A tiny DSLR! Is it what so many photographers have been waiting for?
Olympus and Panasonic were the first companies to develop the Micro Four Thirds system: very compact, slim digital single reflex-like cameras with large sensors.
Micro Four Thirds cameras are nicknamed “EVIL,” which stands for Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens. The term illustrates the main difference between micro four-thirds systems and traditional digital single lens reflex cameras: these cameras lack reflex mirrors and optical viewfinders.
The first available Micro Four Thirds camera was the Lumix G1, made by Panasonic.
Mirror-less interchangeable lens digital camera
Because they lack mirrors, Micro Four Thirds cameras have electronic rather than optical viewfinders. Lenses manufactured specifically for Micro Four Thirds cameras will be smaller, though some existing lenses can be used with an adapter. Larger lenses may not balance as well as when mounted on larger and heavier cameras.
What does it mean for you and me?
If you want the flexibility and high ISO performance of a DSLR but have been holding off because of their size, the Micro Four Thirds system may be for you.
It’s important to point out that while these cameras are smaller than DSLRs, they are not small compared to most compact digital cameras. You won’t be able to slip one into your shirt pocket.
So if you’re still put off by the higher cost of DSLRs, have no desire to buy and interchange lenses, an advanced, all-in-one compact digital camera may still be your best bet, particularly if you don’t take a lot of low light photos.