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comparison of current Micro Four Thirds cameras

ranked by features

the leaders

    • announced Jan 2024
    • mark II updates the original 2022 version with:
      • more RAM onboard
      • improved AI AF
        • new Human detection mode, which extends subject recognition beyond just face detection but also means that all the camera's recognition modes are now integrated within the same section of the interface
      • refresh rate of the AF system has been improved, boosting the performance of the (non-recognition-based) C-AF + Tracking mode
      • IBIS now rated at 8.5EV of correction
      • extends blackout-free shooting to some of its slower burst rates
      • buffer almost double the size - 256 Raw frames at 50fps or in ProCapture mode, 213 in its single (initial) AF 120fps mode up from 92
      • simulated graduated neutral density filter lets you adjust the severity of the gradient - hard, medium or soft edge, and whether you want it to have a 1, 2, or 3-stop impact (ND 2, 4 or 8), and adjust its position and angle
      • Live ND feature adds an extra stop and is now 7 stops (ND128 filter)
      • 14-bit multi-shot hi-res Raw
      • vertical video mode added
    • announced Feb 2022
    • 25mp dual parallel output design with fan for unlimited video recording
    • 5.7K 60p
    • 4K up to 120p (60p for 4:2:2)
    • 7.5EV IBIS
    • 14fps AF-S; 8fps AF-C; up to 75fps electronic;
    • 3.68M dot EVF; 1.84M dot rear screen;
    • AI-trained subject recognition, with a choice of human (torso/head/face/eye), face/eye (just looking for faces and eyes), and Human/Animal but still only DFD AF not PDAF
    • $US2199
    • announced Feb 2022
    • essentially an E-M1III with updates:
      • new 20mp IMX472 stacked CMOS sensor from Sony and has a sensor readout of 1/125th sec and 1053 quad-pixel PDAF points
      • more powerful processor TruePic X Dual Quad Core Processor
      • 2 stop improvement low light with “Quad Bayer Structure”
      • improved AF tracking
      • AI detection AF now detects Formula cars, rally cars, motorcycles / Aircrafts, helicopters / Bullet trains, standard trains, steam locomotives / Birds / Dogs, cats
      • astro tracking?
      • 5.76Mdot EVF with zero blackout capability at up to 120fps burst
      • higher res 1.62mdot LCD panel
      • larger grip
      • completely re-worked menu system
      • ProCapture and sequential burst increased to 120fps but limited to 92 frames (139 RAW at 10fps)
      • 50fps burst with AF (with 6 PRO lenses otherwise max with AF is 25fps) and AE, 120fps with locked AF and AE
      • HiRes modes 25Mp, 50Mp handheld plus 80mp tripod, these are completed twice as fast as in the EM1III
      • Live ND now has a 6 stop ND mode
      • 4K video to 60p 202Mbps now with either UHD or DCI ratio
      • can shoot for up to 90 minutes on a single battery, before the battery is exhausted and for over 2 hours when using an external power source without overheating concerns
      • can output 4K Raw video
      • 1080p video now up to 100/120/200/240p
      • Bluetooth 4.2 LE image view/transfer option in addition to Wifi/QRcode remote control
      • new 17Wh 520 shot BLX-1 Li-ion battery (but compatible with BLH-1 battery) and camera has USB-PD charging as with E-M1 III; No external charger comes with the camera but it can be charged or operated over its USB-C socket;
      • IP53 weather rating
      • 599g w batt/SD card
      • $US2199
    • pro sports camera available 2019
    • has two E-M1II engines allowing AI AF tracking and hand held HiRes
    • announced Feb 2020
    • similar to mark II but improved eye AF, IBIS now 7EV and 7.5EV in Dual IS, hand held HiRes mode, Live ND filter effect mode, improved custom dial mode functionality, My Menu, new rear toggle, USB-C charging and more.
    • 4K 24/30p; 1080HD to 60p;
    • $US1799
  • Panasonic G9 II
    • announced Sept 2023 and is the 1st Panasonic MFT camera to get phase detection AF - at last!
    • 25MP CMOS sensor with dual output gain and 779 phase detect AF points
      • its sensor isn't as fast as the Stacked CMOS one in the similarly-priced OM-1, and it has fewer subject detection modes
    • 5EV IBIS with 100mp hand held HiRes mode; 10fps mech shutter; 60fps AF-C electronic shutter
    • 0.8x mag 3.84mdot EVF;
    • up to 5.8K/30P video;
    • 3“ fully articulating 1.84mdot rear LCD; USB-C power; dual UHS-II SD;
    • 658g; 390 shot battery;
    • $US1899
    • announced Oct 2022 with same body as the EM-5 III and the old Olympus menu system is retained;
    • essentially it is an E-M5 III but with 1extra EV of IBIS, a 4EV Live ND mode and perhaps even better weather sealing and HiRes sensor shift mode is now hand holdable;
    • 20mp; 121pt AF; 50mp hand held sensor shift mode; 10fps cont AF; 30fps electronic shutter; Starry Sky AF;
    • DCI and UHD 4K video with no time limitation and now with OM-Log400 color profile available; one UHS-II SD card slot; no USB-C; small 8.46Wh BLS-50 battery;
    • 7.5EV IBIS; 2.36M-dot OLED viewfinder with 60 fps refresh rate; articulating touchscreen; IP53-rated weather-sealed body; USB charging; webcam mode via microUSB;
    • $US1199
    • cons: menu system is old Olympus and not the new OM-System menu; still no USB-C PD;
  • Sharp 8K video camera
    • 8K 30p with 5” flip out screen available late 2019 ~$5000
    • still not available
  • Panasonic GH5 II
    • 2021 model with new processor to allow improved features and better AF
    • PD USB battery charging
    • brighter, sharper but smaller LCD screen
