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General Electric will make “Micro Four Thirds alike” cameras…


A few readers sent me the link to CNET Asia. There is an article about General Electrics who said that “GE is looking to introduce its first Micro Four Thirds-like camera before the end of 2011“. This doesn’t mean they will join the m43 group. They will make a mirrorless camera and stop. By the end of the year 2011 almost every big company will have their own mirrorless camera and we will finally know if some of them will join m43. Those are the companies that still have to decide what to do:
– Sigma
– Fuji
– Canon
– Epson
– Cosina/Voigtländer (already in with lenses, but no details about cameras yet)

Interesting to know that Epson already made a digital mirrorless (or better “rangefinder”) camera, the Epson RD-1 and Cosina is well known for their analogue BESSA cameras. Both companies are using the Leica M-mount. Sigma and Fuji officially expressed their intention to make a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. But we have no details about their strategy. I do believe that Leica, Nikon and Pentax will make their own systems and not join m43. What about Canon? They said they don’t need to develop a mirrorless camera (and they don’t think the Fuji X100 will sell well-> Source Quesabesde).


  • Robbie

    I hope the camera is not nuclear-powered

    • I, on the other hand, hope it is. We all need more radiation in our lives. How else are we going to mutate into superior beings?

    • Paulus

      +1 !!!

  • Igorek7

    Any specific reasons to consider the GE would not able/interested to pursue the MFT ILCs? Financially, they are not doing too bad, and they are quite advanced for example in medical imaging. Sure, they are focused currently in the basic consumer P&S cameras, but imagine if they, for example, would buy the collapsing Kodak, who is a member of MFT. The problems in Japan may give some hope for a newcomer.

  • Bob B.

    It is fun to speculate…ie..that is what this website is all about! It is interesting that Canon almost seems arrogant about the whole mirrorless market. (Nero fiddled whilst Rome burned?)… that I find surprising. Perhaps they are hiding something…. Epson and GE???…I am just going to disregard as they are not companies that I look to for camera innovation. Maybe printers and washing machines, respectively…but not a serious imaging device. Sigma has just never been on my radar as the company seems to consistently produce products that are “almost” there…but never quite measure up to the competition and are time-lagging behind… The Fuji X100 is a perplexing novelty…where I personally have to agree with Canon…(Don’t get me wrong….I LOVE cameras and photography). I don’t think it will sell that well. The X100 is a REALLY cool offering…but at a $1200 price-point…I think the fixed lens it too limiting for that much money. I am intrigued by it (and its incredibly cool viewfinder), but will not buy one because I can grab my GF1 with a pancake, stick a spare lens in my pocket or more in a messenger bag, and have sooo much more fire power..(and unless you are pixel peeping who would know except at high ISO) Accustomed to this style of shooting the Fuji is going to seem very limiting to me. I can wait a year or less and pick up a new improved Micro 4/3 sensor-body to use with my existing lenses…which will come very close to the Fuji image quality.
    The cool thing is …there are soooo many great products to choose from out there…and image quality is at this point..over the top!!!! :)

  • thm

    GE cameras are not made by General Electric. The cameras are made for and sold by General Imaging who licences the GE name and logo from GE.

  • It’s a shame that every camera manufacturer insists on launching its own mount. M4/3 presented a great opportunity to share a standard across brands, which would have focused R&D efforts throughout the market. However, the good old predatory strategies live on. Does the market really need six or eight similar systems?

  • I, for one, am sticking with M4/3 precisely because it is an open standard. We should reward the corporations that are behaving in a less predatory manner and at least _trying_ to spread standards that would be good for the consumer, instead of relying upon upgrade barriers and proprietary lenses to limit their customers’ movement in the market.

  • Rob. S.
  • ty

    Is the mount format really that important for the mirrorless market? For the longest time, I wanted a m43 camera, and at the time of my purchase, the NEX offering was better and I went with that.

    My rationale was, I will not spend a lot of money on the Emount lens (and the fact is there is not much I can choose either) but I will build up my legacy lens collection so I can easily switch from one system (NEX) to another (m43) comes the next camera upgrade time with an adapter change. The beauty of all mirrorless systems is the short lens to sensor distance, enabling a multitude of lens to be used on the camera.

