OM-D E-M1X Hand-held Hi Res Images at Bird Kingdom

This article features a small collection of Olympus OM-D E-M1X Hand-held Hi Res images captured at Bird Kingdom. Unfortunately there were not as many birds as usual in the public areas during my visit today. This reduced the number of photographic opportunities that were available.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-3200

If you have been reading any of the online reviews on the Olympus OM-D E-M1X you may have noticed the occasional comment that the hand-held Hi Res Shot Mode is not that practical.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-3200, 100% crop

Some reviewers have made the statement that this capability has limited scope and is designed mainly for landscape. A few hinted that it was ‘gimmicky’.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-3200 (please excuse the out of focus foliage at the bottom of this photograph)

I couldn’t disagree more. After creating a few sample images I discovered that this function is fairly easy to use. It also can be applied to a wide variety of subject matter. These include flowers, portraits, birds and other animals, and for a whole host of static subjects.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-3200, 100% crop

For photographers looking for ways to add flexibility to their kit and provide more services to their clients, this feature is a bit of a game changer. These hand-held Hi Res images at Bird Kingdom were a ton of fun to create, while also providing some challenge. A great combination for any photographer!

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-3200

When using the Olympus Hand-held Hi Res Shot mode it is important to choose subjects that are reasonably stationary. Most birds do not sit motionless for any length of time. Success with birds really depends on timing your shutter release during the split second that the subject is motionless.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/160, ISO-3200, 100% crop

The Olympus OM-D E-M1X captures sixteen images in rapid succession when the Hand-held Hi Res Shot Mode is used. The IBIS system adjusts between each of those images to allow for the hand movements of an individual photographer.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-1600

Needless to say there is a lot that can go wrong if you are not disciplined with your technique. If the camera is unable to combine the images properly, it will display an error message and discard all but the first image of the run.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-1600, 100% crop

The Olympus Hand-held Hi Res Shot Mode produces a 50 MP file (8160 x 6120) in both jpeg and RAW. All of the images in this article are straight out of camera jpegs. At this point I am unable to process RAW files with the software that I use. Hopefully DxO PhotoLab will have a camera module for the OM-D E-M1X in the very near future.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-800

There is no doubt in my mind that there is a lot more that can be done with photographs captured using the Hand-held Hi Res Shot Mode, when using RAW files.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-800, 100% crop

Today was only my second opportunity to use the Olympus OM-D E-M1X and I have a huge amount to learn about how to use its various capabilities properly. The Olympus Hand-held Hi Res Shot Mode is something that I can see using on a regular basis. It will take more experimentation to get the most from this feature.

Technical Note:
All photographs in this article were captured using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced using the Olympus Hand-held Hi Res Shot Mode. All photographs displayed in this article are straight-out-of-camera jpegs. They were resized to 1200 pixels for web use. 100% crops of each image are included.

Use of Olympus Loaner Equipment
All of the photographs in this article were captured using Olympus Loaner Gear which was supplied by Olympus Americas Inc. on a no-charge basis. We are under no obligation what-so-ever to Olympus Americas Inc. in terms of our use of this loaner Olympus camera equipment. There is no expectation or agreement of any kind with Olympus Americas Inc. that we will create and share with readers any images, articles or videos, or on what that content may be.

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12 thoughts on “OM-D E-M1X Hand-held Hi Res Images at Bird Kingdom”

  1. Stunning photos all! My favorite is number two and “please excuse the out of focus foliage at the bottom of this photograph” I love the out of focus foliage of green at the bottom! I like to add some out of focus foliage to the front of some of my flower images. Looks like you can get fantastic photos from any camera!

  2. Wow, Tom. These images are spectacular! I also appreciate
    Olympus and shoot beautiful close ups with my OLY OM-D and Leica Macro-Elmarit 45. However nothing matches these images. Good luck with your upcoming choices.

    1. Thanks very much Pam… I appreciate your supportive comment!

      At the end of the day this will actually be a simple “yes or no” choice in terms of deciding to invest in some Olympus gear or not. It all comes down to a fundamental judgement about project efficiency with our video business. Photography considerations are secondary. It will come down to whether the Olympus E-M1X can give us the increased efficiency we want for our video projects or not.

      If we do decide to invest in the Olympus E-M1X and the three PRO zooms we will likely add a macro lens down the road.


