Micro Four Thirds system

Micro Four Thirds system

The Micro Four Thirds system (MFT) is a standard created by Olympus and Panasonic, and announced on August 5, 2008,[1] for mirrorless interchangeable lens digital cameras and camcorders[2] design and development. However, unlike the preceding Four Thirds System, it is not an open standard.

MFT shares the original image sensor size and specification with the Four Thirds system, designed for DSLRs. Unlike Four Thirds, the MFT system design specification does not provide space for a mirror box and a pentaprism, allowing smaller bodies to be designed, and a shorter flange focal distance and hence smaller lenses to be designed. Virtually any lens can be used on MFT camera bodies using the proper adapter. For instance, Four Third lenses can be used with auto focus using the adapters designed by Olympus and Panasonic.


Sensor size and aspect ratio

Drawing showing the relative sizes of sensors used in most current digital cameras, relative to a 35mm film frame.

The image sensor of Four Thirds and MFT is commonly referred to as a 4/3" type or 4/3 type sensor (inch-based sizing system is derived from now obsolete video camera tubes). The sensor measures 18 mm × 13.5 mm (22.5 mm diagonal), with an imaging area of 17.3 mm × 13.0 mm (21.6 mm diagonal), comparable to the frame size of 110 film.[3] Its area, ca. 220 mm², is approximately 40% less than the APS-C sensors used in other manufacturers' DSLRs, yet is around 9 times larger than the 1/2.5" sensors typically used in compact digital cameras.

The Four Thirds system used a 4:3 image aspect ratio, in common with other compact digital cameras but unlike APS-C or full-frame DSLRs which usually adhere to the 3:2 aspect ratio of the traditional 35 mm format. Thus "The Four Thirds refers to both the size of the imager and the aspect ratio of the sensor".[4] Note that actual size of the chip is considerably less than 4/3 of an inch, the length of the diagonal being only 22.5 mm. The 4/3 inch designation for this size of sensor dates back to the 1950s and vidicon tubes, when the external diameter of the camera tube was measured, not the active area.

The MFT design standard also calls for being able to record multiple formats, 4:3, 3:2 (traditional DSLR formats which have origins with 35mm film still cameras), 16:9 (the native HD video format specification), and 1:1 (a square format). With the exception of two MFT cameras, all MFT cameras record in a native 4:3 format image aspect ratio, and through cropping of the 4:3 image, can record in 16:9, 3:2 and 1:1 formats. This multiple recording format flexibility is a MFT system design standard, which also incorporates seamless integration of HD video recording in the same camera body.

The 2009 introduction of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 camera extends the 4:3 format image aspect ratio recording capabilities to native 16:9 and 3:2 image aspect ratio formats, rather than crops of a native 4:3 image. The GH1 uses a bigger sensor matrix that uses the full diagonal of the image circle in all three formats. This is called multi-aspect capability. To date, the multi-aspect sensor is common only to the Panasonic GH1[5] and its successor the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2.[6]

In addition, all current Micro Four Thirds cameras have sensor dust removal technologies, but this is not related to the format.

Lens mount

The MFT system design specifies a new bayonet type lens mount with a flange focal distance of slightly under 20 mm – half as deep as the Four Thirds system design. By avoiding internal mirrors the MFT standard allows a much thinner camera body. Viewing is achieved on all models by live view electronic displays with LCD screens. In addition some models feature a built-in electronic viewfinder while others may offer optional detachable electronic viewfinders, or even as an option an independent optical viewfinder typically matched to a particular non zoom "prime" lens. The flange diameter is about 38 mm, 6 mm less than that of the Four Thirds system. Electrically, MFT uses an 11-contact connector between lens and camera, adding to the nine contacts in the Four Thirds system design specification. Olympus claims full backward compatibility for many of its existing Four Thirds lenses on MFT bodies, using a purpose built adapter with both mechanical and electrical interfaces.

