First Micro Four Thirds mount digital camera (no mirror box or optical viewfinder)
12.1-megapixel Live MOS image sensor delivers 4000 x 3000 pixel images
3 fps for unlimited JPEG or 7 RAW frames
ISO from 100 to 3200
Venus HD Engine image processor
60 frames-per-second, high-resolution EVF
3.0-inch articulating LCD
SD and SDHC media
Supersonic wave dust reduction filter
Micro Four Thirds lens mount (compatible with Four Thirds lenses via adapter)
(From Panasonic literature) Panasonic has announced the world’s first Micro Four Thirds system camera, the LUMIX DMC-G1, the world’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera, weighing in at approximately 385 grams (0.85 lbs).* Based on the new Micro Four Thirds System standard, the LUMIX G1 eliminates the internal mirror structure that defines digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, thus reducing the size and weight by nearly half.** With the mirror-less system, the G1’s flange back, which is the distance between the mount and the image sensor, has been reduced from 40 mm – as specified in the Four Thirds System – to approximately 20 mm.
The new Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 will enhance the advanced photo quality and flexibility made possible by the Four Thirds™ System, and with its innovative design, consumers will appreciate the portability of a smaller camera body and lenses. The G1 will be available in mid-November as a kit with the new LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S lens. Also available in November, and announced today, is the LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S.lens.
“With the LUMIX G1, we are filling a void that has existed for a long time in the digital camera market because consumers wanted the power of an SLR, but previous models were bulky and inconvenient,” said David Briganti, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “The LUMIX G answers this challenge as consumers can benefit from the flexibility of changing lenses; a quick Auto Focus; and a sensor that produces high-quality photos. By packing all those powerful assets into an extremely compact body with easy-to-use features familiar to point-and-shoot users, we are excited about G, as it brings new possibilities to the consumer.”
The LUMIX G1 is also the world’s first interchangeable lens camera that will come with color variety – with availability in black, blue and red models – allowing consumers to personalize their style through color, something very popular with point-and-shoot camera models.
For current Four Thirds users with a collection of lenses, an optional mount adapter will allow Four Thirds lenses to be compatible with the LUMIX G1.*** Also, today, with the introduction of the Micro Four Thirds System, Panasonic is announcing a wide-variety of accessories including: External Flash DMW-FL220(GN22); PL Filter: DMW-LPL52; Mount Adapter: DMW-MA1; Battery Pack: DMW-BLB13; DC Cable: DMW-DCC3; Soft Case: DMW-CG1; Soft Bag: DMW-BAG1; Shoulder Strap (Stylish) DMW-SSTG1-A/C/R; Shoulder Strap (Woven) DMW-SSTG2-W; Shoulder Strap (Leather) DMW-SSTG3-T.
The G1 is also compatible with current accessories: External Flash: DMW-FL360(GN36)/DMW-FL500(GN50); ND Filter: DMW-LND52; MC Protector: DMW-LMC52; Remote Shutter: DMW-RSL1; HDMI mini Cable: RP-CDHM15(1.5m), RP-CDHM30(3.0m).
The G1’s compact size can also be attributed to its electronic full-time Live View Finder, as opposed to a conventional optical viewfinder. The electronic Live View Finder, with an impressive and high-resolution 1,440,000-dot equivalent, allows the user to shoot the exact image the camera sees while also displaying information about the camera’s settings through the view finder. The G1 also features a clever built-in eye sensor, so the camera can detect when the user is nearing the view finder and automatically switches off the LCD, thus conserving battery life. Furthermore, the Live View Finder has a large 1.4x (0.7x on a 35mm equivalent) magnification and when using the G1 in manual focus mode, the frame in the view finder or LCD will enlarge by 5x or 10x (can adjust using the dial).
The Live View Finder and the bright 460,000-dot resolution, 3.0-inch LCD provide a 100% field of view, letting the user adjust settings before taking a shot, which is a great learning tool for consumers beginning to use manual controls as they can visually confirm the effects of changed settings. The LCD can also swivel 180 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically, giving the consumer flexibility to take high and low-angle shots, and its Auto Power technology will automatically boost brightness by as much as 40% depending on the shooting condition so it remains visible in all lighting environments.
The G1 introduces a new Contrast AF (Auto Focus) function that is not only accurate and easy to use, but also very fast. Users can choose from a wide-range of AF modes, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, and AF Tracking. In the 1-area AF mode, the AF frame size can be changed by simply turning a dial. The G1 also has a Quick AF function that begins focusing as soon as the user aims the camera – no need to wait to press the shutter button halfway. This provides quicker focusing that can help capture the subject before the crucial moment passes.
