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POLL: Choose the (Micro-) Four Thirds product of the year 2010!


The year 2010 is almost over and I want you to tell me what is the best (Micro-) Four Thirds product Olympus/Panasonic or others have announced. Panasonic unveiled 5 new cameras (I included the not yet available GF2) and 4 lenses. Olympus released 2 cameras (I don not include the all black E-P2 kit and the E-PL1s) and 4 lenses. We also had the Nokton 25mm from Voigtländer, the 50mm lens from Noktor (although it looks like you can’t buy the lens anymore) and the 35mm SLRmagic lens (available on eBay only) . Please let me know if I forgot something :)

Now it’s your turn…vote! Feel free to add a comment to explain why you like the camera/lens.

The product of the year is the...

  • Panasonic GH2 (32%, 1,150 Votes)
  • Voigtländer 25mm lens (17%, 598 Votes)
  • Olympus E-5 (15%, 530 Votes)
  • Olympus E-PL1 (12%, 450 Votes)
  • Panasonic GF2 (5%, 183 Votes)
  • Panasonic AG-AF100 (4%, 160 Votes)
  • Olympus 9-18mm lens (4%, 150 Votes)
  • Panasonic 14mm lens (2%, 81 Votes)
  • Panasonic G2 (2%, 70 Votes)
  • Panasonic 100-300mm lens (2%, 70 Votes)
  • Olympus 14-150mm lens (1%, 38 Votes)
  • Noktor 50mm lens (1%, 38 Votes)
  • Lensbaby for Micro Four Thirds (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Panasonic 8mm fisheye (0%, 17 Votes)
  • SLRmagic 35mm (0%, 13 Votes)
  • Olympus 75-300mm lens (0%, 10 Votes)
  • Panasonic 12.5mm 3D lens (0%, 10 Votes)
  • Olympus 40-150mm lens (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Panasonic G10 (0%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,601

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P.S.: In the meanwhile I am travelling back to my home (5 hours driving). After that I will have plenty of time to check my mailbox and answer your questions and post new rumors ;)

  • Oly is still half dead.
    Pannay still has no IBIS.

    I gather next year we might need more popcorn – to watch the Sony vs. Pannay wrestling.

    On the dSLR side of things. APS-C/FF still have better sensors but (un)fortunately have few decent zooms to really exploit that). 43 now finally is semi-officially dead. E-5 is great but last of its kind. Prices for E-620 body in last half of year went from 400€ to 500€ probably because now it belongs to collectible antiques.

    Promised replacements from Oly failed to materialize and some question whether they are even capable of that (as apparently most tech needed to marry the 43 and m43 without seriously hampering reliability and PDAF is still not there).

    Best of the year IMO are the Sony NEX 3/5. Without decent lenses, with crippled UI, they still managed: (1) to turn quite good sales thanks to the good price point and also (2) scare Pannay into (pre)releasing GH2 and GF2 earlier.

    • sderdiarian

      I would join you in a vote for the NEX 3/5 for a similar reason, their forcing Panny and Olympus to quit price gouging and compete, which in reality is the healthiest possible thing that could happen for the future of mFT. Thank you Sony ;) !

      I was also surprised that:
      1) the E-5 was even included in this mFT poll and how well its done
      2) how the E-PL1 is in 4th place (currently); I feel this was the camera that best realized mFT’s promise for low cost/portability/superb JPEG IQ
      3) how poorly the 14-140mm Olympus zoom has fared – FT users would have loved an affordable/decent IQ travel zoom like this.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        That FT travel zoom position is filled quite well by Leica D 14-150mm f/3.5-5.6 which is actually slightly smaller than Zuiko 12-60mm. (that size should be easy to forgive when you consider it pretty much makes Canon EF 28-300mm L look low performing)

        As said this would be really about what didn’t come in 2010:
        – No real high quality lenses comparable to those of FT. Heavy software distortion correction lenses aren’t such because that eats away resolution outside center in where you would need it: wide angle end. (with tele target is often small and in center)
        – No real ergonomic advanced controls body built around EVF instead of entry level fake mirrorbox with oversize TV. That big TV is really only thing differentiating GH’s general design/layout from any run of the mill entry level DSLR.

