Camera makers aim to trim camera depth by half

Digital cameras that can use lenses from different vendors could be up to 50 percent smaller in the future, two camera manufacturers said Tuesday.

Digital cameras that can use lenses from different vendors could be up to 50 percent smaller in the future, two camera manufacturers said Tuesday.

Olympus and Matsushita Electrical Industrial, which makes Panasonic-brand products, will work together to produce smaller, lighter cameras with interchangeable lenses based on the "Micro Four Thirds System."

The companies already produce cameras based on the "Four Thirds System," so called for the shape of its image sensor, which has a width:height ratio of 4:3. Many high-end digital cameras still use the 3:2 ratio popularized by SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras using 35-millimeter film.

Olympus and Matsushita's Micro Four Thirds System will keep the same image sensor, 21.6 millimeters across the diagonal, as in Four Thirds System cameras, but reduce the distance between the flange of the lens mount and the back of the camera where the sensor sits, known as the flange-back distance.

The space savings come from removing an essential feature of SLR cameras, the mirror box that allows the viewfinder to show the same image that is caught by the image sensor. Micro Four Thirds System cameras will use the display screen on the camera back as a viewfinder.

To make the cameras still smaller, the diameter of the lens mount will be reduced by 6 millimeters, to 44 millimeters.

The changes mean that future interchangeable-lens cameras can be smaller, but still accommodate wide-angle and high-power zoom lenses that can outperform what's available in compact digital cameras, the companies said.

Olympus and Matsushita will develop interchangeable lenses and compact camera bodies adhering to the Micro Four Thirds System, but neither gave an indication as to when products could hit the market.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?