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10 Best Micro Four Thirds Cameras (Top Picks 2022!)

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Size isn’t everything. And micro four thirds cameras prove that good things often come in small packages. The micro four thirds sensors might not be as big as their competitors, but they pack a punch. And some micro four thirds cameras are brimming with fantastic features.

This is our list of the best micro four thirds cameras. You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for a smaller camera that can still deliver where it matters. There’s a micro four thirds camera for everyone, regardless of your skill level or budget.

Man in gray jumper holding Olympus MFT camera to his face
© Federico Di Dio (Unsplash.com)

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What is a Micro Four Thirds Camera?

Micro four thirds (MFT) cameras are a type of interchangeable lens camera. Unlike compact cameras, they use lenses that can be removed and changed for other compatible lenses. But they have a smaller sensor than an APS-C or full frame camera. Olympus and Panasonic are the two main manufacturers of MFT cameras.

They were developed as a bridge between point-and-shoot and larger cameras with interchangeable lenses. They offer the best of both worlds. They are small and unobtrusive. But they still give you the full photography experience. They have photo and video options. And there are plenty of other features photographers and creators look for in a camera.

APS-C (crop sensor) and full frame are the most common sensor sizes for interchangeable lens cameras. You also have medium format, which is the largest sensor. But medium format cameras are specialist machines and far less common than the others. The micro four thirds system uses a smaller sensor than all three.

The smaller sensor size does present some limitations. A micro four thirds camera can’t compete with full frame cameras when it comes to image resolution measured in megapixels. The reduced size restricts the number of pixels the sensor can house. And most APS-C cameras also have a higher MP count.

Hand holding a Lumix MFT camera with no lens attached
© Angel Barcley (Unsplash.com)

Why Choose a Micro Four Thirds Camera?

Micro four thirds cameras still pack a punch despite their smaller sensor. The image quality is still excellent, and the density of the pixels keeps digital noise to a minimum. And there are other benefits to the MFT system.

The first is the smaller size of the cameras. Having a smaller sensor means they need to carry less hardware. The camera bodies are more compact and lightweight, making them more discreet and easier to carry.

Another benefit is the shorter focal length of micro four thirds cameras. While this results in a 2x crop factor for your images, it also gives you more magnification than other cameras with larger sensors. You get more telephoto reach from a zoom lens.

The smaller sensor size also helps you achieve a shallow depth of field. A micro four thirds camera gives you a shallower depth of field when using the same aperture on a crop sensor or full frame camera. This benefits portrait and macro photographers who like to use the bokeh effect.

MFT cameras have plenty of other features to get excited about. They have video features for multimedia creators. Some have a rapid continuous shooting speed, which is good for sports and wildlife photographers. Many have built-in stabilization systems. And their autofocus systems rival their counterparts with larger sensors.

Crop factor infographic

10 Best Micro Four Thirds Cameras

Now we know that a micro four thirds camera might be right for you, we’ll get started with the list of the best ones. We’ve covered all the bases for features, skill level, and price. You’ll definitely be able to find the perfect micro four thirds camera for you.

1. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III micro 4 3 product photo

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.4 MP
  • Video Quality: 4K
  • Max Burst Speed: 60 fps
  • Weight (Body Only): 1.11 lb (504 g)
  • User Level: Enthusiast/Professional

Olympus is the reigning champion of micro four thirds cameras. They were the pioneers of this camera system. And the OM-D E-M1 Mark III is the flagship camera in that division. It has the compact body you’d expect from an MFT camera. But the specs and features can go toe-to-toe with enthusiast-level cameras in any division.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III has a 20.4 MP sensor. It produces photos of the highest order, with stunning image quality. The detail is fantastic, as is the low-light performance. The ISO range is 100 to 25,600, giving you plenty of wiggle room when the light fades.

If 20.4 MP isn’t enough, the OM-D E-M1 III has a High Res Shot mode. You’re limited to one shot at a time. But you can shoot with an image resolution of 50 MP. That’ll blow many other cameras out of the water, including APC-S and full frame models.

The video capabilities are also excellent. You can shoot 4K video with a frame rate of 30 fps. And you can increase the frame rate to 120 fps for ultra-smooth footage. You lose some video resolution, but you can convert it to slow-motion footage.

The burst mode is another stand-out feature of this MFT camera. You can shoot at 18 fps using the mechanical shutter. That’s fast enough for most people. But you can switch to the electronic shutter for an increased shooting speed of 60fps. That’s incredible speed. But the downside is that you only have autofocus burst coverage up to 18 fps.

