Micro Four Thirds Vs 1 Inch

By | 17/11/2022

Digital camera pattern standard

4 Thirds System
is a standard created by Olympus and Eastman Kodak for digital single-lens reflex photographic camera (DSLR) and mirrorless camera blueprint and evolution.[1]

The arrangement provides a standard that, with digital cameras and lenses available from multiple manufacturers, allows for the interchange of lenses and bodies from different manufacturers.
U.S. Patent 6,910,814
seems to cover the standard. Proponents draw it as an open standard, but companies may apply information technology just under a non-disclosure agreement.[2]

Unlike older single-lens reflex (SLR) systems, Four Thirds was designed from the outset to be entirely digital. Many lenses are extensively computerised, to the betoken that Olympus offers firmware updates for many of them. Lens blueprint has been tailored to the requirements of digital sensors, virtually notably through telecentric designs. The size of the sensor is significantly smaller than for most DSLRs and this implies that lenses, especially telephoto lenses, can be smaller. For example, a Four Thirds lens with a 300 mm focal length would cover well-nigh the same bending of view as a 600 mm focal length lens for the 35 mm film standard, and is correspondingly more compact. Thus, the 4 Thirds System has crop gene (focal length multiplier) of about 2, and while this enables longer focal length for greater magnification, it does not necessarily assistance the industry of broad angle lenses.

The epitome sensor format, between those of larger SLRs and smaller point-and-shoot meaty digital cameras, yields intermediate levels of cost, performance, and convenience.

Sensor size and aspect ratio


Drawing showing the relative sizes of sensors used in nearly electric current digital cameras, including 4 Thirds Arrangement

The name of the system stems from the size of the image sensor used in the cameras, which is usually referred to as a
4/iii” type
iv/iii type
sensor. The mutual inch-based sizing system is derived from vacuum image-sensing video camera tubes, which are at present obsolete. The imaging area of a Four Thirds sensor is equal to that of a video photographic camera tube of four/three inch bore.[three]

Sizes of the sensors used in about current digital cameras relative to a standard 35mm frame

The usual size of the sensor is 18 mm × 13.5 mm (22.5 mm diagonal), with an imaging expanse of 17.iii mm × 13.0 mm (21.63 mm diagonal).[3]
The sensor’southward expanse is well-nigh 30–forty% smaller than APS-C sensors used in most other DSLRs, but still around 9 times larger than the 1/2.5″ sensors typically used in compact digital cameras. Incidentally, the imaging expanse of a Four Thirds sensor is almost identical to that of 110 moving-picture show.

The emphasis on the 4:3 paradigm attribute ratio sets 4 Thirds autonomously from other DSLR systems, which usually attach to the 3:ii aspect ratio of the traditional 35mm format. Still, the standard only specifies the sensor diagonal, thus Four Thirds cameras using the standard 3:2 aspect ratio would be possible;[v]
notably newer Panasonic Micro Four Thirds models even offer shooting at multiple aspect ratios while maintaining the same prototype diagonal. For example, the Panasonic GH1 uses a multi-aspect sensor designed to maximize use of the prototype circle at four:3, 3:2, and 16:9; each ratio having a diagonal of 22.5 mm.[6]

Sensor attribute ratio influences lens design. For example, many lenses designed past Olympus for the Four Thirds System contain internal rectangular baffles or permanently mounted “petal” lens hoods that optimise their performance for the four:3 aspect ratio.[
citation needed

In an interview John Knaur, a Senior Production Manager at Olympus, stated that “The FourThirds refers to both the size of the imager and the attribute ratio of the sensor”.[7]
He also pointed out the similarities between four:3 and the standard press size of viii×10 equally well as medium format 6×four.5 and 6×7 cameras, thus helping explain Olympus’ rationale on choosing 4:3 rather than 3:2.

Advantages, disadvantages and other considerations




  • The smaller sensor size makes possible smaller and lighter camera bodies and lenses. In particular, the Four-Thirds system allows the development of meaty, large aperture lenses. Corresponding lenses become larger, heavier and more expensive when designed for larger sensor formats.

  • Telecentric optical path means that calorie-free hitting the sensor is traveling closer to perpendicular to the sensor, resulting in brighter corners, and improved off-center resolution, especially on wide angle lenses.
  • Considering the flange focal altitude is significantly shorter than those on Catechism FD, Catechism EF, Nikon F and Pentax K, lenses for many other SLR types including the old Olympus OM System tin can be fitted to Four Thirds cameras with simple mechanical adapter rings. Such mechanical adapter rings typically require manual setting of focus and discontinuity.[9]



