Which Micro Four Thirds Camera Is Right For You?

We have done Fujiflm and Sony, so now it is time for us to take a look at the Micro Four Thirds ecosystem and give a few indications as to which of these cameras some of you should be considering if you are looking into jumping on board the Micro Four Thirds train.

Unlike the Fujifilm and Sony lists, this one contains multiple brands, so we won’t be going over ALL of the current Micro Four Thirds options because this post would be a novella. To that end, we will be focusing on the popular options from both Olympus and Panasonic.

Ready? Great, lets begin.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II first impressions product photos (2 of 10)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 2.8

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Highlights

  • Excellent build quality. In some ways it feels like a mini Nikon Df
  • Very fast autofocusing performance
  • Nice JPEG images
  • WiFi integration
  • Weather sealing
  • Focus peaking works phenomenally

What we thought in our review: “The sensor in the Olympus OMD EM5 MK II is the single best four thirds sensor that we’ve tested. It’s got a ton of dynamic range, great high ISO abilities, can give you a higher resolution photo if you need, lots of autofocus points that just work, and a heck of a lot going for it.” Read the full review

Who should get one?

As the mid-range Olympus offering, the OM-D E-M5 II is a great all around micro four thirds option for just about anyone looking to get into the micro four thirds system. It is a solid camera for portraits, wildlife, sports. Those interested in picking one up can find it over on Amazon, here.

The Olympus PEN-F

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus Pen F product images (8 of 9)ISO 4001-160 sec

 

Olympus PEN-F Highlights

  • Handles very much like an old analog camera
  • Feels amazing in the hand for street photography
  • Thumb rest is absolutely fantastic
  • Autofocus performance is more than satisfactory
  • Knob that lets me shoot in black and white mode has me addicted to not only shooting in black and white but also being very happy with the JPEGs
  • Great EVF

What we thought in our review: “The Olympus Pen f has a heck of a lot going for it. Amongst the good things: stellar autofocus in most situations, great high ISO output, pretty versatile RAW files, incredibly almost perfect ergonomics, a great EVF and LCD screen, and the list can go on. In many ways, it’s the almost perfect camera for many photographers.” Read the full review

Who should get one?

The Olympus PEN-F is without a doubt one of the best looking, most stylish digital cameras on the market right now – right up there with Fujifilm, and dare I say, even Leica. The caveat to all this is that you get a camera that feels really expensive given what you are getting in terms of performance and capability. That said, if you are looking for a quality, good looking camera that will get the job done AND help you look good, than the Olympus PEN-F is the micro four thirds option that you need to be considering. If you are interested you can find one over on Amazon, here.

The Panasonic GX8

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic GX8 extra review photos product shots (1 of 10)ISO 1001-160 sec at f - 2.8

Panasonic GX8 Highlights

  • The absolute best color that Panasonic has ever delivered out of the camera
  • Incredible build quality as I’m much more partial to rangefinder style camera bodies
  • Very nice EVF
  • Nice shutter sound
  • Fast focusing capabilities even in the lowest of lighting situations
  • Lots of buttons and dials
  • Dials feel very, very nice
  • In-camera stabilization is quite nice

What we thought in our review: “The Panasonic GX8 looks nice, feels nice, and delivers beautiful images. It will take a skilled editor to make the most of them, but what you’ll also really appreciate (more than anything) is that Panasonic’s colors are absolutely incredible.” Read the full review

Who should get one?

The Panasonic GX8 stands alongside the soon to be mentioned GH4 as one of their flagship micro four thirds cameras, similarly to how Fujifilm has the X-Pro2 and the X-T2, with one being rangefinder-esq and the other more SLR-esq. The GX8 offers some of the best that Panasonic has to offer in terms of colors, AF, and overall build quality. If you are looking for a high-end micro four thirds camera in the Panasonic family than the GX8 is a camera you will want to give a look. Those interested can find the GX8 over on Amazon, here.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

The Olympus EM1 Mk II

 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Highlights

  • Best sensor stabilization around
  • Great build quality
  • Latest and greatest olympus tech
  • Top class weather sealing

What we thought in our review: “Now here’s where we really had our minds blown. Totally handheld, by holding my breath and getting as stable shots as I could. There’s a ton of innovation and truly game changing technology here that professional and enthusiast photographers alike should really, really be paying attention to. Forget the whole school of thought that says “It’s Micro Four Thirds” when you can do this with a camera, who really cares?” Read the full review

Who should get one?

As far as the Olympus family of micro four thirds cameras is concerned, if you are looking for the best of the best, then the OM-D E-M1 Mark II is your camera. It features some incredible innovation, some of the best sensor-stabilization technology out there and great overall build quality. This camera would be perfect for just about any niche of photographer with the one exception being the hybrid photo-video shooter, who may be better served with something like the Panasonic GH4. Those interested in picking up an OM-D E-M1 Mark II can pre-order their copy now over on Amazon, here.

The Panasonic GH4

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic GH4 product images for review (1 of 8)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

Panasonic GH4 Highlights

  • Great 4K Video
  • Excellent Build Quality
  • SLR-Style design
  • Fast AF
  • Good (for M4/3)

What we thought in our review: “Panasonic’s GH4 is a beast of a camera with a lot going for it. It has great autofocusing, 4K video, very versatile RAW files, pretty good high ISO abilities, great ergonomics, and WiFi built in. There is really no reason that one could feel like this camera is inadequate in any shape or form. However, if you’re a GH3 owner, we recommend keeping what you have–unless you want to shoot video of course.” Read the full review

Who should get one?

The GH4 has been a popular choice for budget filmmakers for its high quality 4K video recording and great build quality. It had good still image quality as well, but not that much of an improvement over it’s predecessor in the GH3. If you are a video producer who wants to have a very capable video camera that also doubles as a really decent stills camera than the GH4 is a great choice.  Those interested can pick up the GH4 over on Amazon, here.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.