The Micro Four-Thirds system is turning ten years old in 2018, and it’s fair to say it’s come a long way in the last decade. The MFT system has allowed manufacturers to build small and lightweight cameras that have been big on features, and to celebrate this milestone, we’ve rounded up five of the top models you can buy today. So, which Micro Four-Thirds camera is right for you?
Quite possibly the perfect Micro Four-Thirds camera for those creatives who have found themselves shooting more video than stills, the Panasonic GH5S is a videographer’s dream. The 10-megapixel sensor is lower in resolution than a standard 20-megapixel GH5, but this is so it will return better video results – particularly in low light. The camera can shoot ultra high-quality 4K footage at up to 60p, along with the ability to capture epic slow motion sequences shot at 240 frames per second while in Full HD.
Footage can be recorded to either or both of the dual SD card slots and the GH5S includes Panasonic V-Log profiles too. Of course, there’s still features stills shooters will love, including a speedy burst rate of 12 frames per second – perfect for capturing action photography such as wildlife or sports.
Olympus developed the Micro Four-Thirds system with Panasonic and the brand’s flagship camera is absolutely packed with cutting edge features and specifications. Offering 20-megapixels, this is a camera capable of making big prints – in fact, there’s even a High Res mode that will combine multiple images into a super high resolution 50-megapixel photo.
Built to work in harsh environments, the camera is weather-sealed and can operate down to -10 degrees. With focus locked in this amazing camera can capture up to 60 RAW files per second or 18 RAW files per second if you wish to use continuous autofocus. Although Panasonic are better known in videographers, the O-MD E-M1 MkII has plenty to offer too and can shoot Cinema 4K (C4K) at 24 frames per second, standard 4K up to 30 frames per second or Full HD at up to 60 frames per second.
What’s more, videographers will love the 3-inch touch-sensitive LCD, which is vari-angle and can be flipped round, as its brightness can also be adjusted through seven levels to help visibility under different lighting conditions – useful when confronted with sunny skies. The O-MD E-M1 MkII also features built-in 5-axis image stabilisation technology, so that every lens you use with the camera benefits from this system can helps keep stills and video sharp.
The Panasonic G9 often gets overlooked by its big brother, the GH5, but dig a little deeper into the specifications and you’ll discover this smaller camera has some pretty big features. In fact, like the GH5, the G9 is built around a 20-megapixel Micro Four-Thirds sensor, and boasts 5-axis image stabilisation that afford up to 6.5 stops of compensation. Featuring a robust build (it’s freeze, splash and dust-proof), the G9 is also suitable for photographers on the move as it can be charged by USB.
Images can be lined up via the Electronic Viewfinder or the vari-angle screen and the 4K Photo mode will enable you to pull stills from 60 FPS video footage – perfect for when you don’t want to miss a moment. What’s more, the G9 is speedy, allowing you to capture the action at 20 fps in burst mode. Like the GH5, the G9 shoots ultra high-quality 4K video at up to 60 frames per second and the external mic and headphone ports will enable high quality audio to be captured and monitored. The touch-sensitive screen will allow users to establish a focus point easily and footage can be recorded to one or both of the dual SD card slots.
This Micro Four-Thirds camera is one for the purists. Quite possibly one of the best-looking cameras on the market, the Pen-F has a great deal of substance behind all that style. Serving up 20-megapixels of resolution, the Pen-F is fairly speedy too with users able to capture the action at up to 10 frames per second.
The Pen-F is made to be taken everywhere and is the lightest camera in this round-up, tipping the scales at just 427g. While the Pen-F can’t match the video specifications of cameras like the GH5 or OM-D E-M1 MkII, it can shoot Full HD and does offer a 4K timelapse option. However, there’s not mistaking this stylish camera is better suited to street photography, enabling photographers to whip out the tiny body in time to capture candid, unposed imagery.
Arguably the most complete Micro Four-Thirds camera on the market today, the GH5 is Panasonic’s flagship model and is packed with features. Built around a 20-megapixel sensor with no low pass filter to increase sharpness, the sensor is paired with the high performance Venus Engine 10 processor to deliver impressive image quality and fast and efficient operation.
There’s dual 5-axis image stabilisation technology to keep any shake at bay and sophisticated autofocus system with 225 AF points around the frame. The GH5 can focus as quick as 0.05 seconds and the burst rate is speedy too, with 9 frames per second in continuous focus or 12 frames per second with the focus locked in. There’s even a 6K Photo mode that extracts 18-megapixel images from 6K footage (30 frames per second). Suitable for professional use, the GH5 is weather-sealed and can operate down to – 10 degrees. Images and video can be lined up using the Electronic Viewfinder or the 3-inch, 3680k-dot vari-angle LCD.
The GH5 is hugely popular with videographers thanks to its ability to shoot ultra high-quality 4K footage at up to 60p, which can be recorded to either or both of the dual SD cards. In fact, the GH5 shoots internal 4:2:2 10-bit 4K for excellent image quality and with ports for headphones and mic, enhanced audio can be recorded and monitored.