  • Compared to a larger sensor with equivalent pixel count, a 4 Thirds sensor gathers disproportionately less light per pixel. Non only are the individual photosites smaller, only each loses more of its total expanse to support circuitry and edge shading than a larger photosite would. With less captured lite to work with, each photosite requires additional amplification, with associated higher noise as well equally reduced dynamic range. A telecentric lens design can mitigate this trouble, but the sensor remains more than sensitive to the angle of incoming low-cal, and has more pronounced image corner light falloff.
  • The resolution of a sensor is oft measured every bit the full sensor pixel count in megapixels, and this is ofttimes a principal decision-making factor in choosing a camera. Smaller sensors are tougher to industry with the same pixel density as larger sensors, and place a greater demand on optics, since a lens must achieve greater accented resolving ability to produce an acceptable picture on a smaller sensor, compared to a larger sensor of the same pixel resolution. A smaller pixel active area reduces the averaging effect and allows a better sampling of loftier spatial frequencies, mitigating this problem.[10]
  • To get the same angle of view as with a larger sensor, the focal length of the lens used with a 4 Thirds sensor needs to be shorter. Still, to become the aforementioned depth of field and calorie-free gathering adequacy as with a larger sensor, the lens discontinuity needs to be kept constant. In other words, the focal ratio of the lens must be smaller on the Four Thirds organisation to give the same depth of field[xi]
    and image noise. Since information technology is more hard to produce faster lenses (lenses with smaller focal ratios), it can exist difficult or incommunicable to observe a lens that produces as shallow a depth of field, and gathers as much light, as an equivalent lens on larger formats. For instance, a 35mm “full-frame” DSLR can match the depth of field of a Four Thirds camera by closing downwardly the aperture by two stops; just it may exist more difficult or incommunicable for a Iv Thirds Organization to match the shallow depth of field of a 35mm camera using a fast lens.



  • Well-nigh Four Thirds cameras (notably those manufactured by Olympus) utilise an attribute ratio of 4:three rather than 3:2; newer models offer cropping to 3:2, but this results in a reduced image diagonal (i.east., the effective crop factor is and then 2.08).[12]

Four Thirds System companies


As of the 2006 Photo Marketing Clan Almanac Convention and Merchandise Bear witness, the 4 Thirds consortium consisted of the post-obit companies:

  • Fuji
  • Kodak
  • Leica
  • Olympus
  • Panasonic
  • Sanyo
  • Sigma

This does non imply a delivery to cease user products by each company. Historically, only Leica, Olympus, and Panasonic have produced bodies. Olympus and Leica/Panasonic have made dedicated 4 Thirds lenses, and Sigma makes adapted versions of their “DC” lenses for APS-C format DSLRs. Kodak once sold sensors to Olympus for employ in their Iv Thirds bodies, simply the newer Olympus Four Thirds cameras used Panasonic sensors.

4 Thirds Organization cameras


The majority of Four Thirds System cameras and Four Thirds lenses are made by Olympus. Many Four Thirds cameras employ “sensor-shift” in-body epitome stabilization, making the need for image stabilization technology in its lenses unnecessary. All Four Thirds cameras besides comprise an automatic sensor cleaning device, in which a thin glass filter in front of the sensor vibrates at 30 kHz, causing dust to fall off and adhere to a piece of sticky material below. Olympus’ E-organisation photographic camera bodies are noted for their inclusion of a wide range of firmware-level features and customization, skillful JPEG engine, and compact size. Because of the smaller format of Four Thirds, the viewfinders tend to be smaller than on comparable cameras.[13]

Manufacture of 4 Thirds cameras came to an stop after the introduction of the mirrorless Micro Four Thirds format. Discontinued models include:

  • Leica Digilux 3
  • Olympus E-1
  • Olympus E-3
  • Olympus Due east-5
  • Olympus Due east-xxx
  • Olympus Due east-300
  • Olympus E-330
  • Olympus Due east-400
  • Olympus E-410
  • Olympus E-420
  • Olympus E-450
  • Olympus E-500
  • Olympus E-510
  • Olympus Eastward-520
  • Olympus E-600
  • Olympus East-620
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10

Iv Thirds Organisation lenses


Four lenses for the Four Thirds System. From left to correct, iii Olympus zooms (twoscore–150mm, 11–22mm and 14–54mm) and a Sigma prime (30mm).

The Four Thirds lens mount is specified to exist a bayonet type with a flange focal distance of 38.67 mm.

There are currently[

around three dozen lenses for the Four Thirds System standard.[fifteen]

Before announcing that information technology would terminate production of Four Thirds lenses in early 2017,[xvi]
Olympus produced well-nigh 20 lenses for the Iv Thirds System under their “Zuiko Digital” brand. They are divided into three grades — Standard, High Grade and Super High Class. High Grade lenses take faster maximum apertures, but are significantly more expensive and larger, and the Super Loftier Grade zooms have constant maximum aperture over the total zoom range; all just the Standard grade are weather-sealed. Lenses within each class cover the range from wide-angle to super telephoto.[17]
The Zuiko Digital lenses are well regarded for their consistently skillful optics.[xix]
The following table lists all Zuiko Digital lenses available at the fourth dimension Olympus stopped Four Thirds product:[20]

Broad angle Standard Telephoto Super telephoto Special-purpose
Standard ix–18f/4–5.six 14–42f/3.five–5.6
25f/2.eight “pancake”
xl–150f/4–5.6 70–300f/4–v.vi macro 35f/3.5 macro
18–180f/three.v-6.3 superzoom
High Form 11–22f/2.8–3.5 12–60f/2.8–4
14–54f/2.8–3.5 II
50–200f/2.8–three.v SWD lf/two macro
viiif/three.5 fisheye
Super High Form seven–14f/4 14–35f/2 35–100f/2

Olympus also made one.4× and two× teleconverters and an electronically coupled extension tube.

