DigitalRev: Is Micro Four Thirds Dead?

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM10 Mk II product photos (2 of 7)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.5

One big question that’s been on the minds of many Micro Four Thirds camera users is: is Micro Four Thirds dead? DigitalRev tries to explore this in a video of theirs and makes some very convincing arguments that the format could be on its way out. They speak a lot about size: particularly camera sizes and sensor sizes.

When the Micro Four Thirds camera world started, they were the first on the scene with interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras that have autofocus. Back then, it made a lot of sense because you get DSLR quality in a very small package. It affected every company as they all tried to make their DSLRs smaller. Shortly after that, Sony came onto the scene with the NEX cameras, Pentax released a camera we never speak about for good reasons, and Samsung, Nikon, Fujifilm and Canon jumped into the world.

Most of the mirrorless cameras out there now use APS-C sensors–which are all larger than a Four Thirds sensor. All of those cameras are also quite small.

The video talks about both Olympus and Panasonic’s strategies and praises Panasonic for jumping into the video world though also justifying that Sony has caught up.

While I see their, side I personally shoot medium format film whenever I can. I’ve got Olympus, Sony, Canon and Fujifilm cameras laying around and use any one of them because what I care about most is my lighting–and nothing digital can touch what Kodak Ektar and Portra are capable of at the 67 format. Further, Kai and Lok didn’t talk about one of Olympus’s biggest main attractions: ergonomics. Pick up a Sony camera, a Fujifilm camera, a Nikon camera, a Panasonic camera, and an Olympus camera and you’ll see right from the start that Olympus and Fujifilm have the best ergonomics right from the start. They’re both true photography companies that have been about cameras for many, many years.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus Pen F product images (2 of 9)ISO 4001-40 sec

If aesthetics and ergonomics are a big pull for you, and you realize that the majority of people won’t be able to tell the difference between an Olympus and Sony image without pixel peeping (and most normal people don’t pixel peep) then they’re fine. What’s screwing them is marketing involving pixel peeping–but pixel peeping isn’t photography: it’s lab science and unfortunately in this case most people understand science more than they do art.

With this said: some folks like Cosmos while others prefer to curl up with a nice cup of tea and lose themselves in Bob Ross’ the Joy of Painting.

Again, when speaking pixel for pixel, Digital Rev has fantastic points: but when looking at a whole, none of this matters anymore.

Chris Gampat

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