The shallow but wide MFT lens mount also allows the use of existing lenses including Leica M, Leica R, and Olympus OM system lenses, via Panasonic and Olympus adapters. Aftermarket adapters include Leica Screw Mount, Contax G, Canon, Nikon, and Pentax, among others.[7] In fact, almost any still camera, movie or video camera interchangeable lens that has a flange focal distance greater than or marginally less than 20 mm can often be used on MFT bodies via an adapter. While these so called "legacy" lenses can only be used in a manual focus, manual aperture control mode on MFT cameras, hundreds of lenses are available for use, even those that survive for cameras no longer in production.

Autofocus design

The MFT system design specifies the use of contrast-detection autofocus (CDAF) which is a common autofocus system for compact or "point-and-shoot". By comparison, virtually all DSLR use a different autofocus system known as phase-detection autofocus (PDAF). The use of separate PDAF sensors has long been favored in DSLR systems because of mirror box and pentaprism design.

The Four Thirds system design standard specifes a 40 mm flange focal length distance, which allowed for using a single lens reflex design, with mirror box and pentaprism. Four Thirds DSLR cameras designed by Olympus and Panasonic initially used exclusively PDAF focusing systems. Olympus then introduced the first live view DSLR camera, which incorporated both traditional DSLR phase focus and also optional contrast detection focus. As a result, newer Four Thirds system lenses were designed both for PDAF and contrast focus. Several of the latter Four Thirds lenses focus on Micro Four Thirds proficiently when an electrically compatible adapter is used on the Olympus and the later Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras, and they focus on Micro Four Thirds cameras much quicker than earlier generation Four Thirds lenses can.

It had been suggested at the announcement of the MFT system design standard that the contrast-detection autofocus used by compact cameras and MFT requires powerful focusing motors and may not operate properly on at least some of the existing Four Thirds lenses designed for phase-detection autofocus.[8] Many PDAF Four Thirds system lenses, when using adapters with proper electrical connections on a Micro Four Thirds cameras, end up focusing much more slowly than "native" designed MFT lenses. Although some Four Thirds bodies did not focus as quickly as others, or always as accurately as does contrast focus, which is a downside of phase focus, which can shift focus to the front or behind the calculated focus position for each lens. Micro Four Thirds will also focus Four Thirds lenses faster than a Four Thirds camera can focuses using the Four Thirds "Live View" focus. Most Four Thirds lenses still work on Mircro Four Thirds, and the relative speed will depend on the camera model and the lenses used. Overall native Micro Four Thirds lenses focus much faster than the majority of Four Thirds lenses. An advantage to the newly introduced MFT system designed cameras is the immediately available existing family of very high quality, large aperture, automatic exposure, autofocusing, and sometimes even optical image stabilized Four Thirds lenses made by Olympus, Panasonic and Leica.

The latest range of Olympus Pen cameras (the E-P3, the light E-PL3 and the new mini version) are claimed to be the fastest focusing removable lens cameras, including those which use phase technology (DSLR cameras). Comparative tests and the basis for all the speed improvements and whether the technology can track like a phase focus designed for sport applications are not yet known.

Advantages, disadvantages and other factors

Concept model of MFT camera by Olympus

For comparison of the original Four Thirds with competing DSLR system see Four Thirds system#Advantages, disadvantages and other factors

In comparison with most digital compact cameras, Micro Four Thirds cameras are superior in that they possess larger sensors (which may offer better image quality) and interchangeable lenses. Some lenses feature wider apertures than those available on many compacts, allowing more control over depth-of-field and yielding greater creative possibilities. However, Micro Four Thirds cameras also tend to be larger, heavier and more expensive than compact cameras.

In comparison with most digital SLRs, Micro Four Thirds cameras are smaller and lighter. However, they also have smaller sensors (and therefore typically have inferior image quality, especially in low light conditions), and often lack features such as viewfinders and built-in flash units. Micro Four Thirds cameras afford greater depth-of-field than SLRs. They are not necessarily cheaper than SLRs.

