Olympus’ blazing OM-D E-M1X shoots for the pro sports DSLRs

Olympus was remarkably quiet while its rivals were launching their shiny full-frame systems in 2018, but now it’s broken cover with a pro-friendly monster of a Micro Four Thirds camera – the Olympus OM-D E-M1X.

A new flagship for Olympus’ pro line, the OM-D E-M1X is packed with features that could potentially see it rival full-frame stalwarts like the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. The most obvious new feature is that built-in vertical grip, which is designed to improve both handling and battery life. It also means you get the same handling, whether you’re shooting in landscape or portrait.

Inside the OM-D E-M1X, though, are several new features that promise to take Micro Four Thirds performance to new heights. For a start, its image 5-axis image stabilisation has been boosted to an impressive 7.5 stops of compensation, which is both class-leading and a real boon for both video and handheld shooting.

Olympus OMD EM1X

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Another major plus for sports and wildlife shooters is its blazing speed – it can rattle off 60fps in burst mode with AF locked, or 18fps while tracking an object. Talking of which, Olympus has apparently developed new subject detection AF system that can automatically recognise subjects like cars, planes and trains, keeping them in focus even if movements are unpredictable.

Perhaps the most exciting new feature for those concerned about the size of Micro Four Thirds sensor for pro work is the OM-D E-M1X’s high-resolution mode. Thanks to sensor shift tech, its 20.4-megapixel Four Thirds sensor can produce 80-megapixel shots from a tripod, and now 50-megapixel shots when handheld. That’s seriously impressive, though we’ll have to see how well it works in practice.

Olympus OMD EM1X

The OM-D E-M1X has the physical features to back up its new software clout too, with a 3-inch fully articulating screen, 2.36-million dot EVF, and what it claims is the “world’s best dust-, splash- and freezeproof body”. A Live ND feature even apparently gives you the slow shutter speed effects of a ND filter without the need for a physical one.

Naturally, all of this doesn’t come cheap, with the OM-D E-M1X available from late February 2019 for £2,799. Though its size and price do compare very favourably with older sports DSLRs like the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. We’ll bring you a full review very soon.

What do you think, does the Olympus OM-D E-M1X have the features to compete with larger sensor cameras? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.