What happens when a full DSLR and a digital compact camera get together? The category known as "Micro Four Thirds
" was born. The standard was created by Olympus and Kodak for a digital, single lens reflex camera, with a system allowing manufacturers to create cameras that could interchange lenses and bodies across the whole platform in much smaller form factors and purely digital. Even so, the lenses are computerized and can be updated via firmware. This would give an edge in lens selection from any manufacturer that is being part of the standard; and it's an improvement over regular compact cameras.
Olympus E-P2 Pen Series
This little, but powerful camera, comes with an electronic viewfinder and even let you preview art filters effects. You could use the screen to make manual focusing easier. Being mirrorless, the E-P2's bodt is extremely compact. 12.3 Megapixels is more than enough pixels for most photos, and that comes with a high speed Live MOS Sensor. We like the built-in image stabilization that can go up to 4 EV steps. The lenses are Olympus' own M. Zuiko Digital, designed exclusively for the Micro Four Thirds system.
Panasonic Lumix GF2
We know the GF3
just broke cover last week, but you can't dismiss the GF2 just yet, sporting a 12.1 Megapixels with multi-aspect Live MOS sensor, it's still a great camera. The kit includes a 14mm lens and you could actually capture 3D images with an optional add-on lens. Shoot full HD video capability and a 3" free angle touchscreen LCD gives you a moderate amount of screen to preview your photo. A built-in flash will help you out in low light conditions and with the Intelligent Scene Selector, the camera automatically switches to the appropriate mode according to the subject chosen via touchscreen.
This one boast 14.6 Megapixels and a 50mm lens with an optical zoom of 2.5X. We like the no frills design and the sleek and slim look. With a larger CMOS sensor comes better image qualit and the 3.0" AMOLED Display offers an accurate preview of your photo. The lens is pretty fast and let you capture events as they happen in real life. And without many dials or buttons on its body, most of the features are accessible thru the touchscreen with a consumer-friendly UI.
Editor: Note, the NX100 is not a Micro Four Thirds model and was incorrectly listed as one.