In today’s guide, we take a deep-dive into the best micro 4 3 camera on the market. So if you’re looking for a micro four-thirds camera, then this is the guide you need to read.
For a few years, DSLR cameras were all the rage. When they came out, DSLRs were the peak of digital photography. That is until mirrorless came and gave them a run for their money.
These two types of cameras are what you’ll have recommended to you as you transition to professional photography. There is, however, a third, less known option that could do wonders for the right person. Today we’re looking at Micro 4/3 cameras.
Today we’ll look at how they differ from other cameras and what areas they excel in which will help you decide if they are for you.
With that said, let’s look at some of the best 4/3 cameras on the market.
Best Micro Four Thirds Cameras
Let’s jump right in and start the list off with a legendary camera!
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is something of a miracle machine. For people wanting to practice general photography, this is the perfect ann-encompassing professional 4/3 camera.
It particularly excels in 4 areas. First, when filming fast-moving subjects such as in wildlife or sports photography. This is thanks to its autofocus which keeps us with most high-end cameras.
Second, if you like to shoot in high def, you can activate the 80MP option which rivals most mid-range cameras.
Third, the 60fps burst shooting mode is simply unrivaled by anything on the market currently. Finally, the 7 and a half stops of image stabilization are unmatched.
Some cameras specialize as sports cameras, others specialize in offering high-resolution. The Mark III, however, is a jack of all trades. It is capable of undertaking these tasks and many others which justifies us calling it an all-encompassing camera.
The Mark III’s best selling-point is perhaps its price tag. It’s more affordable than a mid-range DSLR and more importantly, its lenses are also very affordable. Add to this, it’s small size and lightweight and you have yourself a camera that sells itself.
You can buy 3 specialized cameras for 3 special needs or you can buy the Mark III and have all three in one deal.
For photographers who want to shoot sports events, ceremonies, landscapes, and wildlife, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is the gift that keeps on giving.
- Multi-selector (Joystick) for quick selection of the AF area while looking through viewfinder
- Dust proof/Slash proof/Freeze proof magnesium alloy weather sealed construction
- 50MP handheld high resolution shot
- 60 FPS (S-AF), 18 fps (C-AF tracking) continuous shooting with the silent electronic shutter
- 121 point all cross type on chip phase detection plus contrast detection AF
Olympus built the OM-D E-M1X without much care if it’s going to appeal to a mass market. They already made that camera and it was called the OM-D E-M1 Mark III. What they did instead was target action and professional sports photographers.
They accomplished this by building a dual grip four-thirds camera with ruggedness and durability in mind. Olympus also priced it accordingly.
Olympus equipped the E-M1X with a 20MP Four Thirds sensor which lends to reliable high-quality images. It can also shoot in 4K video which works best if you use the cinema 4K/24p mode.
They also packed in a 121-point autofocus system. Pair this with the ability to shoot at 18 fps and dual SD card slots and you got yourself a camera made for action shooting.
Some other mirrorless cameras may offer higher resolution, they don’t offer the quality burst shooting that the E-M1X does. You won’t notice any lag and resolution is largely retained during it.
The benefit of having a dual grip is that it’s incredibly comfortable. Additionally, control buttons are at the tip of your fingers.
More importantly, it allows for dual batteries. This is great news since it’ll allow enough power for a whole shooting day.
The design of the E-M1X might seem a little scary at first. Truth be told it’ll take some learning to get used to. It is by no means too much for a beginner, though.
It is, however, a camera geared towards fans of the 4/3 cameras. If you’re sold on this format and want to shoot action this is the best camera available on the market.
- 20. 4 MP live MOS sensor with dual Tropic VIII image Processors
- 5 Axis sync is provides 7.5 EV Stops of compensation, the world's most effective stabilization...
- Hand held High Res shot mode provides 50MP images with no stabilizing gear. ISO sensitivity AUTO ISO...
- Live ND provides the effects of an ND filter without the need to use a filter
- Multi selector (joystick) on both the vertical and horizontal shooting positions for quick selection...
Panasonic is the other pioneer of the 4/3 format and one of its best efforts in this area is the GH5, a versatile camera with plenty to offer for everyone. It’s really great for shooting video thanks to its 4K capabilities.
If you’re into vlogging, this will do nicely especially due to its slim build. We know the burden of carrying a heavy camera and god forbid lenses too.
4K isn’t the only thing the GH5 can do. It also has a robust full HD 1080p, in addition to anamorphic 6K. Additionally, there are some neat effects like slow-motion at 120fps and 240fps which is a feature that even newer DSLRs can’t do.