The much shorter flange focal distance enabled by the removal of the mirror allows normal and wideangle lenses to be made significantly smaller because they do not have to use strongly retrofocal designs.

The Four Thirds sensor format used in MFT cameras is equivalent to a 2.0 crop factor when compared to a 35mm film camera. This means that the actual focal length of a MFT lens is half that of 35mm film camera lens. Practically speaking, this means that if a 50mm "normal" lens on 35mm film cameras (or full frame DSLRs) were used on a MFT body, that lens would have a field of view equivalent to a 100mm lens. Said another way, normal lenses on MFT cameras would be only 25mm. For this reason, MFT lenses can be smaller and lighter because to achieve the equivalent 35mm film camera field of view, the MFT focal length is much shorter. See the table of lenses below to understand the differences better. Typical DSLR sensors such as Canon's APS-C sensors, have a crop factor of 1.6, compared to full frame's (35mm) 1.0, and Four Thirds 2.0.

Advantages of Micro Four Thirds over Four Thirds DSLR cameras

  • Smaller and lighter
  • The shorter flange focal distance means that most manual lenses can be adapted for use, though C-mount lenses have a slightly shorter flange focal distance and are trickier to adapt.
  • The shorter flange focal distance may also allow for smaller and lighter lenses.
  • Phase shift's forward or back focus does not occur with contrast focus, and likewise each lens does not have to be individually calibrated to each camera, which can be required for DSLR to have accurate focus.
  • The absence of a mirror eliminates the need for an additional precision assembly, along with its "mirror slap" noise and resultant camera vibration/movement.
  • Viewfinders can be used when filming videos.
  • The autofocus performance is the same for stills and videos, so the speed is much faster than conventional DSLRs in video mode.
  • Because of the reduced sensor-flange distance, the sensor is easier to clean than with a DSLR, which also have delicate mirror mechanisms attached.

Advantages of Micro Four Thirds over larger DSLR cameras

Other advantages compared with larger format sensor full frame are:

  • The smaller sensor size may allow for smaller and lighter telephoto-lens equivalents.
  • The smaller flange distance allows for easier to manufacture wide lenses.
  • Smaller and lighter cameras and lenses allow discretion and portability with high quality.
  • The smaller sensor size gives deeper depth-of-field for the same equivalent field of view and aperture.
  • Combination of near-professional video and still photo in one package

Advantages of electronic viewfinder

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has the following advantages, though many DSLRs also have "live view" functionality, although these function relatively poorly compared to Micro Four Thirds

  • Real-time preview of exposure, white balance and tone.
  • Brighter viewfinder in low light.
  • The viewfinder can zoom into one's preview, which a mirror cannot do. Hence as an example, manual focus can be much more precise
  • The viewfinder looks at how the sensor will see one's potential picture, rather than an optical view, which may differ
  • Larger view than many optical screens
  • Not reliant on a moving mirror
  • No weight or size penalty for better quality of materials and design as optical viewfinder quality varies greatly across all DSLRs

Olympus and Panasonic approach the implementation of electronic viewfinders in two ways, the built-in EVF, and the optional hotshoe add-on EVF.

As of mid-2011, Olympus design has forgone the built-in EVF design, and has three available add-on hotshoe viewfinders. The Olympus VF-1 is an optical viewfinder, that slips into the accessory hotshoe. The optical angle of view is 65 degrees, equivalent to the 17mm pancake lens field of view, and was designed primarily for the EP-1. Olympus has since introduced the high resolution VF-2 EVF,[9] and a newer, less expensive, slightly lower resolution VF-3[10] for use in all its MFT cameras after the Olympus EP-1. These EVF's not only slip into the accessory hotshoe, but also plug into a dedicated proprietary port for power and communication with Olympus cameras only. Interestingly, both the VF-2 and VF-3 may also be used on high-end Olympus compact point and shoot cameras such as the Olympus XZ-1

