Micro Four Thirds is the smart choice

Mike Davidson (via Brooks Review) suggests that the smart purchases in cameras today are either:

  • A large and expensive but supremely competent full-frame DSLR (your Canon 5D, Nikon D700, or Sony A900);
  • A smartphone with a decent camera that you’ll have with you all the time;
  • A Micro 4/3 system camera for something with high quality in a smaller package than a DSLR.

I agree wholeheartedly, and I’m not the only one:

Micro 4/3 really does seem to have it right: the sensor is big enough, but not too big; small enough, but not too small. The cameras are right-sized, the lenses are right-sized. Everything’s in balance. Everything fits.

David Pogue called it three years ago; these little cameras are important and revolutionary.

There are other small-camera, big-sensor options, but for enthusiasts, the real draw for the Micro Four-Thirds system has to be the lens selection. As Matthew Robertson points out:

While other systems are struggling to be invented, Panasonic and Olympus sit on an ever-expanding range of lenses and cameras that is second only to the decades-old Canon and Nikon systems. No, they don’t have tilt-shift lenses or “professional” cameras yet, but Micro Four Thirds is a viable and vibrant system in a way that the others simply aren’t.

Here’s all the lenses in the M4/3 system. Sigma is planning to add even more. The selection blows away the selection from other mirrorless camera systems.

Set your eyebrows to raised: you’ve got an ultra-ultra-ultra wide zoom, a choice of two all-focal-lengths-covered megazooms, and a 600mm-equivalent mega-telephoto.

And tiny primes! So many primes! You’ve got just about all of the the classic focal lengths covered, including a fisheye, a high-speed ultra-wide, high-speed short telephoto, three pancakes, a 1:1 macro, and even an f/0.95 see-in-the-dark normal lens.

I would even argue that the lens selection for Micro Four Thirds is better overall and with fewer compromises than the selection for APS-C DSLRs from the big guns. But that’s an argument for another time.

That said, if someone were to hand me a Sony NEX-7 and that juicy-looking new Zeiss 1,8/24mm, I wouldn’t complain too much.

Am I doing it wrong?

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