|Upon arrival of a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 test sample, it is tested in our DIWA Lab. The technical data of the rigorous tests are processed and translated into understandable data. Inside the lab, testing takes place in standardized circumstances. An environment in which cameras, both compact and system concepts can be compared without a problem. Besides that, the Panasonic Lumix G1 camera is extensively used in practice and evaluated as for operation and shooting in practice. This combination of lab tests and the testing in practice, results in a final conclusion that is carefully reviewed. |
|White balance & Color reproduction tests
The color reproduction that the camera reaches during the technical DIWA Lab tests is precise and fairly accurate. The differences in reproduction of the Gretag Macbeth Color Checker and that of the camera are measured over the ISO range of 100 - 3200. The chart shows a similar curve at which ISO 800 offers the most precise color reproduction. Also very precise is the white balance measurement at which the Panasonic G1 camera turns out to set an extremely precise manual white balance. An environment with an overflow of incandescent and fluorescent light influences the performance of the auto white balance. However, setting the white balance manually will get you the best result.
ISO settings on the Panasonic G1
The specifications of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 claim an ISO setting range of 100 - 3200. In the DIWA Lab, measurements of the effective sensitivity of the image sensor are also carried out. These tests usually come up with different values than those claimed by the official specifications. Differences that can't always be explained but are mostly caused by the manufacturer wanting to get a better grip on the signal/noise ratio. Measurements for the LUMIX G1 came up with an average deviation of 36.5%. In other words, the actual ISO is an average of 36.5% higher than the claimed value. A deviation of 20-25% is generally the average.
DIWA Labs test - ISO values
The setting range up to 3200 ISO should offer sufficient playground for the Panasonic LUMIX G1, to be able to take pictures in difficult light circumstances. In practice however; we found out frequently that the image quality we had in mind was not reached, especially with high ISO values. A grainy result is the last thing a photographer has in mind, on the other hand, thanks to the application of a high ISO he was still able to make the picture instead of not having one at all. What's more important is for each person to decide. The lab tests show a fine result for the Panasonic G1 up to and including ISO 800, apart from the blue channel that drops a stitch even at 800 ISO. Higher ISOs up to and including 3200 are difficult to use and should only be considered in case of an emergency. Something that does help is the Mega O.I.S. image stabilization system in the lens which enables you to avoid the use of high ISO values.
|Dynamic range rates superb
One thing that is superb on the Panasonic LUMIX G1 is its dynamic range. Up to and including ISO 800 it offers an excellent result, after that a descending line for the high ISO settings, yet still a fine result. This is important to know, whilst the ability to reproduce detail in difficult dark and light areas, adds strongly to the image quality. The measurements of the DIWA Lab clearly show that the Panasonic G1 finds itself on the same level as a standard DSLR camera. The potential is definitely there, which is a step closer to our dream of a super compact camera with exchangeable lenses.
Excellent Panasonic Lumix G Vario lens
If you're familiar with Panasonic's cameras, you will probably know that the brand name LEICA is frequently used to boost the lenses. This is why it is striking to see the kit lens of the Panasonic LUMIX G1 having to do without the LEICA inscription. The real reason has not been revealed, although I can imagine that the introduction of the new standard (Micro FourThirds system) is the right time to lead the lenses under the name of LUMIX. And that it indeed deserves the quality label is proven by the data coming from the DIWA Lab tests. The LUMIX G VARIO f/3.5-5.6 14-45 mm ASPH lens performs well, no exceptions.
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm lens
If we look at the outcome of the tests when it comes to sharpness, we see an excellent result. From maximum aperture f/3.5 up to and including f/16 the sharpness is excellent from the centre to the edges. A result we don't see often for a kit lens. When it comes to distortion, the result is the same. No actual distortion at all is detectable with the naked eye. Even the technical lab tests show hardly any measurable distortion. The lens shows an unbelievably consistent result over the entire aperture range as for distortion, superb!
Cromatic aberration & Vignetting
One item that makes many lenses of DSLR combinations stumble is chromatic aberration. Small traces of chromatic aberration are visible only on the edges of the lens at telephoto and aperture f/4-f8, other than that, the results are clean or at least hardly visible. Also a strong result for this lens as far as vignetting is concerned. Only at full aperture in wide angle distortion is visible, which is not unexpected. The other aperture values again show a superb result over the entire focal range.