For many photographers, street photography and capturing snippets in time of everyday life is a passion that is made more comfortable with a lighter load – a facet of photography that micro four-thirds camera can deliver in spades.
While full-frame cameras can undoubtedly give you the range for whatever situation the average urban environment can throw at you, micro four-thirds aren’t far behind, and in some cases, can even exceed a typical DSLR setup.
Let’s look at a few of the advantages of what makes M43 cameras work so well on the street.
For people just entering the field, the price of their first professional or semi-professional camera is always a primary concern, especially while getting a feel for what it takes to capture scenes to display their creativity and flair.
Many developing photographers are graduating from a point-and-shoot and want something with more capability, but aren’t able to shell out for a full professional setup.
Depending on your choice of model, you will enjoy things like continuous burst shooting (with speeds of 24fps and 30fps in some models), fast mechanical shutters, and even quicker electronic shutters.
Street photography requires mobility, so image stabilization built into the body of the camera is a welcome addition and a feature that improves with every generation of camera.
Every year sees new M43 models come out with tons of new features and little to no compromise in the quality of the shots. Other than super low light conditions or really high ISOs, it will be tough for you to go wrong.
Ability to Experiment
With an Olympus OM-D E-M1, you could conceivably walk around town and capture some great shots with nothing other than the camera, which is excellent if you enjoy catching candid shots without looking too obvious.
A tilting LCD monitor will mean that your subjects may not even realize they have your attention.
However, variety is the spice of life for most photographers, so a range of lenses is essential to achieving the more creative shots, or filming the action from a distance.
The range of glasses for the Micro 4/3s camera is inspiring, and it will depend on your shooting style as to the one you use to make your start.
If you enjoy getting up close and personal, a 12mm may work for you. This size of the lens is equivalent to a 24mm on a full-frame camera due to the 2x crop factor.
If you enjoy taking portraits but don’t want to get too close, then you’ll need something a little wider. The great thing about M43s is that there is a lens available to suit your style.
Best Options for Street Photography
Cameras like the Olympus EM1 and the Panasonic G9 pack a lot of punch into a small form factor that is perfect for the mobile urban photographer.
They offer superb handling, excellent design, robust bodies, and tons of built-in features.
There’s nothing quite like being able to whip out a compact M43 to catch an impromptu moment, but their power also extends to allowing you the luxury of getting more creative with your urban imagery.