    • UHD or DCI 4K 10-bit 4:2:0 capture at up to 60p with no crop; V-Log L ;
    • 6.5EV IBIS; 3.0“ 1.84Mdot LCD; 0.76x 3.68M-dot EVF; $US1699;
    • available April 2017
    • 20mp sensor; 4K 60p video; 9fps C-AF; Dual IS; much better video and EVF than the E-M1 MII which has better stills photo functionality
    • announced Sept 2016
    • 20mp sensor, 18fps C-AF, 60fps S-AF, new EVF, faster AF, dual SD slots, 6.5EV Sync IS
    • 50mp HiRes mode, 4K video
    • announced Nov 2017, available Jan 2018
    • 20mp, same 225AF system (now down to -4EV light levels, DFD, and 4 user AF profiles), 5 axis IS (but now “6.5 EV”), image processor and 120fps 3.68 million dot EVF as the GH5 but higher EVF magnification at 0.83x vs 0.76x
    • 80mp HiRes mode (8 images pixel shifted)
    • new pre-burst shooting mode captures 0.4sec of shots prior to shutter release
    • 6K/4K photo feature allows 18mp 30fps with no buffer limit or 8mp 60fps
    • electronic shutter 20fps with C-Af or 60fps with AF on 1st shot but buffer of only 50 RAW
    • mechanical shutter 9fps with C-Af or 12fps with AF on 1st shot for up to 60 RAW or 600jpegs
    • weather resistant magnesium alloy body with vari-angle 3” touchscreen, new top-facing LCD, new AF joystick, dual UHS-II SD card slots, USB charging
    • 4K 60p video
    • 579g (much lighter than the GH5)
    • $US1699
    • announced Sept 2019, essentially an E-M5 sized version of the E-M1II but slightly smaller than the E-M5 II
    • announced Jan 2018
    • designed for low light use with external stabilisers or tripod shot video
    • no sensor based image stabiliser
    • announced Oct 2020
    • 10mp Live MOS sensor with Dual Native ISO technology at 160 and at 800, and with V-Log L at 400 and 2000
    • no IBIS, still no PDAF; shutter to 1/16,000th
    • 10-bit C4K 60p internal video recording with pre-installed V-Log L with 13 stops of dynamic range
    • C4K 4:2:2 10-bit output over HDMI
    • overcranked / undercranked video in C4K/4K at 60 fps and MD at 240 fps
    • anamorphic 4K 60p
    • Power over Ethernet (PoE+) allows you to stream images, control and power the camera for simple installations
    • Panasonic LUMIX Tether lets you control up to 12 BGHI cameras for Multicam
    • USB-C 3.1 Type-C; dual SD card slots UHS-II
    • 545g; $US1999;
    • announced June 2020
    • 20mp vlogging camera; 3“ swivel/tilt bright touchscreen; 3.68m-dot EVF; still no PDAF;
    • 3 mics onboard:
      • tracking mode uses face recognition and noise cancellation to prioritise the speaker;
      • surround mode for ambience
      • front mode which acts like a shotgun mic
      • back mode for narration behind the camera
    • 3.5mm mic jack; sound recording level display for monitoring but no headphone jack
    • 4K 24/30p; 1080HD 60p; V-log profile;
    • clean HDMI output will allow people to use the camera as a webcam with their own HDMI video capture device and streaming software.
    • 5-axis hybrid image stabilization but electronic stabilisation does result in cropping depending upon its strength Low/medium/High
    • 14.53 ounces (412 grams); $US749 with kit lens;
    • Dec 2023 updated version Panasonic G100D:
      • adds USB Type-C port instead of the USB 2.0 Micro-B port
      • replaces LCD viewfinder with lower resolution 2.36Mdot OLED
  • Panasonic GH4 4K video stills camera pro level with 4K HD video:
    • 4K HD video 16mp sensor
    • electronic shutter in 10bit mode 1/22-1/81300th sec
    • still camera with awesome high end 4K/1080p HD video capabilities
    • adds many of the new features and ergonomics of the E-M1 to the E-M5
    • also new 40mp sensor shift hi-res mode and swivel LCD screen instead of just tilt
    • further improved image stabiliser
    • no PDAF though as same 16mp sensor as the E-M5
    • announced April 2019
    • weather-sealed, rugged, 20mp no AA filter
    • 9fps S-AF, 6fps C-AF (30RAW buffer)
    • 5EV 5 axis Dual IS; CDAF+DFD at 240fps AF;
    • swivel LCD; 2.36mdot OLED EVF;
    • 4K 30/24p but 1.2x crop; 1080HD to 120p;V-Log L; 4:2:0 / 8-bit;
    • popup flash; 4K Photo;
    • $US1200
    • details released Feb 2018
    • more of an updated GX85 than the GX8 as it loses some of the GX8 features, and unlike the GX8, it is NOT weathersealed
    • 20mp sensor, no AA filter, 5 axis 4EV IBIS; redesigned shutter so no shutter shock;
    • option of using a silent electronic shutter to 1/16,000th sec;
    • tilting 2.7m dot 0.70x magnification EVF but field sequential type so may cause rainbow effects
    • 3” tilting touch screen; 6fps burst (9fps with locked AF and no live view); DFD AF;
    • GN 4.2m (ISO 100) built-in flash
    • new 'Dynamic' monochrome mode which looks a bit like Tri-X grainy film;
    • WiFi, BLE bluetooth;
    • 4K 30p 100Mbps UHD video
    • announced Jan 2016
    • most of the features of the E-M5II but in new retro styling and with new 20mp sensor and film simulation modes
  • BlackMagic Pocket Cinema 4K video camera
  • Z-Cam E2C 4K video camera
    • announced Aug 2020
    • now has a new 20mp sensor with 121pt CDAF with improved C-AF; shutter to 1/4000th sec; popup flash; x-syn 1/250th sec;
    • TruePic VIII processor; 4.5EV 5 axis IBIS; 4.5fps burst; 0.62x mag 2.36mdot EVF
    • 4K 30p; 1080HD 24/30/60p; no mic or headphone socket; UHS-II SD card slot;
    • Flip-down touchscreen display for selfies;
    • USB charging but not with USB-PD; WiFi+Bluetooth; 383g;
    • $US699
    • Sept 2017; 16mp; adds a few nice features including 4K video, 4EV 5 axis IS, etc
    • an S version was announced in Nov 2020 which adds a new silent shooting mode and a new 'Instant Film' art filter mode.

