Is smaller really better? That seems to be the trend lately for many camera manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic. Recently Sony announced the NEX-C3, what they called the 'smallest interchangeable lens camera'. Before it was even availble, Panasonic didn't wait too long to steal that thunder. The new Panasonic GF3 (I just bought the GF2 - wth?) comes in just a tad smaller and takes away Sony's short lived title.
As for smaller Interchangeable Lens cameras go, my bet is the GF3 will be the better performer on the market with it's already huge following in the Micro Four Thirds world. There also seems to be more support and compatibility for adapting any type of lens. Right now, i'm having fun with the GF2, and it's been a blast using those inexpensive C-mount lenses. So if you're current DSLR is weighing you down on vacation, these are the new smaller models that are both available for Pre-order via Amazon.
While there are some Panasonic GH2 cameras available at current rip-off prices, the older GH1 is stepping back into the spotlight. Previous GH1 cameras with older firmware could be hacked into what was called the GH13 or GH1.3. The hacks provided more features than the standard GH1, which included higher video bitrates and additional framerates. After a certain firmware version, later sold GH1 cameras were considered 'unhackable' and this was discouraging. Well just a few days ago the hacking geniuses finally got things going again, and now state that all GH1 cameras can be 'hacked' along with some other models like the G1, GF1, and G2.
The great thing about the MFT cameras are that you can adapt pretty much any lens to it. The GH1 is even a great 'stills' camera for the budding photographer. So if you're looking for a Micro Four Thirds camera body that can capture high quality video and photos, you might want to re-consider the older discontinued GH1s while there are still some in stock at these discounted prices.
On a side note there really isn't good deals on the GF1. If you're a smaller rangefinder sized camera type of person, the GF2 which has a faster processor is also in stock with a $100 dollar instant savings found here:
Panasonic GF2 with 14-42mm
I picked up the Panasonic GF2 camera lately because I wanted something small and really lightweight. Sure you can adapt Nikon or Canon lenses, but that took so much away from being 'small and lightweight'. An excellent solution for Sony NEX and Micro Four-Third cameras are to use CCTV or 'C-Mount' lenses. Here's an excellent video test from Vimeo member Dario Viola showing the quality of these inexpensive lenses. These C Mount lenses are normally used in very small security cameras, but they've become a popular choice for many M43 shooters. You'll find many CCTV lenses with fast F/1.4 and F/1.7 apertures for about $30 dollars.
You can't go too wide without seeing the inside of these small lenses, but for the GH2 you might be able to use crop mode to use just the center of the lens (eliminating the barrel ring on the edges). The most popular sizes for the NEX5 and GF1/2 cameras are the 25mm F/1.4 and 35mm F/1.7. Keep in mind that M43 is a 2x crop, so a 25mm is more like a 50mm F/1.4. I'm picking a few of these up to use on the GF2 and will post results soon after receiving. You can find other C Mount lenses below.
If you've got a Panasonic GH2, or other Micro Four Thirds camera, you'll know what this lens is. It's been tough to track down lately when they went out of stock because it's just that awesome for a MFT camera. Luckily I grabbed mine months ago, and it's been on the GH2 as the primary lens. My GF2 also came with the 14mm Pancake, which is another popular and highly recommended lens for these MFT cameras. More than likely this new shipment of the 20mm won't last very long, so if you've been waiting patiently here's a chance.