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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1

Panasonic Digital Cameras


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Review

Review Date: Dec 22, 2008

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1
Mouseover image for back view

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2008

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 is the first of a new breed of digital cameras that features a large image sensor and accepts interchangeable lenses. Panasonic dubs this mirror-less DSLR as a Digital Interchangeable Lens camera.

The Lumix G1 is compact and elegant and targets those who are thinking of upgrading from their compact digital cameras (point-and-shoot or prosumer models) to a DSLR but who are hesitant due to the bulk and weight of the DSLR.

These users desire to upgrade to a DSLR for two main reasons:

  1. to obtain better image quality than their compact digicams provide; and
  2. to obtain faster performance.

The Lumix G1 addresses both of these concerns by: 1) using a much larger Live MOS sensor (compare the Live MOS sensor at 17.3 x 13.0 mm with the traditional 1/1.8-in. sensor at about 7.2 x 5.3 mm) and 2) using a new Contrast-Detect AF which works a lot faster than that used in current digicams.

With these two concerns handled, the Lumix G1 should be able to comfortably compete with entry-level DSLRs.

In addition, by doing away with the traditional reflex mirror / prism / viewfinder in a DSLR and instead using a high resolution Live View Finder (LVF) and Live View LCD display, the Lumix G1 succeeds in being the smallest DSLR ever -- even smaller than the current record holder, the Olympus E-420 DSLR. It is not pocket-sized but its large enough handgrip makes for comfortable holding.

The LVF sets a new standard in electronic viewfinders. Being electronic, it is able to give a 100% field of view and display all the information that usually appears only on the LCD. This SVGA EVF is bright, clear and sharp (technically, it has 800 x 600 = 480,000 dots but each dot reflects a red, green and blue signal very quickly in succession, so Panasonic claims it as having 1,440,000 dots equivalent). The LVF has a fast 60fps refresh rate for a smooth display. What should delight most users tired of small displays is how large the display of the LVF is: as large as the viewfinder display found on a full-frame DSLR!

The extra large 3.0-in. LCD is free-angle (i.e you can rotate it 180° side to side and tilt it 270° up and down) and has a high 460,000 dots resolution for a bright and sharp display. An Intelligent LCD function automatically increases the backlight brightness in bright sunlight according to the ambient light intensity and automatically adjusts the frame rate ("gains up") in dimly lit conditions according to the ambient darkness to help provide a better view in those challenging situations. The LCD is sharp enough to allow accurate manual focus. Its refresh rate is fast enough to allow tracking a moving subject.

An eye sensor besides the LVF automatically switches on the LVF (and switches off the LCD) when you look into it and switches it off (and switches the LCD on) when you remove your eye from it.

The Lumix G1 caters to both the point-and-shoot crowd with its Intelligent AUTO (iA) function, and PASM for full exposure flexibility and creative shooting freedom. Scene modes also help beginners ease into using the G1.

Other features include Dust Reduction and many of the features that Panasonic has popularized in its popular digicams. Two features not present are sensor-shift image stabilization (Panasonic sources Leica-branded lenses for the G1 and they include optical Image Stabilization already) and movie mode.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 is a Digital Interchangeable Lens camera that re-invents the DSLR and provides entry-level DSLR image quality and performance in a super compact and light body. It heralds a break from traditional DSLR development and is one of the most exciting digital camera introduced so far.

Read our Panasonic G1 review...

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Panasonic G1
QuickFact™ Sheet
  Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 US | CAN | UK | Panasonic Lumix  
  Type Digital interchangeable lens system camera  
  Recording Media SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, Multimedia Card  
  Image Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm  
  Mount Micro Four Thirds mount  
  Type Live MOS Sensor  
  Total Pixels 13.1 Megapixels  
  Camera Effective Pixels 12.1 Megapixels  
  Aspect Ratio 4:3 (Horizontal : Vertical)  
  Color Filter Primary color filter  
  Dust Reduction System Supersonic wave filter  
  Recording File Format JPEG (Design rule for Camera File System, based on Exif 2.21 standard), RAW, DPOF corresponding  
  Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2, 16:9  
  File Size 4:3 Aspect Ratio: 4,000 x 3,000 pixels, 2,816 x 2,112 pixels, 2,048 x 1,536 pixels
3:2 Aspect Ratio: 4,000 x 2,672 pixels, 2,816 x 1,880 pixels, 2,048 x 1,360 pixels
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 4,000 x 2,248 pixels, 2,816 x 1,584 pixels, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
  Image Quality RAW, RAW+Fine, RAW+Standard, Fine, Standard  
  Color Space sRGB, Adobe RGB  
  Type Live View Finder (1,440,000 dots equivalent)  
  Field of View Approx. 100%  
  Magnification Approx. 1.4x / 0.7x (35mm film camera equivalent) with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1  
  Eye Point Approx. 17.5 mm  
  Diopter Adjustment -4.0 - +4.0 [m-1]  
  Type Contrast AF system  
  Focusing Mode AFs / AFc / MF  
  Focusing Mode AFs / AFc / MF  
  AF Mode Face detection / AF Tracking / 23-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing  
  AF Detective Range EV 0 - 18 (ISO100)  
  AF Assist Lamp YES  
  AF Lock AF / AE LOCK button or Shutter button halfway pressed in AFs mode  
  Light Metering System 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system  
  Light Metering Mode Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot  
  Metering Range EV 0 - 18 (F2.0 lens, ISO 100)  
  Exposure Mode Program AE / Aperture Priority AE / Shutter Priority AE / Manual  
  ISO Sensitivity Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / Intelligent ISO  
  Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV Step ±3 EV  
  AE Lock AF / AE LOCK button or Shutter button halfway pressed  
  AE Bracket 3, 5, 7 frame, in 1/3 or 2/3 EV Step, ±2 EV  
  White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / Flash / White Set 1, 2 / Color temperature setting  
  White Balance Adjustment Blue / amber bias, Magenta / green bias  
  Color Temperature Setting 2,500 K - 10,000 K in 100 K  
  White Balance Bracket 3 exposures in blue/amber axis or in magenta/green axis  
  Type Focal-plane shutter  
  Shutter Speed 1/4,000 - 60 and Bulb (up to approx. 4 minutes)  
  Self Timer 2 sec / 10 sec / 10 sec, 3 images  
  Remote Control Remote control with bulb function by DMW-RSL1 (Optional)  
  Advanced SCN Mode

