In 2008, Olympus and Panasonic released the Micro Four Thirds lens system. These brands found a gap in the market where users could benefit from a compact alternative to the bulky full-frame DSLR cameras. Having this system in your equipment could be helpful to your craft and further your skills—check out everything you need to know about these cameras below.
What Are Micro 4/3 Camera Systems?
The original Four Thirds system included a mirror box and pentaprism, which made the camera bulky and heavy. Olympus and Panasonic removed those components to slim down the camera into a more compactable, lightweight version.
The name refers to the image aspect ratio the camera uses. A typical 35 mm DSLR will use a standard ratio of 3:2. MFT cameras adhere to the 4:3 image aspect ratio—exactly where the name of this system comes from. The images you create on a DSLR are slightly longer than on an MFT. It doesn’t make much of a difference, but it can affect the composition of your photos.
Important MFT Camera Features
One of the most important changes the MFT system makes to a camera is to alter the crop size by 2. This is because the image sensor is smaller. Due to this effect, whichever lens you place on this mount will instantly double in size. For example, a 25 mm lens will instantly become a 50 mm once you attach it to this camera.
Not only will this alter the lens size, but it will also double the aperture. A lens with an f-stop of 2 will become an f-stop of 4. You must keep this in mind when mounting new lenses, or you could accidentally be using the wrong lens for the type of image you’re capturing. Avoid mistakenly using the wrong lens; this could ruin the progress you made on your project.
Who Would Use an MFT Camera?
If you’re just beginning your practice in videography or photography, an MFT camera is a great option because you can dabble in different types of lenses and receive quality images. Experiment with this camera before trying other systems to get a feel for using various features and lenses.
Are you a travel vlogger or an outdoor photographer? This camera is great for you because of its lightweight and compact structure. This equipment is easy to pack and condense in your luggage, so you can minimize the weight you need to carry.
Many individuals are also hybrid shooters, meaning they take both still images and videos. Carrying around two separate cameras could be cumbersome. An MFT system would allow you to perform both functions within the same camera.
Why Choose MFT Cameras?
Now that you know more about the Micro Four Thirds lens system, why should you choose to own one in your collection? This highly versatile camera has many benefits worth considering, including its affordability, lightweight body, lens use, and videography capabilities.
MFT cameras are more affordable than their DSLR counterparts. While DSLRs are professional full-frame cameras, one could still use an MFT system in a professional setting and achieve comparable results. By choosing this type of system for your first camera, you can gain the most bang for your buck. Plus, you can experiment with as many different components as you want, all on the same device.
Compact & Lightweight
To reiterate, much of the full-frame system is not on the camera; because of this, the device is much smaller and lighter. However, because the mirror box is not there, you now have to use an electronic viewfinder to compose your shots. This is a small price to pay when you’re not bringing an excess of equipment with you on a shoot.
Variety of Lenses Available
The best and most versatile feature for MFT systems is the option to use interchangeable lenses. With Olympus and Panasonic standardizing the mount, you can now place almost any lens from various brands on the camera. This means any Samyang Micro 4/3 lens could be compatible with a completely different brand.
You would no longer need to continue buying lenses and equipment from the same company—just about everything could work for this system. The doors of possibility will open more because you don’t have to stick with the same brand through and through; don’t shy away from venturing and using other products.
To note, if you have existing lenses, you can buy adapters for this system so you can continue utilizing your old lenses.
This camera system has the full capabilities of shooting video. A small-scale videographer could benefit tremendously from an MFT lens mount because the individual could shoot the entire video themselves on a single camera using multiple components. This will save you time and money.
Disadvantages of MFT Camera Systems
Most of the main concerns of the MFT camera system come from image quality. The quality will only decrease slightly, but there are a few features that make this device different from the rest. Because the sensor is smaller than a full-frame DSLR, it lowers the image quality.
In lower light settings, you could experience more noise in your shot. However, you can fix this by using a slightly faster lens. There will also be a reduction in the depth of field, so if you need to create an image with this feature, consider using a different camera.
Faster-moving objects in the frame might not entirely be in focus, meaning you must be wary about this when shooting video or capturing images of moving objects. Lastly, if you edit and publish with a large file format, this may not be the camera you want to use.
However, MFT camera systems don’t require huge power consumption, and the device dissipates heat efficiently, so you can use the device a lot longer than others. Consider this type of system for your first camera so you can gain experience by playing with different lenses and features. Samyang has many different lenses you can use to create various images—start tuning into your creative side with an MFT camera!