The Micro Four Thirds family is growing, with a handful of new companies officially coming on board
Today saw Olympus announce that five more companies are officially part of the Micro Four Thirds format. The group are primarily unrelated to still photography, and now Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd., JK Imaging Ltd., PHOTRON LIMITED, SVS-VISTEK GmbH and ViewPLUS Inc., are all on board with the most popular of the mirrorless camera systems.
We have a relatively good knowledge of two fo these companies. Blackmagic gained prominance for offering high-resolution digital cinema cameras at comparatively affordable prices, and JK Imaging has recently gained prominance for picking up the Kodak brand. While JK Imaging isn't a well known organization, they recently soft-announced a Micro Four Thirds Kodak camera, and are the same company that make GE branded compacts. There's a bit more background on the company here.
As for the others, Olympus has provided short blurbs on each company:
Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd. :
An Australian company established in 1984 that manufactures high quality electronic equipment for broadcast and video production.
Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd. Website : http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/
JK Imaging Ltd. :
An American company established in 2012, and the recently announced brand licensee for "KODAK" branded cameras, pico projectors and other digital imaging products.
JK Imaging Ltd. Website : http://www.kodakcamera.jkiltd.com
PHOTRON LIMITED. :
A Japanese company established in 1968 that provides manufacturing, sales and service of professional film and video equipment and photo- instrumentation.
PHOTRON LIMITED. Website : http://www.photron.com/
SVS-VISTEK GmbH :
A German company established in 2001 that develops, manufactures and distributes professional machine vision components and systems.
SVS-VISTEK GmbH Website : http://www.svs-vistek.com/
ViewPLUS Inc. :
A Japanese company established in 1998 that provides video equipment and the solutions which link communication and image processing as well as sensing technology.
ViewPLUS Inc. Website : http://www.viewplus.co.jp/english.html
It's interesting that most of these companies have little to do with the still photography market, which is were Micro Four Thirds is mostly known. However, given the format's popularity with budget filmmakers thanks to the Panasonic GH2 and GH3, the addition of other cine companies may be welcome. It'll be interesting to see what sort of products these companies end up producing.