Photographer taking landscape photo

9 Best Travel MFT Cameras in 2021!

If you plan to travel lightweight, then here are the best Micro Four Thirds cameras you can get. You can’t find a better camera system other than MFT for size and weight. One of the significant reasons to get into the Micro Four Thirds system is IBIS, which stands for in-body image stabilization. If you plan to shoot some epic travel vlogs, look for IBIS and a 3.5mm microphone jack. Suppose you plan to visit the Caribbean or Asia during the rainy season, look for WR, which stands for Weather Resistant against dust water.

Sensor Size: Micro Four Thirds vs. APS-C vs. Full Frame

Sensor Size is a confusing thing for beginners; I try my best to break the sensor size into the entire sensor’s size. Let’s look at how small is the MFT sensor in contrast with Full Frame and APS-C.

Full Frame = 35.9mm x 24mm | 3.8x Bigger than MFT

APS-C = 23.5mm x 15.7mm | 1.6x Bigger than MFT

MFT = 17.3mm x 13mm

So, it means the MFT sensor is small and not suitable for photography? You will be wrong because smaller sensor produces sharper images which are widely accepted fact. The only time you need a large sensor is for high ISO (used in low light) and shallow depth of field, aka bokeh. Most MFT cameras have the IBIS, which lets you lower the shutter speed to let more light in, leveling the playing field with Full Frame. Now for the bokeh, if you need a budget most bokeh camera system, then go with Full Frame. But the rest of us are in capturing the moments, not making everything out of focus.

Crop Factor: Micro Four Thirds vs. APS-C vs. Full Frame

Let’s quickly talk about crop size, so it will be easy to calculate the lens’s focal length. Now let’s camera the focal length with the Full Frame sensor.

MFT = 2x

APS-C = 1.5x

APS-C for Canon = 1.6x

Now here is how to convert the APS-C/Canon APS-C to MFT or vice versa.

MFT to APS-C = 1.3x

MFT to Canon APS-C = 1.25x

Let’s assume we are using a 35mm lens on Full Frame; then it will be 23mm on APS-C, 22mm on Canon APS-C. Finally, it will be 17mm on MFT; remember, I had to round up the number to make it easier to understand. Covering the MFT to Full Frame is multiply 2x or divide by 2x if you are converting Full Frame to MFT. It is the same for the APS-C to MFT or vice versa with multiply 1.3x/1.25x (Canon) or dividing by 1.3x/1.25x (Canon).

Micro Four Thirds vs. APS-C vs. Full Frame Bokeh with F1.4 Lens

One of the most important things these days is how much bokeh you can get. I’m not a big fan of taking every picture with shallow depth of field. Let’s assume we are using a 50mm Full Frame lens to take a half-body portrait image.

  • Full Frame at 50mm with F1.4 lens= 4.72%
  • APS-C at 35mm (52.5mm in Full Frame) with F1.4 = 3.59%
  • MFT at 25mm (50mm in Full Frame) with F1.4 lens = 2.87%

Are these the best Micro 4/3 mirrorless cameras for professionals?

Most travel documentary professionals use the MFT due to IBIS and professional features of high-end camcorders such as peaking, zebras, and curves available on MFT cameras such as Panasonic GH5. To get a travel paying gig, you don’t need a Full Frame camera for it; above all, the ease of using a lightweight MFT is a clear winner.

Best Tilting EVF Camera

9. Panasonic GX9

One of the significant reasons to get the Panasonic GX9 is the tilting EVF for a perfect angle shot or using it as a camcorder. Sadly, there is a 1.2x crop in 4K, but it has an IBIS that reduces many shakes and jitters. I admire the rangefinder design of GX9. The 20mp sensor performance is very identical to GH5 when it comes to image quality. Overall, you can’t go wrong with GX9 if you are planning to travel light.

MPWeight3.5mm MicIBISWRPrice Range
20mp450gNoYesNo$799

Best Budget Weather-Sealed Camera

8. Panasonic G95

If you are traveling to a rainforest or somewhere in the Philippines during the monsoon season, the most important thing you need is the weather-sealing. The Panasonic G95 had very intensive weather sealing for all kinds of natural elements out there. The G95 is the successor to one of the most used MFT cameras, the G85. The G95 offers a headphone jack with better autofocus over the G85. I think the new 20mp sensor had a much better color rendition over the G85.

