Camera Focal Length: A Cheat Sheet for M43 Camera Users


Camera Focal Length
Watch M43 Focal Length Test Footage

More than ever, stunning compositions are pulling in the attention and investments of audiences. But the perfect photo requires precise techniques.

Camera focal length is crucial when trying to capture the right shot. But when it comes to M43 cameras, it’s not always easy to nail down that perfect focal point.

We’re here to help. Read on for a cheat sheet for different lenses and a guide to M43 camera focal length.

Why Camera Focal Length Matters 

A camera lens focal length is usually set in millimeters. But when looking at different lenses, this number doesn’t necessarily represent the size of the lens.

Instead, it tells photographers how much of a scene will be captured in any given shot.

This is also often better known as the magnification or zoom in a shot. So, the smaller the focal point a lens has, the bigger the field will be in a shot.

For M43 cameras, this number tends to translate differently from full-frame cameras. A standard lens usually represents a similar angle to a person’s normal sight. That means a full-frame camera tends to have a normal view around 50 mm.

But M43 cameras have a different zoom range. This means a normal view is around 25 mm.

Here are some other things to consider when it comes to M43 camera focal length:

A Look at Sensor Size

A camera’s sensor size can determine the field of view for a focal length. This is often called the crop factor and differs between a full-frame camera and M43 photography.

A 90-millimeter full-frame translates into a 45-millimeter view for a micro four-thirds lens.

Smaller sensors can give shots a bigger field of view. For the photographer, this can be an attractive advantage for things like landscape photography. That’s because it opens up the shot and broadens the scene.

Considering Crop

This crop factor can help a photographer figure out the field of view. But it doesn’t necessarily point out the depth of field. That means it won’t determine how shallow or deep the out of focus portion of a photo will look.

As a general rule of thumb, an M43 lens with twice the crop factor should have a depth of field that’s about two times deeper.

For a photographer, that means less initial background blur.

Shooting Styles and Photo Lens

Before choosing the right photo lens, it’s important to nail down what types of shots are ideal. And different lenses have different capabilities when it comes to the focal point. 

For instance, wide-angle lenses give photographers a wider field of view. That makes them better for things like landscape photography. But they aren’t necessarily the best option for tight, undistorted portraits.

Lenses with a standard focal length can be better for sharp, true shots from medium distances. 

And bigger telephoto lenses can be better for grabbing images from a distance. That makes them better for things like sports photography or catching wildlife images from afar.

More about M43 Cameras

This guide to M43 camera focal length should help users capture excellent shots. And we have more tips and tricks for M43 camera users.

Check out our blog post to learn about the best micro four-thirds compact cameras for every kind of photographer.

John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling and photography. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of Micro Four Thirds photography. Discover the advantages of carrying a small yet powerful camera system.

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