The autofocus is fantastic, using a 121-point system that locks and tracks moving subjects. You also have 5-axis image stabilization. And there’s Wi-Fi connectivity. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III has it all. Everyone from astrophotographers to sports photographers will love it. It isn’t cheap. But it demonstrates what a micro four thirds camera can be.

2. Panasonic Lumix GH6

Panasonic Lumix GH6 micro 4 3 product image

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Resolution: 25.2 MP
  • Video Quality: 4K
  • Max Burst Speed: 14 fps / 75 fps
  • Weight (Body Only): 1.8 lb (816 g)
  • User Level: Professional

The Panasonic Lumix GH6 is the ultimate multimedia MFT camera. The photo specifications are fantastic. But this mirrorless camera is a true hybrid, combining photo and video features for a complete media production experience. Photographers and videographers will love the GH6. It’s a professional camera with a professional price tag. But it’s the best micro four thirds camera for multimedia creators.

The micro fourth thirds sensor has an image resolution of 25.2 MP. That tops many APS-C sensor rivals. The photo quality isn’t in doubt with a megapixel count like that. And you get bright and natural color rendering. And the dynamic range is also fantastic for a small sensor.

The video specifications set the Panasonic Lumix GH6 apart. Not just from other micro four thirds cameras, but from other camera systems too. 4K video may be standard for most modern cameras. But the GH6 shoots 4K with a frame rate of 60 fps, giving you ultra-smooth footage. And there’s no time limit for recording. It’s ideal for high-end video production.

You can also shoot at different frame rates. 240 fps and 300 fps are recorded in Full HD, giving you slow-motion movie options. The burst mode is also an industry leader. The mechanical shutter gives you a rate of 14 fps. But switch to the electronic shutter and you get a burst rate of 75 fps. There’s no autofocus at that speed, but you won’t miss a beat.

Photographers in all disciplines will appreciate the 5-axis image stabilization. It uses sensor-shift technology to reduce camera shake, keeping your images sharp. The autofocus system is also sophisticated, with face detection and tracking. It also has dual SD card slots and USB charging. The GH6 is the best micro four thirds camera for videographers and multimedia creators.

3. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV micro 4 3 product image

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.3 MP
  • Video Quality: 4K
  • Max Burst Speed: 15 fps
  • Weight (Body Only): 0.84 lb (383 g)
  • User Level: Beginner/Enthusiast

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a fantastic all-rounder. It could be considered the archetypal micro four thirds camera. It’s compact, lightweight, and packed with features. It’s accessible to beginners and enthusiasts. And the price delivers good value for money.

The micro four thirds sensor has a resolution of 20.3 MP, producing fantastic images. And the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV lets you get creative with your photography. There’s a dedicated selfie mode with a flip-down screen. And you get 28 scene modes and 16 artistic filters in the camera. They include film simulation filters for that retro look.

Filmmakers will appreciate the movie specs. The video quality is 4K. And you have a choice of frame rates at that resolution, with 24, 25, and 30 fps available. You can also shoot at 120 fps, but you need to sacrifice some quality. High-speed recording is only possible in HD (720p).

While the filters and shooting modes appeal more to content creators, the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV also delivers for dedicated photographers. The 5-axis image stabilization shows this camera means business. It keeps your images sharp, giving you more freedom with settings. And it helps maintain high image standards so you can publish your work.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a crowd-pleaser. It’s a hybrid that produces fabulous photos and videos. And it has features that benefit beginners, content creators, and enthusiast photographers. The size makes it a good option for street photography. But it’s also capable of portraits, wildlife, and sports photography.

4. Olympus OM-D E-M1x

Olympus OM-D E-M1x micro 4 3 product photo

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.4 MP
  • Video Quality: 4K
  • Max Burst Speed: 15 fps / 60 fps
  • Weight (Body Only): 2.2 lbs (997 g)
  • User Level: Professional

The Olympus OM-D E-M1x is a micro four thirds camera on steroids. It’s aimed at serious photographers who need more power from their MFT camera. Olympus has sacrificed the size benefits of micro four thirds cameras in favor of power and performance. And many photographers are happy with the results.

One reason for the trade-off in size is Olympus believes it has better balance with its larger lenses. There’s a big disparity in weight when using a large zoom lens and a small MFT camera. The Olympus OM-D E-M1x allows photographers to use their larger lens range. It’s a real benefit for wildlife photographers.

The micro four thirds sensor has a 20.4 MP resolution. That’s more than adequate. But the real power comes from the High-Res Shot mode that gives you 50 MP images. And you can even increase that to 80 MP if you use a tripod. The 5-axis image stabilization is another feature that maintains and improves image quality.

