Size isn’t everything. And Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras from Olympus and Panasonic prove that. MFT 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. Good things often come in small packages!
The Olympus OM System OM-1 is our pick as the best Micro Four Thirds camera. It has a revolutionary autofocus (AF) system. It has a full set of hybrid features. And it produces outstanding images. So the OM-1 sets a new standard in MFT cameras.
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The Best Micro Four Thirds Camera in 2022
Olympus and Panasonic Lumix are the two main Micro Four Thirds camera specialists. Both manufacturers make high-performance hybrid cameras. And they pack each of their MFT cameras with advanced hybrid features. So these MFTs offer some of the best photography and video features of any camera type.
Here’s a quick look at the best Micro Four Thirds cameras. The section after this one will examine each MFT camera in more detail. And if you need more information on MFT cameras, skip to the final section.
1. Olympus OM System OM-1
The OM System OM-1 marks a new dawn for Olympus cameras. They’re starting afresh. And the OM-1 is their new flagship camera. Some might see it as a continuation of their previous Micro Four Thirds camera line. But the new advanced features show they’re setting a new standard for MFT cameras.
The MFT sensor has a 20 MP resolution. That’s not exactly groundbreaking. But you get vibrant images with the standard photography modes. The dynamic range is excellent for a sensor of this size.
If 20 MP isn’t enough, you have the High-Resolution Shot mode. This powerful feature captures several images at once and overlays them. This gives you one composite image with a 50 MP resolution. And the image stabilization means you don’t need a tripod.
The AF system is unlike anything we’ve seen on an MFT camera. It uses 1,053 cross-type focus points that give you full frame coverage. It’s high precision focusing with face detection and subject tracking.
The 4K video quality is lovely. And the 60 fps frame rate gives you incredibly smooth footage. You also have slow-motion video modes in Full HD. And the AF and image stabilization both work with photo and video shooting.
We’ve seen fast burst modes in MFT cameras before. But the OM-1 takes it to another level. You can capture the action with a continuous shooting speed of 120 fps. That makes the missable… unmissable!
It’s a durable camera that’s built to last. It’s thoroughly weather-sealed, shockproof, and can work in icy temperatures. It has Wi-Fi connectivity built-in. And busy photographers will appreciate the dual memory card slots. This Micro Four Thirds camera is the total package.
2. Panasonic Lumix GH6
The Panasonic Lumix GH6 is the ultimate multimedia MFT camera. The photo specifications are fantastic. But this mirrorless camera is a true hybrid. It combines photo and video features for a complete media production experience. Photographers and videographers will love the GH6.
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. Plus, 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. So it’s ideal for high-end video production. You can also shoot at different frame rates. You can record Full HD at 240 and 300 fps, 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. Unfortunately, there’s no autofocus at that speed. But the autofocus system is sophisticated, with face detection and tracking.
Photographers in all disciplines will appreciate the five-axis image stabilization. It uses sensor-shift technology to reduce
The GH6 is a pro camera with a price tag that reflects it. So it’s the best Micro Four Thirds camera for professional multimedia creators.
3. Olympus OM-D E-M1 III
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 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. So 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 blows 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 60 fps. That’s incredible speed!
The autofocus is fantastic. It uses a 121-point system that locks and tracks moving subjects. The downside is that you only have autofocus burst coverage up to 18 fps. But it has five-axis image stabilization. And there’s Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III has many alluring features. Everyone from astrophotographers to sports photographers will love it. It isn’t cheap. But it demonstrates well what a Micro Four Thirds camera can be.
4. Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV
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 must sacrifice some quality. So high-speed recording is only possible in HD (720p).
The filters and shooting modes appeal more to content creators. But the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV also delivers for dedicated photographers. The five-axis image stabilization keeps your images sharp. And it gives you more freedom with settings. Plus, it helps maintain high image standards so you can publish your work.
The 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. Its size makes it a good option for street photography. But it’s also capable of portraits, wildlife, and sports photography.
5. Panasonic Lumix GH5 II
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 II is another fantastic MFT camera for photos and videos. The specs lean toward the video side of media production. It still performs well as a stills camera. But videographers are likelier to view the GH5 II as the best Micro Four Thirds camera.
4K video quality isn’t groundbreaking by today’s standards. But few 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. So filmmakers have plenty to play with in this MFT camera.
The Lumix GH5 II also lets you live stream. 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. It’s 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 benefit from the image stabilization system. Its dual system combines sensor-shift and lens-optical stabilization for precision shooting. The result is 6.5 stops of photo and video correction. So camera shake is a thing of the past.
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 II has a durable body and efficient weather sealing. And you can shoot in colder climates as it can handle temperatures down to 14 F (-10 C). It’s a tough and reliable interchangeable lens camera that filmmakers love.