Sigma has adapted thirteen lenses for the Four Thirds Arrangement, ranging from 10 mm to 800 mm, including several for which no equivalent exists: the fast primes (30 mm
f/one.four and 50 mm
f/1.four) and extreme telephoto (300–800 mm
f/5.6). Every bit of 2014 all Sigma lenses for the Four Thirds System take been discontinued.

Leica has designed four lenses for the Four Thirds System: fast and irksome normal zooms and a 14–150 mm super-zoom, all with Panasonic’s image stabilization system, and an unstabilized
f/1.4 25 mm prime. These are manufactured and sold by Panasonic.

An official list of available lenses can exist found on Four-Thirds.org web site.[21]

As for the system itself, it was silently discontinued in favor of the Micro Four Thirds System.

Micro 4 Thirds System


Concept Micro Iv Thirds camera past Olympus

In Baronial 2008, Olympus and Panasonic introduced a new format, Micro Four Thirds.

The new system uses the same sensor, but removes the mirror box from the photographic camera design. A live preview is shown on either the camera’s main liquid-crystal display or via an electronic viewfinder, as in digital compact cameras. Autofocus may be achieved via a contrast detection procedure using the chief imager, again like to digital compact cameras. Some Olympus manufactured camera bodies also feature phase detection auto focus built into the sensor. The goal of the new system was to allow for even smaller cameras, competing directly with higher-end point-and-shoot compact digital cameras and DSLRs. The smaller flange focal distance allows for more than meaty normal and wide angle lenses. Information technology as well facilitates the use, with an adapter, of lenses based on other mounting systems, including many transmission focus lenses from the seventies and eighties.

In particular, 4 Thirds lenses can be used on Micro Four Thirds bodies with an adapter; however, “all of the functions of the Micro Four Thirds System may not always be available.”[22]

See as well


  • Lenses for SLR and DSLR cameras
  • Lens mountain — list of lens mounts
  • Video camera tube#Size, origin of 4/3 inch sensor measurement



  1. ^

    “Kodak and Olympus join forces”.
    DPReview.com. DPReview.com. 2001-02-13. Retrieved

  2. ^

    “Benefits”. Four Thirds Consortium. Retrieved
    Details of the Iv Thirds Organisation standard are available to camera equipment manufacturers and manufacture organizations on an NDA footing. Full specifications cannot exist provided to individuals or other educational/research entities.

  3. ^



    “No more compromises: The Four Thirds Standard”.
    Olympus. Europe. Archived from the original on 2011-07-xiv. Retrieved

  4. ^

    “The Four Thirds Standard”. Four Thirds Consortium. 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-03-07. Retrieved

  5. ^

    “Iv Thirds Standard” (whitepaper). Four Thirds Consortium. 2009. Retrieved

  6. ^

    Utpott, Björn,
    G1 sensor vs GH1 sensor
    (JPEG diagram), PBase


  7. ^

    Knaur, John (October 1, 2002),
    Interview, A Digital Eye, archived from the original on 2002-12-05


  8. ^

    Olympus E400 Digital Camera Review, Let’south go digital


  9. ^

    “OMs on E1”,
    Cornucopia, Biofos


  10. ^

    Full Frame Sensor vs Ingather Sensor – Which is Right For You?, Digital Photography Schoolhouse, 20 August 2008


  11. ^

    “Depth of Field Equations”.
    . Retrieved
    12 Apr

  12. ^

    “Specs – Lumix G Digital Photographic camera: DMC-GX7| Panasonic Australia”. Retrieved

  13. ^

    “DPReview E-xxx conclusions page”. 2009-04-09.

  14. ^

    “DPReview E-510 review”. 2009-04-09.

  15. ^

    Lens list


  16. ^

    Butler, Richard (March 10, 2017). “In memoriam: Olympus brings downwardly the pall on the legacy Four Thirds system”.
    Digital Photography Review
    . Retrieved
    March 16,

  17. ^

    “Olympus E-System Zuiko Digital Interchangeable Lens Roadmap”
    (PDF). United kingdom: Olympus. Archived from the original
    on 2007-x-xv. Retrieved

  18. ^

    “Olympus Lens Tests”. SLRgear.

  19. ^

    “Olympus Zuiko 12–60mm one:2.8–1:iv lens review”. DPReview.

  20. ^

    “Lens list”. Asia: Olympus. Retrieved

  21. ^

    Lens list, 4 Thirds


  22. ^

    Micro Four Thirds Official benefits list.

External links


  • Official Four Thirds Arrangement site Archived 2020-xi-01 at the Wayback Automobile
  • Four Thirds Us patent 6,910,814; PDF version (1.seven MiB)
  • Andrzej Wrotniak’due south pages near the Four Thirds System — includes a complete lens listing
  • Four Thirds User — independent site and user-customs dedicated to the Iv Thirds System, including Micro Four Thirds
    expressionless link

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Thirds_system