Akihabara and Micro Four Thirds cameras

Could Micro Four Thirds cameras be the future of travel photography?

I was in Akihabara in Tokyo today, having a little browse through the massive array of electronics stores, when I came across these little beauties. Essentially SLR cameras which weigh half the weight of a full DSLR. About half the price too. And they even record HD video. How can these not be the absolute dead-pan favourite of cycle tourers and other human-powered travellers?

And with lenses like these being developed, the mind boggles as to the perfect suitability of these cameras for fast and light missions, when awesome depth of field, crisp optics, and versatility are called for. From video to stills, these look awesome.

So far it looks like Panasonic and Olympus are the only makers to forge the way ahead with these types of ‘Macro SLR’ camera, but you can be sure that I now have a new item to add to my wish-list!

Micro Four Thirds Camera body list: http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/body.html

Micro Four Thirds Lens list: http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/lense.html

Olympus E-P2 review: http://www.pocket-lint.com/review/4598/olympus-pen-e-p2-review

Panasonic Lumix GF-1 review: http://www.pocket-lint.com/review/4431/panasonic-lumix-gf1-camera-review

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4 thoughts on “Akihabara and Micro Four Thirds cameras

  • Anders

    They are no doubt the future of digital cameras. I think we are soon going to see a lot of these around and a lot less dSLRs. Sadly here in Europe m4/3 cameras still cost more than an entry level dSLR.

    Also Samsung and Sony are now making something similar, with the Sony nex-5 looking interesting with a bigger sensor, smaller body and lower cost than m4/3 cameras. If only it had all the dedicated buttons of the Canon G11.

    I'm looking forward to see what Canon will come out with.

    PS. nice to see that this fine blog is not dead.

  • Michael Spotts

    Hello. First, I've been following your journey since nearly the start. Thank you. It helped inspire me this past February to go on a 1,500 mile bicycle and backpacking journey. I finished too quickly, in just two months, and I think the bug has only just bitten me. I hope to go back out soon.

    Just so you know, Nikon and Canon are expected to release their version of the micro camera within 8 months. The difference is that Canon is expected to use a APS-H sensor, which drawfs the sensor of 4/3 cameras. All in a tiny body and small lenses, like the film days. This means much more dramatic focal blur than 4/3. Just you wait. The future is even better.

    Michael Spotts:.

    PS: I'm a photographer for a living.

  • Rob Thomson Post author

    Hi Michael,

    I remember you; I am subscribed to your Flickr feed and am always amazed at your photos (http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelspotts/).

    I do look forward to seeing what Nikon and Canon come up with!

    By the way, yes I was a Christian before I left on my trip. I would describe myself back then as an all-believing never-questioning person, and that extended to my Christian-faith tendencies also. The trip changed all that though. I can't help but feel that there are some quite fundamental issues with assertions of any type of absolute way of knowing any type of absolute truth (call me a Postmoderninst, perhaps).

    Add to that the fact that I find it difficult to believe in much more than what I have seen, heard, touched, smelt, experienced, (which doesn't include anything which I would be able to put the label of 'spiritual' on (as in that wonderful Modern idea of spiritual and secular)), I find that I don't seem to resonate with many Christians I know who are very rightfully happy to espouse quite vociferously the tangibility of "God's presence" (which seems to me to be an extremely subjective thing).

    In other words, I now live in a very real tension. That is a tension between the beautiful concept of freedom in love as displayed by the account of miraculous things that supposedly happened 2000 years ago through Jesus, and the obvious horror and irrational-ness of the implications that one must know that they know Jesus lest they be eternally damned (the irrational-ness of this being that there are many, many more humans being born and dying right now – not to mention in the last 2000 years of human history alone – than could ever be 'evangelized').

    Which leads naturally to a tendency to accept that the current mainstream Christian thought (whatever that may be) contains some glimpses of truth (as do many other religions), but there are many bits that just don't add up on a global scale.

    Which doesn't make sense when held up to the claim that God's Word is infallible. And if God's word is infallible, then it must have been written by super-humans. Unike any 'Godly' people history has ever known since the Canon was closed.

    So yeah.

    The trip was good.

    Got me to thinkin' and all.

  • Michael Spotts

    Robert, thank you for responding so quickly and candidly. I have posted back to you on your facebook and my blog, regarding your comment (firearms).

    As for the above, please grant me a while to reply, as dinner beckons.

    In short, however, what you have written resonates with similar lines of thought as I have, and continue to confront, albeit my views have fallen decidedly to one side.

    Ironically, I came to a branch of the Christian faith at age 21, after having done formal studies in comparative religions and Christianity. You must know well there are as many variations of Christianity as there are professing Christians, and I had not been satsified with the form I was reared in. In fact, such a God became for a time the object of my nervous contempt. However, I have since come to a system which both intellectually and existentially satisfies my hardest questions. I say that not as a light boast, take it for what it is. I am merely man.

    I agree that there is so much subjectivity to which none can lay a hand on, and am leery of it. Still, I am willing to consider the testimonies of individuals as one more piece of evidence in the greater puzzle. What is the divide between chemistry and spirituality? How do we discern imbalanced brains from elevated souls? It is hard to tell!

    God bless your ruminations, Robert, and bless your kindness to those who need it.


    "God does not need your good deeds. Your neighbor does." – Martin Luther