Olympus HDR Menu
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Taking Amazing Handheld Internal HDR photos with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X

The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is the new flagship Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus.  While the OM-D E-M1X is pricey for a Micro Four Thirds camera ($2,999 USD), it does have some advanced features like: 

  • Built in battery grip with dual batteries
  • Dual card slots
  • 80MP Tripod High Res Shot
  • 50MP Handheld High Res Shot
  • Internal Live ND filter
  • 5 Axis / 7.5 stops of image stabilization

The 7.5 stops of image stabilization when combined with the Olympus 12-100 f/4 pro lens enables remarkable handheld HDR photographs.

Olympus HDR Menu
Olympus OM-D HDR Menu

I recently tested handheld internal HDR on the Olympus OM-D E-M1X on a photography trip to Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio where the lighting conditions were not the best.

Ash Cave OM-D E-M1X Handheld Internal HDR
Ash Cave OM-D E-M1X Handheld Internal HDR

The first photo was from Ash Cave in the mid-afternoon on a sunny day.  The rock in the photograph was blown out while other parts of the cave were in the shadows.  The internal HDR did a great job blending multiple photos in this difficult lighting condition. With handheld HDR, I was able to get to compositions on the rocks where I could not have set up a tripod

Camera Settings: ISO 200, 47mm, F/11, ¼ second.

Note:  In HDR mode the camera automatically sets the ISO to 200 and it cannot be changed.  

The second photo was taken inside a dark barn.  The OM-D E-M1X was able to blend exposures in camera to capture the bright outdoor fall colors while still capturing the details inside the dark barn.

Fall Colors OM-D E-M1X Handheld Internal HDR
Fall Colors OM-D E-M1X Handheld Internal HDR

Camera Settings: ISO 200, 23mm, f/11, 1/20 second

I also tested the Internal HDR feature of the Olympus OM-D E-M1X in extremely low lighting.  I photographed this lit fireplace in a dimly lit room using handheld internal HDR.  The photograph is not perfect, but I wanted to test the image stabilization under really low light conditions.  The shutter speed for the handheld HDR was 2 seconds.

OM-D E-M1X Handheld Internal HDR Fireplace
OM-D E-M1X Handheld Internal HDR Fireplace

Camera Settings: ISO 200, 23mm, f/4.5, 2 seconds

Summary: The image stabilization of the OM-D E-M1X is terrific and enables in camera AI features like internal HDR and the Live ND filter.  Each of these AI features involve blending multiple images to produce the end result.  If you do purchase the OM-D E-M1X, I’d really consider purchasing the Olympus 12-100 f/4 pro to get the additional stop of image stabilization.

Written by Martin Belan

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