Portrait (Normal / Soft Skin / Outdoor / Indoor / Creative) / Scenery (Normal / Nature / Architecture / Creative) / Sports (Normal / Outdoor / Indoor / Creative) / Close-up (Flower / Food / Objects / Creative) / Night Portrait (Night Portrait / Night Scenery / Illuminations / Creative)

  SCN Mode

Sunset / Party / Baby 1, 2 / Pet

  Burst Speed 3 frames / sec (High speed) or 2 frames / sec (Low speed)  
  Number of Recordable 7 pictures (when there are RAW file with the particular speed)
Unlimited consecutive shooting (when there are no RAW file)
(depending on memory card size, battery power, picture size, and compression)
  Type TTL Built-in-Flash, GN11 equivalent (ISO100 · m), Built-in Pop-up  
  Built-in Flash Auto, Auto / Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On / Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync. / Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off  
  X-Sync Speed Less than 1/160 second  
  Flash Output Adjustment 1/3 EV Step ± 2 EV  
  Flash Synchronization

1st. Curtain Sync. and 2nd Curtain Sync.

  Hot Shoe

TTL Auto with FL360 / FL500 / FL220 (Optional)

  Type Low temperature Polycrystalline TFT LCD  
  Monitor Size Free-angle 3.0 inch / 3:2 Aspect / Wide viewing angle  
  Pixels 460,000 dots  
  Filed of View Approx. 100%  
  Digital Zoom 2x, 4x  
  Extra Optical Zoom Max. 2x
(Not effective with full pixel recording.
Magnification ratio depends on the recording pixels.)
  Other Functions Highlight Display
Guide Lines (3 patterns)
Real-time Histogram
  Color Standard / Dynamic / Nature / Smooth / Nostalgic / Vibrant  
  Black and White Standard / Dynamic / Smooth  
  Others My Film 1 / My Film 2 / Multi Film  
  Playback Mode Single / 12, 30-thumbnail display, Calendar display,
Zoomed playback (16x max.), Image rotation (except for RAW),
Slide show (duration is adjustable, also manual controllable),
Playback of favorite pictures / Resizing (selectable number of pixels),
Trimming / Protection / Aspect conversion / DPOF print setting
  Protection Single / Multi or Cancel  
  Erase Single / Multi / All / Except FAVORITE  
  Print PictBridge (Print size, Layout, Date setting is selectable)  
  Digital USB 2.0 High Speed  
  Digital Video MiniHDMI TypeC (1.3b corresponding)  
  Analog Video NTSC / PAL Composite (Switched by menu)
*Check the website of the Panasonic sales company in your country or region for details on the products that are available in your market.
  OSD Language English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Chinese(Traditional), Chinese(Simplified), Dutch, Thai, Korean, Turkish, Portuguese, Arabic, Persian, Japanese, Finnish, Danish, Swedish
*Check the website of the Panasonic sales company in your country or region for details on the OSD languages on the products that are available in your market.
  POWER PictBridge  

Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2 V, 1,250 mAh) (Included)
Battery Charger / AC Adapter (Input: 110-240 V AC) (Optional DC cable (DMW-DCC3) is required)

  Battery Life CIPA Standard : Approx. 330 images (LCD)
LVF : Approx. 350 images
with LUMIX G VARIO 14-45 mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.
  Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO -viewer- 2.1 E
SILKYPIX® Developer Studio 3.0 SE
USB Driver
  Standard Accessories Battery Charger / AC Adapter, Battery Pack, Body Cap, Video Cable,
USB Connection Cable, AC Cable, Shoulder Strap, CD-ROM
  Dimensions (W x H x D) 124 x 83.6 x 45.2 mm /
3.29' x 4.88' x 1.78' in.

Approx. 385 g / 0.85 lbs (Body only)

  MSRP (body only) US $ / CAN $ / UK  
  with 14-45mm kit lens US $799.95 / CAN $ / UK £599  
  45-200mm tele lens US $349.95 / CAN $ / UK £329.99  

- Press Release [US | CAN]

- Main Parts and Controls

- Image Samples

- 360° View

- Included Software

- Optional Accessories

*Shooting conditions: 23°C with 50% humidity; LCD on**; using a Panasonic SD Memory Card (512MB); Using the supplied battery; Using the supplied lens; Starting recording 30 seconds after the camera is turned on(When the optical image stabilizer is set to [Mode1]) ; Recording once every 30 seconds with full flash every second recording; Turn the camera off every 10 recordings.
**The number of recordable pictures decreases in Auto Power LCD mode or Power LCD mode.
CIPA is an abbreviation of “Camera & Imaging Products Association”.
•Weight and dimensions shown are approximate. •Design, functions, and specifications are subject to change without notice. •Some sample images are simulated. •Some accessories are not available in some countries. •The use of recorded or printed materials that are protected by copyright for any purpose other than personal enjoyment is prohibited, as it would infringe upon the rights of the copyright holder. •All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective corporations.

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

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