6. Olympus OM-D E-M1X
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 cameras. The M1X sacrifices the size benefits of MFT cameras in favor of power and performance. And many photographers are happy with the results.
One reason for the trade-off in size? Olympus believes the M1X is better balanced for larger lenses. There’s a big disparity in weight when using a large zoom lens and a small MFT camera. So the Olympus OM-D E-M1X lets photographers use their larger lens range. So 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. Plus, its five-axis image stabilization 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. So it’s ideal for action and sports photography.
The autofocus system is fantastic, using 121 cross-type focus points. And the subject tracking is reliable even with fast action. But autofocus is only available up to 18 fps.
The only other downsides are the price and the size. The M1X body is tough and completely weather-sealed for outdoor shoots. Plus, there’s Wi-Fi connectivity for easy transfer and sharing. So it’s a professional camera that delivers as few other MFT cameras do.
7. Olympus OM-D E-M5 III
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 ensures 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 for a dip in quality with a higher frame rate. That gives 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 its stand-out features. It uses contrast detection. And it has 121 cross-type focus points to lock and track moving subjects. Combine that with its built-in image stabilization, and you’re guaranteed sharp images!
8. Panasonic Lumix G100
The Panasonic Lumix G100 is the best Micro Four Thirds camera for vlogging or live streaming. Social media is the marketplace for many professional content creators. And Olympus designed the G100 to help you thrive in that online environment.
Most users are attracted to this camera for its video features. It gives you 4K and Full HD video. 4K can run at 24 or 30 fps. And Full HD runs at a smooth 60 fps. Plus, you can use the camera as a webcam using the Lumix Sync app.
The autofocus works well with faces. It detects eyes and maintains focus as the subject moves. That’s ideal for vlogs and live videos. Plus, there’s a selfie mode for self-portraits. And the vari-angle screen and monitor make a vlogger’s life much easier.
The G100 is the smallest camera on the list. So you might be surprised that this tiny camera has a hybrid image stabilization system. This reduces
9. Panasonic Lumix GX9
The Panasonic Lumix GX9 is one of the most compact mirrorless cameras. 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. Photo details are excellent, and the vibrant colors are true to life. And
Many users will choose the Lumix GX9 because of its video capabilities. There’s 4K video at 30 fps. Plus, there’s 4K Photo burst mode. The mechanical shutter gives you 9 fps. But 4K Photo lets you select individual frames from 4K video. And you can use them 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.
10. Olympus OM-D E-M1 II
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 only reduced slightly over time and remains quite pricey. You get a higher max shutter speed (1/32,000 s) and a lower minimum ISO (64) with the Mark II. But the Mark III does better in all other areas.
The photo quality isn’t in question. The 20.4 MP sensor reliably pumps out top-quality images. And the fast and accurate autofocus helps you. It uses 121 points of contrast detection for lock and tracking. Then there’s the five-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 gives you terrific 4K videos at 30 fps. The body is weather-sealed for outdoor protection. There’s a fully articulating touchscreen for ease of use. And you can also transfer images wirelessly using the Olympus Image Share app.
11. Panasonic Lumix G95
Panasonic Lumix Micro Four Thirds cameras are known for their hybrid qualities. And while the Lumix G95 is in 11th 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
The video is 4K quality and shoots at 30 fps. Plus, 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. But 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!
Why Choose a Micro Four Thirds Camera?
They were developed as a bridge between point-and-shoot and larger interchangeable lens cameras. And they offer the best of both worlds. They’re small and unobtrusive. And they still give you the full photography experience.
Micro Four Thirds cameras still pack a punch despite their smaller sensor. The image quality is 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. So they are more discreet and easier to carry.
Another benefit is the shorter focal length of Micro Four Thirds Cameras. This results in what is essentially a 2x crop factor for your images. But it also gives you more magnification than other cameras with larger sensors. So you get more telephoto reach from a zoom lens. This is helpful for sports and wildlife photography.
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 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—good for sports and wildlife photographers. And many have built-in stabilization systems. And their autofocus systems rival their counterparts with larger sensors.
Micro Four Thirds cameras can compete with APS-C and full frame mirrorless cameras. As we’ve seen, they have incredible features. They produce exceptional photos and videos. And everything is in a compact and lightweight package. So they’re credible alternatives to “the bigger boys.”
The Olympus OM System OM-1 is our top pick for the best Micro Four Thirds camera. It’s their new flagship in the MFT division that produces high-resolution images. And it features an advanced AF system, a high 120 fps burst rate, and fantastic 4K video recording.
But all the Micro Four Thirds cameras on this list are worth your consideration. It doesn’t matter if you shoot photos or videos. Micro Four Thirds cameras are the full package for media production.