|The first thing that strikes you when taking the LUMIX G1 in your hand is the nice rubber-like 'skin' as coating for the camera. This coating is fairly unique and offers a pleasant grip. It is soft and sticky at the same time, thus offering a good grip on the camera. The design of the Panasonic G1 is quite similar to that of a digital SLR camera, however, it also resembles an advanced compact camera. The 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens is extremely compact and looks almost like a miniature, also because of its compact diameter. It's astonishing to see that Panasonic has achieved a zoom lens this compact, including the MEGA O.I.S. image stabilizer of Panasonic. |
|Supported Lumix lenses for the Panasonic G1
A nice extra is the availability of three different colors of the housing. I suggest we get this choice more often. The Panasonic G1 is available in red, blue and traditional black. On the front, the new metal Micro FourThirds mount is found, supporting Panasonic's Micro FourThirds lenses. In addition, an optional adapter (DMW-MA1APP) enhances the possibilities in supporting the current FourThirds lenses. However, not all of these lenses will be able to work with the contrast detection AF. Rumour has it, that possible firmware updates might overcome this. In addition to the current 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 MEGA O.I.S. a second Micro FourThirds lens is available: a LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm f/4.0-5.6 MEGA O.I.S. lens. During the Photokina, two additional lenses were evaluated, which we expect to be introduced at the beginning of 2009; a LUMIX 20 mm f/1.4 pancake and a LUMIX HD 14-140 mm f/4.0-5.6 lens. Striking is the fact that the LEICA brand name cannot be seen on the lens. What we do see, is a gold colored 'L' on the front of the housing.
Command dial of the Panasonic Lumix G1
Just like on a standard DSLR, the lens can be demounted and changed. The basic actions remain the same. You can't miss the large command dial on the top side of the camera. It offers access to the main programs with a loud and perceptible click. Below the dial, two switches are positioned, among which the on/off switch. The shutter release is placed on top of the handgrip. The latter seems to have an ideal size. The hand simply fits perfectly around the grip at which a finger is able to operate one of the command dials directly. To the left of the built-in flash, with support of a hot shoe for external flash units, we find a small command dial with access to various focus modes.
Panasonic G1 equipped with 3" display and a high resolution viewfinder
The back of the Panasonic LUMIX G1 is dominated by the large-sized 3 inch LCD monitor, with above it a high resolution electronic viewfinder. It is a luxury being able to fold out the monitor and tilt it! A small comment however on folding out the monitor; it requires two fingers, at the top and the bottom of the monitor in order to get a good grip on it. There should be an easier way. To the right of the monitor, a handful of tiny buttons is found that are easy to operate. Top right on the back of the camera, some space is left to place your thumb. In practice it occurred, unfortunately, a number of times that I unwillingly touched one of the tiny buttons with my thumb. This left me without Live View during shooting and getting to see the menu, without asking for it. To prevent this from happening, there should be some sort of lock function, like the ones you find on mobile phones.
|Memory and battery compartment of the Panasonic G1
Panasonic has placed the card slot with SD and SDHC card support in the handgrip. It makes 32GB storage capacity become available. The bottom of the handgrip is also the battery compartment for the Li-Ion battery. A safety catch prevents the battery from falling out when the compartment is opened. A metal tripod, also found here, enables working on a tripod.
Design doesn´t unveil that the Panasonic G1 stand out from the crowd
The Panasonic LUMIC DMC-G1 does not yet reveal what Micro FourThirds is able to do when it comes to size. Some interesting designs are shown by design concepts. Whether or not they will be produced remains to be seen. The Panasonic G1 has a small weight and is only a tad heavier than the Olympus E-420 DSLR. At first sight, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 won't even be that striking. The camera will stand out from the crowd thanks to its color and the large vari-angle monitor. And this might be a difficult task for the selling parties.