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Panasonic hopes to grow compact system camera market further

Panasonic G3
Panasonic's Mr Uetmatsu sees no reason why CSCs can't overtake DSLRs

Panasonic has high hopes for its micro four thirds range of cameras, suggesting that the market will continue to develop and grow, allowing the company to expand further.

According to Panasonic, the company is the third biggest player in the interchangeable lens market, and at the top spot for the compact system camera (CSC) area of the market. The Panasonic G3, released in May, is currently the best-selling CSC in the UK, along with being in the top five for all camera sales.

Speaking in London, Panasonic's Mr Uetmasu spoke of his hopes for the continued growth and expansion of the compact system camera. He made it clear that he did not believe that CSCs were second rate compared to DSLR.

Citing the rapid development in digital camera technology over the past 20 years, he said he could see no reason why compact system cameras could not catch up with DSLRs in the next few years in terms of image quality.

Sensor isn't everything

One of the biggest drawbacks of micro four thirds cameras is the smaller sensor size compared to APS-C and full-frame DSLRS. In a bid to counter this criticism, Mr Uetmatsu said, "Image quality is not only about sensor size, but also signal processing and optical performance."

Another area where compact system cameras have an advantage is in the camcorder market. A micro four thirds sensor is 10 times bigger than a consumer camcorder, which should result in higher image quality.

Panasonic was the first company to enter the CSC market with the G1 back in 2008, and has since introduced several models including the G3, GH2 and GF3. Uematsu described the original G1 as a "very small step in technology, but a big step for system cameras."

Mr Uetmatsu was also confident that we would be begin to see a greater expansion in the general compact system camera market. "Many manufacturers will introduce mirrorless cameras, but we have a distinct advantage because we are already two years ahead," he said.

Samsung, Sony and Pentax already have mirrorless models on the market, while Nikon has long been rumoured to be introducing its compact system camera soon.

In a previous interview with TechRadar, Mr Uetmatsu said Panasonic was currently working on an advanced GF model to sit at the top of the range.