Micro Four Thirds – the mirrorless system debuted 10 years ago

Do you have a home bezlusterkowca ? Ten years ago this would be a rhetorical question. A few years later, it would be possible to predict the answer with a high degree of probability. Today, it can not be predicted. Because mirrorless cameras from the initial novelty that were in 2008 grew into the very popular category of cameras. Interestingly, they are the best category that can still be in front of you. Ten years ago, the introduction of the system Micro Four Thirds it was brave, but as you can see with deliberate action.

The Micro Four Thirds System initiated the revolution under the name mirrorless. For years, it was the basic offer for people who wanted to change from a reflex camera to a “compact with interchangeable optics”. The Micro Four Thirds system was developed primarily by Olympus and Panasonic , but there are also other companies that use this type of mounting and sensors with typically compact proportions of 4: 3 sides.

Today, Micro Four Thirds is a mature system, but not as dominant as it used to be. Although Japan is not a determinant of what is happening in the world, but also local trends are important for the future of photography. And there it is not the Micro Four Thirds (due to the type, the system dedicated to mirrorless cameras), and the Canon, Nikon and Sony systems dominate, taking almost 90% of the market share. Panasonic, Olympus, and even Fujifilm are niche cameras in their realities. Canon can boast of even the first place in the industry with only mirrorless cameras. All this can change dynamically, because Nikon joins the game, and Canon plans to refresh and up-parse its offer.

The most important moments in the history of the Micro Four Thirds system

Let us recall briefly 2008. The Beijing Olympics, the financial crisis, the first Android smartphones are starting to gain market, the position of the iPhone brand is growing, for which the AppStore is being created, and soon joins Android Market. Intel unveiled a new processor family called Atom.

Blu-ray discs have become the standard that competing HD DVDs have fallen. New computers in 2008 had Intel Core 2 Quad or Core 2 Duo processors or Phenom X3. Apple introducing the MacBook Air “inadvertently” showed what the future of mobile computers is waiting for. Graphic designers and photographers used the Adobe CS4 package.

The telecommunications industry has received the first standard for LTE networks. This year, GitHub and Spotify were also created, Google released a test version of the Chrome browser, and Bill Gates officially ended work at Microsoft. Polaroid (the original one) has finished the production of instant cameras, and Nikon showed the D90 – the first mid-range DSLR with video recording. Meanwhile, the mirrorless world was just beginning to develop.

Panasonic Lumix G1

  • August 5, 2008 – announcement of the new Micro Four Thirds standard
  • in October 2008 Panasonic Lumix G1 debuts
  • in 2009 Olympus joins the game with his PEN series cameras
  • in 2010 a video camera of the Micro Four Thirds system appeared
  • in 2011, more companies, Carl Zeiss, Schneider Kreuznach and others join the Micro Four Thirds consortium, Panasonic Lumix G3 goes to stores, and Olympus enriches the PEN series with mini mirrorless versions
  • in 2012, Sigma joined the group of lens manufacturers for the Micro Four Thirds system
  • 2013 saw further development of the system, Blackmagic camera with Micro Four Thirds mount and a number of Panasonic and Olympus models
  • in 2014 the very popular Panasonic Lumix GH4 goes to stores, Olympus revives the OM-D camera series, further growth of the Micro Four Thirds consortium, Kodak tries its hand in the industry with the PixPro S-1
  • in 2015, we meet DJI, which spread the Micro Four Thirds standard in the drone segment
  • in 2016, the Micro Four Thirds system is already well-developed category that many manufacturers are interested in
  • in 2017, Panasonic Lumix GH5, Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III went on sale
  • in 2018, the difficult situation of the photo industry can be felt, not only mirrorless. Olympus showed one new bezĹ‚usterkowiec (as in 2017), Panasonic boldly because three – we are waiting for what will bring us hot September (IFA and Photokina)

Panasonic Lumix GX9
The youngest Panasonic child – the Lumix GX9

So far, about 60 mirrorless Micro Four Thirds models from the most important manufacturers have appeared on the market.

Contents of the press release from 2008 announcing the M43 system

Olympus Imaging and Panasonic announce the new Micro Four Thirds System

Olympus Imaging Corporation (Olympus Imaging) and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic) today announced the joint development of technologies and devices compliant with the new Micro Four Thirds System, which develops the benefits of the Four Thirds Standard for digital cameras with interchangeable lens. The new standard makes it possible to significantly reduce their size and weight. Under the agreement, both companies will work together to launch commercial production of much lighter and more compact digital cameras with a replaceable lens.

The world market for digital SLRs with interchangeable lenses shows steady growth, yet it still accounts for only 7% of the entire digital camera market. Considering the much larger share that SLRs with interchangeable lens had at the time when the dominant carrier was negative film, it seems that this category has a large growth potential. Digital compact cameras offer more and more functions and better image quality, and market research shows that customers choose compact models because digital SLRs are “big, heavy and difficult to use” according to them.

Analyzing this trend, Olympus Imaging and Panasonic introduced the Four Thirds products into the market and were the first in the industry to equip their digital SLRs with interchangeable lens with features such as Live View and autofocus system with focus detection.

Currently, Olympus Imaging and Panasonic additionally increase the potential of the Four Thirds Standard, enabling the construction of much smaller and lighter digital SLR with a replaceable lens based on the Micro Four Thirds standard. In addition to the existing Four Thirds System products, a new family of Micro Four Thirds cameras will be available to customers to enjoy the highest image quality.

Basic differences between Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds standards:

* Diagonal matrix in Four Thirds System and Micro Four Thirds System standards is the same.

The Four Thirds System defines design and construction standards for digital cameras with interchangeable lenses that use the full potential of digital technology. Four Thirds system cameras use a 4/3 matrix, which ensures high image quality despite the small size of the camera. The Four Thirds System is an open standard that allows the use of bodies and lenses from different manufacturers.

Source: Own information

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