Olympus has unveiled the OM-D E-M1X, a pro-level mirrorless camera with very rapid shooting speeds and an all-new image stabilizer that will help both video shooters and photographers. It packs the same 20.4-megapixel Canon, Nikon and particularly Panasonic recently jumped onto the full-frame mirrorless train, but Olympus told Engadget it's not interested. "That's not the direction we want to go, that's not our core competency," said Olympus marketing director Nathan Lloyd. High speed, autofocus and performance is better on Micro Four Thirds.
Things move fast in the camera world these days, as manufacturers push for new innovations to keep their lineups relevant in the age of smartphones. Since our last guide, new models from Canon, Sony and others have arrived with big improvements in shooting speeds, autofocus and video. That's good news if you're a buyer, because the latest cameras are better than ever and it's easier to find deals on past models. Still, it can be hard to keep track of every new camera that comes along, and that's where we come in. Our 2021 guide will catch you up on all the latest models and bargains, so you can select a camera that fits your shooting needs and budget to a tee.
Is Olympus hampered by its micro four-thirds sensor when mirrorless rivals have APS-C and Fujifilm just launched a medium-format camera? I had a look at the company's new OMD-EM1 Mark II flagship during Photokina, and the company is doing its best to prove it's not. By marrying a brand-new 20.4 megapixel sensor to a dual quad-core TruePic VIII image processor, Olympus has made a blazingly quick camera. Combined with a new 121-point phase detection AF system, It can shoot 18 RAW frames per second in continuous autofocus and exposure mode, and a crazy 60 fps with those locked off. During my admittedly brief tests with the prototype (under controlled conditions), it was able to sustain that 18fps rate for a good 5-10 seconds before it started to slow down.
After being announced in September, Olympus' OM-D E-M1 Mark II quickly became one of the most anticipated cameras of the year. The new flagship mirrorless, which will hit stores in December for $2,000 (body only), is loaded with high-end specs. That includes a 20.4-megapixel Live MOS sensor (Micro Four Thirds), a dual quad-core Truepic VIII image processor, 121-point autofocus system and in-camera stabilization. Above all, though, the E-M1 Mark II is about sheer speed, featuring 18-fps shooting with continuous autofocus and autoexposure enabled, or an insane 60 frames per second if those settings are locked. While I've only been testing the camera for little more than a day, all of those specs have translated well in real-world use.
I use two cameras on a regular basis: my iPhone 7 Plus and an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I. The latter has been my workhorse since 2014, when many Engadget staffers started using it for field assignments. I've taken it to almost every press event I've attended these past two years, and the results are rarely disappointing. Still, the idea of a faster model with a better autofocus was tempting. That's where the recently launched OM-D E-M1 Mark II comes in. OIympus' latest flagship mirrorless, available in December for $2,000 body-only, is pegged as a major upgrade to its predecessor.