Two years ago I bought a G1. And have loved it for several reasons: (1) compact size (doesn't feel like I'm hauling a boulder around my neck), (2) good image quality, (3) decent optics (I LOVE the 20mm f1.7 and of course the option to use lenses with an adapter as I've seen on this forum is nothing short of astounding), (4) nice bright EVF that doesn't feel like you're looking through a peephole (as you do with a typical APS-C DSLR) and (5) the articulating rear LCD (which allows viewing at low and odd angles and makes portraiture a wondrous experience because the camera feels like I'm using a Hasselblad or twin lens reflex.
But I was never wild about the brief blackout. And wished I could get more pixels for larger images at 300 dpi. Noise was tolerable (I shoot mostly at ISO 320 and Lightroom handles artifacts with total aplomb) but any improvements in that area would be welcome. Color accuracy is still extraordinary in my book.
Much as I liked the optics I have to admit I've secretly lusted for Zeiss, having had a taste of them in the 80's when I had my beloved Contax 139 (I also lust for Leitz which I had with an R4sP and, later, an M6 and Digilux but today, while I, alas, sold my optics when I went digital and Leitz said it was IMPOSSIBLE to make a DRF, that option is simply, economically-speaking, not in the cards).
Now Sony has unleashed the A55. A svelte DSLR with an EVF as opposed to a smallish optical finder that rivals (if not betters) the latest crisp EVF offering from Olympusonic (1.5 mp I believe), an articulating LCD and a sensor which if I'd read all the press from Sony about it, is 'backlit' a technology that promised less interference on pixel sites from wires and whatnot while delivering lower noise at higher ISO's--a problem Sony seemed to have in the past on ALL their models right on up through their flagship A900. So shooting at higher ISO is now somewhat more of an option (even though I know I'll continue to shoot around ISO 320, my proven ISO sweet spot for all around clarity and IQ).
Now for the good news (or at least my interpretation of the possibility but I may be wrong here) a semi-reflective PELLICLE (a la Canon's classic film SLR) as opposed to a complex mirror box for continual monitoring of light (enabling LIVE view) and, wonderfully, continual phase detection AF. And, what I hope, continual viewing through shutter release with NO blackout (again I could be wrong here) now giving you the advantages of a DSLR (with, by one estimate, sacrificing a third of a stop in light gathering as a result of the fixed PELLICLE mirror), a hybrid (bright, crisp EVF in a compact body), a shoot from any angle bright, contrasty, crisp, articulating (Sony, of course) LCD AND...the continual viewing you get digital rangefinder (and oh yeah the GFI and PEN's with their optical and/or EVF--but they DON"T have the articulating LCD).
Add to that Sony's Zeiss lineup which includes such wonderful performers like the 16-35mm (read 24-52.5mm) f2.8, the upcoming 24mm (perfect 36mm) f2, the 24-70mm (36-105mm equiv.) f2.8), the 85mm (127mm) and the utterly flawless 135mm (202mm equiv.) optics.
And the ability to make really fine 12 x 18" prints at a very respectable 270 dpi with room to spare for crops and enlargements....
All for $749 (US)???????????
Count me in.
(Plus I can now use the lenses if and when I decide to get a FF Sony...but now I'm not so sure it'll be all that necessary. The A55 may trump the higher res DSLR's with the extras it offers and its approach to digital photography that the DSLR's do not for me).