older models with built-in EVF

    • “pro” level camera
    • fully Four Thirds lens fast AF compatible camera with phase contrast AF on sensor
    • has the best C-AF tracking of all current Micro Four Thirds cameras apart from perhaps the GH-4
    • introduced October 2013
    • combines the best features of the E-P5 and the E-M5 in a body similar to the E-M5 but with a larger grip to handle bigger lenses, the VF-4 technology EVF built-in and of course the hybrid phase/contrast AF sensor
    • no popup flash
    • weatherproof body and freeze proof down to 14degF
    • shutter speed to 1/8000th sec
    • excellent WiFi tethering and Live View control functionality with tablet devices / smartphones
    • $US1399/$A1599 body only
    • announced July 2015
    • 20mp sensor with 1/3EV more dynamic range and faster readout
    • similar 4K video functionality as for G7
    • new post-focus mode allows users to select different focus points after shot is taken via 4K 30fps shots
    • splashproof
    • sensor image stabiliser which works with OIS
    • announced Sept 2016
    • 16mp, 9fps x 40 RAW, weathersealed 5EV 5 axis IS, fully articulating OLED screen, 4K video, Post Focus, Focus Stacking, electronic front-curtain shutter, silent electronic shutter mode, DFD AF tracking, 1/4000th mechanical shutter, 4K 8mp 30fps photo mode,
    • announced April 2016
    • similar to GX-8 but 16mp sensor with 4K video and:
    • $US1099
    • announced May 2015
    • 4K video at 24/25fps, 1080 50p
    • WiFi
    • shutter speed to 1/16,000th sec, silent shutter mode
    • announced Aug 2013 and has the following specs:
      • compact magnesium body with in-camera image stabilisation (a 1st for Panasonic)
      • built-in tiltable EVF as well as tiltable LCD touch screen
      • built-in popup flash plus hotshoe
      • 1080/60p/50p/24p HD video
      • shutter speed to 1/8000th sec, flash sync 1/320th sec; 4.2fps burst with AF; 9fps burst single AF; 40fps electronic silent mode;
      • WiFi plus NFC for control by smartphone
      • $A1249 body only
    • $999 body only when released, now $AU450 - along with the GX7, offers the best value highly capable camera at present for photographers - if video or silent shutter mode is more important, go for the GX7
    • weatherproofed, rugged metal body, brilliant IS system, great image quality (16mp, lower noise, much more dynamic range, higher ISO possible), 9fps, remote TTL flash, built-in EVF but bundled extra flash, 1/250th flash sync
    • tilting touch OLED screen, the best manual focus and photographic capabilities for telephoto lenses, 1/250th sec flash sync, fast AF for slow moving subjects.
    • introduced March 2012
    • $1299 semi-pro camera aimed at indy videographers, introduced Sept 2012
    • weatherproofed, metal body, great image quality, swivel touch screen, fast AF, 6fps, built-in flash, wireless flash, but flash sync only 1/160th sec
    • introduced Jan 2014 as a budget version of the E-M5 with only 3EV IS instead of 5-axis 4EV IS, no weatherproofing, but adds built-in flash and WiFi smartphone remote control
    • announced Sept 2014
    • ultra-compact (just a touch bigger than the GM-1 but smaller than a Canon G16), magnesium alloy body with built-in EVF, hotshoe, WiFi, bundled flash, eye detect AF, 240fps AF readout, 5.8fps burst, 1/16,000th sec shutter, Timed BULB to 60sec, focus peaking, silent mode, new “Snap Movie Mode” and 1080 60p HD video
    • BUT x-sync is way to slow at 1/50th sec, no IBIS, no NFC, only one control wheel
    • optional hand grip makes it more ergonomic for larger lenses
    • $US899 with G Vario 12-35mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH lens
  • BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera
    • announced Sept 2012
    • the highest video quality for under $3000 but manual focus and manual aperture only and not designed for still images.
