New models deliver technology advances for photographers of every level
PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-G1
D-SLRs offer the advantages of interchangeable lenses and big image sensors for top image quality, while compact digital cameras offer the advantages of extreme portability and simple operation. Enter the first Micro Four Thirds System camera, Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-G1. The Micro Four Thirds system uses the same 17.3x13.0mm image sensor as the original Four Thirds System, but eliminates the SLR mirror/pentaprism assembly (an eye-level electronic viewfinder is provided instead), resulting in a much more compact package: the DMC-G1 is the world’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable-lens camera.
No SLR Mirror Assembly
The SLR “hump” has been retained to maintain the SLR look, but that’s a 1.4-megadot, Live-View electronic viewfinder above the LCD monitor. Eliminating the mirror assembly means designers could reduce the distance between the lens mount and image sensor, and thus the depth of the camera. Removing the moving mirror also makes for less vibration and quieter operation. The button to the left of the viewfinder lets you choose between it and the LCD monitor; a nearby eye sensor automatically switches the LCD off when your eye approaches the viewfinder.
The DMC-G1 doesn’t use sensor-shift image stabilization, but several of its lenses (including the 14-45mm Lumix G Vario zoom packaged with it) incorporate MEGA O.I.S. (optical image stabilization), in which lens elements are shifted to counter camera shake. This system has the advantage of stabilizing both the recorded and viewfinder images.
Swiveling Live-View LCD Monitor
The 3-inch, 460,000-dot LCD monitor has a 3:2 aspect ratio, one of three the camera is capable of shooting (the others being 4:3 and 16:9). A 4:3-ratio monitor couldn’t have been as wide and still fit the tiny camera. The monitor swivels 180 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees
vertically for easy odd-angle shooting.
Like compact digital cameras, the DMC-G1 uses contrast-based AF rather than typical D-SLR phase-detection AF. Unlike the systems in the compacts, though, the system used in the DMC-G1 is fast. There’s even a continuous mode with AF tracking for moving subjects. There are 23 AF areas; you can activate them all or select any of them, and change the size of the AF frame by turning a dial.
|Image Sensor: 12.1-megapixel (effective) Live MOS |
Resolution: 4000 x 3000 pixels
Sensor Size: 17.3x13.0mm (Four Thirds), 2x
AF System: 23-area contrast type
Shutter Speeds: 1⁄4000 to 60 sec., X-sync up to 1⁄160 sec.
ISO Settings: 100-3200 (full-step increments)
Continuous Firing Mode: 3 fps
Recording Format: JPEG, RAW
Metering: 144-zone, CW, spot
Storage Media: SD, SDHC
Dimensions: 4.9x3.3x1.8 inches
Weight: 13.6 ounces
Power Source: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Estimated Street Price: TBA