A win for Olympus! Micro Four Thirds was Japan's dominant mount type in 2020

Micro-four thirds lens mount
(Image credit: Panasonic, Olympus)

In what has to be considered a victory for Olympus / OM Digital Solutions and Panasonic, Micro Four Thirds was Japan's best-selling camera mount in 2020. With a market share of 21.7% it topped the list of the nation's most popular mount types. 

Read more: Best Micro Four Thirds cameras

The information was compiled from data provided by BCN Retail, which analyzes point of sale detail from across Japan, concluding that Micro Four Thirds was the best-selling camera mount among interchangeable lens cameras in the territory from January to December 2020.

Does this mean that OM Digital Solutions / Panasonic's system has a greater market share than Canon, Nikon and Sony? We think not. The announcement (a joint press release from OM D and Panasonic) did not contain shares for other manufacturers, it's highly likely that Canon's percentages were divided between the EF and RF mounts, and Nikon's between the F and Z mount.

So, while overall sales for the Micro Four Thirds mount may well have eclipsed the individual sales for the Canon EF mount or Nikon Z mount, in totality it's probable that the two behemoths still held a larger share.

Still, it remains a remarkable achievement for a camera mount that many felt was in a precarious position, between Olympus selling its camera division and Panasonic devoting all its attention to its full-frame L-mount cameras. This news paints a very different picture, demonstrating how popular the format continues to be.

Micro Four Thirds offers small, compact cameras with smaller sensors compared to both APS-C and full-frame cameras. These sensors offer many benefits, however, such as industry beating in-body image stabilization, greater depth of field at wider apertures, and higher frame-rate video without overheating concerns. 

In the last few years, a number of lens manufacturers have produced some very interesting and quirky lenses for the mount. Companies such as Venus Optics, for example, have produced a plethora of exotic lenses such as the 210° field of view Laowa 4mm f/2.8 Fisheye and Oreo cookie-sized Laowa 10mm f/2 Zero-D MFT.

Due to its popularity and the continued developments for the mount, it seems that Micro Four Thirds may have a healthy future ahead of it. 

Read more:

Best Micro Four Thirds lenses
Best Olympus cameras
Best Panasonic cameras

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Usman Dawood

Usman is a commercial and architectural photographer based in West Yorkshire, who has been working professionally for over seven years. He has also spent over four years as a writer for the biggest photography sites in the world, including Staff Writer for Digital Camera World, senior staff writer for FStoppers, and tech writer for Petapixel. 

With a particular interest in technology developments, high-resolution imaging and the high-end cameras, Usman has been on the cutting edge of camera news as well as writing features about medium format systems and global shutters, and has reviewed some of the latest Leica cameras as well as a tripod that’s even taller than Andre the Giant!