    • lossless CinemaDNG RAW
      • they recommend the Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB SD card if you’re going to be recording RAW
      • will work in DaVinci Resolve and applications from Adobe like Photoshop and Lightroom
      • the Preview and Quick Look feature in OS X is not yet compatible
    • for $2995 for body only you get 13 stops dynamic range 2.5K sensor, 12-bit RAW, ProRes and DNxHD Formats, 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30p Frame Rates, LCD Touchscreen with Metadata Entry, SDI Video Output and Thunderbolt Port, recording to removable SSD Drives, full version of DaVinci Resolve, its premier color correcting software for Mac and Windows - now that is amazing video quality and specs which will suit the pro videographers out there.
  • BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera
    • announced Apr 2013
    • compact pocket version of the Cinema Camera with a few changes including electronic control of MFT lenses at last.
    • $995 for body only - if you want high quality RAW or ProRes video at budget price - this might suit your needs!
    • announced April 2013
    • 16mp sensor (same as the Panasonic GH-2 camera but better image quality although no native multi-aspect ratio), ISO 160-25,600
    • 3“ 1.04m dot fully articulated capacatative touch screen LCD
    • 1.44m dot OLED EVF (3x more responsive than the G5 EVF) with eye sensor
    • 1080/60p/60i/30p/24p HD AVCHD video plus 60p/30p MP4 video, up tp 28Mbps quality, both with full manual control
    • 3.5mm ext. mic socket
    • 5fps with AF tracking, 7fps w/o AF
    • 23 scene modes including new 'Cute Desert' and 'Sweet Child's Face'
    • iAuto can automatically detect which scene mode to use
    • 'Clear Retouch' touch gesture-based heal tool
    • NFC-simplified Wi-Fi connection for connecting to smartphones to control the camera
    • generous hand grip
    • 1/4000th sec shutter, x-sync 1/160th sec
    • popup flash plus hotshoe but ? no remote TTL flash
    • CameraLabs review - one of the most satisfying cameras he has reviewed! ” I'd say it's one of the best cameras at this price point whether you're shopping for mirrorless or DSLR“
    • introduced July 2012, similar to the G3 but:
      • new 16mp sensor, redesigned Venus imaging engine with 3DNR and multi-process NR, ISO 160-12,800
      • in-camera HDR mode to combine exposure bracketed images
      • full area touch AF and faster AF
      • 6fps burst rate (3.7fps with AF tracking and 20fps electronic shutter mode with reduced resolution)
      • additional function lever near shutter release
      • redesigned EVF which now has eye sensor for automatic activation with optional sensitivity settings and can automatically start AF
      • 920K LCD screen instead of 460K screen
      • new Touch Pad function allows simulataneous use of EVF and LCD screen
      • reduced lag time to display images
      • electronic level gauge for horizon assistance
      • electronic silent shutter mode
      • 9 new image filter options
      • 28Mbps 1080 25/30/50/60p HD video with stereo mic in either mp4 or AVCHD Progressive (MPEG-4) formats with new Touch AF video capability and up to 4.8x digital zoom without image quality loss
  • Panasonic GH-2 camera - $999 with 3x zoom, the 2nd best Micro Four Thirds camera for highest quality AVCHD video (2nd to the GH-3)
    • swivel and rotate touch LCD screen, oversized sensor for native 16:9 images, built-in flash, but no remote TTL flash, no IS, not weatherproofed and flash sync fixed at 1/160thsec
  • Panasonic G3 camera - $649 with 3x zoom - great value as gives most of the features of the GH-2 but lacks:
    • automatic eye detection activation of EVF - this can be very annoying
    • HD video quality reduced

