Why micro four thirds system is on the right track

by Enche Tjin on May 3, 2010

After I tried Olympus E-P2 and Panasonic GF1, I am convinced that micro four thirds system (m43)  is on the right track.

1. M43 cameras are much smaller than regular DSLR cameras. It appeals to many compact camera shooters who want to have higher quality image but don’t like the bulk of digital SLR cameras. It also appeals to digital SLR shooters for the same reason.

Recently, I took a walk with Panasonic GF1 and 20mm f/1.7 prime lens. I feel a lot better than lugging big and heavy DSLR camera. Also, when shooting street photography, I notice that people pay less attention to you when you shoot with a smaller camera.

Olympus E-P2 compare to Nikon D90

Olympus E-P2 compare to Nikon D90

2. M43 cameras are easy and fun to use, their user interface is designed like compact camera. When i tried Panasonic GF1 for the first time, I felt very familiar with the interface because it is similar to Panasonic LX3.

It is also fun because of variety of art filters or film mode. With this special post processing, you can turn a regular boring picture to become more interesting.

3. Collection of lenses are growing rapidly and you can choose and use lenses from many manufacturers not only from one company like Digital SLR camera. Furthermore, you can use adapter to mount SLR lenses such as Leica,  Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Minolta or Olympus four third system lenses (with limitation).

4. As the technology evolve and competitors like Sony and Samsung enter the mirror-less camera scene, the price become cheaper and more affordable. Now, you can get your first micro four thirds system camera like Olympus E-PL1 for $550, which is cheaper than most beginner digital SLR.

5. Recently, Panasonic announced that they will make a camcorder (release at the end of 2010) that will use m43 sensor and you will be able to mount micro four third system lens on it. This is a great news for photographers that want to jump into video and multimedia in the near future.

Classic Four Thirds

So what about classic four thirds system? I think this system is over. There is only a little reason why Olympus should continue developing this system. I know that they have many excellent and unique lenses, but it has lose its competitive edge. Four thirds system tried to take and advantage of the smaller size of their sensor (compare to APS-C sensor) but at the end, four thirds system cameras are just a bit smaller than DSLR camera with larger sensor.

It is better for Olympus and Panasonic to focus their effort on micro four third system which has a better future and less competition.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul May 4, 2010 at 8:53 pm

For what you get, it’s too expensive. If that’s the price, then the specs should at least equal those of entry-level DSLRs. As a newbie, I was happy to get the Canon XSi ($560, new with kit lens) and the 50mm f/1.8 ($100). I was interested in the Panasonic GF1, but to get fast prime, the price hits $1000. Even then, the reviews revealed that the image quality did not equal the DSLRs’.

My ideal: entry-level DSLR specs (APS-C, 3.5 fps…) in a mirrorless system, throw in a vari-angle LCD, and sell it at an “XSi kit + 50mm f/1.8″ price. Is that not realistic? There’s the XSi kit as the price to beat. OK, make it the T1i.

Enche Tjin May 4, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Yeah the 20mm f/1.7 lens make it whole lot more expensive. With regular 14-45mm lens, you will get it around $750

About your wish, I think It is possible Paul, but for APS-C sensor, you need to look for Samsung or Sony mirror less system.

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