Review Thoughts on the EM1X..................

Phocal

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Sort of wasted as a testbed if there are no firmware updates. Offer more tracking subjects, really not a high demand for trains outside of Japan. Like to see improved face detect like the 1.3. Maybe add animal eye detect like Sony has.
Every OMD has seen at least one significant firmware update, no reason to think the X will be any different.
 

PakkyT

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- I went to three locations (one of them being the foxes, no foxes today) and it wasn't until the 2nd (foxes) that I remembered to turn on the GPS. Actually thought it was turned on but guess when playing with it at home I turned it off. I mention this because I am not impressed with the battery life. Now I do need to look at the power settings, it is currently just on default, but with only 400 shots over a few hours I am down to 42% on battery one. That seems a little terrible to me, will have to play with it more. I also have the GPS setup to prioritize GPS accuracy and will keep it there for a bit while comparing it vs my Garmin. Then I will switch it to prioritize battery life and compare vs the Garmin and see what the difference is.
One thought is that since usually battery life it a matter of on time with mirrorless (vs. # of shots with dSLRs), you might try setting up both your E-M1.1 and E-M1x with the same sleep (off) and shutoff (1hr or 4hr) settings, turn them both on with fresh batteries, and then leave them until they both auto off. Then check the battery levels to compare. This will at least give you a baseline if simply having the E-M1x on is any worse than the old mark 1 or if it does indeed use more power during actual use. You can do the same experiment with GPS off and then GPS on to get a feel of the actual GPS energy needs (assuming you do it where it has a fix which may use less power than it if it inside always losing and/or searching for a sat fix).
 
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hoggdoc

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For me its the slowness to use to deploy the screen compared to the flippy screen and that the screen is not in line with the lens. When using the LCD with a telephoto lens with the LCD not in line makes tracking a subject difficult.

Some habits are impossible to break.
My dislike of the flip-out LCD is very simple, I don't like the way it hangs out to the side of the camera. I don't do selfies or shoot videos, but I do street photography at times, the tilt screen is much better for that.
 

ashburtononline

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It's on sale here as well, putting the price right at the same price as the mk3 with grip and 2nd battery. If you mostly shoot with the grip, getting the X makes a lot more sense.
ALWAYS shoot with the grip ;) Getting loaner on Wednesday (driving to pickup) and new X on Saturday morning :) Shop is 60 miles away.
 

11GTCS

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- Tracking sucked (even tried the intelligent AI thing using the plane setting), it would keep jumping to the background. Next I want to play around with the focus limiter in hopes that I can keep it from jumping to the background.
Yup, that’s what put me off getting anything nicer than my 1.2. I’ll keep it until I can afford a 7rIII and their 200-600. Utterly despise Sony but their tracking is inane, watching videos of the Sony tracking birds I realized it wasn’t just that I suck at BIF (though that’s part of it) it’s that MFT tracking is basically useless. My 1.2 won’t be staying super long for that reason, since that’s the only time I use CAF, and the 5.2 and Pen-F do just as well in SAF
 

Phocal

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Yup, that’s what put me off getting anything nicer than my 1.2. I’ll keep it until I can afford a 7rIII and their 200-600. Utterly despise Sony but their tracking is inane, watching videos of the Sony tracking birds I realized it wasn’t just that I suck at BIF (though that’s part of it) it’s that MFT tracking is basically useless. My 1.2 won’t be staying super long for that reason, since that’s the only time I use CAF, and the 5.2 and Pen-F do just as well in SAF
It was out of the box setup and I know I can improve it using the autofocus limiters. But I honestly prefer doing the tracking myself. I started as a sports/wildlife photographer in the film days, long before tracking, so I don't really need it. But I do want to see what the camera is capable of doing once I nail down all the settings.
 

Phocal

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Took the X out hunting bear/moose/owl and found none of them today, but it was nice getting out today and doing a 6 mile hike.

First thing I want to talk about is the shutter button, it has an amazing feel. When I first switched to Olympus I struggled only taking one photo when having it set to continuous, the shutter button was just to sensitive. I finally got where I could do it pretty easily with my EM1 but the X is so much easier, reminds me a lot of my Canons. So I am very happy with the button and actually everything dealing with build quality. This thing is built like a tank and you can feel that in your hand.

I really like the field sensors and the temperature seems to be pretty accurate as does the direction I am pointing the camera. The GPS on the other hand seems a bit wonky. I haven't tried to test the accuracy of it vs my GPS but this really shows how much it moves around. All of the photos were taken in the same location, approximately where the yellow 234 is at.

50049492187_8317bcc887_o.jpg GPS Data EM1X by Phocal Art, on Flickr

It is close enough to the actual location that on a return trip you find the exact spot, but it does appear to drift around a lot when you sit in one location shooting something. Next trip out I will switch it to battery priority to see how much worse it is or if I get better battery live in this mode.

