Camera for Four Thirds System

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by alan_kovarik, Dec 26, 2019.

  1. My father wants some modern alternative for his old Four Thirds camera Olympus e420. He has three lenses for this camera, so he would like some camera that could use them. What cameras (around $500) would you recommend for these lenses?
  2. I think he should forget about adapting the old lenses to the new cameras and start with current available lenses to take full advantage of the newer cameras.
  3. Olympus abandoned the system and the adapters intended to make the legacy 4/3 lenses work on m4/3 never worked satisfactory. As Sanford notes, your father is better off starting with a new system.
    As one of the 4/3 customers burned by Olympus, I still hold a grudge and would not buy their products again.
  4. First, I agree with Sanford's comments, and unless your father has some unique 4/3 lenses, he would likely get better results with a new system. The Olympus EM-1 (1st generation) with an Olympus adapter can use and auto focus 4/3 lenses and it generally sells used for around $500. It's 16mp sensor will be a significant step up from any 4/3 camera in terms of dynamic range and high ISO performance.

    I don't have any personal experience, but it is my understanding that Olympus 4/3 lenses work reasonably well on Olympus EM-1 series cameras.
  5. Depends on a number of things:
    1. What lenses does he have? If they're not good ones (14-42, 40-150, 70-300) then the recommendation to not adapt may have some merit. If, however, he has some good ones (such as the 14-54, 12-60, 11-22, 50-200, 9-18, 50, 14-35, 7-14, 35-100) then it could be a wise thing to extend their life on µ4/3 as replacing them in a new system would be thousands of dollars.
    2. Also related to what lenses he has, know that only a handful of 4/3 lenses had motors robust enough to work well with a CDAF focusing system (the majority of µ4/3 cameras). Olympus only has PDAF support on the E-M1, E-M1ii, and the E-M5iii. The CDAF lenses that will work effectively on lesser µ4/3 bodies were:
    • 25/2.8
    • 9-18/4-5.6
    • 14-42/3.5-5.6
    • 14-54/2.8-3.5 ii
    • 40-150/4-5.6
    • 70-300/4-5.6
    You're going to be looking at used gear to find something for $500 or less. There are a lot of used E-M1 (mark i) cameras for that price. I'm guessing that you'll need to get the E-M1 because you'll need its PDAF focusing (otherwise you'd be abandoning the system because your lenses aren't worth investing further in). The E-M1 will focus the whole 4/3 lens lineup effectively.

    Make sure you get one of the Olympus MMF adapters or the Panasonic MA1. They will make the lens work seamlessly with the E-M1. Third party 4/3-to-µ4/3 adapters have always been crap and will just be a waste of your money. The Olympus MMF-1 was solid metal and was my favourite (though the hardest to find these days). The MMF-2 or MMF-3 are great too, just polycarbonate.
    Shutterspeedblog likes this.
  6. I agree with Ken and Sanford. If you have some of the very high quality 4/3 lenses such as the 8mm, 35-100mm f2 or 150mm f2 etc (these were and remain quite expensive) then I would try to find an MMF/MA1 adapter, otherwise I would suggest considering starting again.
  7. As I remember, there are used E-1, E-3, and E-5 from Olympus and easy to get under $500.
    I really like the 4/3 format, but I don't want any mirror-less cameras, therefore micro-4/3 format is not for me. I also agree with other opinions here that using the 4/3 lenses on micro-4/3 cameras is not a good idea. So if your father does not want any of the E-1, E-3, or E-5, then you could sell those lenses to me (if the lenses are in good conditions and the price is good). I have a Panasonic L1 (in great condition and I really love to use it) and an Olympus E-300 (which was very poorly built and its card door was broken, though it is still working) and a few working lenses for them. However, I really want to have some other lenses in great conditions.
  8. My first choice would be the E-M1 (MK I) with the MMF-3 adapter.
    Second an E-5, no adapter needed and a great camera.
    Third would be an E-3 and again, no adapter needed.
  9. FWIW, there's at least one MMF-1 on the big auction site for $29: Auto Focus Four Thirds lens to Olympus Panasonic Micro 4/3 M4/3 Adapter MMF-1 US | eBay

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