Get Ready Olympus. The Sony Nex-7 is the spearhead of the next wave......Hello Canon and Nikon.

And so it starts.  I posted an article on Friday about my belief that EVFs will soon become a standard feature in DSLRs.  A number of people wrote to say that they had used an evf in the distant past and disliked the image lag caused by slow refresh cycles and movement.  Especially in low light.  They dismissed the new tech out of hand.  And they are silly to do so.  All that's required to banish image lag in an electronic viewfinder is to increase the image sample rate and the writing rate to the finder.  A faster processor than the one shoe horned into a 2003 point and shoot superzoom camera isn't that hard to find these days.  And believe me, the marketers at Sony, Olympus, Canon and Nikon know how important this next step in "look and feel" is to the successful marketing of the new class of cameras.

But while EVFs are the revolution the mirrorless implementation is the wave of the future for nearly all cameras coming down the pike.  By eliminating the mirror entirely all cameras are simplified and made more reliable.  I think the a77 is really neato but the camera that will be a game changer for Sony, if they get their lens line up in place, will be the Nex-7.  An APS-C sensor implementation in a tiny body with a beautiful finder and all the bells and whistles.  It's a total cross over camera.   Small and light enough to fit in the pocket of every metro-sexual's Dolce jacket and soccer mom's King Ranch purse but with the kind of sensor performance we've come to expect from top of the line traditional cameras.  What's not to like?

People with special niches to service might not adapt to this camera but there's a reality to the market.  And that reality says that of camera buyers less than 1% are real professionals who earn the bulk of their living shooting with cameras.  That leaves 99% of buyers free to buy whatever the hell they want without the pretension of having to buy cameras that are built out of Swiss magic steel for treks across deserts and through the Antarctic in the dead of winter.  I visit the Canon pro forums and I hear the constant drumbeat that says, "I need a weather sealed pro camera for shooting in the Monsoons..." but the reality is that most people have enough sense to get out of the rain.  And most shots for money are in controlled environments where the subject's comfort is paramount.  Sure, there are guys shooting on the edge of volcanos and on inflatables in the Bering Strait but they are the tiny, tiny minority.  For everyone else a reasonably robust camera with a great lens and really good image processing is about the sum of their needs.

I've watched as the Olympus and Panasonic companies have renewed their efforts to remain relevant by introducing great new technologies like the mirrorless m4/3rds cameras and I own three of them myself. But I'm afraid that they're about to be steamrollered by the new big three: Sony, Canon and Nikon.  My sense is that the Nex-7 will outperform the m4/3 cameras for resolution and even noise but the big news will come next year (or later this year) when the other big two unleash bold new designs in the mirrorless APS-C space that make the Fuji-100's retro look appear lame and crippled.  Nikon will likely harken back to the SP rangefinder days and those were spectacular days for rangefinder camera body and lens design.

Canon will come out with the least aesthetically challenging version but the most operationally friendly version and then we'll see where the market share ends up.  If Sony doesn't capitalize on the their introductions quickly and in force they will have made the invitational camera that gets early adopters frothing at the mouth only to see Canon and Nikon swoop in with seemingly more mature products to snap up the great bulk of buyers who cling more to the middle of the acquisition curve.  And that's where ALL the REAL money is.  Bleeding edge is exciting and new.  Ergonomic and economical is where the cash lives.

So where does this leave Olympus?  My knee jerk reaction is to say that they will be made irrelevant by dint of specifications.  Afterall, that's how the great unwashed seem to buy cameras.  But in truth I think a realization is soaking down thru the topsoil to the roots of the market and that realization is that, really, just like the guys at Olympus said last year, "Twelve megapixels is more than enough for the majority of camera buyers."  The new way to view is on the iPad (which is already starting to kill off traditional prints sales at an ever more accelerating pace) and anything over 6 megapixels is largely overkill for that.  But where Olympus still has an edge is in pure design.  The Pen EP-3 and its recent predecessor, the EP-2, are two of the most beautiful camera designs of the last ten years.  They are elegant.  And the image quality from both is good.  They stand a chance if they get their advertising put on straight, stay aways from graphs and numbers and start  positioning their cameras as artistic tools rather than mini computers with glass grafted onto the front.

