A weighty matter

Started Sep 18, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Martin Budden
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A weighty matter
Sep 18, 2009

Although it seems to have come as a surprise to the manufacturers, the success of Micro Four Thirds cameras is no surprise to photographers. We love our DSLRs, but we hate lugging them around. They are just too heavy to carry all the time, so we need a second quality camera for when we don't have our DSLR with us. Photographers and photography web sites (including dpreview) have been calling for such a camera for years.

Well, now these cameras have arrived, in the form of Micro Four Thirds. But the manufacturers still haven't quite got it. They are still a bit too heavy.

The cameras, with battery and card, weigh in as follows: G1 and GH1, 440g; GF1, 348g; E-P1 410g. The two lightest lenses are the Olympus 17mm pancake at 71g and the Panasonic 20mm at 100g. So the lightest MFT camera you can currently get (GF1 with 17mm lens) weighs in at 419g.

Compare this with what dpreview has called "Enthusiast" and "Premium" compact cameras. These mostly weigh in at 200g-300g, and most are at the lighter end of that range. The heaviest of them is the Canon G11 at 375g.

So I say to manufacturers: try and shave some weight off these cameras. The GF1 is 62g lighter than the E-P1 and it has a flash (although it does not have image stabilisation built in). I think the E-P1 was probably designed to weigh in on the heavy side, so that reviewers would say it has a "pleasant heft". Well, I don't want a pleasant heft, I want a light camera. You can shave 50g to 100g off these cameras.

There's room for a whole range of different MFT cameras. I challenge the manufacturers to produce a light one (less than 300g including battery and card, hopefully even lighter). I bet this will be the highest selling MFT camera.

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