When I started out my cinema career, I didn’t know any better when it came to purchasing cameras. I looked at tons of cameras, but I really didn’t know the difference between any of them. I knew what a RED was because it was THE camera that was being talked by anyone and everyone in the film industry. I knew it was used on the first Transformers film, and to me, the movie had an aesthetic likeness that couldn’t be matched. It was 2k film at its finest.
I knew I couldn’t afford the RED, so I settled for Panasonic Lumix GH3, which was advertised as the greatest camera for Indie filmmakers. What I didn’t know was the camera had a Micro 4/3 sensor. Heck, I didn’t even know what a micro 4/3 sensor was. Experienced folks may scoff at the fact that I didn’t know what it was, but, AGAIN, I was clueless.
Over the past year, my Lumix GH3 has given me lot of experience and has opened many doors for me. But it’s still a thorn in my side because of its micro 4/3 sensor. For those who don’t know what that is, a micro 4/3 sensor is one of the newer inventions that has made its way into the consumer market and was invented by Olympus and Panasonic in 2008.The sensor/system was created to allow better portability for the user; hence, smaller bodies and no giant mirrors in front of the sensors. The micro 4/3 lenses are all digital cameras, which have digital viewfinders, and they’re pretty cool.
The issue with the micro 4/3 sensor is the crop ratio. Because the sensor is a micro 4/3, it literally takes any normal lens and extends its length twofold. For example, a standard 35mm Nikon lens is now a 70mm Nikon lens. That extension makes a huge difference, and it’s the biggest pain in the butt ever. A 35mm lens is meant to give a human-eye’s view of an area. Now, because of the m4/3 sensor, the lens is up-close and personal. If you were planning to shoot an interior video of a house for real estate with a 35mm, you should forget about it if you have a m4/3. To get close to that 35mm view I wanted, for a reasonable price, I now need to purchase a 22mm pancake lens; it’s not going to be 35mm, but, again, it’s pretty close. Having a micro 4/3 sensor definitely makes things a little more expensive.
Owning a micro 4/3 camera also means you will have to purchase adaptors for the lenses you would like to own because micro 4/3 cameras accept m4/3 lenses only, which makes sense. I, personally, am a huge fan of Nikon lenses. They are quality lenses that are durable. The same can be said about Canon lenses, which I love as well. But, I needed to purchase separate adapters, and neither of the adapters had digital connectors on them, which means I can’t tell which aperture I’m using when shooting. The only way I can tell is if there is a numbered aperture ring on the lens. Many of the lenses nowadays do not include one, so I am literally reaching for air sometimes, but I manage.
I have learned my lesson when it comes to micro 4/3 cameras. I probably will not be purchasing another one any time soon. The Lumix GH3 is a great camera, but it’s a pain in the butt because of its micro 4/3 sensor. Hopefully, you have learned something from reading this article. May you use this knowledge in the future on your next camera-shopping adventure.