Where does this leave photographers?  Well, you have thousands of professionals looking for a new niche and doing incredibly stupid things like trying to build careers around the use of iPhones as cameras.  Just about any mirrorless camera will become a step-up instrument for them and their followers as they rediscover the limitations of trying to make ALL of your art in post processing (and there's a reason that most campaigns are NOT being done with the latest iteration of the Holga).  One group of professional photographers will hold on to what they know:  Big, weather sealed camera bodies with mirrors and big honking lenses.  They'll resist change but will line up to buy whatever mirrorless camera ends up as the defacto "cool guy" camera for evenings out without the fully loaded Domke bag.  You know?  Like on a date.  With a woman.  The new generation of mirrorless cameras will take the place of the middle ground cult cameras like the Canon G10 and the Panasonic LX-5, as supplements to the "big iron" of the macho, over 40's crowd.

The younger photographers will see the mirrorless cameras for what they are, a new way of doing photography that's smaller, lighter, cheaper and as good as the stuff that came before.  And many woman photographers, who seem to care much more about the final images and much less about technical specifications will try them out, find them good and convenient, and will go out and make art with them.

In a few years the idea of dragging around a couple of Nikon D3's or Canon 1D's will seem about as cool as driving a minivan.  And not a cool minivan either.  Think mid-90's Chrysler...... because the new generation of fast glass for the smaller cameras will have arrived.  Along with high ISO performance and fewer backstrains.  In five years the mirrorless, evf, mini camera revolution will be complete.  With Nikon, Canon and then Sony in the lead.

And where will I be?  Well......I've had the mirrorless stuff and used it to good effect since the day the Pens came out but I just bought another Hasselblad 500 C/M yesterday so I'll be damned if I know where I'm positioned.  It's all fun.  And there's room for every kind of photographer and photography.  But I'm pretty clear about the 95% of people who will venture out to buy cameras in the next few years and it's not going to be about Canon Rebels or Nikon D3x's.

The Nex and it's future competitors.  That's the future.  Even for pros.

Fun books for photographers: http://www.amazon.com/Kirk-Tuck/e/B002ECIS24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1


John said...

I like your views, but I would add that it will still come down to "the lens." The new micro 4/3 lenses are not only good IQ wise, they are quite small. The APS-C lenses are a lot heavier and slower even though the sensors are better.

In the end the race will come down to best over-all IQ - size/weight system.

kirk tuck said...

John, the funny thing is that the race is never over. The cameras will continue to morph like fighters jabbing away looking for an opening. And for everyone who thinks lenses are the grail there's someone else who's convinced it's the sensor. I'd like to think that there's a common denominator of quality that will be reached and after than people will start to choose based on industrial design, haptics and taste. But I'm probably deluded. Still, there are some cameras I keep just because they are beautiful....

ginsbu said...

I think the NEX-7 is a big step forward for the mirrorless market, though I have little interest in Sony's lenses or their size.

For Olympus, the new E-PL3 looks pretty good. However they've let Sony get ahead of them on a compact body with built-in EVF. They also need a new sensor urgently. One possibility might be to have Sony fab a 4/3 sensor with the pixel density of their new 24MP APS-C sensors; that would work out to a bit over 14MP at 4/3 size. A new sensor with better high-ISO performance and built-in EVF, combined with their new faster AF and the superior m4/3 lens lineup would make a pretty compelling offering, I think.

Personally, I'd love to see Fuji come out with an interchangeable lens version of the X100, including the wonderful hybrid EVF. Now that Fuji's shown that it can be done, I see little reason not to have a hybrid viewfinder. For all Fuji's faults (witness the X100's various problems and the sad decline of their F-series compacts), they also seem to have a real dedication to making products oriented toward good old-fashioned photography (witness their ongoing commitment to film, their MF rangefinders, and the X100's many strengths).

Unless you've got inside info on Canon, I haven't seen anything to indicate they've got a clue on mirrorless. I look forward to being convinced by Nikon's offerings, but I'm afraid that Nikon (and Canon) may be more motivated to preserve their existing DSLR franchise than to build optimal mirrorless systems, much as they've artificially constrained their APS-C DSLRs (lenses in particular) to preserve their FF franchise. Nikon's decision to go with a smaller than 4/3 sensor for their mirrorless system suggests they're making exactly this mistake.

For the moment, I've decided to try to wait for the market to shake out a bit, and in the meanwhile get back into shooting film.

jasonhindle said...

When it comes to Sony's inevitable mirror-less onslaught, there are two rays of hope for Panasonic and Olympus:

- The NEX just doesn't have the lenses and Sony's immediate solution to this is at best clunky

- Because Sony decided they must have the smallest possible bodies, this means the lenses are harder to design and generally quite a bit bigger than their Micro Four Thirds equivalents.

