Now, what matters is that another of the big names in photography is announcing a new mirrorless system. First it was the micro4/3 system, introduced by Olympus/Panasonic; then was the turn for Samsung. And now Sony.
What is curious to me is that precisely the two main players in photography, Canon & Nikon, have announced nothing thus far in this category of cameras; furthermore, Sony (inheritor of the Minolta technology) only showed wood prototypes, not functional. The hows/whys on this timing escape my understanding, since it seems obvious that big budget brands such as Canon should have a clear advantage to design & market, before anybody else, what looks arguable as the future for massive photography; it seems to me that advanced amateurs, who consider even the high end compact cameras to be severely limited, are the natural field for these new cameras, and it has all the looks to become a very strong category in the market. Why Canon and Nikon are still ignoring this category is hard to understand.
Another important aspect is that we are, once more, entering a war of standards: after the proposal of the micro4/3 system, one could have some hopes for standardization, enabling to swap lenses from different brands to cameras of different brands. But the systems from Samsung and Sony will be completely different, and presumably any further system from the gorilla players will also use proprietary formats: this is, on the one hand, a pity for consumers, forcing them to select a system; on the other hand it favours diversity, so that there will be very different approaches from the different players, and maybe, overall, that is the best situation for the photographer.
All in all, it seems we are in the dawning of a new era in photography; whether this is for good or bad, who knows at this point. But certainly the new mirrorless systems are marking the end of the huge reflex cameras, as far as amateurs are concerned.
I personally love my Pentax K10D, which is certainly huge compared to the systems here discussed; but the precision of its images, and the comfort of its viewfinder, remain priceless to me. Maybe technology will reach a point where the current limitations of electronic viewfinders and autofocus in mirrorless cameras are overcome; yet at this time, I stick to the K10D everytime I am serious about shooting (and I say this with regard to my also beloved Fujifilm Finepix F30, whose image quality is not matched by the slow functioning).