This model is Panasonic’s answer to the latest craze – the micro four thirds miniature cameras. If you don’t already know, the micro four thirds cameras bring DSLR-like quality into a body as small as a compact. Lets put the DMC-G1 to the test!
The G1 is a result of a joint venture between Panasonic and Olympus – the micro four thirds system. This system allows for interchangeable lenses, but does away with the prism and the reflex system – making it a true hybrid between a DSLR and a compact.
It also means a micro system camera is considerably smaller and lighter than a full four thirds system, and the lens-sensor distance is practically halved, making it a micro body. But there’s more to the micro four thirds than just a reduction in body size. The lens mount is 6mm smaller in diameter, but having 11 electronic contact points as compared to the conventional 9. The designers believe this helps smoother operation in the live view mode, and overall quicker exchange of information between the lens and the camera. So what happens to your existing range of four thirds lenses, if you get a micro body? Have no fear, a lens adapter (readily available), is all you would need to invest in apart from the camera body itself. The G1 houses a sensor similar to a conventional four thirds sensor, having a 13MP resolution, and measuring 17.3 x 13mm in size. We were impressed by the Intelligent auto mode on the G1, which auto selects a suitable scene mode based on the nature of subject.
The camera comes with an excellent LCD – three inches wide, and resolution of 460,000 dots. The LCD is also a vari-angle model that can swivel up to 270 degrees, allowing you to view it from different angles. Further, the absence of a mirror mechanism means you rely completely on the G1’s electronic view finder, which is the best in its class by the way. We loved the sensors thoughtfully placed by the makers – bring your eye close to the EVF, and it turns on automatically just as it turns OFF the LCD – so you never waste battery power having both ON! As with most four thirds cameras, the G1 offers a dust reduction mechanism, working in tandem with a supersonic wave filter.
Micro four thirds camera are here to stay! The G1 is a fine example of more models to come in the near future. It is a true hybrid as small as a compact and as versatile as a DSLR. One can expect to see a range of models coming out in the series, with the G1 as a yardstick to judge the successors by. we expect this camera to do extremely well, especially keeping in mind the possibility of using existing four thirds lenses with a readily available converter ring. We endorse this product without hesitation.