    So GE can create yet another standard, I have no problem with that. Having said that, I don’t think they will fly though because of the name brand. HP tried to get into the camera market couple years back and ended up in failure. I expect GE will follow HP’s foot step. I guess the only thing different is that the lens is interchangeable. I might get the GE as a digital back for my legacy lens, if the price is right, I mean really low.

    • spam

      That’s fine for you and other people who are happy with manual focus. I’d guess that 95% or more want AF and then getting people to select a particular mount is pretty important for the companies involved.

  • I was under the impression that the image circle for legacy C mount lenses (amongst others) is too small to properly expose a APS-C sensor? Heck, many of these lenses are a bit too tight even for the 4/3rds sensor. If there is space for another EVIL standard, I would try for a sensor size like that in premium compacts, like the s95 and LX5, not APS-C or (if the rumors are true) a tiny 1/2.33 sensor like in the upcoming Pentax system. Particularly if video focused, such a small interchangeable lens camera could be popular, as it would have slightly more light gathering capability and far more flexibility than a traditional consumer camcorder, and be very very small to boot.

    • 1/2.3 is more than 5 times crop factor. Imagine how wide the native lenses would be. Even a 20mm wide angle 35mm lens would become 112mm equiv.

      How fun would legacy lens become with that ?

      • spam

        Great for birders

        • Alfons

          I’d like to add:

          With the resolution of an old lens with some dust inside, put in front of a digital sensor which it was never ment to be used with.

    • Jules

      Shallow DoF oftens leaves for desire on 43 sensors. It certainly won’t be a killer feature on the upcoming Pentax system.

      One has to understand the compromise: When a legacy lens is sharp from corner to corner, the price tag is generally there as a reminder. With such crop factor, no shallow DoF will hide anything. Soft images will look soft. Not dreamy. soft.

      • Jules

        I think its mostly intriguing to see what native lenses Pentax will come up with.

  • compositor20

    well for birders an 85 with be like a 400 f1.8 and those 100 f2 lenses will be like a 500 f2… and that would be very small and usefull if the sensors can have the same quality as canon s95 specially if the lenses are sharp

  • Oliver

    They should just join 4/3 and m4/3 instead. There are a lot of great lens manufacturers already there. What’s Sanyo doing in the group? They should at least develop a sensor and/or a body.

  • doug nash

    The company is “General Electric” with no “s”.

    That would be interesting to see what they might put to market. Panasonic & Olympus have their own little niche with the M4/3rd standard. But neither are doing anything to advance the overall quality or capability of their cameras. Just coming out with new models doesn’t actually count. They have to advance, and touch-screens don’t quite count. There’s a good reason that there is so much interest in a camera like the Fuji X100.

    Hopefully, competitors like Sony, Fuji & (maybe) GE will light a fire that will really create a great market for the consumer looking for a more advanced, enthusiast-oriented product.

  • The GH2 seemed like a big advance to me. We just need to see that sensor tech elsewhere.

    • Bob B.

      Aaron ..I agree…now if Panasonic will just put that sensor in a smaller body that is more stills-oriented (less video) and bring the price down…I will be saying…who needs a Fuji X100!!!!!

  • Paulus

    General Electric should make safer part systems for nuclear power plants instead!
    Or even better – close the production of these devil machines forever!!!
    Greatings from Fukushima …

    • Chris #2 – Electric Buggaloo

      Or, the governments shouldn’t allow power plants that aren’t engineered to withstand natural disasters to be built in the first place! It’s not the parts of the nuclear power plants that aren’t bad.

  • Crossing fingers that some other company would use 43-sized sensor.

  • CKDexterHaven

    You want the word “like”, not “alike” in your title there. You have it right in the quote in the body of the posting.

  • Miroslav

    Well, since you mention Epson and Cosina, that hardly make any digital cameras, than you should mention that Casio, Kodak and HP are undecided on mirrorless as well.

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