Best Micro Four Thirds Cameras 2014

Best Micro Four Thirds Cameras 2014

The popularity of mirrorless cameras has seen a notable increase, with more people enjoying the convenience of an advanced system in a compact body. Mirrorless cameras are interchangeable lens systems that, as the name implies, lack the mirror that SLRs use to divert light into their optical viewfinder (this helps make the camera body smaller). Instead, light falls directly onto the image sensor. Micro Four Thirds is a specific series of mirrorless cameras developed by Olympus and Panasonic, and one of the major upsides of the Micro Four Thirds System is that users can choose lenses from either brand. Below are our picks for the best Micro Four Thirds cameras for 2014.
 
 

Best Olympus Micro Four Thirds Cameras

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 tops this list in quality and price, bringing you as close to the speed and quality of a DSLR as possible in a mirrorless camera. It comes with a 16.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor and fast TruePic VII processing engine. One of the standout features of the OM-D E-M1 is its autofocus system, which utilizes both contrast and phase detection (because most mirrorless cameras only use contrast detection, the EM-1 sees a big boost in accuracy and efficiency). It also offers in-camera image stabilization, which corrects for camera shake and compensates for up to five stops of shutter speed. And no need to panic if you get caught in the rain; the EM-1 is weather sealed and resistant to moisture and dust. Its touch-capacitive LCD screen tilts, giving you easy high and low-angle viewing, and you have the option of composing images through an electronic viewfinder. Additional features include built-in Wi-Fi and a wide variety of assistive shooting functions, such as Face/Eye Detection, in-camera HDR, and a built-in level. The EM-1 also comes boxed with a clip-on flash. Pricey, yes, but it's the whole package.
Megapixels: 16.8
Weight: 17.4 oz.
Sensor size: 17.3 x 13 mm
Micro Four Thirds camera button


 
 
The popular Olympus OM-D E-M5 led the pack for much of 2013 and is now available at a discount. This powerhouse Micro Four Thirds camera comes with a 16.1-megapixel Live MOS image sensor, TruePic VI processing engine, and 5-Axis image stabilizer that minimizes camera shake. It implements the Olympus F.A.S.T autofocusing system and features a rugged build that's weather sealed against the elements. The LCD touch screen tilts, so tricky high and low-angle shooting is less of a challenge, and the camera features a built-in electronic viewfinder. We also like the Art Filters such as Cross Process II and Dramatic Tone II, which let you edit your shots before they ever reach the computer. 
Megapixels: 16.1
Weight: 15 oz.
Sensor size: 17.3 x 13 mm
Micro Four Thirds camera button


 
 
The sleek Olympus E-P5 comes with a 16.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor and TruePic VI processor. A F.A.S.T autofocusing system utilizes 35 focus points to efficiently hone-in on a subject, and the helpful Face and Eye Detection technology maintain sharpness for group and individual portraiture. Built-in image stabilization retains sharpness by correcting for camera shake, letting you shoot in low light or with telephoto lenses without noticeable blur. The touch LCD tilts for easy composition, making shooting in bright light or odd angles easier than with a stationary monitor. A 2-axis level helps you square up shots that have any vertical/horizontal lines, and a number of other helpful features like i-Auto, Scene Select AE, and in-camera art filters like Pop Art, Water Color, and HDR ensure that automatic use is easy and effective. The E-P5 also includes built-in flash, Wi-Fi, and GPS.
Megapixels: 17.2
Weight: 13.3 oz.
Sensor size: 17.3 x 13 mm
Micro Four Thirds camera button
 
 
 
 
The Olympus PEN E-PL5 shares a lot in common with its E-PM2 cousin. It has a 16-megapixel Live MOS image sensor, TruePic VI processor, and built-in image stabilization. It uses Olympus’s F.A.S.T autofocus technology, along with Face and Eye Detection, and has an assortment of additional in-camera filters, shooting modes, and artistic effects. Where the E-PL5 differs is its LCD, which in addition to being a touchscreen, tilts for easier high or low-angle shooting. It also has a detachable side grip and a distinct Mode Dial that lets you record up to four settings tailored to the program mode of your choice. Like the E-PM2, it also comes with a small clip-on flash. 
Megapixels: 17.2
Weight: 11.5 oz.
Sensor size: 17.3 x 13 mm
Micro Four Thirds camera button


