The Micro DSLR Phenomenon

Posted on Jun 2, 2010 in Opinions, Photography

Ever since I reviewed the Olympus E-P1 last summer, I’ve been fairly convinced that this is a market segment waiting to explode. So many people I have spoken to have expressed an interest and interestingly enough, this niche seems to attract multiple user groups:

  • Consumers that don’t own a DSLR see these new cameras as an attractive compromise offering DSLR quality with a consumer-friendly interface and lower cost
  • Prosumers that already own a DSLR see them as a great alternative to their bulky DSLRs that they can take out and about

Which models are on the market?

Until now, Olympus and Panasonic have been the only two companies offering cameras in this space, so they have generally been referred to as “Micro Four-Thirds” cameras – after the joint standard those two companies established together.

However, Sony have recently announced their “Alpha Nex” series, which uses a larger APS-C sized sensor, that should give the Micro four-thirds competitors a run for their money.

Is it a DSLR? Is it a Micro Four-Thirds? No, it’s…

With Sony entering the fray, a new term is needed to describe the cameras within this category. In the interest of keeping things simple, I’m just going to refer to them as “Micro DSLRs“.

Latest Developments

So what has happened since the release of the original Olympus E-P1 that kicked everything off?

If you’re in the market, it’s probably worth waiting until the new Sony models are released in July, but it’s definitely turning into an interesting year for Micro DSLR fans.

I should have a chance to take a look at a few of these new models in the upcoming months, so stay tuned.



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