If you like to take photos of things like your kids, landscapes, or other things with high quality but you don’t want to have to schlep around a large and heavy DSLR camera the micro four thirds cams are a good alternative. The micro four thirds offerings promise DSLR-like image quality and shutter speed with less bulk. The only clear downside to me is that these cameras are often the same price as a DSLR even though the look like your average point and shoot.
Like a DSLR, you can get lenses to interchange to get the best lens for your needs. The main difference between a micro four thirds camera and a DSLR is that the four thirds offerings don’t have a mirror box. That means you will only find electronic viewfinders on these cameras. The cameras come in kit form generally and will have different types of lenses. Be sure to get the camera with the lens that best suits your needs. If you are in the market for a quality micro four thirds camera check out my list of some of the coolest offerings out there.
1. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 - This camera has a 12MP resolution sensor and a 3-inch touchscreen on the back for controlling settings. It comes with a 14mm f/2.5 G aspherical lens and sells for $624. It can be fitted with an optional 3D lens and it can record full HD video as well. Other features include an integrated flash and it stores photos to a SD card. This is a very compact camera that is easy to take with you on the road and all settings are accessed through the touchscreen. Some people prefer buttons for settings and if you are this type, you may want to look more.
2. Olympus PEN E-PL1 with 14-42mm Lens - This camera comes with a lens that has more zoom than the lens on the previous camera. The E-PL1 comes with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko digital zoom lens. The camera has a 12.3MP image sensor and a 2.7-inch rear LCD. It also sports continuous auto focusing and can capture HD video with a Direct Button for easy recording. It stores content to SD/SDHC cards and is available for under $500.
3. Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 with 14-42mm Lens - This is one of the older and bulkier of the micro four thirds offerings from Panasonic. The camera sports mega optical image stabilization and a 12.1MP sensor. The image stabilization will help to ensure you get clear photos with high zoom levels. The rear screen is 3-inches and can be moved to different angles. It can record HD movies and has HDMI capability. The G2 kit is available for about $680.
4. Olympus E-P2 w 14-42mm Lens - This camera package does not include the clip on electronic viewfinder. The camera has a 12.3MP image sensor and the 14-42mm lens is f/3.5-5.6. The camera has a 3-inch LCD with Live View functionality and it has manual control of the shutter and aperture in movie mode. It stores to SD and SDHC cards and has a rechargeable battery inside. The camera will cost you about $650.
5. Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 with 14-42mm Lens - The G1 is also a larger body micro four thirds camera. It has a 12.1MP image sensors and ships with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens with mega OIS. The OIS stabilizes the image at high zoom to keep images clear and sharp. The camera has a 12.1MP resolution and can record HD movies. It has a high speed auto focus system and a live view rear LCD. The camera stores to SD cards and sells for about $530.