        Except for those two special lenses and AG-AF100 these are basically just continuation of last year without any innovation.
        Needs of bird/sports/action photography will surely still be very hard to fill for many years without E-5 like fully PDAF based body but Panasonic has proven that for normal uses outside those contrast-AF would be enough.

  • Brod1er

    I probably wont buy the Voigtlander as I value AF. BUT it is a great high quality product and introduces extra diversity and quality to mft. For that reason it gets my vote -good to see so many agree.

  • Zonkie

    The 4 top products are probably clear: GH2, Voigtlander 25 f0.95, E-PL1 and E-5. My take on them:

    – The GH2: on the video side it has delivered, but for pictures we did expect that the improvements in the sensor would get it closer to the competition, but instead we only got stronger noise reduction and higher resolution (but same ugly colours).

    – The E-5: Obviously it’s a great camera, but maybe 2 years late. And given all the expectations regarding its possible innovations it was quite a disappointment feature wise.

    – The E-PL1: A great one, delivering the best image quality to date in m4/3 in a good package at a good price. Still it’s an entry level m4/3 camera, not Oly’s flagship that we expect soon.

    – Voigtländer 25mm: Best surprise of th year. Not for everyone given it’s an old style lens for good and for bad, but still a great addition to the m4/3 line. It’s almost a luxury product that gives more credibility to the format, and for that reason it took my vote.

    Merry Christmas to 4/3rumors and to all its readers!

    • copy that!
      it was these 4 that stood out the most from that (wow … a long) list.

      I can’t bring myself to get either of the GH2/G2 even though I like the spec a lot, the nasty plasticy feel and the very much an afterthought sticky out viewfinder kills the form factor for me. real shame because on paper I’d love either of them (and no IS).

      This week my Voigtänder 21/4 arrived (replacing my Voigtänder 15/4.5 & 40/1.4 and Pan 20/1.7) as a change of idea. I want a one prime lens PEN. I wanted metal. and I wanted a normal view. I left the f0.95 aside due to having to take too much time to focus and I would be lost in a world of bokeh! I can scale focus my non-43 mount 21/4 and not be tempted by that brighter than f1

      the E-PL1 is a great price point, body only here is £249 now! great entry point and it will do very well against the more expensive Pan GF2

      the E-5 is getting such super reviews. I want one (this got my vote) and can afford one. but won’t get one because all in it’s price is wrong. looking forward to the dpreview review I think they will love it but slam it on price. Here it’s £1499. if it was £999 I would have one tomorrow. but I won’t over pay. I’ll get one in dec 2011 when the price is where I want it.

      the other stuff (except the 14/2.5) I think are just consumer filler crap. important to have a range of things for our system but not for me.

      good poll. great website. seasons greetings :)

      • okay that last bit was a bit hard in the GF2 and Oly 9-18 – both are tempting but I don’t understand why the smaller Oly m43 9-18 cost more than the current original43 9-18.

    • Boris

      ” but same ugly colours” ???

      Not to my eyes!

      The GH2 is capable of not only the best colors I have ever seen from ANY Panasonic cameras, and have been waiting for

      some time, but in addition to the colors by Fuji (S5Pro) and Sigma (like DP2s) it is going to quench all my color thirst!

      At least for the time being.

  • Len

    The voitlander hasn’t come off my EPL-1 since I bought it. With an electronic viewfinder this combination just suits me to a tee… Finally a digital combination (that I can afford) that I have fallen in love with. And then there is the unbelievable power to now be able to shoot square, and compose in black and white, yet still have a raw image for conversion in such powerful converters such as light room…. My black and whtie photography has just taken some amazing leaps forward…. What a. Wonderful combination for me… Can’t wait to see what Olympus gives us next….