 

 

The Olympus PEN E-PM2 comes with a 16MP Live MOS sensor and TruePic VI processing engine. It utilizes a F.A.S.T autofocusing system that pairs well with Face and Eye Detection technology to ensure you've always got a clear shot, especially when shooting portraiture. In-camera image stabilization accounts for blur caused by camera shake, and a touchscreen LCD lets you control everything easily from the back of the device. With Live Guide engaged, you can preview how different settings will affect an image before you capture it. Automatic operation is relatively simple, so it’s great for on-the-fly shooting when you aren’t interested in manually adjusting settings. iAuto, for example, can automatically analyze what type of shot you’re taking and employ the right settings for you. Other creative filters, shooting modes, and even a 3D tool make it a fantastic little camera for beginners.
Megapixels: 17.2
Weight: 9.5 oz.
Sensor size: 17.3 x 13 mm
Micro Four Thirds camera button

 

 
 

Best Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Cameras

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 ($1,298)
The sturdy Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is popular amongst the videographer crowd, but holds its own as an effective still-image camera as well. The Panasonic DMC-GH3 comes with a 16-megapixel, Digital Live MOS sensor and 4-CPU Venus processing engine. Designed for a knowledgeable demographic, this Micro Four Thirds camera comes ready to face the elements with a magnesium alloy body that’s weather-sealed. You can compose shots through the built-in electronic viewfinder, or simply by viewing your frame on the swiveling rear OLED monitor. Here, you can set your focus points with a simple tap to the screen, then drag the image to move the focus crosshairs over the precise spot you want sharpness (called Pinpoint AF). The image sensor plays a dual role as the autofocus sensor, and both front and rear shutter mechanisms are operated electronically to reduce any unnecessary vibration. The Lumix DMC-GH3 doesn’t offer much in the way of in-camera editing, but added features include a level, Face Detection technology, and HDR. If wireless transfer is appealing, the DMC-GH3 comes with built-in Wi-Fi that enables media transfer and wireless camera controls.
Megapixels: 17.2
Weight: 19.4 oz.
Sensor size: 17.3 x 13 mm
Micro Four Thirds camera button

 

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 features a 16-megpixel Digital Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine processor. It comes with an electronic viewfinder and touchscreen LCD that both tilt for an added element of control during composition. There’s in-camera image stabilization (MEGA O.I.S technology) that minimizes camera shake no matter which lens you’re using, making it easier to snap sharp images in low light and longer focal lengths. Its autofocus is relatively efficient, making good use of Light Speed, Pin-Point, and One-Shot AF functions for accuracy and speed. The GX7 also has some unique creative filters that allow for detailed in-camera editing. A Clear Retouch button acts as a clone stamp for unwanted photo elements, and an assortment of built-in black and white contrast filters transform the look and feel of monochromatic shots. There’s also a menu full of additional art filters and assistive tools, and with built-in Wi-Fi, you can instantly share your work with the world.
Megapixels: 16.8
Weight: 14.1 oz. 
Sensor size: 17.3 x 13 mm
Micro Four Thirds camera button


 
 
The stylish new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 is sold in a kit with the Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (a standard 24-64mm range in 35mm format equivalency). It comes with a 16-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor, Venus Engine processor, and utilizes autofocus tools such as Light Speed, Pin-Point, and One-Shot AF to ensure sharpness quickly and accurately where you need it. Built-in Wi-Fi is included for wireless image transfer and sharing, as well as a convenient remote shutter release. In addition to a number of creative art filters like HDR, Retro, and Miniature Effect, the GM1 comes with an array of features designed to make operation as easy as possible including iAuto, Silent Mode, a built-in level gauge, and more. 
Megapixels: 16.8
Weight: 7.2 oz.
Sensor size: 17.3 x 13 mm
Micro Four Thirds camera button