Users familiar with point-and-shoot digital cameras, and new to the world of advanced interchangeable lens cameras, will benefit from Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto (iA) mode. When in iA mode, the G1 will detect the shooting condition and automatically adjust for the ultimate shooting results. Panasonic’s iA includes the following intuitive technologies.
AF Tracking – Automatically tracks the subject as it moves, keeping it in focus without the need to hold the shutter halfway down.
Intelligent Exposure – Helps prevents photos from being under- or over-exposed by analyzing the framed image and adjusting the brightness in areas that are too dark because of dim lighting, backlighting or the use of the flash.
MEGA O.I.S. – Gyrosensors detect hand-shake and the lens system shifts to compensate, helping to prevent hand movement from creating a blurry image.
Intelligent ISO – Determines if the photo subject is moving and changes the ISO setting and shutter speed accordingly, thus giving a blur-free photo.
Intelligent Scene Selector – Senses the ambient conditions and will automatically select the appropriate mode from Scenery, Portrait, Close-up, Night Portrait or Night Scenery.
Face Detection – Detects faces in the frame (up to 15 faces), even if they are moving, and selects optimal focus and exposure settings so portraits come out clear. Also features Digital Red-Eye correction.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1, a 12.1 Megapixel camera, also includes the following advanced features.
Live MOS Sensor – Provides the best of both worlds with high image quality from a CCD sensor, and the lower-power consumption of a CMOS sensor. New technology makes it possible to read four channels of data simultaneously and deliver 60 frames-per-second full-time Live View images.
Venus Engine HD – New imaging processor enhances noise reduction and provides independent gradation control for each of the R, G and B colors.
Supersonic Wave Filter Dust Reduction System – Designed to prevent dust from adhering to the image sensor by vibrating 50,000 times per second, the filter repels dust and other particles.
My Color Mode – Users can freely adjust the color, brightness and saturation while composing shots, allowing for more expressive and creative shots.
HDMI Output – With an optional HDMI cable, the G1 can connect to an HDMI-capable High Definition television, such as a Panasonic VIERA Plasma or LCD. When connected to a VIERA, using VIERA Link capability, the TV’s remote control can direct the slideshow on the G1.
My Menu – This new tab automatically stores the five most recently used menu selections for quick, convenient retrieval. The custom-setting can also be used to program a frequently-used function, which can be activated by pressing the down arrow on the cursor key. The color of the menu viewed on LCD can also be changed to three different colors: black, red, blue.
Pricing for the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 and its Micro Four Thirds accessories will be announced in early October.
* As of September 12, 2008.
**Compared to the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-L10.
*** Needs an adapter (available as an optional accessory) to use Four Thirds lenses. Lenses that are not compatible with the Contrast AF function can be used with manual focusing. There are also some limitations to other functions. For details, see the following customer support site: http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/index.html
Would you recommend the product? Yes |
Total Spent: $600.00| Rating: 10
Small, light, & great amateur camera
Good things always come in small package.
The G1 is one of those point & shoot cameras that can produce excellent image quality without the need to be bulky, heavy, & complicated!
Registered: June 2009 Posts: 1
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 review by NoVaLarry
Review Date: 6/2/2009
Would you recommend the product? No |
Total Spent: $660.00| Rating: 4
compact, usually responsive, quiet
Wow, what a nice piece of engineering! But I have mixed emotions about it as a camera:
I liked the hardware (a stop faster lens would have been nice);
the user's guide is a disgrace;
the firmware is almost good, but its shortcomings really frustrated me.
The camera's feel and appearance were very good; the lens movements felt a bit loose; not sloppy, but too easy to turn: it felt like plastic. But I'd gladly live with it as a kit lens given its test results.
I actually liked the video viewfinder; it was comfortable, responsive, and it worked very well. I liked the idea of the focus assist, but the firmware is off. The diopter was easy to adjust and worked well. The view finder was a tad tight with my glasses on, but it was acceptable. I liked the hardware.
[The sensor sits up close to the flange with no obstructions around it: part of my buying decision was the (forlorn?) hope that someone will make a reasonably priced shift lens or adapter for it.]
I bought the camera and spent Saturday and Sunday in my chair trying to relate the camera to the manual; that proved difficult to do. The writing was not clear, but the real problem was that it did not track with the camera's menus. For example, the manual said to go to the quick menu to select the histogram and its location, but I finally found those choices on the detailed menu. The discussion of the built in flash describes the traditional lock out election that prevents the flash from firing at all (the icon was the usual lighting bolt within a circle with a slash), but that choice is not available in the menu. The manual also describes an automatic mode as triggering the flash whenever it is necessary. My assumption is that the manual is wrong and that you have to specifically release the flash for it to pop up and function -- keeping it down is the functional equivalent of the wrongly described lock out mode; popping it up enables the "automatic" modes (so it's not truly automatic). But I shouldn't need to make assumptions. The same type of mismatches between the manual and the camera made for several painful days.
