Micro Four-thirds – It’s All About the Lenses
I recently tested one of the new upscale high megapixel compact cameras that are getting trendy as traditional point-and-shoot cameras are slowly pushed off the cliff by the popularity of smartphones for taking pictures. But what if you want to make a photograph?
The compact camera I tested cost a little under $500 and for much less you can have a like-new Lumix GF3 and a 14-42mm kit lens, either Panasonic or Olympus. Both the GF3 and point-and-shoot capture a respectable 12 megapixels but the GF3 accepts interchangeable lenses and there are dozens of lenses available making the choice of a Micro Four-thirds camera a smart one because of its flexibility and that ultimately translates into having fun making photographs.
Part of that flexibility means breaking out of the kit lens box, otherwise you only need a compact camera. If you still think in 35mm/full frame terms that kit lens produces images with a field-of-view ranging from 28-84mm or from a modest wide angle to a useful portrait length. It’s OK but if you want more versatility take a look at your other choices including a new lens from Tamron I recently got to see (under glass) at the WPPI convention .
Tamron’s 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III VC lens produces a field-of-view of 28-300mm or modest wide angle to a useful sports focal length and seems to embody the all-in-one lens philosophy they use with their Di and Di II lenses. If you’ve been trying to capture your kid on the baseball and soccer field, an 84mm equivalent lens—and don’t get me started on the usability of digital zoom—isn’t going to work but a 300mm equivalent lens is just what you need. To keep it steady for those sports shots, the lens uses Tamron’s Vibration Control (VC) system to counteract hand-shake and is optimized for video.
With one LD (Low Dispersion) glass element, two molded-glass aspherical elements and one hybrid aspherical element, the Tamron M43 lens should deliver sharp results. The lens has a metal barrel and will be available in a black or silver finish for those of you who care about the aesthetics of your camera and lenses. As you can see, my Lumix GF3 camera is red. Tamron promised to loan me a 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III VC lens for testing when they become widely available, so stay tuned for a very special Micro Four-thirds Monday in the not-so-distant future…
Special Guest Micro Four-thirds poster Mark Toal and writer/photographer Joe Farace together at the 2013 WPPI Convention