Micro four thirds cameras explained. Are you wondering what micro four thirds cameras are? We explain all you need to know about this exciting new camera format

All you need to know about micro four thirds cameras

The Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system was invented by Olympus and Panasonic as a smaller alternative to their full-size Four-Thirds DSLR system but offering the same image quality, versatility and lens interchangeability.

Using the same sensors and processors as their Four-Thirds DSLR cousins, Micro four thirds cameras do without the focusing screen, mirror and prism assembly that provide the optical viewing system in a DSLR, and as a consequence are significantly more compact, and the lens-to-sensor distance reduced. This in turn enables the production of much smaller lenses.

The result is a true system camera that is the size of a large compact, but can be used with a variety of lenses and accessories, and produce DSLR quality images, as well as the ability to produce shallower depth of field than you can get with a compact. Users compose their pictures using the LCD screen only, or by attaching an optional clip on viewfinder.

Although only in their infancy, the system is predicted to become a major force in photography, offering as it does what many buyers see as the benefits of a DSLR in a compact-type package.

The target audience is both compact users wanting something more advanced but who don’t want the bulk of a DSLR, as well as DSLR owners wanting something smaller to carry around every day.


See our reviews of Micro Four Thirds cameras

  • john bailey

    Still don’t know what 4/3 is. yes its used in some dslrs but WHAT is IT!

  • Mr E D Probert

    A good explanation of what Micro Four Thirds is but why did you illustrate the article with a photo of an original Olympus Pen 35 mm FILM camera (complete with optical rangefinder viewfinder) instead of the latest Olympus EP1 Pen DIGITAL camera (without viewfinder as explained in the article).
    This is afterall supposed to be a DIGITAL camera magazine isn’t it?????
    Still, it will help younger readers see what a proper brilliant camera used to look like and may encourage them to invest in the modern equivalent.
    E. D. Probert