cameras with optional add-on EVF

    • announced June 2021
    • 20mp, 5-axis IS, WiFi, rear tilting screen, 4K video
    • TruePic VIII image processor
    • dedicated Profile Control dial on the front that allows for quick and easy switching between standard camera modes to color, monochrome, or filter effect profiles
    • 799 Euro (not marketed in US)
    • announced Feb 2020
    • similar specs to EPL9
    • $US600 body only
    • announced Feb 2018
    • 16mp, designed for selfies with bounce flash built-in and flip LCD screen;
    • 4K 30p video; 121pt CDAF
    • announced Sept 2016
    • 16mp 8.5fps, 81pt CDAF, 1080 30p video
    • optional VF-4 electronic viewfinder
    • introduced Aug 2014 as a PEN version of the OM-D E-M10 thus 3-axis IS and all the features of the E-M10 except no EVF, no built-in flash (bundled flash included) and in addition, LCD screen can be flipped down for self-portraits and has a 1 sec selfie delay timer
    • 309g, 357g with battery and SD card; 114.9mm W x 67mm H x 38.4mm D
    • $US599 body only
    • EISA Awards 2013-2014 Product of the year in Compact Camera category
    • quite a few improvements upon the excellent E-M5 but lacks a built-in EVF and may not support optional grip
    • same 16mp sensor, tiltable touch screen, in-camera IS, burst rates, ART filters as for E-M5 except IS adds automatic panning detection ('S-IS Auto')
    • shutter speed to 1/8000th sec (best of current Micro Four Thirds)
    • even faster AF than the E-M5 and now adds:
      • 800 AF points
      • Small single target AF
      • Super Spot AF selectable from center of magnified view (0.02% – 0.16% in view image)
      • manual focus assist Peaking mode
      • Olympus's 'Photo Story' feature
      • short shutter lag mode reduces shutter lag to 0.044sec but requires more power consumption
      • ISO LOW of 100
      • new movie mode functionality:
        • you can now change the Picture Mode directly using the Fn button, and an especially welcome addition is the ability to magnify the view to check focus
    • flash sync: 1/320 sec. Built-in Pop Up Flash; 1/250 sec. External Flash; Super FP: 1/125-1/4000 sec
    • AE bracketing for HDR for up to +/- 6EV at 9fps: 3 or 5 frames in 2.0/3.0EV steps, 7 frames in 2.0EV step
    • 20Mbps 1080 30p .MOV HD video
      • 4x One-push Movie Digital Zoom
    • 720p MJPEG 10fps Timelapse movies
    • Intervalometer: Interval Time 1sec. – 24 Hours, Max 99 frames
    • WiFi control by smartphones
      • QR barcode easy connect to smartphone
      • GPS data recording
      • Live View, Rec view, Wireless touch AF shutter
    • WiFi LAN
    • 420g
    • announced May 2013 but for Japanese markets only
    • 3.5fps burst rate with AF, 8fps with AF locked
    • updates the EPL5 with some of the new features of the E-P5 such as:
      • even faster AF
      • small target AF
      • improved 3D tracking AF
      • ISO LOW setting of 100
      • short release time lag mode (shutter lag of only 0.044secs
      • interval shooting and option of converting to Timelapse movies
      • dual axis level
      • image WiFi transfer via iPhone/Android and a Toshiba FlashAir SDHC cards
    • introduced Sept 2012
    • tiltable touch screen can even tilt fully up for self-portraits
    • same sensor as the E-M5
  • Panasonic GX-1 camera - $949 with the awesomely compact 3x power zoom lens.
    • 16mp, built-in flash, touch screen fixed LCD display, no IS built-in

entry level compact with optional add-on EVF

entry level compact without hotshoe nor EVF

  • Yongnuo YN433:
    • streaming camera available from July 2023
    • 64Gb storage
    • can stream in 4K video but to output that 4K video, requires use of the USB-C socket with UVC and MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) compatibility so you can stream it via your computer
    • HDMI output only puts out 1080p
    • three USB-C sockets:
      • power input – although you can also use an NP-F battery
      • USB3 Type-C with UVC support for 4K video out
      • USB2 Type-C “host function”
    • $US568 on Ebay
  • Yongnuo YN455:
    • announced July 2021
    • 20mp; 4K 30p;
    • 8mp front facing camera does not use MFT lens;
    • 5” tilt touch screen
    • runs Android 10 and Snapdragon SoC
    • microSD slot up to 256Gb plus 6Gb RAM
    • PD USB fast charging; BT 5.0; GPS; WiFi; Dual USB-C ports; LED light
    • 4G NanoSim slot to allow live streaming in 4K
    • 670g; 162 x 85 x 56 mm
  • Panasonic GX850:
  • Panasonic GF8:
    • announced Feb 2016
    • Beauty Retouch & Hands-Free Selfie
    • Light Speed AF, Low Light AF
  • Panasonic GF-7:
    • announced Jan 2015
    • retro styled
    • flip-up selfie LCD screen
    • 5.8fps burst
    • 1080/60p video
    • WiFi connectivity
    • Face and Buddy shutter modes
    • US$599 with kit zoom
  • Xiaoyi M1 Small Ants:
  • Panasonic GF-6
    • announced April 2013
    • same sensor as GX-1 but improved processing, lower noise and more detail thanks to weaker antialias filter
    • 1.04M dot 180deg touchscreen LCD
    • smartphone WiFi connectivity
    • shutter speed to 1/4000th sec, 4.2fps burst rate
    • first interchangeable lens camera to include Near Field Communications (NFC)
    • new mode dial on top
    • $US680 with the new smaller 14-42mm kit lens
  • Panasonic GF-5
    • announced April 2012, very similar to the GF-3 but:
      • now bundled with the ultra compact 3x zoom which makes for the smallest zoom camera of its type
      • improved sensor with marginally better high ISO, and now highest ISO put at 12,800
      • adds option of MP4 recording as well as AVCHD video
      • 3D NR system
      • higher resolution touch screen - now 920K dots
      • orientation sensor
      • 14 Creative Filter options (GF3 had 6)
      • 23 Scene modes
      • 4fps instead of 3.8fps

