Olympus Pro Loan

Updated: Jul 6

So I got the amazing chance to try out the Olympus M1X system. Those nice people at Olympus even gave me four lenses and an extender to try with it. And for two weeks!!!

First thing to mention is the customer service is superb, I mean they really know how to treat people, that personal touch, plenty of help with anything you need and loads of online one to one tutorials.

The kit I got is the OM-D E M1X body, 4 batteries and two chargers. it's a micro 4/3 sensor, so not the full frame I am used to.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 300 mm F4 IS Pro

M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150 mm F2.8 Pro

M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40 mm F2.8 Pro

M.Zuiko Digital ED 60 mm F2.8 Macro

M.Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter MC-14

The kit all came in a camera bag and they pick it up too, so really not much for me to do except get out and try it. So we are on lock-down so not quite as much getting out there as I would like, and the weather has been a bit crap too.

But it arrived on the Thursday instead of Friday, so one extra day for free, I booked the week off work to make the most of it. Friday I went out with the 300 mm lens attached and walked down the river to the nature reserve, still reasonable early morning so the light was still good, the IBIS is very impressive, even in my shaky hands not a single blurred shot, all handheld. It's very different from using my 5Div, first mirrorless I have really tried and all the buttons are in different places. But 10-15 minutes in I am finding the control set up really good, shutter speed and aperture wheels in perfect position, ISO easy to reach too without too much looking... Now this camera has a huge amount of gadgets built in, but it will take me more than two weeks to even uncover most of them. So basic camera use, so far really good... I look through the viewfinder, I haven't got good with using the live view option so I won't try yet ;-)

All in all, good first outing, found the camera reasonable light but still feeling very sturdy, missed a couple of focus points... what's new haha!

Next try was a daytime moon shot that evening, so the 300 mm again with the tele this time...420 mm but micro 4/3 gives more like an 840 mm focal appearance. I opted for handheld, mainly because I was too lazy to get the tripod out... in fact completely because I was too lazy, but I didn't need it anyway, nice shots. Then thought I would get the tripod after all and try out the remote control app. Again, really simple to use and install and works as I expected. focusing was a little laggy, but that isn't only on the Olympus remote app, I get that with my canon too.

I briefly tried out the 12-40 mm on a few astro shots too, all in all the lenses are really good, my deficiencies with the camera are probably the biggest weaknesses. You can't learn it all in a day though and every system is different.

I'll skip forward to the end of the two weeks of testing, many outings, obviously only my allowed exercise as we are still in lock-down. What a time to try a camera out haha!

Great colour reproduction and using the 1:1 button you have to focus by moving back and forth. Again a slight learning curve, but I think the images speak for themselves.

I have tried out all the lenses and with quite a few different types of photography, from moon shots to wildlife, macro to flowers outside. With the 300 mm and the 1.4x extender fitted you have a focal range of 420 mm, but equivalent to a 35 mm it's like having an 840 mm lens. Can't fault the system, in fact... I only went and bought it!!!

I think the image quality speaks for itself, the colours are vibrant, the focus system works really well, it tracks perfectly, there's still a lot I haven't tried yet. The 'Pro Capture' is an awesome feature, so a half press on the shutter to focus, and if you fully press you get the 35 frames from before your went all the way down. Great addition for wildlife, not always great for editing though, I have taken around 5000 pictures in the last two weeks, and learning curve aside, I haven't found any fault in this system.

I've got completely comfortable with the EVF, don't believe people saying it's difficult. You see the live version of the shot you are going to take, it couldn't be more helpful. The silent shutter is exactly that, which is a plus for all you wildlife photographers. The burst is so so fast, in fact it's so fast you've taken 20 shots before you realise. Again not so good for the editing, especially if they all look perfect ;-)

Anyway, don't all together take my word for it, go check out the Olympus M1X system for yourself. I think you'll be surprised just how good it is. Also I am allowed to hold on to the loan kit until my new kit arrives. Looking forward to showing you many more of the great images from this camera in the future.

Cheers

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