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Panasonic Announces Lumix DMC-G1

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Panasonic Announces First Micro Four-Thirds Camera And Lenses

Panasonic has announced the first model in what should prove to be a revolutionary new camera system. The Lumix DMC-G1 is the first camera to feature the new Micro Four-Thirds lens mount system, allowing most of the advantages of a digital SLR in a more compact body format.

The main differences to the existing Four-Thirds system, used by both Panasonic and Olympus in their current digital SLR ranges, are a 50 percent shorter mount-to-sensor distance (approximately 20mm) and a 6mm reduction in lens mount diameter. This means that lenses, particularly wide-angle and long-zoom types, can be smaller and lighter. The new mount also has more electrical connections, allowing more sophisticated in-lens systems, such as Pansonics’s MegaOIS optical image stabilisation system. The G1 can also accept existing Four-Thirds lenses by means of an adaptor.

The G1 camera itself is smaller and lighter than a conventional DSLR. It dispenses with the traditional reflex mirror and pentaprism optical viewfinder in favour of a fully articulated wide-view three-inch monitor, with a resolution of 460,000 dots and 60fps refresh speed. It can rotate 180 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically and has 100 percent frame coverage, with the same 3:2 aspect ratio as the sensor. The camera also has an electronic viewfinder with a massive 1,440,000-dot resolution, 1.4x magnification and 100 percent frame view. It employs “RGB 3-independent sequential illumination to produce 180 fps for each of the three colours”, so it sounds like it should produce a good smooth, sharp view, essential for accurate manual focusing.

Despite the smaller lens mount the Four-Thirds sensor remains the same physical size as in previous models. The G1 has a 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor combined with Venus Engine HD image processing. The sensor is protected from dust entering the camera by a Supersonic Wave self-cleaning system.

The G1 is aimed at first-time users, so it has a feature set similar to Panasonic’s high-spec compacts, including Intelligent Auto with Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Exposure, Face Detection AF/AE, Intelligent Scene Selector and AF Tracking. For more advanced users it also includes My Colour mode, with adjustable colour, brightness and saturation. It also has a Film mode, which simulates the results from many different types of film. Although the press release makes no mention of it, it’s probably safe to assume that the G1 has manual exposure options as well. The camera features HDMI output, enabling connection to compatible HD TV sets.

As well as the new camera, Panasonic has also launched two new lenses to go with it, the LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH and LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6, both of which feature the Mega O.I.S. optical image stabilisation system. Also available are a range of accessories including three external flash units, a soft case, a remote shutter release and several shoulder straps. Unlike digital SLRs, the DMC-G1 will be available in a range of colours, initially black, red and blue. The DMC-G1 and its lenses will be available from November 2008, at a price to be announced closer to the launch date.

Of course this launch does raise an interesting issue of what to call this new type of camera. It’s not a DSLR, since the “R” part of that acronym refers to the reflex mirror, which the G1 doesn’t have. Since photographers and camera journalists all over the world will wince with pain every time someone in marketing or advertising refers to the new camera as a DSLR, we clearly need a new term. How about Interchangeable Lens Compact, or ILC for short? Make your suggestions in the comment section please.

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Go to comments

SpiderJacek

September 12, 2008, 4:01 pm

Looking like a really nice camera (at least on paper). Any ideas about pricing and availability?





Digital Single Lens Compact (DSLC)


Micro Four-Thirds (MFT) or &#1813/4 or &#181FT



Frazoire

September 12, 2008, 4:05 pm

How about Single Lens Micro Type ie SL&#181T for its acronym, that'll get some headlines :)





Hopefully the price will be like bridge cameras/entry-level DSLRs alkthough they'll probably want to make a fast buck on new technology

Ed

September 12, 2008, 4:27 pm

ILC works for me.

Kazzaz

September 12, 2008, 5:58 pm

I really want one .. its amazing

HH

September 12, 2008, 6:11 pm

DSLNR (Digital Single-Lens Non-Reflex

Lumerist

September 12, 2008, 9:15 pm

ILC or DSNLR is OK! No FZ"60" then, just G1. Answers most of my wants; when 14-145(?) lens is introduced next year, maybe ALL of my wishes will come true! Price may determine success or not; but remember APC SLRs - I still have one! (takes good pics, too).

