Kodachrome200: I wanna love these mirrorless camera's but they always seem to miss the mark by a bit. With an aps-c sensor physics is going to require that the lenses are essentially dslr sized. this makes the camera only marginally more portable.
The micro 4/3rds seems to be the right balance. but there are still some wierd issues. Like the fact that you can't get a thin profile standard prime for it. witch oddly enough you can for the large 4/3rds cameras. And dont say use an adapter, the is too big. Also the only 4/3rds camera that is reasonably small and acceptably powerfull is the olympus e-pl3. witch comes with a kit zoom that is not pocket sized. and you CANT buy it without it. (witch makes me ask what about upgraders?). I like that panasonic pancake zoom lens. combined with a small standard prime that was also pocket sized you could have a lot of photo power in your pocket.
This new sony is massive in the world of camera thats only justification is they are more portable though.
A comment and a question ; the debate about sensor size and body/lens weight never seems to include any mention of the light volume entering the camera which common sense tells me is a big factor in image quality.
I know that lens aperture a goes long way to deciding this and the bigger the sensor the larger the area over which the trapped light is dispersed.
That's about the limit of my understanding but would a physics sage please explain why a very wide aperture lens focusing light on a small sensor would not give the best results.
jagge: I own Nikon and Panasonic cams but have tried shooting with Canons as well. One factor that I find more and more important is how innovative a company is. Really Olympus and Panasonic sticks out in this field, starting the mnirrorless wave and also working a lot with pro level video (panasonic). Now Sony have accelerated in a crazy way with the nex7 showing true inventive spirit and out of the box thinking. I wil for sure base my next purchase on the inventive spirit of the company.
Where does that leave Canon and Nikon, way behind. I am convinced that Nikon is so dropping the ball, they simply dont seem to be able of true leadership and inventive spririt. They produce great traditional DSLR, thats it and I dont think that will cut it in the future. When the tracking issue AF has been solved then they are gone. I think Nikon is currently pulling a "Kodak"....
I agree wholeheartedly. When Pana bring us things like the SD Card that improves the quality of our lives then I want to support them. Bravo too for Pana and Sony having the wit to team up with the great names in photography. Most of all, the creation of industry standards for cameras by Pana/Olym shames the Nikon/Canon dinosaurs who are too afraid to adopt a common lens mount. Don't they think the quality of their cameras will survive the competition ?
JWest: The lumping of the Samsung NX200 into the "intermediate" category seems to highlight the arbitrary nature of the categorisation used. I'm curious what the E-P3 or the GX1 offer to "enthusiasts" that the NX200 doesn't, other than their smaller sensors.
The only meaningful grouping of interchangeable lens camera bodies and kit lenses, for a summary such as this, is by price range ( yes, the Ricoh is a one-off but you could just pick one combo ) and , whats more, it would still be meaningful if you added DSLRs and larger format cameras. Getting consistent "street" prices is no problem. Where you fix the ranges is subjective but if you organise your selections ranges to make 3 groups, this is what you would get ( based on Amazon ) :-
BUDGET ( low to high )
Pen E-PM1 / Nex c3 / DMC G3 / DMC GF3 / Pen E PL3
Nikon J1 /Pentax Q / Nex 5N / Pen E P3 / DMC GX1
Nikon V1 / DMC GH2 / Ricoh GXR / NX 200 / Nex7
My personal preference would be a spreadsheet style feature list for each price band ( plus your rating ) rather than the regurgitated marketing spiel we have above.
filipe brandao: I really don't understand why dpreview is clinging on to a marketing catch word ("mirrorless") instead of promoting a more clear classification of cameras. Classifying these cameras as "mirrorless" is the same as saying a pencil is a inkless pen. Its confusing and forsakes a hole history of photography in which most of the cameras didn't have mirrors in their system. One should ask why isn't leica m9 included in this group. Cameras have always been classified by how they allow the photographer to view/focus on the subject and their format. Any effort in this direction would help to clear the marketing confusion in which we roam.