As much as I like my Olympus gear though, the NEX 7 is a terrible temptation for this hobbyist......

Neil said...

I agree with Kirk, more people should buy cameras based on handling and ergonomics, and not on specifications. Pretty much any camera you can buy today is "good enough". A camera is an artistic tool and how it feels in your hands is a much more important than it having class-leading high ISO capability or dynamic range.

Find a camera that feels good in your hands and you'll spend a lot more time actually taking pictures and enjoying photography.

Craig Yuill said...

Weather sealing might not be necessary for 100% of shots, but it can be useful here in the rainy Pacific Northwest area where I live. Some time ago I was on an inflatable boat in rainy weather trying to keep rain and ocean spray off my SLR and telephoto lens while on a whale-watching trip. Weather sealing would have been a nice thing to have.

I agree that the NEX7 is a game changer. It costs the same as an Olympus E-P3 plus VF-2. Which one to go for? I think I'd still lean towards the E-P3, primarily because of the lens line up. The equivalent lenses for Micro 4/3s are smaller than those of APS-C systems, and Micro 4/3s has more lenses at this time. Also, look at the new Panasonic normal kit zoom lens that collapses to the size of a pancake lens. New normal zoom lens + small Micro 4/3s body = camera about the size of a premium compact with much bigger sensor and better overall IQ. I can see a trend towards miniaturizing more lenses by using collapsible designs, or maybe greater adoption of things like refractive optics. This will be as important IMO as making camera bodies smaller.

Jan Klier said...

The key is that the right camera is the one that fits the job/purpose and the budget.

In today's technology we've gone well beyond the 'required features' to get the basic image. So now it's all nuances and preferences.

I'm probably in this 1% group, but wireless transfer and battery life are important aspects for me.

One element I don't hear much about with the EVF is the ergonomics of looking through it. Not having your eye confined to the subject makes you mentally less focused, looses some of the subject/shooter connection. But I guess it's just what you're used to in terms of eye /hand/environment coordination. When shooting video we often look at external monitors, which is similar to EVF.

ginsbu said...

I should add that I think the mirrorless market is really positive for opening up new possibilities for handling and ergonomics:
--Panasonic started fairly traditionalist, but is making a big push with touch screen control.
--Olympus has done well with their design and interface in a fairly subtle and refined way, and has pushed collapsable lenses (now being copied).
--Sony used to have the worst controls , but the NEX-7 looks to have a very promising 3 dial setup.
--Samsung deserves credit for their iFn control: once you've got an electronically coupled ring on the lens, why not make it configurable?
--Fuji's hybrid viewfinder is great and it's nice to see a company offering traditional aperture and shutter controls—that control layout became standard for good reason!

Overall, it's great to see the variety of interface concepts being brought to market, as well as the variety of camera form factors—more choice for photographers to find what works best for them!

One disappointment is that there hasn't been much effort put into revisiting the functioning of the basic PASM modes. Pentax's Hyper-modes and green button set the standard here, IMO, and sadly have not been imitated. Fuji's implementation of the four basic modes through the combination of settings on the aperture and shutter dials is wonderfully direct and comes closest, I think.

Charles said...

Kirk, I'm not sure I agree with you on this one. The Sony sensor is good, but the design has a lot of issues in the corners. I think the sensor is too big. As other's have posted, why bother buying a NEX when the lenses are as large as the DSLR lens?

I don't think we'll see a APSC sized sensor mirror less from either Nikon or Canon for this reason. There is little to no differences from their DSLR offerings and they'd still have to create a new lens line to take advantage of whatever size reduction they can get. The rumors of a 2.5x Nikon sensor is more likely I expect and really not different enough from m4/3s to make too much of a difference.

Besides lens size, Oly and Panasonic have a huge lead in lenses. They've both basically stopped 4/3s development (at least for the time being) to concentrate on m4/3s. You think the other companies can do that? It still taking years to create a good lens line. With both of them going full steam. Sony's line is just... well I can't say anything good about it.

As a system too, you have the wonderfully small R flash, the neat LED micro lights, mics. Even if Nikon or Canon came out with a system tomorrow I think it would be a few years in the best case before they could compete with m4/3s and possibly a lot longer.

If there is anything else that attracts me it's the Pentax Q. Truly pocketable. They just need a good wide prime for me.

