In working with the OM-D E-M1X that Olympus loaned me to try, I went and photographed Cathedral Butte. The Butte is one of my favorite red rock formations in Sedona, AZ. It’s close by and it has lots of different moods dependent upon the weather, lighting and time of day. And it doesn’t move, making it an ideal subject. This test was of the Handheld High Res Shot mode.

High Res Shot mode

Despite having a micro four-thirds sensor, the E-M1X has the ability to capture high-resolution files. On a tripod, a 80-megapixel file is available. The camera makes a series of shots while slightly moving the sensor. It combines those images to create a single high-resolution file to give you access to details you wouldn’t be able to attain with a normal photograph.

You can do the same thing handheld, producing a 50-megapixel file. It takes a little longer for the camera to process due to more images being made to handle slight camera movement. You know me — I’ve got to push the envelope a bit. I used the handheld mode and made a five shot panorama.

Shooting the panorama

Screenshot of images used in the panorama

When photographing panoramas, it is best to have a panoramic head on your tripod. Barring that, try to rotate the camera around a point in front of the camera body. This spot is called the nodal point. It will make it easier for your software to process the file with little distortion.

Adobe Photoshop Photomerge

Dialog box with the Photomerge settings

The Photomerge setting in Photoshop does a nice job of blending images. Above you can see the layers and masks created by the software; I set the Photomerge settings as you see them. If your camera is showing a vignette and not blending well, you might want to check the Vignette Removal box.

The Content Aware Fill Transparent Areas box is a good one to check as well. In this image, the Content Aware Fill was good in the clouds. But it needed a bit of judicious Clone Stamping in the lower left hand corner, as some of the fill was repetitive.

Layers palette with result of Photomerge with masks

Settings and the numbers

I used the M.Zukio 40-150mm f/2.8 lens. The finished panorama file came in at 387MB, which would print native about 30″ x 51″ at 300 ppi. My normal printing is at 180 ppi which is 50″x 84.” At 100 ppi this would print to 90″x 151.” Pretty good for a micro four-thirds camera.

Portion of image to show detail. ISO 320, 1/3200s, f/3.5.

Pleasantly surprised

The High Res Mode worked as advertised. It took a few extra seconds to process each image but not a problem to achieve that size of a file. If you have any questions let me know.

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob

Check out some of my other work with the E-M1X and its in-camera Live ND filter.