For photographers, Panasonic equipped the GH5 with a 20.3MP Micro Four Thirds sensor. The image quality is high and the level of detail is frankly impressive. Although the sensor is smaller than a cropped sensor the quality is unaffected.
In order to get the most of this camera, you’ll need to add lenses that are thankfully affordable, small, and light. This makes using and carrying around the camera and gear an easy endeavor.
The image stabilization of the Lumix GH5 also benefits from the 4/3 format. Since the sensor is smaller the camera is able to stabilize the image far more effectively.
You get more stabilization if you mount Panasonic lenses which also have their own stabilization features. Therefore, you can realistically shoot handheld without a gimbal and get similar results.
Panasonic’s GH5 is an outstanding camera. It’s a great stills shooter for photographers but even more so for vloggers and videographers who need to move around and would like to carry lighter, smaller equipment.
- Professional photo & video: 20.3 Megapixel micro four thirds sensor with no low pass filter to...
- Splash/Freeze Proof Design: Freeze proof to 10 degrees the durable magnesium alloy body withstands...
- Dual image stabilization: 5 axis dual image stabilization corrects all lenses, including classic...
- 4K video capture: Records silky smooth 4K 60P/50P (QFHD 4K: 3840 x 2160/ MOV or MP4) video with...
- Connectivity & Ports: 3.5 millimeter audio port, connect to devices with USB 3.0, an external...
While Panasonic won favor with videographers thanks to the GH5, their GH line-up never caught on so much with still photographers. Panasonic is hoping to win over photographers with their G9. Did their endeavor heed any success? Let’s see.
The G9 has some really intriguing features that photographers will hunger for. First of all, the G9 is packing speed and can shoot 20 fps with uninterrupted autofocus.
Additionally, the mechanical shutter can shoot over 600 frames at 9fps, an impressive feat for Panasonic.
Panasonic equipped the G9 with a 20.3MP MOS sensor and added in-sensor image stabilization. In addition, there’s a high-res mode.
Once activated, it can shoot images at an impressive 80MP. This is a feature that still photographers will adore since it allows more freedom when you need to take a picture that’ll look bigger than what a 4/3 sensor can offer.
The G9 stands out from the mirrorless competition with an LCD that is top plated LCD. Moreover, you’ll also get a dual card slot and Wi-Fi connectivity which makes storing and transferring images and video a thoughtless task.
Finally, just because we said the G9 is still oriented doesn’t mean it can’t shoot video well. On the contrary, it can record video in 4K at 60 frames.
And although it’s stripped of the GH5’s extensive video capabilities of the GH5 which is to be expected, the image stabilization is the most impressive we’ve seen on a 4/3. The only caveat is that you’ll need compatible lenses to achieve that
Overall, the G9 accomplishes Panasonic’s goal with flying colors. It is an impressive stills photography camera with its own unique features and in addition, it is an efficient video camera with impressive stabilization.
- Professional photo and video performance 20 3-Megapixel (Plus 80-megapixel high-resolution Jpeg/raw...
- Rugged splash/freeze proof design durable magnesium alloy body withstands heavy use out in the field...
- Class-leading dual image stabilization 5-axis Dual image stabilization corrects all lenses including...
- 4K 60P video 4:2:2 10bit & slow-motion effects silky-smooth 4K 60P recording (QFHD 4K 3840 x...
- Connectivity and ports listen to headphones with a 3.5mm audio port connect to devices with USB 3.0...
Brief History of Micro Four Thirds Cameras
4/3 cameras were mainly created and popularized by Olympus and Panasonic. They are distinguishable by their incredibly slim build. This is due to the absence of a mirror in their design.
Their lenses are small and light compared to DSLRs. That’s because the size of the image captured on the sensor is smaller. They are also very budget-friendly.
The reason they are called 4/3 cameras is due to the size of the sensor. The smallest sensors are commonly found in smartphones. They can’t allow much information to be captured due to the size.
On the other extreme, we have full-frame sensors which are commonly found on high-end cameras, they capture the most detail due to their size.
The 4/3 sensor is the in-between format. It’s big enough to capture more detail than a phone, especially under low light conditions, but it’s not big enough that it becomes cumbersome to carry around.
Moreover, the lenses you can mount are also light and small.
Their focal length is almost double that even on a smaller lens. Therefore, 4/3 cameras are perfect for capturing wildlife, vistas, and sports events.
So, in essence, a 4/3 is a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera that is the size of a compact but with all the cutting-edge technology of a professional camera.
Best Micro 4/3 Camera – Wrapping Up
That’ll be all for our guide on 4/3 cameras. It’s an underrated format that deserves the attention of videographers and photographers out there.
What these cameras represent is the ability to get impressive videos and images by using light and small equipment as opposed to the bigger equals better approach photographers usually take.