By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Panasonic is the first to launch a digital SLR camera in the new Micro Four Thirds system it has developed with Olympus. The new Lumix G1, available in November, is a 12.1 megapixel camera with a 4/3 inch Live MOS image sensor.

Micro Four Thirds is a standard developed by Panasonic and Olympus. It is a spin off of the Four Thirds system, created by Olympus and Kodak, which gets its name from the size of the image sensor as well as its 4:3 aspect ratio, as opposed to the 3:2 aspect ratio of other DSLR sensors that are based on the 35 mm film format.

The Four Thirds system allows different manufacturers to manufacture lenses and bodies that are interchangeable with other brands. It is a standardised system adopted by Fuji, Kodak, Leica, Olympus and Panasonic.

Micro Four Thirds utilises the same sensor size and aspect ratio as Four Thirds, but the system eliminates the mirror and pentaprism required by SLR film cameras and also used by DSLRs, including Four Thirds models. Having no mirrors reduces the size of the camera body, making Micro Four Thirds cameras the smallest DSLRs on the market.

“For people who have been hesitant about moving up to an SLR camera, the G1 is a perfect fit,” said Panasonic Australia category manager, Mobile AV, Alistair Robins.

“The G1 offers the performance of a digital SLR without the weight and bulk. This small, sophisticated, easy-to-use camera will greatly expand any user’s photographic capabilities and will open the door to a world of fun and unlimited creative possibilities,” he said.

The Lumix G1 will be available in both single and twin lens kits when it first goes on sale in Australia in mid-November.

The Single Lens Kit with Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. lens will be RRP $1,649.

The Twin Lens Kit, RRP $2,199, will include the Lumix G VARIO 14-45 mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. lens and the Lumix G Vario 45-200 mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S.