Digital Jottings – System Cameras

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Digital Jottings.
Camera Manufacturers have been busy developing small high performance units which they hope will be attractive to DSLR users. The general term used to describe these cameras is System Cameras or for a more colourful acronym they are termed EVIL cameras where EVIL is an abbreviation for  Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lens. They are well specified and deliver high performance and are of small physical size weighing between a third and a half of a DSLR. They include Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds cameras which use a Four Thirds sensor (17.3 x 13.0 mm) which is smaller than the APS-C sensor (22.2 x 14.8mm) commonly  used in DSLRs. As the size of the sensor influences the lens factor the factor of x 1.6 used for APS- C sensor changes to x 2 for the Four Thirds sensor.

Examples of System Cameras include:

Camera                             Resolution                      Sensor                                 Lenses
Lumix GF1                          12.1 MP                           Micro Four Thirds             18 mm & 14 – 45 mm
Samsung NX10                  14.6 MP                          APS-C                                   18 mm & 18 – 55 mm
Sony NEX-5                       14.2 MP                           APS-C                                   18 mm & 18 – 55 mm
Olympus Pen E-P2           12.3 MP                           Four Thirds Live MOS      18 mm & 14 – 42 mm

The 18 mm lens is the equivalent of a 50 mm or “standard” lens for a full frame camera.
The one criticism that I have registered about this group is that you cannot achieve a small DOF and hence it is difficult to isolate a subject through selective focusing. However, the features and performance of these cameras and more lenses become available they can only improve which will add to their popularity. Maybe there is a Four Thirds camera in your future.

Written by Peter