As of mid-2011, Panasonic G and GH series cameras have built in EVF's, while two of the three GF models are able to use the add-on LVF1[11] hotshoe EVF. The LVF1 must also plug into a proprietary port built into the camera for power and communication. This proprietary port, and the accessory is omitted in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 design. Similar to Olympus, the LVF1 is usable on high-end Panasonic compact point and shoot cameras, such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5

Disadvantages of Micro Four Thirds compared to DSLRs

  • The sensor is 40% smaller in area (2.0 crop factor) than APS-C (1.6 crop factor) sized sensors and 75% smaller (i.e. a quarter of the area) than a Full Frame sensor (1.0 crop factor) (35mm equivalent) which can lead to lower image quality than an APS-C and much lower quality than Full Frame based DSLR cameras with a similar pixel count; typically this is seen as increased levels of ISO noise in darker situations.
  • Contrast detect autofocus were slower (albeit more accurate) than the phase detect systems used in advanced DSLRs. This gap was narrowed with the introduction of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2, and G3, followed by Olympus's 2011 cameras. Olympus now claim their 3 series of Pen cameras to be the fastest focusing kit zoom removable lens camera package, including DSLR cameras. The improved focusing relates mostly to constant distance subjects rather than subjects moving very quickly to or away from the camera, hence DSLRs remain superior for sports focusing.
  • Due to the absence of a mirror and prism mechanism, there is no ability to use a through-the-lens optical viewfinder. A through-the-lens electronic viewfinder (available on all but the first Olympus Pen E-P1 model ), a separate optical viewfinder (similar to a rangefinder or TLR), or the universally supplied LCD screen can be used instead.
  • Theoretically changing lenses can expose the sensor to more dust in a 'mirrorless' camera design, compared to DSLRs which have both a mirror and a closed shutter protecting the sensor. However, mirrorless cameras have dust removal systems.
  • Larger crop factor (2x multiplier versus APS-C's 1.6x) means greater depth-of-field for the same equivalent field of view and f/stop on full frame cameras. This is a slight disadvantage in achieving out-of-focus backgrounds compared to APS-C but significant compared to Full Frame (1.0x multiplier).

Advantages of Micro Four Thirds over compact digital cameras

  • Greatly increased sensor size (5–9 times larger) gives much better image quality, e.g. low light performance and greater dynamic range, with reduced noise;
  • Interchangeable lenses allow more optical choices including niche, legacy, and future lenses;
  • Shallower depth of field possible (e.g. for portraits).

Disadvantages of Micro Four Thirds compared to compact digital cameras

  • Increased physical size (camera and lenses are both larger due to increased sensor size);
  • Extreme zoom lenses available on compacts (such as 10×-30× models) are more expensive or simply not available on large sensor cameras due to physical size, cost, and practicality considerations;
  • Similarly, larger sensors and shallow depth-of-field make bundled macro capability and close focusing more difficult, often requiring separate, specialized lenses.
  • Cost.

Micro Four Thirds system cameras

As of Feb 2010, Olympus, Panasonic, Cosina (Voigtlander), Carl Zeiss AG, Jos. Schneider Optische Werke GmbH, Komamura Corporation and Sigma Corporation have a commitment to the Micro Four Thirds system.

The first Micro Four Thirds system camera was Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, which was launched in Japan in October 2008.[12] In April 2009, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 with HD video recording added to it.[13]

The first Olympus model, Olympus PEN E-P1 was shipped in July 2009.

