G11 takes on M4/3?

Started Aug 22, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Robert Deutsch
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G11 takes on M4/3?
Aug 22, 2009

I ran across the following statement, expressing a view that I believe many people hold:

"Canon is aiming to take on Panasonic and Olympus in the merging Micro Four Thirds market without adopting the format, with the launch of the Canon G11 camera, the successor to its popular G10" http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/news.phtml/26429/canon-g11-digital-cameras-launched.phtml

I own a G10, which I like a lot, but expect to trade it in on a G11. I've handled and taken pictures with the E-P1, and I'm quite interested in the upcoming Panasonic GF-1. I suppose in a general sense the G11 competes with the E-P1 and the GF-1 (they're all cameras, all smaller than DSLRs), but, ultimately, I don't thing they're ompetitors.

An inarguable advantage of the M4/3 cameras is the availability of intechangeable lenses, and, for the E-P1, the ability to use a wide range of lenses with adapters. However, if you're not looking for this feature--perhaps because you already have a non-Olympus DSLR system--then having interchangeable lenses is not an advantage.

Image quality? We'll have to wait until the G11 is out, but I venture to say that its overall IQ will approach, but will not quite reach the level of the M4/3 cameras with good lenses. How much of a difference? Deciding that will be an individual matter.

The G11's major advantage--and which comparisons with the E-P1/GF-1 somewhat pointless--is that it can be carried in a belt pouch or large pocket. The M4/3 cameras have to be carried on a strap around your neck. It's a "tourist" look that I like to avoid, and I hesitate to get a M4/3 camera mostly for that reason. I'm also a great fan of articulated LCDs, and even thought of getting a G1 or GF-1 just for that feature. (They've both non-pocketable, though.) I greatly admire Canon's decision to go with a lower-MP high-sensity sensor, even though it goes against their more-MPs-are-better marketing policy, and the lack of HD video (necessitated by the design of the sensor) that will lose them some customers.

However, I don't believe that Canon sees the G11 as "taking on M4/3." If they wanted to do that--and, if the format continues to make inroads, they probably will--then they'll come out with a non-DSLR camera using an APS-C sensor and able to use all Canon lenses. But it won't be the size of the G11.

Bob

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