Situations Where Micro Four Thirds is A Better Choice

Olympus's Micro 4/3rd's camera

As a photographer, I’ve run into many situations these days where a small good quality Micro Four Thirds camera may have been much more useful as opposed to my DSLR or my cameraphone. As readers may know, I’m a Canon 5D Mk II DSLR user that came from shooting an Olympus E-510. Olympus and Panasonic are part of the Micro Four Thirds group and they really are onto something useful for photographers that can justify the purchase of one via profits. Here are a couple of situations based on personal experience where Micro Four Thirds may have been better.

Author’s Note: For the real beginners that happen to be reading this article, Micro Four Thirds is a small camera with a big sensor and interchangeable lenses. They can fit into a coat pocket. Also note that the above camera was Olympus’s prototype to the EP-1 though I still believe that they will release a camera with similar looks.

Relaxed Events

After work, journalists, writers and editors tend to gather together and relax at a bar of some sort. Bars in NYC don’t exactly have the greatest lighting and ff something happens that’s really cool, you obviously want a picture of it. The flash of a point and shoot can disturb others around you so going flash free is the way the be in this case. A DSLR requires that you carry it in your big messenger bag unless you’ve got a peacoat of some sort like in winter time now.

A Panasonic GF-1 or Olympus EP-1/EP-2 with a pancake lens can fit snugly and securely into your coat pocket. A DSLR tends to be way too bulk in a situation like this, even with a small prime lens.

Quick Road Trips

Upon taking a quick trip to an old school video game/museum of some sort with editor Jeff Wilson, we realized someone should have had a camera.

I’m known as, “the guy with the camera” amongst my clique of writers. But I didn’t bring my 5D Mk II with me because I didn’t want to carry the extra weight and bag.

At the moment we didn’t have a camera, I realized that a Micro Four Thirds cam would have been perfect for the situation. They sure do make great travel cams.

Newsworthy Happenings

Coupled with an Eye Fi card, this could lead to some huge potential. Recently here in NYC, people gathered to mourn the loss of those that died in the earthquake in Haiti. I happened to be passing by it  and taking out my DSLR immediately triggered lots of ordinary folks asking me questions about my work, who I am, who I work for etc.

A Micro Four Thirds camera could have prevented them from thinking I was a professional without compromising on image quality. To be fair though, the 5D Mk II’s sensor does much better in low light.

Leisurely Strolls

Do you ever tend to just try to get lost in a big city or new area with your camera? The problem with lugging a giant DSLR around is that it hurts your neck and shoulder (if you use a messenger bag) after some time. Micro Four Thirds is much smaller, lighter and can actually aid Blind Photographers that can’t see well through a viewfinder.

Be warned now though, Micro Four Thirds is not the holy grail of cameras. They are flawed in some ways or another. Whether it’s auto-focusing on one camera, a flash on one camera vs another, etc. they aren’t perfect.

That isn’t to say though that some pros haven’t altogether sold their pricey Nikon gear and went with Micro Four Thirds. If you could afford it, you could probably make a much better argument for a Leica M9 depending on who you are and your shooting preferences.

Let me know your thoughts down below.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.