The micro four thirds standard combines the strengths of SLR cameras and compacts:
- interchangeable lenses
- larger sensor format (still only about 1/4 of a full frame sensor, but about 6 times the size of a typical 1/1.8" sensor found in a compact camera), which allows better performance at high ISO values
- relatively small, comparable to a large compact (like the FZ50)
- full manual controls
- continuous live view (with the downside that you don't have an optical viewfinder)
At a rumoured price of a little over $1500, this isn't really cheap, but for that price Panasonic includes a 14-140mm lens (28-280mm equivalent) , which has been optimized for HD movies and offers 1/6 step aperture control (up to a certain value).