Video

The E-M1X has some nice video features and some of the best stabilization in the business, but its capabilities mainly match the E-M1 II, leaving it look a little off the pace in the face of stiff competition.

Key Takeaways:

  • Good quality Cinema 4K at 24p, but data output never reaches advertised 237Mbps, leading to some motion artifacts
  • 1080/120p slow-motion footage looks a little soft
  • Sensor + digital IS is the smoothest in the business, but comes with a 1.19x crop
  • Headphone/Mic cable gets in way of LCD when flipped out
  • OM-Log400 profile is only 8-bit, not 10-bit like the competition, offering less total dynamic range and less processing flexibility
  • Excellent video AF tracking
  • Face Detection in video works well as long as subject is large in frame

In-depth

In the video below, DPRevew TV's Jordan Drake dives deep into the experience of filming an entire DPRTV episode about the E-M1X, on an E-M1X.

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Video capabilities

In some ways, the E-M1X's movie specs are a little disappointing. Despite being able to read out its sensor fast enough to shoot full-res images at 60 frames per second, it cannot produce 60p video shot from a smaller 16:9 or ~17:9 region.

Instead, like the E-M1 Mark II, it can shoot UHD 4K footage at 30, 25 and 24p at up to 102Mbps or the wider DCI 4K format at 24p, at what's claimed to be an upper limit of 237Mbps. The E-M1X is the first Olympus camera to offer Log capture, and the company says there will be a LUT to convert this OM-Log400 footage in popular editing software.

The E-M1X can shoot 1080 footage at up to 60p (52Mbps) or 30p and slower with All-I compression (202Mbps). Then, for slow-mo work the E-M1X can shoot 1080 footage at 120fps, which it outputs as 60 or 50p footage at 50Mbps or 30, 25 or 24p at 26Mbps (ie around 100 megabits per captured second).

Screengrab from a DCI 4K clip. With so much black in the scene, this particular clip only took 33Mbps to capture it.

However, while it can output a 4:2:2 color signal over HDMI, it can't record or output a 10-bit signal, an increasingly common feature that would make its Log footage much more flexible in post-processing.

This is a bit of a shame, since Olympus has put a fair amount of effort into making the camera pleasant to use with an external recorder: offering a cable retaining clip and socket protector to prevent the HDMI lead working loose, and creating a clever mode that gives a magnified view on the camera while outputting a full signal to the recorder.

The company has also provided a 1/24th and 1/48th second shutter speeds to allow shooting at 24p with 360 degree and 180 degree shutter angle.

Image Stabilization Off Image Stabilization On (Digital + In-body)

What the E-M1X can do, though, it offer hugely effectively image stabilization for in-camera capture. There's a choice of sensor-only IS (M-IS 2), which lets you shoot using the full width of the sensor, or a more effective sensor + Digital IS mode (M-IS 1) that imposes around a 1.19x crop (see above). This DPReview TV episode was shot in the sensor-only mode, to give you some idea of how effective it is. In short, this is a great choice for hand-held shooting if you don't want to lug around a gimbal.

The E-M1X also may be the most reliable Micro Four Thirds body when it comes to AF tracking in video. We found increasing the AF-C sensitivity to +1 gave us best results, regardless of shooting situation. Furthermore, the camera's Face Detect proved effective, as long as the subject filled a good portion of the frame.

Video Quality

The E-M1X's Cinema 4K looks very good, though not quite as detailed as the Panasonic GH5. Enabling digital image stabilization while shooting Cinema 4K does not seem to cause much of a softening effect on footage.

Standard 4K capture looks noticeable softer than the Panasonic GH5 as well as larger sensor cameras cameras like the Nikon Z6, Sony a7 III or even the Canon EOS R. And turning on digital IS when shooting standard 4K has a noticeable softening effect.