best jack of all trades camera of all time that I've had the pleasure of owning and using.

What started as mere curiosity (almost as a joke), turned into being one of my very favorite cameras of all time. I'm humbled by what Olympus has done here, and I freely admit I was a blind critic like many others out there. I am truly glad that I was wrong and that I had the moxy to scratch the itch and purchase it.

Great job Olympus, hopefully more people will use them and "see the light".

 3Percent's gear list:3Percent's gear list
Ricoh GR Digital IV Fujifilm X-S1 Canon PowerShot S120 Ricoh GR II Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 +27 more
Olympus OM-D E-M1X
20 megapixels • 3 screen • Four Thirds sensor
Announced: Jan 24, 2019
3Percent's score
5.0
Average community score
4.8
bad for good for
Kids / pets
great
Action / sports
great
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
excellent
Low light (without flash)
good
Flash photography (social)
excellent
Studio / still life
excellent
= community average
Canon EOS 5DS R Nikon Z9 Olympus OM-D E-M1X
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