- 20MP four thirds sensor
- 2x TruePic VIII processor
- 121 phase detection AF system
- ISO range of 200-25,600
- 4K video at 30fps or C4K video at 24fps
- 2.36m-dots EVF with 0.84x magnification
- 3” fully articulating touchscreen with 1037K-dots
- 60fps burst mode
- Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- 2.19 lbs with both batteries
- 870-shot battery life
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is a micro four thirds, professional-grade sports and action camera that dropped in early 2019.
I haven’t seen a ton of coverage on the Olympus OM-D E-M1X since it dropped, probably because of its prohibitive price tag, but it’s a phenomenal camera that deserves its moment in the spotlight.
Some of the specs of the Olympus OM-D E-M1X are to be expected. For instance, its AF system is lightning-fast and its build is incredibly rugged. Still, there are some specs on this camera that very few people expected before it dropped. For example, it has a much smaller sensor than people expected it to.
Now, if you aren’t a professional sports or action photographer, then this camera really isn’t going to do much for you. But, if you do work within one of these photography niches, then this Olympus OM-D E-M1X review will be really helpful for you.
I’m going to take you through the basic Olympus OM-D E-M1X features, the more specific Olympus OM-D E-M1X specs, and give you a few thoughts on the camera overall.
Olympus OM-D E-M1X Specs
Let’s get right into the specs of the Olympus OM-D E-M1X.
The first thing that people are pretty shocked about when they read the specs of the Olympus OM-D E-M1X is that it only uses a 20MP sensor. Typically, a lot of photographers think that a smaller sensor equates a less professional camera. But, I disagree. I think it’s less about the number of megapixels and more about how the camera uses them, since sensors are so advanced nowadays anyway.
I do need to say a word about the battery life on the Olympus OM-D E-M1X…
While the CIPA rating is 870-shots, there is a “quick sleep mode” that you can use which extensively lengthens the amount of time you can shoot. According to Olympus, if you use the “quick sleep mode” all of the time when shooting with this camera, you can actually get 2,580 shots out of your batteries before needing to recharge them.
Olympus OM-D E-M1X Body & Design
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X body is definitely odd, in that it has dual grips. So, for anyone adverse to the idea of a slightly bigger camera, this may not be the camera for you. I have seen it labelled as “bulky” by different reviewers for this reason.
But, if you can get over its body shape, this is a camera that is very rugged.
The odd body shape also allows for a better battery life. It also allows you to shoot vertically much more comfortably.
The most unique feature to the design of this camera, other than how box-like it is, is the fact that the power button is located on the left side of the camera. Otherwise, most of the controls are where you’d expect them to be. Since this camera is much larger than a traditional micro four thirds camera, the buttons are also properly spaced out so you don’t need to worry about shooting with gloves.
Olympus OM-D E-M1X Build & Handling
Since the Olympus OM-D E-M1X handling is a major selling point of this camera, I’m going to go pretty in depth with this section.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X build is solid. Its environmental resistance is rated as IPX1, which means that your camera will not be damaged should it accidentally get caught in a light rainstorm for a few minutes. As sports photographers know, this is absolutely essential. You can’t stop shooting if the game hasn’t stopped, regardless of the weather.
I briefly mentioned the incredible battery life on this camera under the specs section. It can last for over 2,000 shots if you only use the “quick sleep mode,” but will otherwise last for nearly 900. I think the battery life on a camera is one of the most important aspects of its handling, since I tend to travel a lot and don’t know when I won’t have reliable electricity. This camera definitely passed my test.
Another important thing, especially for sports photographers, is lag time. Thankfully, the viewfinder on the Olympus OM-D E-M1X is minimal, which means that you can track all of the action. While the viewfinder resolution will be slightly lower when you’re shooting in burst mode, I didn’t find it too bad.
I found the menu on this camera to be very easy to use. It will be especially easy to use if you’ve owned an Olympus before.
You can customize a lot about this camera and it does not come with an “index” page, instead opting for sections simply labelled alphabetically.
The one problem I did see with the menu on this camera is that it isn’t color coded. I’ll always prefer a menu that is color coded, just because it's how my brain works, and I don’t think I’m the only one that wishes Olympus would have included this option into its menu.
Olympus OM-D E-M1X Video Performance
There’s only so much you can say about a camera’s video performance without actually showing a video taken by that camera.
I’ve chosen a video test by DPReview that you can view above.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X video performance specs are just as good as the real thing, though.
It can shoot Cinema 4K video at 24p, or regular 4K at 30p. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can also shoot slow-motion footage at 1080/120p.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X was also the only Olympus camera that allowed videographers to use Log capture when it first came out.
Some videographers have complained that the Olympus OM-D E-M1X design is lacking in certain videography aspects, though. For instance, the camera comes with an external recorder, which is great, a cable retaining clip to prevent your HDMI from coming out, which is wonderful, and 1/24th and 1/48th shutter speeds for videographers working with 360-degree videos, but Olympus did not create a way for this camera to output a 10-bit signal over HDMI.
It’s small issues like this that may frustrate videographers who purchase this camera specifically for video.
Still, at the price point, it’s a wonderful camera even with a few small problems.
Olympus OM-D E-M1X Price
While the Olympus OM-D E-M1X is still relatively new, since it came out early last year, there are still a good amount of them for sale on used camera sites.
As is true of any professional sport or action camera, the Olympus OM-D E-M1X is incredibly expensive, so I suggest you buy one used in order to save some money.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X price on MPB, my favorite used camera retailer, starts at $1,850. Every Olympus OM-D E-M1X available on MPB right now is in either “excellent” or “like new” shape, which means you’re going to get an almost identical shooting experience, while still saving hundreds of dollars that you can spend on better lenses.
You can read more about why I use MPB in the learn more link below, but suffice it to say that, if you’ve worked in the industry as long as I have, you get pretty exhausted working with sites like Ebay or Craigslist. You never really know what shape your used camera gear is going to be in when it arrives at your door, but with MPB, every camera is rated by professional photographers. I’ve yet to purchase a camera I was unhappy with.
And, like in the case of the Olympus OM-D E-M1X, you can choose whether or not options like “original packaging” matter to you.