  • I voted for the Olympus 9-18mm lens.
    I would have chosen the Olympus E-5 “product of the year” in a professional mirror less micro four thirds version.

  • Brian

    25mm F.95
    Not sure if I’ll buy it because of price but I think it’s impressive and ads a lot to the system. I certainly want one.

  • Federico

    The Nokton 0.95
    I’m using it with my GF1 , couldn’t be happier
    Great lens!

    (In Rome , Italy, it’s quite easy to find…)

  • James

    The GH2 pushes all the right buttons, but would need to be cheaper to make product of 2010. Maybe it’ll make product of 2011 as its price drops.

  • So many are commented high priced for GH2 and its lacking in image quality. By then i will sealed my pocket for temporary :) and see you (great camera) at 2011.

    We need call for more competitors especially sony, nikon… mayday! mayday! this is 43r… :P

    • Boris

      A single person for each of these complains!
      Not “so many” at all!

  • ChrisG1Pro

    Product of the year is:
    Pana 12-75 F2.8-3.3 HD OIS

    closely followed by the Pan/Leica 25mm F1.2

    Oh….hang on wait, neither of these exist yet, because panasonic isn’t yet taking this format seriously as a aps-c alternative..:( grrr. I’m losing faith in the format a little and considering going back to Nikon :( please panasonic for crying out loud listen to your customers and give us semi pro and pros some proper professional lenses!!

    • I totally agree…
      Waiting for 12-75 HD OIS…. I hope it will come in 2011.

  • Michael

    When I reading comments here it makes me thinking what Micro Four Thirds has done to digital photography – back to the basics and truly passion of photography with compact system camera and one or two prime lenses (just like rangefinder era did). I voted for Voigtländer, because it is something special and it makes m4/3 a serious system.

  • SkyZ

    Pana GH2 is the hands down winner, no question asked. Follow Zonkie, I’m gonna make a summary, too:

    1) Pana GH2: This is almost the ideal m4/3 camera that, at least some of us, waiting for. New sensor finally, superb video capability, tend to, or tryin’ to imitate Leica type of colours really make it the best EVIL camera of the year (NEX5 is actually head to head, but with much less lens choices and weird/DC type of control, GH2 surely beat it).

    2) Olympus: Sadly, Oly used to be an innovative company that always surprise us (positive side) for the last few years, but we all can’t deny that they’re heading to nowhere, reality is cruel, sales figure kills 4/3, crappy m4/3 lenses and outdated camera bodies will eventually kill their m4/3 products, too.

    3) EVIL (Sony/Samsung vs Pana/Oly): No matter how Nikon/Canon/Pentax tried to ignore it, but EVIL market is the new blue sea, new products will keep coming, but I guess APS-C vs m4/3 battle will come to an end in, say, two years. APS-C still get plenty potential, but from GH2, I can see the future and limitation of m4/3, this system can find its way at video shooting side, but for still photography, GH2 is already the best you can get (there might be room to squeeze some more juice, but it’ll be just change of processing algorithm/in body colour tuning/some other bells & whistles that wouldn’t help the core, just like E-5, if it’s really that outstanding claim from a lot of reviews, we should have it since E-3, remember, E-5 uses the same sensor, same body strcture and same processor, only the processing algorithm changed plus some minor enhancement, it’s all about software and we can do it by Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture).

  • Ad

    For me GH2 is the clear winner: it’s the only product I bought from this year’s MFT line-up. I’m only contemplating to buy the Panasonic/Leica 45/2.8 but nothing from the new products so far.

    Is the GH2 overpriced at 850 euros for the body? I saw an Olympus E-P2 + VF-2 for 760 euros; compared to that I wouldn’t say the GH2 is overpriced, or maybe the E-P2 is overpriced too?