All of those photos in one location brings up my huge love for 60fps in a camera. Don't really have the herons and egrets up here that I liked to photograph hunting but 60fps would be so ideal for that. Be able to get that perfect frame a lot easier than you can with only 10 or even 20 fps. I know it is not specific to the X but it is specific to Olympus and a feature that I can see so many uses for.

Another great Olympus feature is Pro Capture. Had a chance to play around with it using Pro Capture High, which also takes advantage of the 60fps. I was hoping this bird would take flight, but all he did was poop while I was there. But Pro Capture allowed me to catch the action.

50049052771_02fbed4f92_o.jpg Making Room by Phocal Art, on Flickr

It really is a great feature and one I see myself using on a regular basis. While playing in the menu for Pro Capture I see we can also set a limit on frames for a burst. That is a pretty neat feature that I used in the film days, but not something I would use now.

I put that 7.5 stops of stabilization to use today. I still get amazed that I can get a sharp handheld image with an effective 840mm using a shutter speed of 1/125.

50049308912_0df059ec47_o.jpg Dinner Time by Phocal Art, on Flickr

The DoF in these images is super thin, like a single thin line. I like how in this image I got a good line on the bird and get to show off how much detail this lens and camera are able to capture. You can see all those little tiny feathers.

50048794168_895de1865f_o.jpg Mouth Full by Phocal Art, on Flickr

It doesn't hurt that I was really close, image has no crop other than taking it to 3:2 (made a better composition that way. That guy ate 3 of those before flying to the next group of them, that mess on his beak was just like sucked it. That is the only way to describe it, he would get a bunch like that and then they would be gone........................liked he just sucked them in. It was overcast and raining the entire day, so my ISO was hitting 3200. So I switched to setting the ISO manually and was lowering it a little and then shooting some images, rinse and repeat. I did this all the way down to 1/125 because I knew I also needed to freeze the bird and felt that was the lowest I could go and that got me down to much more reasonable ISO of 1000. I really wanted to pull out the 150/2 but knew that would cause the bird to fly off. My next trip there I plan to mount the 150/2 for the hike because it is pretty thick and most bear/moose encounters are going to be pretty close, perfect for the 150/2.

Today made me realize I made the correct decision to keep the X and not return it. There is nothing else out there that can do what this camera does, is as weather sealed or as compact.

Until the next trip,

Phocal
 

Jock Elliott

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Well it got here today and I spent about 30 minutes visiting my foxes to test out the EM1X. I will be updating this thread over the next month or so as I test the camera out and see what it is really capable of. The camera is a beast, I mean that in a good way, and it's a chunky monkey.

Here are a few of my initial thoughts about the camera.

- Build quality feels top notch. There is nothing cheap feeling about this camera at all.
- Feel perfect in my hand. I was surprised that my pinky sits right at the bottom of the grip, thought there would be a little more room. So it isn't as big as I was expecting and I actually find it perfect.
- Not a fan at all of the twisty pop out LCD. I really do prefer the flippy screen of the original EM1. This is probably the one thing that is going to take me months to get use to, if I ever do. I don't really use the LCD in normal shooting and it is faster to deploy if you keep the LCD facing in. So that is how I will probably keep it.
- It is way more responsive than my EM1. It's enough faster to really be noticeable.
- The joystick is the bomb, and not just for moving the focus point around. Really like that I can push it in and change the focus point setup, super handy and easy to change. By focus point setup I mean switching from small to large focus point or group points. Way easier than my EM1 where I had to get into the SCP, not something easy to do with eye to the camera.
- Really love the built in GPS, didn't realize how much I was going to like all those field sensors. For the data geek in me I am going to love this, especially this winter to know how cold it really was.
- Can't wait to test out the 150/2 on it.
- It's going to take me at least a month to get this think sorted out and setup.
- Really love that favorites section of the menu. This is another thing that I could do with my Canons that I did miss but with the ability to really modify the buttons on Olympus cameras it wasn't as needed. But now with everything combined I am really going to love having it back.
- Did I mention it was a solid chunky monkey? I like carry the camera around by holding the vertical grip. I kind of lightly grip the vertical grip, more like balance it on my fingers and let the lens point forwards at about a 30 degree angle. I just find it really easy to carry the camera with the 300/4 or 150/2 on it. With my EM1 I could always feel that flex between vertical grip and camera body. There is none with this camera and it feels so great to not fell flex.
- The menu button moving is going to take a bit to get use to.
- Transferring photos to the phone is not only faster but I can now do RAW, so super happy with that.
- There is a noticeable bump in image quality.

