Panasonic new G1: big things, small package

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: While the Lumix G1 is a small lightweight DSLR, thanks to the Micro Four Thirds system which uses no mirrors, the camera packs a lot of features into the small body.

The G1 is not a cut-down DSLR, it is highly featured, which is reflected in the relatively high price for this new technology — RRP $1,649 for a 14 – 45 mm single lens kit and RRP $2,199 for a 14-45 and 14 – 200 mm twin lens kit.

The Micro Four Thirds system, like the Four Thirds system, was designed from scratch for the digital imaging format. Micro Four Thirds is the newest generation of DLSR imaging technology. The system also does away with mirrors inside the camera body, thus reducing the weight and the size of the cameras.

“The LUMIX DMC-G1 writes an entirely new chapter in the evolution of photography ,” said Panasonic Australia category manager, Mobile AV, Alistair Robins.

“It offers the best of both worlds — combining the high image-quality of an SLR sensor with the ease-of-use of Intelligent Auto and small form factor of a compact camera, thanks to its innovative design.

“With the G1, photographers will enjoy the advantages of Full-time Live View when using both the LCD and the electronic viewfinder, giving them the ultimate viewing and playback ease. This is one of the ways Full-time Live View uses digital technology to give the photographer valuable and user-friendly new features and functions.”

Intelligent Auto is Panasonic’s ‘automatic’ mode which automatically selects various camera settings to create the best image under the lighting conditions, among other settings it selects the ISO, aperture and shutter speed. So it means the image will be clear and correctly exposed so the user just needs to concentrate on composing the shot.

Without having any mirrors in the body, the Micro Four Thirds system uses an electronic viewfinder instead of an optical viewfinder. Panasonic states that the G1 electronic viewfinder system incorporates a 1,440,000-dot-equivalent image that reproduces the effect of an optical viewfinder and offers a 100 per cent field of view, like optical SLR viewfinders. A built-in sensor automatically detects whether the user is looking through the viewfinder or just using the Live View LCD display and switches the image between the two accordingly.

The Live MOS sensor sends signals continuously at 60 frames-per-second to the LCD, which also provides a 100 per cent field of view and a 460,000-dot resolution. The LCD can swivel 180 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically for different viewing positions. It also adjusts the brightness of the LCD according to the ambient lighting conditions.

Other features of the G1, include high definition video capture, 23 focus areas in the image frame, Quick AF autofocus, a dust reduction system that repels dust and other particles and various scene modes for different image effects.

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