Micro Four Thirds Delivers The Goods

Yesterday, I met up with a friend in the Peak District for some photography. The day before, I spent a lot of time wondering which camera should I take. The choice was to go with my Fuji XT3 which is the camera I use most often. Alternatively, I could take the Panasonic G9 micro four thirds camera.

In the end I opted for the Panasonic.

My reasoning is that there isn’t much to choose between the two cameras in image quality. But in terms of enjoyment, I’m now more drawn to the micro 43 system. I don’t know exactly why, but I think it’s the small lens and filter size that makes it easy to use in the landscape.

Something else that I like about my Panasonic G9 outfit are the two Leica lenses I have. One is the 12-60mm lens, which is the equivalent of the 24mm to 120mm on a full frame camera. The other is an 8-18mm which is 16mm to 36mm in full frame terms.

Here’s an example of an image I shot yesterday using the 8-18 lens.

Burbage South Edge in the Peak District

This was shot at 9mm, and the detail across the frame is excellent. It’s a 1/100” exposure at f/8.0 and ISO200. I used a two stop soft graduated filter on the sky as the conditions were quite contrasty.

Both Leica lenses are well built and give me exceptional image quality in a tiny package that easy to carry and use. They do a fantastic job of resolving fine detail and are optically well corrected. But there’s something else I’ve noticed about these lenses when it comes to image quality. They seem capture not only detail but excellent contrast in a scene. This seems to give landscape shots a wonderful three-dimensional feel.

Now recently been pondering whether to upgrade my Fuji XT3 to the new XT5. Strangely I find myself putting this off and I’m now wondering if I should use the G9 as my main camera instead. Not only does the system perform well, but the high-resolution mode is breath-taking. I will need to give this some serious thought.

I hope you like this week’s image and have a great weekend.

15 thoughts on “Micro Four Thirds Delivers The Goods

    1. It’s a nice camera but I don’t see what I would gain on the G9. It’s the lenses in the system that I’m interested in. The only reason that I was thinking of changing the XT3 is to gain in body IS and because the camera is on it’s last legs.

  1. I’ve been using Nikon full frame cameras for years. Last year, wanting a smaller and lighter system, I got a G9 last year along with the Pana/Leica 15mm and the Panasonic 30mm macro lens. It’s been a delight to use, and the image quality with those two lenses is exceptional. I’m very happy with it.

  2. My full-frame backpack gets pretty heavy, especially with the 100-400 lens, and I don’t seem to be getting any younger. Dropping to APS-C isn’t enough weight savings for me. I have considered getting a MFT system for extended hiking.

  3. I think the only reason to dismiss micro four thirds is if the 4:3 ration does not meet your needs. I use a G9 and also Ricoh GR3 and can see no compelling reason to change either camera for the “latest and greatest”. The only negative I have with the G9 is the fully articulating rear screen but I can live with it. I too am not getting any younger and my neck and back love micro four thirds. Great shot by the way.

  4. Have you experience of using OLY lenses on the GP Robin? I have been constantly disappointed with results of prime Olympus lenses admittedly often with 1.4 and 2.0x teleconverters which I use mostly for bird / wildlife? Also the OLY 60mm macro does not perform well on its own when paired with the G9. Results have been much less sharp when I compare similar setup (same ISO/Speed/aperture) on Olympus OM-D E M1 III body. Reluctant to part with my G9 but it may make its way down the food chain to my son unless I can get better results or a PX against an E-M1X body.

    1. Very limited experience. My Olympus 9-18 and 12-45 lenses seem OK but perform better on the Olympus bodies (old EM5’s). I also have an old Panasonic 45-150 lens which is superb on the EM5 but not as good on the G9. I’ve had a few people tell me that the G9 needs newer lenses for the dual stabilisation to work properly. Perhaps it’s something to do with that. Have you tried updating the firmware on the lenses? I again read something that suggested you need a firmware update with some lenses for them to perform well.

      1. Thanks for the advice Robin and as always a super blog. I forgot to confirm that firmware are all up to date on body / lens. So I guess I may eventually go for the E-M1X seeing no real significant benefit for me personally in the OM-1 as suggested by others here

  5. I love the m4/3rds system and have 4 cameras, G9, OM-1, GX8, Pen-F plus a few lenses and for me they work well, they are compact and versatile, each having slightly different features that I use for various types of photography.

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