Anonymous said...

I hope you wrong. I love the Olympus rendering and Olympus (mostly SHG) lenses. In my own personal experience, glass matters a lot and those with the best lenses win. Though I hate to say winning in photography because it is not about winning but about the best personal expression of vision possible. May each photographer do the best they can and realize their best expression of that vision.

Brad C said...

The big advantage that Olympus & Panasonic have is only having one lens mount. Unless the big three give up on full-frame I see it being hard for them to capitalize on the size factor gained with a Nex like body. For that reason, I won't be surprised if Nikon and Canon focus on a g12 style body with larger sensor. Mirrorless, EVF, but fixed lens (or short range zoom). Canon has never really jumped into the EF-S line with smaller lenses or primes (the 17-55 and 60mm macro being useful exceptions)...

To me mirrorless/Evf is on its way, but micro four/thirds will always have a size advantage unless Sony , Canon and Nikon really commit to a smaller format lens line at the expense of compatibility.

I'm in the camp of having a camera that is 'good enough', and welcome the developments that are driving smaller sensor cameras.

atmtx said...

Kirk, as you know I use both the Sony NEX-5 and the EPL-1. I like both cameras for different reasons.

Sony clearly has a higher ISO quality over the Oly. However, because of the optics and/or the processing the image is not as sharp. The exposure is darker and the colors run more blue/green. The user interface can get annoying at times. I love the flip up LCD.

The Olympus EPL-1 is annoyingly slow, which has been made a non-issue in the latest version (EP3). I like the colors and exposure better than the Sony. However, ISO 800 is about the highest I like to go. The Lumix 20mm F1.7 lens completely changes the character of the camera for the better. I absolutely love this lens since when shooting wide open, I can usually stay at or under ISO 800. I also get some nice shallow DOF and nice Bokeh with this lens.

The next generation of Cameras look interesting. I'm curious to see how good the ISO quality is with NEX-7 with 24MP. I would have loved a lower resolution sensor if it gives me a better quality high ISO image.

While there are many improvements with the latest generation of Olympus cameras, I'm concerned that the image quality is not ultimately what I would like. Most reviews say the image quality is about the same as the EPL-1. The Olympus is perfectly fine as my carry around everywhere camera and family snap shot camera. It is not what I use when I need the highest quality.

I find that when I want to get the highest quality image, neither they Sony or Olympus is my go to camera. I still use my Canon 7D for that.

I am very bullish on the mirrorless (EVIL, Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lens) cameras. I do believe they are the future, In fact, earlier this year, on my blog, I wrote a post called:

Is the DSLR’s Domination Coming to an End?

Looking forward to increasing EVIL camera future. It is going to be fun. I hope Canon and Nikon come along for the ride.

michael said...

I look at the new Sonys and go wow! I look at the Sony lens lineup and quickly lose my ardor.

I have a friend, a retired doctor, who has every lens Sony currently sells. The only lens I've ever heard him rave about is a Sigma. Does Sony get that the best camera body in the world can go hurting for lack of good glass? For now I'll keep my Pen. As you know, it's optional EVF is good enough, and Olympus and Panasonic seem committed to expanding their lens lines with quality optics.

What good are 23 megapixels if attached to mediocre lenses?

Will said...

So much of the NEX-7 impresses the Hell out of me, but at present there are only three lenses, and none of them appeal to me (the 16 would, but only if I had other focal lengths with it). When the camera becomes available, there will be one or two more, only one of which interests me. For me, the safer bet is an Olympus E-PL3, with more megapixels and image quality than I could have imagined a short while ago, and with 14, 20, and 45mm lenses that are tiny, fast, and sharp. As an added bonus, the camera has the NEX line's tiltable LCD. The camera with any of the primes will fit in a jacket pocket, and the whole kit can be carried in the smallest of bags; a messenger bag even.

If I want to shoot high quality images for fun or profit, I have a Nikon D700 that's great printed even at 24x16", far larger than I tend to need. If I want to have a camera with me at all times, the tiny new Sony is appealing, but my money is going to Olympus (and Panasonic for a couple of lenses).

mbka said...

I agree with the other comments. m4/3 right now is the most mature mirrorless system by a mile, especially by lenses. Sony has a great looking NEX but I already think my G1 is too small. I like the A77 better than the NEX but the strange thing is, if I look at image samples, you see lens distortions even with the expensive glass while m4/3 has apparently found a sweet spot in sensor/lens combinations. The m4/3 output is just about flawless, no doubt because of the smart software lens corrections they do.