Micro Four Thirds Camera introduction roadmap

Item Model Sensor Electronic View Finder (EVF) Announced
1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.1 mp effective) EVF; 1.4x magnification; 1.44M dots 2008, October [14]
2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 4:3; 3:2; 16:9 (multi-aspect); 14.0 mp (12.1 mp effect) EVF; 1.4x mag; 1.44M dots 2009, April [15]
3 Olympus PEN E-P1 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.3 mp effect) optional hotshoe optical VF-1; 65 degree AOV 2009, July [16]
4 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.1 mp effect) opt hotshoe EVF LVF1; 1.04x mag; 202K dots 2009, September [17]
5 Olympus PEN E-P2 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.3 mp effect) opt hotshoe EVF VF-2; 1.15x mag; 1.44M dots 2009, November [18]
6 Olympus PEN E-PL1 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.3 mp effect) opt hotshoe EVF VF-2; 1.15x mag; 1.44M dots 2010, February [19]
7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.1 mp effect) EVF; 1.04x magnification; 202K dots 2010, March [20]
8 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.1 mp effect) EVF; 1.4x mag; 1.44M dots 2010, March [21]
9 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 4:3; 3:2; 16:9 (multi-aspect); 18.3 mp (16.0 mp effect) EVF; 1.42x mag; 1.53M dots 2010, September [22]
10 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.1 mp effect) opt hotshoe EVF; 1.04x mag; 202K dots 2010, November [23]
11 Olympus PEN E-PL1s 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.3 mp effect) opt hotshoe EVF VF-2; 1.15x mag; 1.44M dots 2010, November [24]
12 Olympus PEN E-PL2 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.3 mp effect) opt hotshoe EVF VF-2; 1.15x mag; 1.44M dots 2011, January [25]
13 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 4:3 / 16.6 mp (15.8 mp effect) EVF; 1.4x mag; 1.44M dots 2011, May [26]
14 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.1 mp effect) N/A 2011, June [27]
15 Olympus PEN E-P3 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.3 mp effect) opt hotshoe EVF VF-2; 1.15x mag; 1.44M dots 2011, June[28]
16 Olympus PEN E-PL3 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.3 mp effect) opt hotshoe EVF VF-2; 1.15x mag; 1.44M dots 2011, June[29]
17 Olympus PEN E-PM1 4:3 / 13.1 mp (12.3 mp effect) opt hotshoe EVF VF-2; 1.15x mag; 1.44M dots 2011, June[30]
18 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 4:3 / 16.6 mp (16.0 mp effect) opt hotshoe EVF LVF2; 1.4x mag; 1.44M dots 2011, November[31]

Micro Four Thirds lenses

For the Four Third lenses that can be mounted on MFT bodies, see Four Thirds system lenses. For the Four Third lenses that support AF, see [5]. For those support fast AF (Imager AF), see [6].

As of August 2011, the following Micro Four Thirds system lenses, which can be used by all MFT camera bodies, except as noted, have been released or announced with availability within 3 months of announcement:

Standard zoom lenses

  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens f/3.5–5.6 (35mm EFL = 28-84mm)
  • M.Zuiko Digital ED II 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens f/3.5–5.6 MSC (35mm EFL = 28-84mm)
  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm lens f/3.5–5.6 (35mm EFL = 28-84mm)
  • Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm lens f/3.5–5.6 (35mm EFL = 28-84mm) (announced August 26, 2011)
  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm lens f/3.5–5.6 (35mm EFL = 28-90mm)

Superzoom lenses

  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14–140mm lens f/4–5.8 (35mm EFL = 28-280mm)
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 MSC (35mm EFL = 28-300mm)

Telephoto zoom lenses

  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 MSC (announced September 2010) (35mm EFL = 80-300mm)
  • Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45–175m lens f/4–5.6 (35mm EFL = 90-350mm) (announced August 26, 2011)
  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45–200mm lens f/4–5.6 (35mm EFL = 90-400mm)
  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm lens f/4–5.6, Mega O.I.S. (35mm EFL = 200-600mm)
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 MSC (35mm EFL = 150-600mm)

Wide-angle zoom lenses

  • Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7–14mm lens f/4 (35mm EFL = 14-28mm)
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 MSC (35mm EFL = 18-36mm)

