Panasonic Australia has announced the upcoming release of the world’s first Micro Four Thirds System Camera – the Lumix DMC-G1 – the world’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera, weighing around 385 grams.
The new G1 features an innovative mirror-less design, allowing the development of an ultra-compact, light-weight body. With the mirror-less system, the G1’s flange back, which is the distance between the mount and the image sensor, has been reduced from 40mm – as specified in the Four Thirds System – to approximately 20mm. The camera also incorporates advanced Intelligent Auto functionality and Full-time Live View for point-and-shoot simplicity.
This groundbreaking new camera breaks with the tradition of conventional digital SLR cameras, as it is neither bulky, heavy or hard to use. With the superior picture quality made possible by a 4/3-type 12.1-megapixel Live MOS image sensor (the same physical-sized sensor as used in Panasonic’s digital SLR cameras); and the choice of three colours – black, blue and red – to suit the user’s personal style, the new-generation Lumix G1 is unlike conventional digital interchangeable lens cameras.
Live View Finder
The LUMIX G Micro System achieves ultra-portability and ease of use by the adoption of a high-resolution electronic Full-time Live View Finder, instead of a conventional optical viewfinder. The G1 incorporates a high-performance 1.4 million-dot-equivalent electronic viewfinder system that reproduces the outstanding characteristics of an optical viewfinder (as the viewfinder receives its signal direct from the Live MOS sensor) and boasts 100% field of view, like the viewfinders on professional digital SLR cameras. It also has the added advantage of displaying information about camera settings that the user can see without taking their eye from the subject. A clever built-in eye sensor automatically switches on the viewfinder when the user looks into it, then switches it off and turns on the LCD when the user looks away from the viewfinder.
The G1’s Live MOS sensor also gives users the benefits of Full-time Live View when viewing the Free-Angle 3.0-inch LCD. The Live MOS sensor sends signals continuously at 60 frames-per-second to the LCD for real time Live View. Like the viewfinder, the LCD also provides a 100% field of view, allowing accurate, corner to corner framing. Its sharp 460,000-dot resolution lets the photographer check fine details when composing an image or viewing a shot just taken. When using the G1 in manual focus mode, the frame will automatically enlarge by around 5x or 10x for easy viewing in the Live View Finder or high-resolution LCD with Manual Assist function. You can use either auto focus or manual focus with Full-time Live View.
Additionally, the LCD can swivel 180 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically, giving the user the flexibility to take low-angle and high-angle shots easily and comfortably. When the ambient light changes, the Auto Power LCD function intuitively changes too, automatically boosting brightness by as much as 40%, depending on the lighting conditions, so the screen is easy to see at all times.
Micro Four Thirds System
With the G1, Panasonic has developed an entirely new-concept digital camera. The versatile G1 accepts both Micro Four Thirds System interchangeable lenses and conventional Four Thirds System lenses (when an optional adaptor is mounted) made by a variety of manufacturers, greatly expanding the range of lens options available. The G1’s ground-breaking structural design means interchangeable lens cameras no longer need to be big and heavy – a drawback that’s deterred many potential users.