The continuous shooting mode is another triumph for micro four thirds cameras. The mechanical shutter gives you 15 fps, which is enough for most. But photographers wanting more can use the electronic shutter at 60 fps. It’s ideal for action and sports photography. But the autofocus is only available up to 18 fps.

The autofocus system is fantastic, using 121 cross-type focus points. The subject tracking is reliable even with fast action. The body is tough and completely weather-sealed for outdoor shoots. And there’s Wi-Fi connectivity for easy transfer and sharing. The downsides are the price and the size. But it’s a professional camera that delivers like few other MFT cameras.

5. Panasonic Lumix GH5 II

Panasonic Lumix GH5 II micro 4 3 product photo without lens

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.3 MP
  • Video Quality: 4K
  • Max Burst Speed: 12 fps
  • Weight (Body Only): 1.6 lb (725 g)
  • User Level: Enthusiast/Professional

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 II is another fantastic MFT camera for photos and videos. In fact, the specs lean toward the video side of media production. It still performs well as a stills camera. But videographers are more likely to look at the GH5 II as the best micro four thirds camera.

4K video quality isn’t groundbreaking by today’s standards. But not many cameras can shoot 4K quality at 60 fps. That’s super-smooth footage at full resolution. You also have slow frame rates to choose from. And there’s no time limit when shooting video. Filmmakers have plenty to play with in this MFT camera.

The Lumix GH5 II also allows you to livestream. You connect the camera to the Lumix Sync app using the camera’s Wi-Fi connectivity. And then you’re able to stream videos live online. This is an excellent feature for social media creators, journalists, and online teachers. You can also connect to a computer via USB for web conferencing.

A 20.3 MP resolution is solid for a micro four thirds sensor, but not groundbreaking. But the GH5 II still produces stunning photos. The dynamic range and low-light performance are impressive. And the images hold up when enlarged or published in print media.

Filmmakers and photographers will benefit from the image stabilization system. It’s a dual system, combining sensor-shift and lens optical stabilization for precision shooting. The result is 6.5 stops of photo and video correction. Camera shake is a thing of the past.

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 II is a rugged machine with a durable body and efficient weather-sealing. And you can shoot in colder climates as it can handle temperatures down to -10 C. It’s a tough and reliable interchangeable lens camera that filmmakers love.

6. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III micro 4 3 product photo

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.4 MP
  • Video Quality: 4K
  • Max Burst Speed: 30 fps
  • Weight (Body Only): 1 lb (453 g)
  • User Level: Enthusiast

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is another example of how micro four thirds cameras can tick all the right boxes. It’s the definition of an all-around camera. The photo and video specs are excellent. There are plenty of features to please photographers in different areas. And anyone from an advanced beginner to a seasoned enthusiast can take it for a spin.

The photo quality will please even the fussiest camera critics. The 20.4 MP resolution doesn’t sound like much, but the quality of the camera and processor ensure the photos are fantastic. But if that isn’t enough, switch to the High-Res Shot mode for images with 50 MP resolution. You won’t believe images like that can come from a camera of this size.

The video quality is just as respectable. You can shoot 4K at 24, 25, or 30 fps. And you can compensate a dip in quality for a higher frame rate. That’ll give you fun slow-motion footage. You can also try the 30 fps continuous shooting mode with the electronic shutter.

The autofocus system was class-leading at the time of the original release. And it remains one of the stand-out features. It uses 121 cross-type focus points to lock and track moving subjects using contrast detection. And when you combine it with the built-in image stabilization, you’re guaranteed sharp images.

7. Panasonic Lumix G100

Panasonic Lumix G100 micro 4 3 product image

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.3 MP
  • Video Quality: 4K
  • Max Burst Speed: 10 fps
  • Weight (Body Only): 0.66 lb (300 g)
  • User Level: Beginner/Enthusiast

The Panasonic Lumix G100 is the best micro four thirds camera if you’re into vlogging or live streaming. Social media is the marketplace for many professional content creators. And the G100 is designed to help you thrive in that online environment.

The G100 produces fabulous images from the 20.3 MP sensor. But most users will be attracted to this camera for the video features. It gives you 4K and Full HD video. 4K can run at 24 or 30 fps. And FHD runs at a smooth 60 fps.

The autofocus works well with faces, detecting eyes and maintaining focus as the subject moves. That’s ideal for vlogs and live videos. There’s a selfie mode for self-portraits. And the vari-angle screen and monitor make a vlogger’s life much easier.