Prime lenses

  • Toy Lens 11mm f/1.4 lens f/1.4 (announced May 2011)(35mm EFL = 22mm)
  • SLR Magic Hyperprime 12mm f/1.6 lens (35mm EFL = 24mm) (announced November 2011)[32]
  • M. Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2 lens Olympus 12mm f/2.0 (35mm EFL = 24mm)[33]
  • Panasonic Lumix G 14mm lens f/2.5 ASPH (35mm EFL = 28mm)
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/2.8 (35mm EFL = 34mm)
  • Panasonic Lumix G 20mm lens f/1.7 (35mm EFL = 40mm)
  • Voigtländer Nokton 25mm f/0.95 (35mm EFL = 50mm)[34]
  • Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 lens f/1.4 (announced 13 June 2011) (35mm EFL = 50mm)
  • Toy Lens 26mm f/1.4 lens f/1.4 (announced December 2010)(35mm EFL = 52mm)
  • SLR Magic 35mm f/1.7 lens f/1.7 (announced August 2009)(35mm EFL = 70mm)
  • M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f1.8 Olympus 45mm f/1.8 (35mm EFL = 90mm)[35]
  • Noktor Hyperprime 50mm f/0.95 lens (announced February 2010) (35mm EFL = 100mm) SLR Magic was recently tapped as a new producer of this lens as of May 2011[36]

Macro lenses

  • Panasonic Lumix DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm lens f/2.8 Asph. (35mm EFL = 90mm)


  • Samyang 7.5mm 1:3.5 UMC Fish-eye MFT (35mm EFL = 15mm fisheye)
  • Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm f/3.5 (35mm EFL = 16mm fisheye)

3D lenses

  • Panasonic LUMIX G 12.5mm 3D lens f/12 (35mm EFL = 65mm) when using 16:9 format on Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2. This lens is only compatible with newer Panasonic bodies. Not compatible with Panasonic Lumix DMC G-1, GF-1 and GH-1. Not compatible with any Olympus PEN digital cameras.

Digiscoping lenses

  • SLR Magic 12-36x50 ED spotting scope for micro four thirds f/8-25 (announced September 2011)(35mm EFL = 840-2520mm)[37]


  • Wanderlust Pinwide f/96 - f/128 'lens' cap[38]

Image Stabilization - Different approaches

Olympus and Panasonic approach image stabilization differently. Olympus uses sensor image stabilization, which it calls IBIS. IBIS stabilizes the image by shifting of the entire sensor. Panasonic uses optical image stabilization, which it calls MEGA OIS. MEGA OIS stabilizes the image by shifting of a small optical block within the lens.

Panasonic claims that OIS is more accurate because the stabilization system can be designed for the particular optical characteristics of each lens. A disadvantage of this approach is that the OIS motor and shift mechanism must be built into each lens, making each lens physically larger, heavier and more expensive than a comparable non-OIS lens. As of mid-2011, Of the available and announced Panasonic lenses, the 8 mm fisheye, 7–14 mm wide angle zoom, 14mm and the 20 mm primes are not image stabilized (IS).

Whilst none of the Olympus lenses have built-in IS, all Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras have in-camera IS, and therefore all Olympus M.Zuiko Digital lenses benefit from the camera's stabilization system. The advantage with Olympus' in-body IS is that Olympus lenses are smaller and lighter than comparable Panasonic lenses, and even vintage manual focus lenses can make use of the body-stabilization when used with an appropriate mount adapter. This latter fact has added to interest in Micro Four Thirds cameras by many hobbyists, especially amongst users of traditional Leica or Voigtlander rangefinder cameras.

Lens compactness and mount adaptability

A promise of the Micro Four Thirds standard is reduced lens size and weight. Of particular interest in illustrating this fact are the Panasonic 7-14mm ultra-wideangle (equivalent to 14-28mm in the 35mm film format) and the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm ultra wide-angle lens (equivalent to an 18-36mm zoom lens in the 35mm film format). The reduced flange focal distance of Micro Four Thirds enables such extreme wideangle lenses to be made significantly smaller and cheaper than for a traditional DSLR, because the retrofocus optical schemes can be avoided or made less extreme. On the telephoto end, the Panasonic 100-300mm zoom and Olympus 75-300mm zooms show how small and light extreme telephotos can be made. The 300 mm focal length in Micro Four Thirds is equivalent to 600mm focal length in more traditional full frame cameras. When compared to a full frame camera lens providing a similar angle of view, instead of weighing several pounds, and looking like a two large coffee cans end to end, the optically stabilized Panasonic 100-300mm lens weighs just 520 grams or 18.3 ounces, and is only about six inches long, and uses a relatively petite 67mm filter size.[39] As a point of comparison, the Nikon 600mm f5.6 telephoto weighs 3600 grams or 7.9 pounds, is over 20 inches in length and uses a custom 122 mm filter.[40]

