Surprised that it has taken this long, but camera manufacturers are finally beginning to realise that APS-C size sensors can fit in compact cameras thus potentially giving them the capability to output DSLR-like picture quality. Seriously, what took them so long?
Sony today announced the Alpha NEX-series of compact camera with APS-C size sensor and interchangeable lens. The NEX-3 and NEX-5 will feature a third generation Exmor APS-C size CMOS sensor with 14.2 effective megapixels. The NEX-5 supports AVCHD 1080i HD video recording whilst the NEX-3 will support 'a mere' 720p. Looking around at previews, the NEX-5 is even smaller than the Panasonic GF1, and that has a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor. It will also sport the same sweep panorama feature that work so brilliantly in cameras like the HX5.
If the price is right I'll getting one for sure. The NEX-5 with the 16mm pancake lens will be perfect for sneaking into gigs.
Update: the price is comparable to the GF1 (which I now dub as the fat one). The Sony NEX-5 + 16mm will be my next compact, that much is certain. Now to save up!!! So excited!