  • Pricing is every thing. That is how Sony Nex works! You can creat a wonderful product but sell it at high price, you get low volume. Everyone have different taste, some needs pro in certain aspects, some are not. As a company strategy, it is always goes to major market. I believe and assume everyone in rooms owned for 2 units of GH2, this market share segment is still not thing comparatively to Nex mss. 1 Gh2 = 1.36 Nex lol

    • SkyZ

      That’s right, as long as you can live with NEX fully nonsense control (maybe only applied to me). From the experience of GH1/G1/G2, price of GH2 should drop quite dynamically during March~April holiday/first quarter end, so if you can wait, see if there’ll be another battle during that time (rumour NEX7 vs price reduced GH2)

  • Gino

    Interesting how everybody choosing GH2 – even though so little people were able to get it yet. I vote E-PL1 – this camera brought the biggest attention to m43 from outside world.

  • Federico

    At the moment , in the first three position , there are the products that can be described as “professional” (and the last one, the AG-AF 100 is well placed…5th…)
    This kind of product is the key to pull the entire system
    I hope that Olympus and Panasonic understand this crucial pool….

    And please, Voigtlander , add as soon as possibile a 12 f2,0 and a 50 f1,0

    (sorry for my english)

  • So many of these comments are just parochial kvetching. (How’s that for a mixed expression?) “Waaah, no IBIS… me no likie sticky-out viewfinder… me no likie color rendition…” Well, I’m not saying factors like those aren’t important for personal decision-making.

    But shouldn’t a Product of the Year vote be broadly meaningful? Shouldn’t it recognize something that’s a game-changer, something that expands what we can do with photography? The list of nominees seems to suggest that 4/3 already has moved into a shakeout/consolidation phase (with non-Micro doing most of the shaking out and Micro doing most of the consolidating.)

    Looking back over the history of the format, I’d say the most significant game-changing “product” was all those crazy adapters that started appearing shortly after the Panasonic G1 arrived… along with the fact that Pana and Olympus tolerated that concept, rather than locking it out with firmware as would have been all too easy to do. Suddenly you had one system that could be your compact, easy-to-use casual-shooting camera… or a tool for serious creative photography (and cinematography)… or a platform for all kinds of optical experimentation. There’s nothing this year that represents a similar explosion of capabilities.

    With that in mind, the closest thing to a breakthrough this year is the Voigtlander 25/0.95 lens — not so much for what it is as for what it proves. It shows that M4/3 is a viable platform for specialized lenses from serious, established manufacturers (sorry, Noktor.) This is a sharp direction change from the DSLR trend of more and more proprietary camera/lens/data systems; a M4/3 camera can be highly usable with no electronic or mechanical connections between camera and lens at all.

    Sure, I’d like to see more AF lenses from independent makers, but I hope Cosina’s example will show that low-volume optical exotica can be commercially viable in the M4/3 format.

    • J

      I was torn between the Voigtlander for just that reason, and the AG-AF100 for dropping the bottom out of the cost of a semi-pro video platform and delivering what Red had promised for years in Scarlet.

      A lot of the buzz this last year was the utility of the video functionality in digital still cams for production grade video. AG-AF100 really provides documentary and semi-pro film makers with a new affordable tool, and the results on the video market, both upward and downward from there should ripple out over the next year or few, both with more consumer focused m43 video cameras, and also more lenses tailored to video.

      It isn’t a product I’d buy, but I think its the most significant for how it will impact markets, and as a significant new product as opposed to an iteration on older ones.

  • Chris K

    For me? The Oly 9-18. It has a number of virtues:

    1) It’s very compact. Sitting this lens next to my Tokina 12-24, the difference in size is comical. The size of this lens makes the entire system for me, much like the E-410 with its second generation 14-42 and 40-150 made Four Thirds a useful system for me.