I wouldn't be surprised if Canon Nikon eventually stole the show. But right now, the Sony SLT makes the most sense in AF / sensor engineering (PDAF! fast frame rates! even better EVF! low noise!). And m4/3 does the most sensible engineering in lens design (software corrections! collapsible small lenses! 4/3rds aspect ratio!).

Which leaves me in a bind right now - continue in m4/3 and invest in the new 25/1.4 or salivate around the A77?

Renato M. said...

I don't really think that we will see a Canikon APS-C/FF camera so soon. Nikon will announce their new mirrorless camera next month and it's said to have something between 2.5-2.7x crop factor. I think they are testing the market going for the new P&S upgraders market. What I found interesting is that the rumors say that the camera will have both types of AF contrast AND phase detection.

NEX's problem are the lack of lenses and how big they are, it end up losing its compact appeal. Sony has a clear advantage in high-ISO and sometimes in IQ, but it's not there in video - let's see this new cameras. And I've doubts about Sony's choice of going 24MP since it compromises the high-ISO advantage over the m4/3.

Panasonic's new X lenses are very interesting, it's very appealing for videographers with its powerzoom. The GF PRO/GF7/GX1 rumored high-end GF seems very interesting and it will directly compete with the NEX-7 and with the new pacake size 14-42mm x lens, it's a very nice kit and it makes the compactness make sense.

The mirrorless cameras have two features that make people want them, their size and the ability to have LIVE view/EVF during video. Sony said they are aiming at video with the SLT too.

What cripples the NEX - even though they are temporarily address that with a A-mount adapter - is the lack of compact lenses or even good lenses and in that area the m4/3 are way ahead. Besides, I like the fact that the m4/3 have been able to address their early problem with high-ISO ability, plus they solved the mirrorless slow AF problem with a better engine.

But I really like all of this. the new mirrorless thing, the idea of SLT cameras, the way that Canikon will fight back - their established brand and camera won't hold the lead for much more than few years if they don't do something in mirrorless direction, m4/3 are in their 3rd generation and NEX/NX in their 2nd generation already.

Jim said...

I'm all for the mirror-less offerings. Anything that shrinks the mass but keeps or improves the quality is fine with me.

The NEX 7 looks wonderful, but I think Sony would have been better served to keep in at 14-16 MPs.

And they really do need to get some smaller lenses. Larger lenses greatly lessen the appeal of the NEX format.

Kelvin said...

Kirk, where do you see the Leica M system amongst all this? Seems like the new mirrorless systems are eliminating all the practical reasons for sticking to the M form factor (and price).

David said...

I don't understand why everyone seems to think there are so few lenses available for the NEX line. . In addition to the three Sony E mount lenses currently available, Sony has just announced three more that will be in stores before the end of the year, and with the use of an adapter just about every lens ever made can be used. I have several Minolta MD-mount lenses and manual focus is a breeze with the focusing aids that the NEX line has.

Charles said...

@David, I'm a relatively recent photographer. I don't have loads of legacy lenses sitting around. An 50mm OM I use on a OM body, that's about it. Why should I have to go out and buy old lenses, expensive adapters just to get the most out of a modern camera? It's a rediculous proposition to anyone but those who already have those lenses.

Out of the lenses they've annouced none really interest me. The 16mm isn't really a good lens. The 30mm macro is ok, but I'd prefer something faster a smaller.

Abraham Latchin said...

I think the general opinion here is that Sony has a winning body... and that is about it. I have the a850, and recommended the Sony Nex to my Father in Law... so no bias here :)

I have read many people state the obvious, there is no avoiding physics. Is Olympus can find a source for a new sensor, or if panasonic can catch up with Sony/Canon then the m43rds system remains more than competitive.

From the increasingly impressive lens line-up, to the new AF in the Pen line, in body IS, a wonderful Jpeg engine, great video, a range of bodies... Really I only feel those who will jump to Nikon or Canon will be doing so from a brand perspective, not a camera POV.

But lets see, there are very interesting times ahead.


Jim said...

@David...true, they have the lenses you mention available, but with the exception of the 16/2.8, they're all fairly large.

While smaller than comparable DSLR lenses, they don't balance right on the NEX.

A few more "pancake" style primes would greatly enhance the NEX platform.

Anonymous said...