While not necessarily recommended as good technique, the Micro Four Thirds lens can be easily hand held, and does not feel like wrestling with a dumbbell.

Further, both Panasonic and Olympus manufacture an adapter to enable use of any Four Thirds lenses on Micro Four Thirds cameras. While many Four Thirds lenses accept firmware updates to enable contrast autofocusing, some are slow to autofocus, and some others are manual-focus-only. A variety of companies manufacture adapters to use lenses from nearly any legacy lens mount[7] (such lenses, of course, support no automatic functions.)

Since most Micro-Four-Thirds lenses have neither a mechanical focussing ring nor an aperture ring, adapting these lenses for use with other camera mounts will be impossible or compromised.


July 27, 2010 Panasonic has announced the development of a 3-dimensional optic solution for the Micro Four Thirds system. Specially designed lens allows it to capture stereo images compatible with VIERA 3D-TV-sets and Blu-ray 3D Disc Players.[41]

See also


  1. ^ "Olympus and Panasonic announce Micro Four Thirds". Digital Photography Review. 2008-08-05. http://www.dpreview.com/news/0808/08080501microfourthirds.asp. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  2. ^ Panasonic introduces AG-AF100
  3. ^ "No more compromises: The Four Thirds Standard". Olympus Europe. http://www.olympus-europa.com/consumer/dslr_7045.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  4. ^ Knaur (October 1, 2002). "Interview". A Digital Eye. Archived from the original on December 5, 2002. http://web.archive.org/web/20021205033057/http://www.a-digital-eye.com/Olympus43Q&A.html. 
  5. ^ http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmcgh1/
  6. ^ http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmcgh2/
  7. ^ a b Novoflex – Adapters for MicroFourThirds Cameras
  8. ^ Etchells, Dave (August 5, 2008). "Micro Four Thirds system". The Imaging Resource. http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1217960634.html. 
  9. ^ http://www.olympusamerica.com/presspass/press_pass_cut/opp_press_details.asp?pressNo=757
  10. ^ http://www.olympusamerica.com/oai_HeadlinesDetails.asp?pressNo=860
  11. ^ http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prModelDetail?storeId=11301&catalogId=13251&itemId=371044&modelNo=Content09012009063419862&surfModel=Content09012009063419862
  12. ^ "Panasonic Lumix G1 reviewed". Digital Photography Review. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmcg1/. 
  13. ^ "Panasonic premieres DMC-GH1 with HD video recording". Digital Photography Review. 2009-03-03. http://www.dpreview.com/news/0903/09030315panasoniclumixdmcgh1.asp. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  14. ^ http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prModelDetail?storeId=11301&catalogId=13251&itemId=292233
  15. ^ http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/popup/pressrelease/gh1.html#1
  16. ^ http://www.dpreview.com/news/0906/09061601olympusep1.asp
  17. ^ http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/popup/pressrelease/dmc_gf1.html#1
  18. ^ http://www.dpreview.com/news/0911/09110501olympusep2.asp
  19. ^ "Olympus unveils the affordable Pen". Digital Photography Review. 2010-02-03. http://www.dpreview.com/news/1002/10020305olypenepl1.asp. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  20. ^ http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/popup/pressrelease/g2g10.html#2
  21. ^ http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/popup/pressrelease/g2g10.html#1
  22. ^ http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/popup/pressrelease/gh2.html
  23. ^ http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/popup/pressrelease/gf2.html
  24. ^ http://olympus-imaging.jp/product/dslr/epl1s/index.html
  25. ^ http://www.dpreview.com/news/1101/11010622olympusepl2.asp
  26. ^ http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/popup/pressrelease/g3.html
  27. ^ http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/popup/pressrelease/gf3.html
  28. ^ http://www.olympus-global.com/en/news/2011a/nr110630ep3e.html
  29. ^ http://www.olympus-global.com/en/news/2011a/nr110630epl3e.html
  30. ^ http://www.olympus-global.com/en/news/2011a/nr110630epm1e.html
  31. ^ http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/gx1/index.html
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  36. ^ http://www.43rumors.com/slrmagic-will-resume-the-noktor-lens-production-and-nokton-next-production-run-in-june/
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  38. ^ http://wanderlustcameras.com/products/pinwide.html/
  39. ^ http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/lens/g_vario_100_300.html
  40. ^ http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/6070nikkor/telephoto/600mm.htm
  41. ^ Panasonic announces development of world's first interchangeable 3D lens for Lumix G Micro system, Panasonic