  3. Beautiful results as always! The As an Olympus M1mk2 owner, I have used the HiRes feature but that model (as yet) does not have the ability to use this hand-held. My decision to buy Olympus was greatly influenced by their excellent IS along with lens quality as the 40-150 f2.8 shows. The question on my mind is, what does high-res (16 image combo 8160 x 6120) offer versus the standard single image (5184×3888)? In a future blog post, maybe you could make some comparisons between the two, cropping to illustrate the difference and whether the additional care required is worth it in the final result. There are also now some excellent software products to resize images where more pixels are needed e.g. for a print such as Topaz Gigapixel AI.

    1. Hi Colin,

      It is actually very simple to use the Hi Resolution Hand-held mode. Other than deciding which subjects make sense to photograph, it really doesn’t take any more time to shoot a Hi Res hand-held image versus a standard one. The in-camera processing takes about 15-20 seconds. Some repeat attempts may be in order if the subject moved or if a photographer isn’t steady enough. Other than that… it really is very simple to do.

      The fact that the E-M1X has the Hi Res hand-held mode wasn’t a primary consideration for us to look at Olympus gear. In fact, anything that the E-M1X can do photographically wasn’t on our primary consideration list. All of our primary considerations are video based. All of the photographic capabilities are lots of tasty icing on the cake!

      Colin, your suggestion about comparing Hi Res and a standard image makes sense. Since you already have an E-M1 Mark II, you are already familiar with the level of additional details that can be obtained. I would assume that the hand-held hi res would be similar to the result you are getting with the tripod version of the hi res function.


  4. Hi Tom,

    Those are exquisite details of the birds I must say.
    I agree with your comment that it can add to a photographer’s bag of fun things to do. I kept guessing what your lead image was as it was intriguing though I guessed right because I had the advantage of reading in your last post where you were headed. Looking forward to more of your birding field tests images.


    1. Glad you enjoyed the photographs Oggie!

      I was out today doing some bird photography. The morning started out well in terms of lighting… then was dull and grey. Not The type of lighting that would have encouraged me to keep shooting had I been out with my Nikon 1 gear… but interesting conditions for some field testing.

      There is much for me to learn with the E-M1X in terms of how to properly use all of the shooting mode and auto-focus settings. Given my old, porous brain this may take a while 🙂


  5. Hi Tom,
    Adorable birds and impressive photography. Much of the success might be owed to your famously “calm” handholding technique.

    I still hope Olympus eventually lends you a Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4.0 IS Pro and a 1.4 teleconverter, to see what you can achieve with their “pro-capture” feature. I’ve seen stunning photos shot by amateurs, mainly smaller birds. It may still require much cropping to fill the frame, however.

    Best, Stefan

    1. Thanks for your comment Stefan… I’m glad you enjoyed the images!

      My primary purpose in acquiring the Olympus Loaner Equipment that I am currently testing was not to assess it from a photography standpoint, but rather as a potential way to significantly improve the efficiency of my client video business. Since I would never use a lens like the Olympus 300 mm f/4 IS PRO prime for my video work it did not make any sense for me to arrange to borrow that particular lens.

      Like you, I have seen some wonderful work done with that lens… it is very impressive indeed! Unfortunately I do not like using prime lenses for photography at all and a lens like the Olympus 300 mm does not fit with my approach… so I would not have any interest in borrowing one from Olympus Americas Inc. On the other hand the Olympus 150-400 f/4.5 IS PRO that is scheduled to be released in 2020 would be a lens that would interest me.

      The images in this article were captured with the Olympus 40-150 mm f/2.8 PRO fitted with the M.Zuiko 1.4X teleconverter for an equivalent field of view of 56-420 mm. I did do some initial testing yesterday with that combination photographing swallows in flight. I also played around a little bit with the Pro Capture feature. You can rest assured that a future article about the use of Pro Capture will be forthcoming as well as some commentary about photographing birds, including small ones, with the Olympus Loaner Equipment that I am currently using.

      I have quite a bit of work to do in order to get up to speed with all of the auto-focusing settings on the OM-D E-M1X. I can say that the very brief test I did using Olympus gear to photograph swallows in flight was promising.


  6. Because I’m an Olympus user (Pen F and OM-D E-M1ii), I’m pleased you are finding your experiment with Olympus gear is working for you so far. I have the lens you are using (and the teleconverter as well) and also a wonderful 60mm f/2.8 macro, which I’d recommend. At the same time, I love my Fuji cameras and find myself using them more frequently. As much as I love the Pen F, for instance, it’s not as handy as my Fuji X100F — and Olympus, alas, has discontinued it.

    1. Hi Bill,

      Thanks for adding to the discussion and sharing your experience with Olympus and Fuji gear! I can relate to your comment about camera gear that one loves using being discontinued by its manufacturer. Should I decide to eventually invest in Olympus equipment, the Olympus 60 mm macro lens is something that I would add to the kit.


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