MPWeight3.5mm MicIBISWRPrice Range
20mp536gYesYesYes$799

Best MFT Camera for Video

7. Panasonic GH5

This is the camera most “Travel YouTubers” used to shoot the fantastic 60fps 4K videos. If you hit at 60fps, you can slow down up to 50% in a 30fps timeline. This had excellent fast autofocus even in 4K with a dual SD Card, and every prominent feature you are looking for will be inside this beast of a camera. The major downside for me is the weight with putting it in the Full Frame category weight.

MPWeight3.5mm MicIBISWRPrice Range
20mp725gYesYesYes$1250

Best Fashion Camera

6. Olympus PEN E-PL10

Are you looking for a lightweight camera with IBIS for vlogging? You can’t go wrong with Olympus E-PL10. The 3-axis stabilization is excellent, and the 121 focus points help your face in focus or subject. Even it’s a very compact camera, but sadly, there is no mic jack, and it uses the older 16mp sensor. The good thing is the price around $600 and a very lightweight body. This camera is mostly targeted towards female travelers.

 MPWeight3.5mm MicIBISWRPrice Range
16mp380GNoYesNo$599

Best EVF Compact MFT Camera

5. Panasonic G100

This camera gets a lot of hate for no reason because most people had misunderstood. The only major drawback is the lack of any IBIS, so this is not a vlogging camera, preferably a photography camera. You can use the Panasonic G100 on a gimbal because of its super lightweight, around 325g, or for a sit-down talking video. Now here is the good thing about the G100, it is using the same GH5 20mp sensor, so you are getting fantastic image quality for its size. Again, I have to talk about the super lightweight body, and if you want to carry a camera on your neck, this is the for you.

MPWeight3.5mm MicIBISWRPrice Range
20mp325gYesNoNo$699

Best Budget Travel MFT Camera

4. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

One of the best budget cameras of 2021 had a severe problem, the lack of a microphone jack. I don’t know what Olympus thought when they handicap such a fantastic camera. If you are looking for a camera with the IBIS with Selfie screen, you can’t find a better deal other than Olympus E-10 Mark 4. I will advise you to use an external audio recorder such as Zoom F1, later sync the audio in post. Because of this camera, it’s tough to beat at the $600 price point.

MPWeight3.5mm MicIBISWRPrice Range
20mp480gNoNoNo$650

Best Wildlife MFT Camera

3. Panasonic G9

This camera lead to peoples started taking the Micro Four Third seriously. Most pro wildlife photographers swear by the Full Frame. But when the G9 was launched, it changed the game. The G9 is similar to GH5 but with more focus on photography. It still had the incredible 4K 60fps, dual SD Card, and full-size HDMI input. The weight is not a problem if you are coming from the Full Frame system, but it’s too much weight for me. The G9 is solidly built, and you can shoot with G9 in any harsh environment.

MPWeight3.5mm MicIBISWRPrice Range
20mp685gYesYesYes$900

 

Best Rugged Camera of All-Time

2. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

If you are willing to pay more over the G9 and willing to sacrifice the 60fps 4K feature. Then this is the camera for you. Its lightweight compares to G9, and it offers the fastest autofocus in the entire MFT camera range. Also, Olympus E-M1 Mark 3 had the highest-rated IBIS, up-to 7.5 stops when using the Sync IS lens. If you need a run and gun for travel videos where you don’t have time to put it on a gimbal, you need to consider the Olympus E-M1 Mark 3.

MPWeight3.5mm MicIBISWRPrice Range
20mp580gYesYesYes$1599

Best Camera for Travel Vlogging

1. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

My favorite MFT camera of all time is the Olympus E-M5 Mark 3. This camera is the reason why the MFT system so enjoyable! The Olympus E-M5 Mark 3 had everything you need, from fantastic IBIS to intensive weather sealing, all in super lightweight packages only around 400g. I love this camera’s retro design, especially the silver color, which gives a vintage vibe for street photography. If you genuinely need the best MFT camera, this is the camera for you. It’s also one of the best cameras for wildlife and Safari trip, thanks to insane fast 30fps continuous shooting.

MPWeight3.5mm MicIBISWRPrice Range
20mp414gYesYesYes$950

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