“Brought to you live from Hamburg: The newest Olympus camera in professional photography! Watch here the playlist of the full show of the OM-D E-M1X release event. This clip summarizes the official Press Release Conference on January 23rd, 2019, with guests from Olympus Tokyo….”
For me, the Micro Four Thirds sensor format occupies the place that 35mm inhabited during the analog era and so it is well-suited to the photographic genres that were dominated by 35mm cameras such as sports, wildlife, photojournalism, some subgenres of documentary and specific approaches to fashion photography.
Other sensor formats occupy places once owned by larger analog formats, for example Fujifilm’s X-Trans APS-C has taken the place of some 120 roll film formats while Fujifilm’s G-Series Bayer sensor-equipped medium format cameras have taken the place of 4″x5″ sheet film and the company’s coming GFX 100 will likely match if not surpass the image quality of 8″x10″ sheet film cameras.
Similar analogies apply to other sensor formats such as 35mm where 20+ megapixels sensors amply match if not surpass the quality once obtained by medium format roll film and circa 50 megapixels sensors are inching on the door of sheet film’s house.
Complaints that MFT camera sensors may not be as sensitive as those of larger formats are silly given the mobility, weather resistance and smaller lenses with stellar performance the smaller format affords.
If you need larger sensor cameras, invest in them and let MFT be what it excels at just as one should allow cameras of other sensor formats and body types to be what they were designed to be.
Pretending otherwise is silly.
I am rather fond of the Micro Four Thirds format as it gave me access to the pro-quality video capabilities I could not afford at the time and its cameras proved to be rather good for documentary stills photography and photojournalism too.
If I were working for newspapers and magazines as I used to, MFT cameras and lenses would constitute my core daily working kit, supplemented by equipment in other sensor formats as projects demanded.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1X would be in contention as would the excellent Olympus M.Zuiko Pro lenses.
The Micro Four Thirds sensor format is perfectly adequate for those genres and applications.
Olympus OM-D E-M1X with lenses and accessories
The Olympus Lens Roadmap, February 2019
Olympus has been doing a great job of fleshing out its professional-quality M.Zuiko Pro lens collection but gaps remain in its prime and zoom lens offerings and rumours of new lenses, particularly new fast prime lenses, have appeared over the last couple of years without results.
I am rather fond of the M.Zuiko Pro lens series, with my most-used being the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro standard zoom, and I have been hoping that Olympus will add more prime lenses.
I chose the 12-40mm f/2.8 over what might have been the more logical choice given I use Panasonic cameras, Panasonic’s Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II Aspheric Power OIS zoom lens, for several reasons:
- Manual clutch focus – essential in my opinion for achieving fast, accurate, repeatable focus especially when shooting documentary video.
- Longer focal length range – 24mm to 80mm in 35mm sensor equivalents, extending the long end into the realm of ideal focal lengths for portraiture.
- Excellent optical performance – all throughout the lens’ focal length range.
- Excellent mechanical and optical design and manufacturing.
Olympus’ release of its first three fast M.Zuiko Pro prime lenses was very pleasing, but I have long been hoping for the addition of 10.5mm and 14mm prime lenses, equivalent in 35mm terms to 21mm and 28mm, both of which are essentials for documentary photography and video.
While 10.5mm is available wit in the M.Zuiko Pro 7-14mm f/2.8 zoom, that lens requires the use of large, unwieldy and costly adapters for attaching neutral density filters when shooting video.
A 10.5mm M.Zuiko Pro prime lens is a much better choice and it does not need to be as fast as its M.Zuiko Pro siblings with their f/1.2 maximum aperture.
The same applies to an M.Zuiko Pro 14mm prime lens.
Both lenses would be perfectly fine with maximum apertures of from, say, f/1.8 through to f/2.8, though faster is always appreciated in available darkness.
One of Olympus’ new items in its February 2019 lens roadmap, “Bright Prime Lenses”, is encouraging and it appears to be placed somewhere between 10mm and 60mm.
I would love to see wide aperture prime lenses added in popular focal lengths such as the following, in their M43 and 35mm sensor equivalents:
- 10.5mm – 21mm
- 14mm – 28mm
- 37.5mm – 75mm
- 52.5mm – 105mm
Two other new items in the lens roadmap have me intrigued, “Wide Zoom Lens” and “Standard Zoom Lens”.
I would like to see Olympus take on Panasonic over the latter’s Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 fast zoom lens that was announced with scant details back in late 2018.
This lens may well be the one I had been looking for when I first bought into Micro Four Thirds, containing most of the focal lengths I need on a daily basis for documentary stills and video, and something similar coming from Olympus for its M.Zuiko Pro lens collection can only be a good thing.
- 4/3 Rumors – Watch the full Olympus OM-D E-M1X press conference
- B&H Explora – Olympus Takes Micro Four Thirds Pro with OM-D E-M1X
- Lumix G | Experience – Panasonic shows 10-25mm f/1.7 superfast wide zoom for Micro Four Thirds
- Olympus Asia – OM-D E-M1X
- Olympus Global – M.Zuiko Pro
- OlympusEuropePhoto – #olympusLIVE | PART 1 | Olympus OM-D E-M1X Press Release Conference Hamburg 24.01.2019