Micro Four Thirds has been touted for a while now by some of the major manufacturers – Olympus, Panasonic and Sony to name but a few. The new standard implements the possibility of single camera the size of highly portable compact camera that can record both still images and movies with similar picture quality to an SLR. Manufacturers make this more compact Micro Four Thirds design possible by removing the mirror and using a smaller interchangeable lens barrel.
With this in mind, the possibility of using the new range of adaptors to attach some very exciting retro glass (Voigtlander, Nikkor, Canon FD & FL, Leica M rangefinder) to the camera body and the recent demise of my my Ixus 5, I have taken my own first steps into 4/3rds format with a Lumix G2. I will write a whole article on my G2 experiences soon, but suffice to say for now, ‘I like’!
So with all the buzz around it is interesting to find the absence of a couple of big names in the seemingly endless stream of product launches around Micro Four Thirds, namely Nikon and Canon. So can we expect a Canon or Nikon Micro Four Thirds camera soon or will they staunchly remain out of the fray?
Reuters reported this week that Canon was working on a smaller version of its upmarket SLR camera design in a bid to compete with the Micro Four Thirds products launched by Sony Corp, Olympus Corp and Panasonic Corp. Canon would not confirm whether their new product would include a mirror or not but did say, “It’s not a question of whether or not you have a mirror. There is a consumer need for good-quality cameras to be made smaller, we will meet this need.” So expect the G11 to remain the darling of dyed-in-the-wool Canon Pro’s looking to ‘travel light’ for a while longer yet, but may be we should not be expecting a 4/3 format camera from them.
What of the big ‘N’? Nikon president Makoto Kimura confirmed to Bloomberg, in an article earlier this month, of a “new concept” model that will probably have an enhanced function for video recording and may also adopt the mirrorless structure. Kimura said in an interview on 08/07/2010 in Tokyo. “It could be any time this fiscal year or the following year, as new models are starting to sell,” he said, declining to specify when the product will be available.
With these comments in mind it would seem Nikon the more likely contender to embrace the increasingly popular Micro Four Thirds format over close rival Canon. It will be an interesting few months no doubt, especially come CES 2011 in January. Watch this space.