entry level ultra compact without hotshoe nor EVF

  • Yongnuo YN450
    • announced Mar 2020
    • 16mp Android camera with 4G connectivity
    • announced Oct 2013
    • similar size to the Sony RX100
    • very compact 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MegaOIS kit lens
    • electronic shutter 60sec to 1/16000th sec
    • WiFi but no NFC
    • 1080 HD video at 60i/30p
    • popup flash, no hot shoe
    • focus peaking
    • PiP magnification for manual focus
    • 3.0-inch, 1036K dot touch-sensitive LCD screen
    • 98.5 x 54.9 x 30.4 mm (3.88 x 2.16 x 1.20“)
    • 274 g (0.60 lb / 9.60 oz)

lens cameras ONLY designed to be used remotely such as with smartphones or drones

  • these have no viewfinder screen or EVF
  • Alice camera
    • announced Sept 2020
    • 11mp Sony Quad-layer HDR sensor for excellent low light performance and high dynamic range
    • 4K video
    • AI chip and control via smartphone
    • £750 RRP
  • DJI Zenmuse X5S Inspire 2 drone
    • 2016 model
    • new CineCore 2.0 image processing system; 20.8mp 12.8 stop dynamic range at ISO 100
    • incredible 5.2K 30fps CinemaDNG 12 bit 4.2Gbps video and Apple ProRes 1.3Gbps video
    • 4K 60fps CinemaDNG at 4.0Gbps with a 2.7x crop factor
    • 4K 30fps CinemaDNG at 2.4Gbps at usual 2.0 crop factor
    • 4K 60fps using H.264 and 4K 30fps using H.265 (both at 100Mbps)
    • 1080HD at 120fps 100Mbps or 30fps at 60Mbps
    • Continuous DNG burst shooting at 20fps with 20.8MP images
    • supports 8 MFT lenses in range 9-45mm
    • 7km remote DJI focus range!
    • 2 batteries allow almost 30 minute flight
    • special DJI CINESSD SSD memory card for the CinemaDNG, Apple ProRes mode or 20fps DNG raw burst capture
    • standard microSD card for H.264 or H.265 capture
    • $US1899 for camera ($US2999 for the Inspire 2 drone making ?$US6000 for full drone/camera/SSD/battery outfit)
  • Power Vision pro 4K cinematography drone
  • ImageVision Z Camera C1:
    • announced 2016
    • 4K video;
    • $US599
  • Yuneec Tornado CG04
  • Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera
    • announced April 2015
    • 4K 30p or 1080 60p video, 6G-SDI controls, full DaVinci primary color corrector
    • uses the ATEM standard talkback and tally protocol that sends tally signals over SDI so you don't need dedicated tally cables
    • B4 broadcast lens control
    • 3x crop Super 16 size sensor (13mm x 7.3mm) with 13 stops dynamic range and ISO to 1600 (not standard MFT but does use a standard MFT lens mount)
    • no internal recording
    • highly expandable, world's smallest ultraHD cinema quality camera nit much bigger than a tennis ball
    • Canon LP-E6 battery
    • $US1295
  • Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera
    • announced April 2015
    • built-in expansion ports PWM and S.Bus inputs so can use model airplane remote controls to operate camera wirelessly
    • 3x crop size sensor with 13 stops dynamic range and ISO to 1600 (not standard MFT but does use a standard MFT lens mount)
    • on-camera basic controls, stereo mic + 3.5mm mic jack
    • 1080HD video 60p or 30p/25p/24p with global shutter
    • 12bit log Cinema RAW or ProRes recording on camera
    • Two ¼” mounting points on the top and bottom of the camera let you securely rig the camera anywhere
    • $US995
  • DJI Zenmuse X5 and X5R
    • announced Sept 2015
    • designed for use in drones giving 30p 4K, 30p 2.7K and 60p HD video (and lossless cinema 24p/30p 4K RAW 1.7Gbps with X5R) video and 16mp stills (the X5R adds RAW stills not just jpegs) to give “effortless aerial imaging”
    • 12.8 stops dynamic range 16mp sensor with ISO range of 100-25600, 7fps stills, and shutter to 1/8000th sec
    • record to microSD cards (or 512Gb removable SSD with X5R)
    • works with Inspire 1 Quadcopter
    • full wireless remote control over focus, aperture
    • in auto-focus mode, simply tap on the screen of your mobile device to tell the camera to focus on a specific area
    • easily manually change settings such as focus, shutter, and aperture through the user-friendly DJI GO app
    • Zebra Pattern and Focus Peaking
    • DJI X5R with 3 axis gimbal $US4999 RRP (DJI 15mm f/1.7 lens is $US499 extra as kit)
    • DJI X5 with 3 axis gimbal $US1699
    • DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter is an extra ~$US2299 and has a 1.2mile range, 360deg unobstructed views, GPS-based stabilisation system (precision accuracy of 0.02° giving sub-pixel stabilization), Optical Flow Sensor for Indoor Flying and DJI Lightbridge System Integrated as well as 720p monitoring via Lightbridge
    • optional DJI follow focus controller $US1999 and remote controller $US999 works to 100m line of sight
    • currently only 3 MFT lenses are compatible with the Zenmuse system:

modular video cameras

  • Bosma G1
    • announced in May 2021
    • 33mp Sony BSI sensor
    • 8K 10bit video
  • Craft camera
    • announced April 2016
    • Internal mechanical ND filter
    • hot swappable lens mount
    • remote control interface
    • ProRes and CinemaDNG on CFast media and SSD
    • sensor modules:
      • HD Video Element Super 16 size sensor, HD video to 120fps, 13 stops of dynamic range, global shutter
      • 4K Video Element Super 35mm sensor, 4K video to 120fps, 13 stops of dynamic range, global shutter BUT this element not compatible with MFT mount, must use EF or PL mount

high speed video cameras

older cameras with fast AF but older sensors

  • Olympus E-P3 PEN (EP3) - $899 with 3x zoom
    • 12mp, built-in flash, touch screen fixed OLED display, 10 ART filters, built-in IS
    • consider getting the body only and buying the Panasonic 3x power zoom if you are willing to pay a premium for a really compact lens.
  • Olympus E-PL3 PEN (EPL3) - $649 with 3x lens
    • a great option for those on a budget who don't need a touch screen and like the tilt screen
  • Olympus E-PM1 PEN MINI (EPM1) - $499 with 3x lens
    • similar to the E-P3 but thinner and screen is fixed not tiltable and there are less physical controls meaning more use of the menu is needed.
  • Panasonic GF-3
    • no real avantages over the E-PM1 other than the built-in flash and doesn't have the built-in IS and cannot add an EVF so go for the E-PM1 instead

older cameras with older sensors and MUCH slower AF - only buy if prime use is MF lenses or money is an issue

  • Olympus E-PL2
  • Olympus E-P2
  • Olympus E-PL1
  • Olympus E-P1 - no remote TTL flash
  • Panasonic GF1 - no IS, no remote TTL flash
  • Panasonic G2 - no IS, no remote TTL flash
  • Panasonic G10 - no IS, no remote TTL flash
  • Panasonic G1 - no IS, no remote TTL flash

common features

  • much higher image quality than point and shoot cameras as their sensors are some 6x larger
  • smaller sensors than dSLRs and thus have marginally more noise at high ISO and marginally less dynamic range capability, but the trade off is much smaller lenses and cameras.
  • can use almost any lens ever made via adapters in manual focus mode
  • do not have optical viewfinders but electronic viewfinders
  • are not weather-proofed (except for the Olympus OM-D EM-5 and the Panasonic GH-3)
  • have much easier live view and hence manual focus on legacy lenses than dSLRs as there is no need to move a mirror out of the way
  • are quieter and smaller than dSLRs
  • the latest generation have AF as fast as or faster than dSLRs for static subjects
  • are not well suited to hand-holding with large, heavy lenses such as a 70-200mm f/2.8 but Panasonic is making compact 12-35mm and 35-100mm f/2.8 lenses which should be very nice albeit expensive.
  • are best used with wide aperture prime lenses (eg. 12mm f/2.0, 20mm f/1.7, 25mm f/1.4, 45mm f/1.8, 75mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.4)
  • are still not as good as a dSLR for AF tracking of fast moving subjects such as birds in flight.
  • they lack pro and some other features such as intervalometer, fast flash sync (only 1/160th - 1/180th sec), GPS, auto-HDR, TTL compatibility with Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 radio flash system, etc
  • all use SD-type memory cards
  • all can shoot HD video although GH-2 and GH-3 do it at higher quality

some major differences between Panasonic and Olympus

  • Olympus cameras and the Panasonic GX7 have a built-in image stabiliser which can reduce camera shake with ANY lens – you need to set focal length for legacy lenses
  • other Panasonic cameras only have IS if the lens has optical IS – and this means only Panasonic OIS lenses
  • brand-specific add-on EVFs:
    • Olympus VF-4 offers the BEST EVF available on any camera in 2013
      • 2.36M dots, 21mm eye relief point, lock, diopter adjustments but the eye sensor only works with E-M5, E-P5 and later Olympus cameras
    • Olympus VF-2 gives better viewing than the newer VF-3 but tends to fall off as there is no lock as with the VF-3
  • Olympus has far better flash capabilities although the latest Panasonic models are finally catching up – good manual output control, remote TTL flash, TTL flash with legacy lenses, and 1/250th or 1/320th x-sync with the new cameras and flashes
    • none of the Panasonic cameras support remote TTL flash (except the GH-3, GH-4 and presumably the GX7) while the Olympus cameras do (you need the Olympus flashes ending in R for this to work, or Panasonic flashes ending in L, or the latest Metz flashes)
    • I presume the Panasonic cameras are like my GH-1 and give incorrect exposures in TTL flash mode with legacy lenses – if you use legacy lenses a lot, consider the Olympus cameras as not only you get IS but TTL flash and remote TTL flash.
    • the Panasonic GH-3 is the 1st Panasonic to support remote TTL wireless flash
  • Different post-processing “ART” filters or “Film Modes”
  • only the GH-1 and GH-2 have an over-sized sensor for native, uncropped 16:9 images
  • the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera and later Olympus cameras have:
    • sensor based IS working in video mode
    • Timed BULB and Live BULB
    • 5-axis, 5 EV stop IS
    • iDetect AF to preferentially AF on a person’s closest eye
  • if you want the best HD video quality then the Panasonic GH-4 is the way to go.
  • videos on the Panasonic cameras have less jello artefact than the current Olympus cameras and are generally higher quality
  • If you primarily want to use small manual focus legacy lenses, then the Olympus cameras may be the better option as you get IS, TTL flash, and remote TTL flash and the E-P5 is better balanced with legacy lenses than is the GF-6, but you do miss out on Panasonic’s picture-in-picture manual focus functionality.
  • The smallest are the Panasonic GF-6 and the Olympus E-PM2 which may suit some who just want much better image quality than a point and shoot, but still a small camera, but these lack important features such as a hotshoe, ability to use an EVF, various controls and menu items (eg. no flash exposure compensation on the GF-3), the lack of which may be very annoying for those who want to get a bit more serious or use flash.
  • Unlike Olympus E-series dSLRs, none of the current Pens have IR remote control capability, but all except E-PL1 can use the RM-UC1 wired remote cable. The situation appears to be the same for the Panasonic cameras but of course, they have a different wired connector. You can buy 3rd party wired units which allow timer, intervalometer functions as well as radio wireless remote function.