I'm still figuring out why there has to be a "winner" in this segment. the DSLR market manages to support cameras from the smallest Rebels to FF Canons, Nikons and Minoltas, with multiple Nikon, Canon, Pentax, and Minolta bodies in between. There are a dozen or more vendors selling P&S bodies in sizes from hide in your hand to the Nikon 7100 and Canon G12 to the SLR look-alike superzooms.

I think there will be room for mirrorless APS-C cameras like the NEX and smaller m43 bodies and still smaller 2.5x cameras from Nikon. And whatever Canon introduces into the segment, assuming they do.

The idea that one successful line is going to "kill" all it's competitors is ludicrous. Windows didn't kill Mac (although it came close before Jobs came back to Apple); It did force Apple to improve it's product line and compete on different terms.

The iPhone didn't kill the phone lines from Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Nokia, etc., although is certainly forced them to get better.

If Canon couldn't kill off Nikon, Pentax and Minolta / Sony during the many years that they all but owned the DSLR market, then I don't think Sony's going to kill anyone off, either. They may, however, force Oly, Panny, and others to work harder and improve the product. Just like Nikon eventually upped their game and matched, and then maybe exceeded, Canon's technology. If Sony forces Pan/Oly to improve their tech, that benefits everyone.

OTOH, Sony has a long history of managing to turn a technological success into a marketing failure, so they may not force anyone into improving anything. Anyone still have a Walkman, A Sony Palm OS handheld, or a Betamax?

Anonymous said...

I will just re-cap what many have commented already. m43 size advantage is really more about lens size than being mirrorless.

When I start shopping for mirrorless moving from DSLR (for downsizing reason), I serious considered Samsung, as it struck me for its excellent ergonomics.

But then I realized the body size matters little when the fast lenses remain huge by design for APS-C; hence I ended up with Olympus.

Anonymous said...

I have high hopes for the NEX-7, though compared to the M4/3 bodies it has a serious challenge to overcome. This challenge is the shutter, which due to its size and the small size of the current cameras means there is a significant amount of shutter bounce. My experience with the NEX-5 has been that to get images I am happy with I need to use flash. I know that I am a bit jittery, which influences the camera shake, but images taken from a tripod, or in bright light, are not much better.

Another challenge facing the NEX bodies is lens coverage. From the online comparison images I have seen the Sony NEX 16mm does not cover proportionately as much of the sensor as the M4/3 lenses do. From my own experience using Leica, Zeiss, and Voitlander M-mount lenses with adapters, using 50mm and longer lenses will give good results. Though using lenses wider than 35mm may not give satisfying results due to coverage/sharpness fall off as the image moves out from the center of the frame. This falloff is caused by how close the rear element of the lens are to the image plane and the of angle reaching the outer edges of the frame.

This coverage issue with wide angle lenses does not seem to be present when using wide angle SLR lenses. My experience using a Leica 19mm R lens on the NEX-5 has given good sharpness all the way to the edge of the frame.

Hopefully the rumors are true and Sony's new shutter will eliminate their shutter bounce issue. The new camera is also rumored to have reduced shutter lag, which will also be an improvement.

Though, for the above reasons my NEX-5 is going to be traded, and I will wait to see what the NEX-7 brings, before buying again.


kirk tuck said...

To the poster who asked, "why does someone have to win and someone have to lose?" who then makes the point that the iPhone didn't kill off Motorola and Nokia...: Have you read the Wall Street Journal? Watched CNN, read industry reports? Motorola phone sales tanked, Nokia is a sliver of their previous market share and Rim's lost 50% of their market share, all since the intro of the iPhone. New technology in the consumer space always pushed out old technology.

c5karl said...

I love my m43 Panasonic G2 for all the reasons stated above: Built-in EVF, good-enough-for-me image quality, great handling & controls, good selection of sharp, compact lenses. And while I hope Panasonic and Olympus can survive the coming Nikon/Canon mirrorless onslaught, it think it will be tough given the brand recognition and distribution advantage of the big guys.

Just try to buy an m43 camera at Best Buy or Target. Even NEX cameras are hard to find in these stores. But every camera department in every store sells some sort of Rebel.

A lot camera system decisions start with an impulse purchase in a Big Box store, and Olympus and Panasonic (and to some extent Sony) just aren't there.

Duncan said...

Unless the Nex-7 can take photos without a lens, please discuss system size when comparing the relative merits of mirrorless cameras. The sensor size vs. lens size trade-off is the most relevant decision faced by Nikon and Canon as they seek to enter this market.

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