Contact TopFAQSupporting Companies

FAQ

FAQ

Frequently-asked questions about Four Thirds can be found here. Please read this page before making an inquiry.

What is the Four Thirds System standard?

It is an open standard for the design of lenses for use in digital SLR cameras with 4/3-type image sensors, including definitions of the suitable mount size, image circle and the interface between the lens and body.

Page Top
What the 4/3 means ?

The Four Thirds System uses a 4/3-type image sensor (CCD, etc.). This enables development of digital camera-dedicated lenses that are smaller than those used for 35 mm film SLR cameras and that are able to provide excellent image quality by making full use of the image sensor performance. Because the 4/3-type image sensor is twice the size of the 2/3-type sensors used in most digital cameras, it can offer high-quality images that can meet the requirements of professionals. The Four Thirds system represents the ideal balance between the image quality improvement and system size reduction.

Page Top
Which are the advantages of the Four Thirds standard (digital-specialized design)?

In addition to compatibility between the excellent image quality and compact, lightweight design of digital-dedicated lenses, another big advantage of this system is that it is an open standard, which allows the supporting companies to differentiate their products by providing them with unique features and characteristics. The original objective of the Four Thirds System is to allow supporting companies to fully utilizes the common design so as to increase the efficiencies of their investment and accelerate incorporation of new technologies. We believe that this will also help each supporting company to focus the investment on technologies for differentiating itself and create attractive new products incorporating its own image concept, UI idea, and original technologies.

Page Top
Why was the size of the 4/3-type image sensor chosen? Why not the APS and 35 mm film sizes ?

In order for an image sensor such as a CCD to manifest its full performance, the lens used should be designed with higher accuracy in terms of the light incident angle in the sensor and its resolution. Applying such an optimum optical design to an APS- or 35 mm film-size sensor, would result in a lens with almost twice the bulk of traditional interchangeable lenses. As a result, we concluded that the 4/3-type best suited to reducing the lens size to ensure mobility and to obtaining the maximum performance of the image sensor.

Page Top
Which manufacturers support the Four Thirds System standard?

Eastman Kodak Company, Olympus Imaging Corp., Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., Sigma Corporation, Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Panasonic Corporation and Leica Camera AG are currently supporting the standard. (As of September 1, 2006)

Page Top
Which manufacturers introduce interchangeable lenses for the Four Thirds System standard?

There are three manufacturers as of September 1, 2006. Olympus Imaging Corp., Sigma Corporation, and Panasonic Corporation are currently introducing interchangeable lenses for the Four Thirds System standard.
Please refer to the catalogues or websites of these manufacturers for details.
Lenses Top

Page Top
Which manufacturers introduce cameras compatible with the Four Thirds System standard?

There are two manufacturers as of September 1, 2006. Olympus Imaging Corp. and Panasonic Corporation are currently introducing cameras compatible with the Four Thirds System standard.
Please refer to the catalogues or websites of these manufacturers for details.
Camera Bodies Top

Page Top
Is there any functional restriction in combining a body and lens from different manufacturers?

The standard is not intended to hinder the originality of each manufacturer. We believe that the manifestation of the characteristics of each manufacturer in camera functions as well as lens performance will expand the options of the customers who purchase them. Therefore, the scope of standardization are limited to basic structure such as ARE and AF. For details, please consult the manufacturers.

Page Top