It’s the smallest camera on the list. And many might be surprised to know this tiny camera has a hybrid image stabilization system. It reduces camera shake in stills and videos. And you can use the camera as a webcam using the Lumix Sync app.

8. Panasonic Lumix GX9

Best micro 4 3 camera Panasonic Lumix GX9 product photo

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.3 MP
  • Video Quality: 4K
  • Max Burst Speed: 9 fps
  • Weight (Body Only): 1.14 lbs (517 g)
  • User Level: Beginner

The Panasonic Lumix GX9 is one of the most compact mirrorless cameras you’ll find. It resembles a point-and-shoot camera more than most micro four thirds cameras. But despite its pocket-sized body, it has plenty of features to get excited about.

With a resolution of 20.3 MP, it outperforms other cameras of this size. The detail is excellent and the colors are vibrant and true-to-life. And camera shake and motion blur aren’t a problem. The GX9 uses dual image stabilizers for pristine sharpness in photos and videos.

Many users will choose the Lumix GX9 because of its video capabilities. There’s 4K video at 30 fps. And there’s 4K Photo burst mode. The mechanical shutter gives you 9 fps. But 4K Photo allows you to select individual frames from 4K video that you can use as full-resolution photos.

The autofocus is sophisticated for a compact camera. And the vari-angle touchscreen and electronic viewfinder are two features creators appreciate. There are some handling issues with the small camera body. But it’s a compact MFT camera, and you’re guaranteed quality.

9. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Best Micro 4 3 camera Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II product photo

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.4 MP
  • Video Quality: 4K
  • Max Burst Speed: 15 fps / 60 fps
  • Weight (Body Only): 1.1 lb (500 g)
  • User Level: Enthusiast/Professional

Olympus made a statement with the release of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. The newer OM-D E-M1 Mark III has now usurped it. But the earlier model still holds its own against younger competitors. Some still consider it the best micro four thirds camera. But the price has seen little reduction over time and remains quite pricey.

The photo quality isn’t in question. The 20.4 MP sensor reliably pumps out top quality images. You’re helped by the fast and accurate autofocus. It uses 121 points of contrast detection for lock and tracking. Then there’s the 5-axis image stabilizer to complete the system. They work together to give you powerful and punchy pictures.

The burst mode is another highlight. You can get 15 fps using the standard shutter. But the Pro Capture mode gives you 60 fps of RAW shooting. Nothing’s too quick for this camera. And the shutter is silent, so you won’t make a sound if you’re shooting temperamental wildlife.

The OM-D E-M1 Mark II also gives you terrific 4K video at 30 fps. The body is weather-sealed for outdoor protection. There’s a fully articulating touchscreen for ease of use. You can also transfer images wirelessly using the Olympus Image Share app.

10. Panasonic Lumix G95

Panasonic Lumix G95 micro 4 3 product photo with lens

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor Resolution: 20.3 MP
  • Video Quality: 4K
  • Max Burst Speed: 9 fps
  • Weight (Body Only): 2.4 lb (1.08 kg)
  • User Level: Enthusiast

Panasonic Lumix micro four thirds cameras are known for their hybrid qualities. And while the Lumix G95 is in 10th position, it should not be overlooked. It has a lot to offer for photo and video shooters. And it’s a fraction of the price of some other cameras on this list.

Don’t worry about image quality if you need photos. The 20.3 MP sensor delivers consistently. And the built-in image stabilization system counteracts camera shake to keep your images crisp and clear. You can reduce your shutter speed by 5 stops with a reduced risk of blurry photos.

The video is 4K quality and shoots at 30 fps. And you have the option to switch to 24 fps. You can also speed things up with high-speed video recording, with 60, 90, or 120 fps options. Although there is a drop in quality at higher frame rates.

The Panasonic Lumix G95 has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. And all the hardware is safely contained in a rugged weather-sealed body. It’s an ideal camera for wildlife, sport, and street photography. And videographers will love it too.

Olympus MFT camera on a table next to a plant
© Andrew Griswold (Unsplash.com)

Conclusion

Micro four thirds cameras can compete with the bigger boys. As we’ve seen, they have incredible features and produce exceptional photos and videos. And everything is contained in a compact and lightweight package. They’re credible alternatives to APS-C or full frame mirrorless cameras.

The Olympus OM-D M1 Mark III is our top pick for the best micro four thirds camera. It’s a beast of a micro four thirds camera and truly a leader in the division. But all the MFT cameras on this list are worth your consideration. And it doesn’t matter if you shoot photos or videos. There’s an MFT camera for all multimedia creators.

Check out our Photography Unlocked ebook to get the most out of any micro four thirds camera!

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