other brands


  • in Jan 2013, JK Imaging which had purchased the licence for the Kodak trademark, announced it will market a Micro Four Thirds camera, the Kodak S1, which will have a Sony sensor and include WiFi connectivity to smartphones.

comparison table of the 2012-2013 cameras


Panasonic GH-3 Panasonic G-6 Panasonic GF-6
Price at in 2013 $US1299 body only $US749 with 14-42mm II lens $US599 with 14-42mm II lens
Weight 550g 390g 323g
Size 133 x 93 x 82 mm 122 x 85 x 71 mm 111 x 65 x 38 mm
EVF 1.7mdot EVF with eye sensor auto switching 1.4mdot EVF with eye sensor auto switching No EVF possible
3" Touch screen LCD 0.6mp OLED articulating 1mdot TFT articulating 1mdot TFT tilting
HD video 1080p 24fps72Mbps quality and 1080p 60fps; up to 28Mbps, 1080p 60fps 1080i 60fps
Over-sized sensor for native, uncropped 16:9 No No
Burst rate 6fps; 20fps cropped electronic shutter 5fps AF; 7fps locked AF; 4.2fps
Top panel mode switches AF mode switch; Drive/self-timer switch ? ?
External mic socket Yes Yes? No?
Rear AF-lock button Yes No? ?use Fn button No?
Subject tracking AF in HD video Yes Yes Yes?
Pinpoint AF mode Yes Yes Yes?
Max.ISO 12,800 25,600 25,600
Max. bulb duration 4min? 2min?
Hotshoe Yes Yes No
White balance presets 5? 5? 5?
Built-in flash GN 12m GN 10.5m GN 6.3m
Exposure compensation +/- 5EV +/- 5EV +/- 3EV, ?no flash compensation - a big problem if you want to use flash
AE bracketing +/- 3EV +/- 3EV +/- 2EV
certain lenses may prevent using tripod plates


Olympus E-M5 Olympus E-P5 Olympus E-PL5 "Lite"
Price at 2013 $US949 body only $US with 14-42mm lens $US549 with 14-42mm lens
Weight 425g 420g 325g
Size 122 x 89 x 43 mm 122 x 69 x 37 mm 111 x 64 x 38 mm
EVF 1.4mdot EVF plus optional via hot shoe optional via hot shoe optional via hot shoe
3" LCD touch screen 610K dot OLED tilting 1037K dot tilting 460K tilting
HD video 1080 30p; 20mbps quality; 1080 30p; 20mbps quality; 1080 30p
Over-sized sensor for native, uncropped 16:9 No; No; No;
Burst rate 5fps AF; 9fps AF locked, no IS 5fps AF; 9fps AF locked, no IS 8fps AF locked, no IS
Top panel mode switches 2 dials No, and no exposure mode dial?
External mic socket via hotshoe via hotshoe via hotshoe
Rear AF-lock button Yes, customisable buttons
Subject tracking AF in HD video Yes Yes Yes?
Pinpoint AF mode No Yes No?
Max.ISO 25,600 25,600 25,600
Max. bulb duration 8min plus Timed BULB plus LIVE BULB as for E-M5? as for E-M5?
Hotshoe Yes, 1/250th sync Yes, 1/250th sync; 1/320th for built-in flash Yes, 1/250th sync
White balance presets ?12 ?12 ?12
Built-in flash No, bundled flash can be master for remote TTL Yes, can be master for remote TTL No, bundled flash can be master for remote TTL
Exposure compensation +/- 3EV +/- 3EV +/- 3EV
AE bracketing +/- 3EV +/- 3EV +/- 2EV
level gauge level gauge level gauge
art filters art filters art filters
WiFi via EyeFi SD cards only built-in, smartphone controllable via Toshiba’s FlashAir WiFi-capable flash cards only for sharing pics to smartphones, etc

photo/microfourthirdscomparison.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/02 12:39 by gary1

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