Hans Gruber

September 13, 2008, 5:39 am

Panasonic call their new micro Four Thirds format camera the Full-time Live View Digital Interchangeable Lens Camera, so I guess that's either FTLVDILC or FLVDILC. I think I prefer ILC too or maybe DSLEV (electronic viewfinder)?





Worth noting is that the (micro) 4/3rds system means you've got to double the lens focal distance so the 14-45mm lens becomes a 28mm-90mm walkabout lens whilst the 45mm-200mm offers the equivalent field of view of a 90mm-400mm lens. It's maybe a shame both lenses appear to be quite slow. What happens when traditional 4/3rds lenses are put on the micro 4/3rds camera (with adapter) then? :/





For me, it's full frame all the way. I can hack the weight. ;) Bah. Yes, maybe one day the reflex mirror will be obsolete - it seems to make sense now electronic live view has crept on to DSLR bodies. I don't want to lose the use of my existing SLR lenses though... I wouldn't mind a lighter (and smaller) system though! Hmm...

Cliff Smith

September 15, 2008, 1:33 pm

Quote: "What happens when traditional 4/3rds lenses are put on the micro 4/3rds camera (with adapter) then?"





Since the sensor is the same size the magnification factor should be the same, i.e. 1:2

Cliff Smith

September 16, 2008, 5:21 pm

UPDATE: Panasonic has sent me some new pictures, which I've added to the news item.

prem 2007a

September 18, 2008, 6:52 am

Hi,





I have read a lot about G1 techonology.Eventhough I don't know whether G1 will click in the market,I admire Panasonic engg for their outstanding work.And if G1 Kit which includes LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH and LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6 is shipping with a price slightly higher than their FZ28;then its going to be g8 for the non-professionals considering the fact that a 4/3rd can never beat a full frame dslr.





But I guess this is one big leap towards technology.Why adament on carrying a bulky mirror box in ur dslr cameras !!!Whats bad if the same technology will be adapted for the new generation dslr ?? I think then there will be a g8 cut down in price as well as weight of the camera.





G1 has all features you might dream about in your camera except the fact that you can uses too many lenses as for now.For those who want a slightly more better images that any compacts or superzoom in the market & to get that "feel" of using a DSLR,this G1 seems to be worth of.





G1 seems to be full packed performer until and unless we get the 'real price' & the ture verdicts from respected people like Mr.Cliff Smith.Till then we have to wait.





http://panasonic.net/pavc/lumi...








Since this isn't a DSL'R'...& still a compact in its size... I would like to call it....





DSLCombo or may be UDSL(ultra DSL) or as it uses a micro 4/3rd may be just call it





DSLM .....wow seems good he he





Wow I would like to see a news letter in TR with the title Panasonic launched it first DSLM camera.





That was just too greedy na !









prem 2007a

September 19, 2008, 5:48 am

Last day in World Tech News i head G1 will cost around $800 ie about 400 pounds !They didn't make it clear whether kits is included in this price !

Charles Stephens

September 28, 2008, 4:57 pm

How about,ISL or SLI; the i refering to interchangable lens.

prem 2007a

November 7, 2008, 9:42 am




Mr.Cliff Smith,





Sir,now that the G1 is in the market.According to me eventhough the features are really good,price wise its totally disappointing.With that kind of money in purse I can buy a decent DSLR kit.I got a chance to use this camera (just 15-20 minutes).Its a really cute cam.Looks totally different from all the cams realeased till now.I liked it very much.But I don't have that much knowledge to evaluvate the accurate picture quality or performace of any cam.Thatz too though a job to do.I couldn't try this camera at night or any dark conditions either.Nor had the 45-200mm lens with it then.





So I request & expect a nice review where the performace is rated for the night shots & also performace with both 14-45mm 45-200mm lens included.If you could include a standard 4/3 lens too working with the latest Panasonic micro 4/3 firmware update will be soulfully appriciated.Hope you know how important is this.





Expecting a positive reply from you.





Thankfully.





Prem

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