Friday, April 27, 2012

Micro Four Thirds size (updated)

Here's an example of the size savings of the Micro Four Thirds camera system. The Pentax K-x is a great camera, and one of the most compact DSLRs there are. Admirably compact in fact. But by all reports the new Olympus OM-D has all the quality in various ways of the Pentax, and may have quite better stabilization and low-light capability (the sensor is said to be a big step up for the system).  But if you fit it with a flat lens like Panasonic's 20mm or 14mm, it's still smaller than the K-x without a lens! and will fit in a large pocket. And while some of Olympus' excellent new prime (non-zoom) lenses are a little deeper, they are still exceedingly compact and light compared to traditional lenses, so you're really getting a system which bogs you down dramatically less.


Many professionals have started to use the M4/3 system, and that's even before the rather more capable and solid OM-D model hit the market. I think the system has a very interesting future for enthusiasts. Scratch that, already the present is very interesting, the future possibilities blows my likkle fragile maaahnd.

Below is a comparison which may actually come closer in terms of quality and capabilities, the Canon 60D and the OM-D. Look at that size difference! And the D60 is not a large camera for a mid-level DSLR.

... And if you go with the lens-compatible Olympus Pen Lite (about the same image quality, but less features and ruggedness), well...

Of course most of these gains are of course due to technological progress, which other makes may be able to replicate. But oddly and sadly none of the big makers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax) have so far shown much interest in the compact interchangeable-lens market, apart from a couple of efforts (Pentax Q and Nikon 1) which have sensors so small that serious photographers have trouble taking them, well, seriously. And for any of the big boys to join the M4/3 system is probably well too strongly against the corporate male-ego principles! It would be like Mercedes and BMW making compatible spare parts, oh the disgrace! 

Thanks to Bruce who pointed out where to find the well-hidden feature of adding lenses... (tiny link at the bottom.)
OM-D and 60D with Normal lenses (roughly, 20mm 1.7 (40mm equivalent), and 50mm 1.8):

I like that the OM-D is only 400 grams, body-only. Not feather-weight, but still about half the weight of a middle-class DSLR. 


Bruce said...

You'll want to use the /compact option on That will let you add lenses.,289.92,163.92,ha,t

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, I was looking for that.
(Well hidden, only a tiny link at the bottom, that I can see.)
I wonder why they don't have it in the normal interface, seems pretty important.