So I had it shipped to work and took the 300/4 with me. I had it planned to go visit the foxes that I haven't visited in 2 months but really didn't think things through. I wore shorts and running shoes to work and the male daddy fox decided to sit on a tree in the middle of the swampy area. So I had to do some bushwhacking through waist high vegetation and some nasty smelling swamp mud/water in my running shoes and shorts. At first I was worried about being in shorts but then I remembered this isn't Texas and I don't have to worry about chiggers.

Side note............................

My brain still hasn't adjusted with respects to threats in the wilderness. I am still constantly looking for gators and snakes, something I don't have to worry about at all here. Hell, there are not even any nasty spiders or scorpions to worry about up here. I need to get my eyes to look more out because the threat here is not going to be at me feet.

I wanted to move around the other side of him but the swamp was just too deep. When I got into position the sun was behind the trees, so he wasn't as backlit as I thought he was going to be.

View attachment 830276Fox 055 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 830277Fox 056 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

View attachment 830278Fox 057 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

The best part is the first thing I have taken a photo of with this camera was the fox.

View attachment 830279P6160001 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

I refused to take the first photo of something stupid like a wall or a sign.
Those shots are so sharp, I think I cut my eye on them! Absolutely stunning.

As to environmental threats, I've never been, but I've heard the mosquitoes in Alaska are big enough to carry you off . . . that they have FAA tail numbers tattooed on them . . . get yourself a 55-gallon drum of Ben's Bug Repellent . . . and, oh yeah, keep taking those gorgeous, gorgeous pictures.

Cheers, Jock
 

Phocal

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Those shots are so sharp, I think I cut my eye on them! Absolutely stunning.

As to environmental threats, I've never been, but I've heard the mosquitoes in Alaska are big enough to carry you off . . . that they have FAA tail numbers tattooed on them . . . get yourself a 55-gallon drum of Ben's Bug Repellent . . . and, oh yeah, keep taking those gorgeous, gorgeous pictures.

Cheers, Jock
Thanks. I have never complained about the IQ from m4/3 cameras or lenses, always been more than happy.

Actually, so far.......I have found the mosquitoes not as bad as what I am use to in the Texas swamps. They are a little bigger but not nearly as bad in pure numbers. Plus there are no chiggers or fire ants or snakes to worry about.
 

PakkyT

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The GPS on the other hand seems a bit wonky. I haven't tried to test the accuracy of it vs my GPS but this really shows how much it moves around. All of the photos were taken in the same location,
This is true of GPS in general but most GPS devices have built in intelligence to "filter" out jumping around. For example, on a car GPS it will keep you on the road on the map and predicting where you should be due to speed and direction until you get far enough off the road that it finally accepts you are not there anymore. I have a GPS data logger I bought many years ago, before mobile phones were doing it or had terrible battery life when using GPS, runs off AAA batteries and lasts for hours. When looking at the tracks, same thing. So long as you are walking the track is pretty spot on, but once you stop, the longer you stay in the same spot you begin to accumulate a cloud of locations around you. Once on vacation I left it tracking while we stopped for lunch at a place (normally I would stop tracking then restart once we were on our way again) so I had about an hours worth of "GPS Cloud" on that track. Some of the locations were literally a block or two away from where we were.

You might try the same experiment. Turn on the GPS and keep moving then stop somewhere for 15 minutes then start moving again. I bet when you are moving it will be pretty much spot on while the 15 minute break you will get the "cloud".
 

ac12

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The other might be early locations.
When I turn on the GPS, if the last position of my GPS is not where I am at, it takes a while to get readings from enough satellites to get a location fix.
If you have the camera OFF, when you turn it on, it could be that some of the readings are early calculations, with only a couple satellites.

A thought is the calculations itself.
If the camera GPS is using say 6 digits of precision, out of the 8 digits that the satellite generates, there is 2 digits of precision that is lost.

@PakkyT interesting thought.
I was just driving to the doc this morning, and the GPS wanted to take the parallel off ramp, but I decided to stay on the freeway.
The GPS did not recognize that I was still on the freeway, until the off ramp turned away from the freeway. It presumed that I was on the path that it calculated and instructed me to be on.
 

PakkyT

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@PakkyT interesting thought.
I was just driving to the doc this morning, and the GPS wanted to take the parallel off ramp, but I decided to stay on the freeway.
The GPS did not recognize that I was still on the freeway, until the off ramp turned away from the freeway. It presumed that I was on the path that it calculated and instructed me to be on.
Right, this is why many GPS units meant for vehicles with have other modes such as pedestrian or "off-road" you can switch to when you know you won't be following the roads exactly, you can tell the GPS to actually follow the GPS signal rather than the mapping logic for a traveling car.
 
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