External links

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  • Micro-Four-Thirds-System — Four Thirds Logo Der Four Thirds Standard ist ein von Olympus und Kodak entwickelter, speziell auf digitale Spiegelreflexkameras abgestimmter Standard. Dabei erfolgte von Anfang an keine Rücksichtnahme auf herkömmliche Objektive, Kameras oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Micro Four Thirds System — The Micro Four Thirds System is a standard created by Olympus and Panasonic for compact digital camera design and development, announced August 5, 2008.cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Olympus and Panasonic announce Micro Four… …   Wikipedia

  • Micro-Four-Thirds-System-Standard — Four Thirds Logo Der Four Thirds Standard ist ein von Olympus und Kodak entwickelter, speziell auf digitale Spiegelreflexkameras abgestimmter Standard. Dabei erfolgte von Anfang an keine Rücksichtnahme auf herkömmliche Objektive, Kameras oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Four-Thirds-System — Four Thirds Logo Der Four Thirds Standard ist ein von Olympus und Kodak entwickelter, speziell auf digitale Spiegelreflexkameras abgestimmter Standard. Dabei erfolgte von Anfang an keine Rücksichtnahme auf herkömmliche Objektive, Kameras oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Micro-Four-Thirds — Four Thirds Logo Der Four Thirds Standard ist ein von Olympus und Kodak entwickelter, speziell auf digitale Spiegelreflexkameras abgestimmter Standard. Dabei erfolgte von Anfang an keine Rücksichtnahme auf herkömmliche Objektive, Kameras oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Micro-Four-Thirds-Standard — Four Thirds Logo Der Four Thirds Standard ist ein von Olympus und Kodak entwickelter, speziell auf digitale Spiegelreflexkameras abgestimmter Standard. Dabei erfolgte von Anfang an keine Rücksichtnahme auf herkömmliche Objektive, Kameras oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Four Thirds system — 4/3 redirects here. For 4:3 image aspect ratio, see Aspect ratio (image)#4:3 standard. Four Thirds logo The Four Thirds system is a standard created by Olympus and Kodak for digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR) design and development.[1] The… …   Wikipedia

  • Four Thirds System — The Four Thirds System is a standard created by Olympus and Kodak for digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR) design and development.cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Kodak and Olympus join forces | date=2001 02 13 |… …   Wikipedia

  • Système Micro Four Thirds — Le système Micro Four Third ou Micro quatre tiers est un standard créé par Olympus et Panasonic pour appareils photographiques compacts à objectifs interchangeable, annoncé le 5 août 2008. Les dimensions du capteur sont les mêmes que celles du… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Four-Thirds-Standard — Four Thirds Logo Der Four Thirds Standard (oder kurz Four Thirds) ist ein von den Unternehmen Olympus und Kodak entwickelter, speziell auf digitale Spiegelreflexkameras abgestimmter Standard für Objektivanschlüsse. Dabei erfolgte von Anfang an… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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