Monday, January 17, 2011

Where are the Micro 4/3's Compacts?

In a recent interview, some dude from Panasonic was talking up Micro 4/3's in comparison to the APS-sized where he bashed them for degrading the quality of their glass to get it sized down far enough to be worthwhile. While I agree that the Samsung and Sony lenses aren't the best, he dodged the question of whether people will care at all and, instead, be swayed by the superior low-light performance. For example, I'd happily take a crap lens on the Nikon D7000's sensor than a great lens on almost any other sensor.

Also, since most people who bought into Micro 4/3's did so because the cameras were so bloody compact, and a paired lens/sensor can be distilled down to a very compact size, why aren't there any Micro 4/3's compacts?! The Leica X1 is smaller than the GF1, and the upcoming Fuji X1000 is compact and will likely have excellent image quality. If the sensor size is such a limitation on the lenses, and companies are making super-compact cameras with full APS sensors, then 4/3's sensored compacts should be freaking amazing.

And I think that they would be! The smaller sensor would give slightly better zoom capability and much more latitude in the physical design of the camera body. Olympus could have been the first into this arena, so what do they release? Yet ANOTHER compact sensored camera. Yay. I'm sorry Olympus, you've got to really kick it up a notch to capture our attention. A 50mm equivalent compact camera with a 4/3's sensor would be an excellent product. It would likely be so excellent that it's actually baffling that they haven't released one yet.

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