The big news in cameras is actually pretty small. A new format with the wonky name “micro four thirds” (referring to the image sensor’s size and 4:3 aspect ratio), combines the interchangeable lenses of an SLR with the compact body of a point-and-shoot. The first model, Panasonic’s G1, is about the size of the most petite SLRs but uses even smaller lenses. A design concept from Olympus shows the potential for more-diminutive future models.
On the upside, you get the other benefits of an SLR in a compact package. The G1’s 12.1-megapixel image sensor, though smaller than most SLR’s, is about six times as large as a high-end point-and-shoot’s. Bigger sensors absorb more light to capture richer details and colors, especially in dim settings. And the ability to change lenses lets you shoot anything from extreme close-ups to wide shots to a warped fish-eye view. Best of all, you’ll finally have room to pack all those lenses in your bag.
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