Excerpt: Panasonic's new Lumix DMC-G1 isn't a DSLR. Yes, you can remove the lens, and the camera's $800 street price (with 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens) makes it more expensive than some entry-level DSLRs. But this tiny interchangeable-lens electronic-viewfinder model represents an entirely new class of camera. The G1 is the vanguard of the Micro Four Thirds system, a format meant to bridge superzoom EVFs and DSLRs.
Conclusion: The Panasonic Lumix G1 is “the world’s smallest” interchangeable lens camera at the moment. It works like a digital SLR, takes pictures like a digital SLR, is as expandable as a digital SLR… but it takes away the mirror box (and thus the optical viewfinder) so it can be small and quiet. Despite the “world’s smallest” claim being true, the G1 isn’t exactly what you’d call tiny or pocketable.
Pros: Very good image quality; automatic color fringing and redeye removal, Small size for interchangeable lens camera, Very good live view implementation; focusing speed rivals digital SLR competitors, 3 inch flip out and rotate LCD and super-high resolution electronic viewfinder, Customizable mode dial position and function button, Great for beginners: Intelligent Auto, face detection and good kit lens, Quick performance, Full manual controls (As you would expect)
Cons: Noise at ISO 1600 & 3200; need post-processing to deal with that, Camera is more expensive than competing digital SLRs; and pricey accessories, Below average battery life (versus other digital SLRs); no battery grip option, Restricted choice of lenses at the moment, normal Four Thirds adapter is expensive, Very plain and basic playback mode, Lacks any sort of movie mode
Summary: The G1 introduces an entirely new category of digital camera. At a suggested retail price of USD 800 in the USA (can be found for less), it is competitively priced. More like an SLR than a point-and-shoot, it has a myriad of useful features. The numerous controls and options mean that a neophyte user may be dismayed at first. Yet, it also means that there are enough features to warrant months of investigation.
Conclusion: Panasonic is the first out of the gate with a camera that's built around the new Micro Four Thirds lens standard, which promises SLR-quality images from a smaller camera and lens. But the Lumix DMC-G1's body is bulky enough and its image quality marginal enough to keep it from being the game-changer we were hoping for.
Pros: Uses new "Micro Four Thirds" standard, which allows for a smaller body and lens than comparable entry-level D-SLRs. Solid image quality at ISO 100-800. Large, articulating 3-inch LCD. HDMI-out.
Cons: Not much smaller than a D-SLR. No optical viewfinder. Excessive noise at higher ISOs. Longer shutter lag than traditional D-SLRs. No video-recording capability.
Conclusion: You might not think it as you watch as the endless stream of new digital camera models flowing by, but true innovations - never mind revolutions - are pretty rare in the photographic industry. The Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera is a case in point; the fundamental design has remained the same for almost 60 years, adapting with ease to the digital era (the biggest revolution in imaging since the Box Brownie), getting gradually more sophisticated as technology advanced.
Pros: JPEG output shows impressive detail at base ISO, superb resolution (especially in raw files), Natural and appealing tones out of the box, Good balance between noise reduction and detail retention - usable images up to ISO 1600, Very snappy performance throughout, Very quick write speeds, Good ergonomics all around, excellent build quality, nice handling, Large number of external controls including a very useful 'push-and-turn' dial, Very useful status panel and quick ...
Cons: Currently fairly limited choice of lenses and accessories, Optional adapter required for standard Four Thirds lenses, most won't allow autofocus (those that will focus do so noticeably slower than the kit lenses), Steep tone curve (JPEG) and approximately 0.5 EV less dynamic range in the highlights than the competition can lead to clipping, No video recording, Fairly low powered flash (but good flash metering), Electronic viewfinder difficult to use in low light (very...
Conclusion: Panasonic Lumix G1 Micro Four Thirds camera system The media warmly and enthusiastically received the introduction of the Micro FourThirds system. And although the announcement was made by Panasonic and Olympus together, Panasonic managed to surprise the entire world press by presenting the world's first Micro FourThirds camera at the last Photokina 2008 show. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 became the talk of this event.
Excerpt: Panasonic's new Lumix DMCG1 isn't a DSLR. Yes, you can remove the lens, and the camera's $800 street price (with 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens) makes it more expensive than some entry-level DSLRs. But this tiny interchangeable-lens electronic-viewfinder model represents an entirely new class of camera.
Summary: As the debut model of a brand new standard, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 is a rare, exciting and brave camera. Like all debut models it exclusively represents the benefits of the new standard and its relevance in the market, while also having to work hard against established rivals. Having used the Lumix G1 for some time now, we’d say it succeeds strongly in both respects.
Pros: Compact but comfortable body., Large and detailed viewfinder image., Flip-out screen with detailed image., Easy to use and good user interface.
Cons: Viewfinder noisy and jerky in low light., AF restrictions with Four Thirds lenses., Battery life below most DSLRs., No movie mode.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Review is based on a
production model. All sample images are unretouched,
except where specified. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 has turned the DSLR world on its head with the first mirror-less Digital Interchangeable Lens camera that provides pretty much most, if not all, the features serious and advanced photographers have come to expect from a DSLR and, in addition, throw in practical features from the point-and-shoot world that DSLRs are now...