I think Mr Brandao is absolutely correct in his analysis. Talking about terminology is a pain for everyone but the DPREVIEW journalists are not disciplined in their use of English ( how many times in the article above does it say "Four Thirds" when it should say "Micro Four Thirds" ? I don't doubt they know the difference but they, or the proof readers are just too slapdash ) . Electronic View Cameras is my preferred terminology ( my dog is mirrorless ).
rmbackus: If Sony comes with a 10 megapixel A77-b then thát will be my thing. Don't wanna make huge posters or Super-EXHD video. I want accurate autofocus, no-noise and sharp low light pictures, a big steady camera and a non-plastic body.
So it turns out the Ricoh design for the GXR ( that marries the sensor to the lens not the body ) makes good sense for your requirements
No mention of body and lens weather- proofing ; comments like "solid build" are too vague for a technical review
fmian: What happens in the Japanese market is meaningless to other markets in the world. Just because curious Japanese amateurs are buying into M43 and E-mount systems does not mean serious pros are doing so.
Look at sales of game consoles in Japan compared to the rest of the world for proof.Why would a pro change to a system that does not have an upgrade path to full frame? Why would a pro change to a system that forces them to use their camera at arms length? Why would a pro change to a lens mount that offers very little variety in lenses? Sure you can buy adapters to make other lenses fit, but why would a pro want to gimp their full frame lenses to only show a quarter (M43) of information that the lens is capable of bringing in?
I work in a camera store in Sydney and I sell cameras day in day out. Canon and Nikon DSLRS outsell M43, E-mount, Alpha-mount and Pentax mount systems by a factor of 1:10.There is no contest so far.
"Why would a pro change to a system that" DOES " have an upgrade path to full frame" . Full frame uses the 35mm film dimensions and I believe most of the true pro's in the film era used medium/large format film.
Maybe you are too close the whole subject to see it objectively.
In 3 years of development they have increased the sensitivity of the M43 18X13.5 mm sensor by a third to16 megapixels and it is just a matter of time before they catch up to the 40+MP Hasselblad/Leaf digital backs that outperform Nikon/Canon by most people's judgement. Same development path as the SD card.
Add to this the growing list of lens makers working with the M43 ( Voigtlander, Schneider, Leica, Zuiko etc. with the standardised auto focus in many cases ) format and you have an unbeatable system ( even if some of them are motivated by video sales ).
"Professionals" are subject to the same locked-in status of many of the amateurs with huge investments in propietary optics that keeps the big 2 afloat, for the time being.
Nikon and Canon are paying the price for their short-sighted commercial plan of milking and churning their locked-in SLR users ( with substantial investments in their propietary lenses ) with continual upgrades giving very marginal improvements in photographic quality. Just look at their model ranges. A 35% loss in market share is shocking but the good times had to come to an end one day.
Their only hope ; sign up to the M43 standard and trust that they can compete with Oly/Pana on the quality of their cameras, sensors and optics. SLR's have been in evolving over 127 years versus the 3 years of the MILC.
The article was naive ( I agree with Hootsmon ) and factually flawed in that the motivation for mirrorless-ness was simplifying camera mechanics rather than saving the cost of a mirror or miniaturisation. Did the medium format designers sit round a table and say " I have a great idea - a much bigger camera ! ". I don't believe 4/3 has compromised IQ vis-a-vis the SLR as the financial journalist says and while I think the standardised sensor size for M4/3 is a bit small, the technology is already well on the way to forcing comparable resolution in there.
olympian_dp: Strange I thought Olympus had the most market share (and the lead innovator here) and they hardly get mentioned in the article.
I noticed that glaring omission especially when Olympus started the 4/3 standard ( with Kodak ) whereas Sony ( relentlessly proprietary and paying the price with a poor selection of lenses ) are mentioned so very many times. Will Nikon join the 4/3 or M43 brigade and have the confidence to take on Oly/Pana on pure camera quality of their new device ? I doubt it. Time to cast off their old SLR customers - there is no upgrade path from cave painting to the touch screen