I DO NOT recommend this camera for anyone who actually reads or uses the manual.
All of the features that I didn't like related to the firmware rather than the camera itself. I would have eventually learned my way around the camera and its manual, but I can't edit the firmware. The two areas that bothered me the most were the focus assist and the automatic bracketing:
Focus assist works as I expected in manual focus: Zoom to compose, then, as soon as you touch the focus ring, the display enlarges the central section 5x to allow easier focusing. Your index finger can turn a dial just below the shutter button to switch the enlarged display between 5x and 10x. When you touch the shutter release button, the display reverts to it's normal display allowing you to compose and take the shot. I would markedly prefer the focus assist to come up in 10x and then allow me to switch down if I wanted to (although I doubt that I ever would), but the camera's menu does not allow that selection. It's not clear how you will turn on the focus assist with a lens that's not part of the micro 4/3s system; I hope that the capability is there, but I couldn't find it. Without the assist, this viewfinder is very difficult to focus with -- it's not optical so you don't have any of the normal aids such as microprisms and the image is too small to focus without an aid.
Focus assist is also available in auto focus, but it's virtually unusable (this mode is menu selected -- it's not default): you push the shutter release part way and the camera auto focuses. At that point you can turn the focus ring to adjust the focus using the same dial-selected 5x - 10x enlargement. BUT . . . you can no longer revert the enlarged image back to normal because you've already partially depressed the shutter release, and if you release it to revert to normal display and then take the shot you've lost the manual adjustment that you just made. The problem is that the camera is programmed to stay in focus assist for 10 seconds before it reverts to the normal display -- it feels like it's a GREAT deal longer than that. I wish the menu permitted me to select a delay as short as 1/2 sec after I stopped adjusting the focus. The existing firmware would be fine when I'm shooting off of a tripod because I'd not need the camera to be particularly responsive. But I'd like a camera to walk around with: grab a shot on automatic to make sure that I capture it, then, if it's worth it, adjust to make sure that I've got the exposure and focus that I'd prefer and take a follow up shot. The existing, 10 second delay would keep me from ever using AF with focus-assist hand held.
Automatic bracketing seemed to work well, but Panasonic again applied the Microsoft approach and decided what increments I want to apply -- 1/3 or 2/3 steps. . . . that's it. That's fine for exposure bracketing, but I've been interested in trying high-dynamic-range merges, and this bracketing does not permit an automated 2 stop bracket. Panasonic also decided what sequences I would want -- I would like to be able to apply the bracketing in three sequences: (1) the -steps, the 0 step, and then the +steps; or (2) 0, -, +; or (3) 0, +,-. The first two sequences are selectable on the menu, but Panasonic does not offer the last sequence, and that's the sequence that I'd most prefer.
I've called Panasonic support three times without ever finding a person that knew *anything* about the G1. Panasonic might have already built in solutions to each of the problems that I encountered, but its manual provided no help and neither did its support system. So I assumed that I would have had to live with the camera "as is" for a long time.
All in all, the G1 comes very close to being a lovely little camera, and maybe Panasonic will issue a firmware update that corrects what I view as defects. But the existing G1 doesn't offer menu choices to control functions that I would use every time that I took it out. So I packaged it up and returned it.
An update and a qualified recommendation.
On day 4, a Panasonic service rep returned one of my earlier calls. He was very pleasant and knowledgeable about both photography in general and the G1 in particular.
He explained that the focus assist does work in AutoFocus:
Ensure that preview hold is off
partially press the shutter to auto focus and then remove your finger from the button
press **and hold** the AF lock to bring up the focus assist's enlarged view
adjust the focus manually
partially press the shutter to revert to normal display (you could also click the function wheel below the shutter button)
compose and shoot
release the focus lock button.
That process should also work with the "shoot without lens" function on so that you can use it with an adapter and a manual lens.
If you have small and nimble hands, seriously consider this camera. My hands are large, and there's no way that I could contort them to accomplish those steps; I'd be a comic act trying to do them while looking through the viewfinder. This is a small camera, which was part of it's appeal -- it should be a great street camera. But not with my hands.
The rep did confirm that the rest of my concerns could only be corrected if Panasonic issued a firmware update.
One daughter's hands would fit the G1; she'd use and its features and like it. My wife and other daughter would like it as a super P&S, but wouldn't begin to use its functions. So seriously consider it if you're looking for an automatic camera because using it that way would moot all of my concerns. If you're considering the Canon G10, look at this G1 also -- it seems to offer a lot more. But, if you're looking for a digital SLR, I'd still say NO because I couldn't use its features.