Often times, I hear people talk about their cameras as if they are classes in one's college education. They don't want to get a newer camera until they are comfortable that they've figured out their current digital. I find that, as somebody who takes his photography very seriously, that I have a mental model for photography that I simply try to fit as well as possible into the camera that currently is in my hands, so this idea becomes foreign to me.
Despite my film-shooting bent, I do like to keep up with the digital scene as well. This is all rampant speculation based on the available facts, given that nobody's dropping any expensive loaner hardware on my doorstop anytime soon.
Digital cameras need a computer processor inside to do their imaging magic, just like a lot of devices. My cellphone has one. My wife's iPod has one. Unlike my cellphone, which isn't advertised as having a Moto-Blast processor or something silly like that, some of the camera manufacturers have given their processor a name...
So Panasonic has announced their Micro 4/3rds camera. It is a cute and tiny SLR-shaped camera, not the rangefinder some of us were hoping for....
With the colors and other such features, the word on the Internet is that it's aimed at the female audience. I don't think it'll really make sense until the 20mm f/1.7 lens comes out, assuming that it's a pancake lens. Also, it won't autofocus with standard 4/3rds lenses nor does it do video.
The biggest excitement, clearly, is the market of second camera bodies for people who already have one good body. It looks like we're starting out with live-view compacts, and that's fun, but I'm pretty sure that there are some other ideas out there. I've got a few brainstorms...
This came up the other day on the photo discussion list at work, where one of the guys pointed out one of the many millions of flame wars on the subject and stated that there had to be one correct answer to the question of how the 1 over focal length rule (meaning if you have a 50mm lens, you need to have your shutter at least at 1/50) applies to digital SLRs with crop-factor.
There are a lot of half-truths going around about photography. Generally, the various photographic equipment companies spread one or two of them, and then the various photography magazines and megasites play along because they realize that to go against what the photography companies want is a great way to not get access to the latest and greatest for review.
If I look at the advances in sensors and sensor processing that are coming out of the labs and sometimes even shipping in products, I realized something interesting. The game has changed at the research labs. See, previously, the goal was to make a sensor that had the highest resolution. Now, the goal is to still ship sensors with more megapixels but without changing the "real" resolution. And this may be a good thing.
One of the central arguments of the 4/3rds mount was that digital camera sensors were destined to stay small, thus, a new mount for these smaller sensors, with a smaller lens throat and registration distance so that the lenses could be smaller and lighter, only covering that 4/3rds mount size. Of course, Olympus kinda screwed it up.