    2) It’s affordable. The same cannot be said for the Panasonic 7-14; that lens is expensive enough to keep most buyers away. And it’s the only real alternative; it’s nearly impossible to find a lens around 10mm with any kind of image quality. The 9-18 is not only affordable, but has auto aperture, AF, and good excellent image quality. You won’t find that combination from any other UWA lens usable on Micro Four Thirds.

    3) Image quality is excellent. I have seen comparisons between it and the 7-14, and there’s not much difference. And compared to other UWA lenses the 9-18 holds up very well. For the past few years I’ve used a Tokina 12-24 on my 7D, Canon 17-40 on my 5D, and Oly 9-18 on my E-410. My Micro Four Thirds is as good as any of these lenses.

    I use Micro Four Thirds not because it has any kind of unique performance advantages… it doesn’t have much going for it in that respect. I use Micro Four Thirds because it’s smaller than my Canon DSLRs, but has performance very near my DSLRs in some areas, at a fraction the size. I have since sold all my UWA lenses and do wide angle on my EP-1 or GH-1. Yes, I use my 12MPixel EP-1 over my 21MPizel 5DMk2. My Canon DSLRs are getting dustier by the day.

    Many people might vote for the GH-2, and while it appears to be an excellent camera, it’s still an incremental improvement on an existing camera body. It does nothing fundamentally new. In a year’s time it will likely be eclipsed by another incremental improvement from Olympus or Panasonic. A lens like the 9-18, on the other hand, has longevity. In fact, it’s quite the system seller for Micro Four Thirds, compared to the dearth of UWA lenses for NEX or NX.

  • Brod1er

    Honourable mention: panasonic 8mm fisheye
    Not in the running as a winner, but really good quality, well made, half the size/weight of other formats, useful expansion of mft, makes larger format FEs pointless what’s not to like? (ps a world better than the wretched 3D lens…..)

  • DonTom

    In my heart I voted for the Voightlander 25 F0.95, but my head left it on the shelf and bought the Panny 20 F1.7 instead. My family move to fast to MF, and the pancake shape and weight is amazing. No regrets, waiting for the 50 F0.95 instead!
    My vote followed my money as well, with the E-PL1. JPEGs and IBIS won for me, and this camera has really transformed the way my eyes see the world. I am traveling a lot, and my friends and family get to see what I see so effortlessly now.

  • thomas ashley

    I voted with my wallet – the only vote that counts – for a G2, + 14-42 & 45-200mm lenses, Big Is Contax G to m43 adaptor, and 45mm (superb) & 90mm Contax G Zeiss lenses.

  • no name

    SLRmaqgic 35mm 10votes=0%
    Pana lumix G10 3votes=1%


    • admin

      The latest of the list contains “rounding” errors.

  • Miroslav

    I voted Olympus E-PL1. It’s what brought me into this system. Small, good image quality, versatile, IBIS, bounce flash, … Yeah, it has it flaws, but nothing that can’t be fixed in E-PL2 ( although I doubt they’ll fix everything, they have to leave something for E-PL3 :)).

    The Voigtlander 25mm comes in second for me. It’s phenomenal lens for the price. The more I read the reviews and look at the samples the lack of AF bothers me less. I even wonder how effective AF would be at F0.95.

    GH2 is nice, but too large for me and I cannot get over the lack of IS on non-stabilized lenses. But it is significant because it shows how fast AF and how good video quality can be on a m4/3. Let’s hope all that can be put in a bit smaller body.

    Other product I liked are Olympus 9-18mm, 14-150mm, Panasonic G2 and even 3D lens. It’s been a good year for m4/3. Let’s hope 2011 is even better.

  • Zetmor

    If I were able to, I would have voted the Panasonic … GH13. Bleh!

  • Miroslav

    You’ve forgotten Panasonic 14-42 lens and Olympus 14-42 II lens, both announced in 2010 ( as kit lenses of G2/GH2 and E-PL1s respectively ).

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