I've missed all this excitement, having just returned from a (wet!) camping holiday today. It doesn't suprise me, in my response to the speculation that Panasonic were about to pull out of Four Thirds I made this comment on 8th June:-
"But I don't think Panny are about to jump ship, more likely they are about to announce something big in a positive way.... "
In all our concern about how Oly are competing against Nikon and Canon I think we tend to forget just what a massive company Panasonic is and how large it's R&D resources are. Olympus too, are a richer company with better resources than we give them credit for and their strong point has always been innovation,
which I am sure is what attracted Panny as a partner. If Panny had only wanted to hop on the DSLR bandwaggon they could simply just have bought Canon or Nikon!
Bearing in mind worldwide volume sales, until now the compact market has been more lucrative than DSLRs and quality gains in this section has all but killed off the "bridge camera" concept. But mobile camera phone technology will in turn threaten the viability of the compact market - unless some huge new innovation combining DSLR quality with compact ease of use, compactness and portability is forthcoming.
Enter Micro Four Thirds......
.......which IMO is good
news for existing Four Thirds users as the technology gains from the new system will feed through to the existing standard.
Bearing in mind how important the compact market is in Global terms, it is Canikon users who should be feeling just a little less comfortable right now. But I wonder how long it will be before Canon, Nikon or Sony announces their own micro interchangeable lens format.....and get the credit for the innovation
from certain quarters!