Olympus replacing entry level DSLR's with Micro Four Thirds?

A few weeks ago I reviewed the Olympus PEN E-PL1, and I was pleasantly surprised. The performance of SLR in the casing the size of a compact camera really is amazing. Well it seems Olympus thinks the Micro Four Thirds system is good enough to replace their existing entry level DSLR. Very confident Olympus, but can the Micro Four Thirds really keep up with a DSLR? Depends on the usage.

My belief is that buyers of entry level DSLR’s are in many cases posers (not all cases!) who want it purely for the image quality, not the manual controls that a DSLR offers. Think about it – how many times have you seen users of DSLR’s simply leave the camera on Auto? That is the market that the Olympus PEN is perfect for. For users who want excellent image quality that a bigger sensor offers, but most of all, ease of use. Sure, they can switch to manual mode if the need arises, but they dont want to carry around a big old DSLR for the once in a while those manual modes are needed.
Here is the official statement:

“œWe do not have concrete plans to replace the E-620 and other recent SLRs. The entry level SLR class can be completely replaced by the Pen system in terms of performance.“ -Toshiyuki Terada, Product manager of SLR Olympus Planning Department

Brave move Olympus. But I think you might be on to something…