Panasonic shrinks Digital SLR cameraPanasonic announces revolutionary Lumix DMC-G1.

12 September 2008

Panasonic Lumix G1 red

Panasonic has announced the world’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable-lens camera - the Lumix DMC-G1.

Digital photography took a step forward today, as electronics giant Panasonic unveiled the revolutionary 12.1Megapixel G1. It's based on the new Micro Four Thirds System standard, and by removing the mirror found in standard DSLRs, the size and weight have been reduced by nearly 50%.

“We are filling a void that has existed for a long time in the digital camera market, because consumers wanted the power of an SLR, but previous models were bulky and inconvenient,” said David Briganti, Panasonic's National Marketing Manager for Imaging. “The Lumix G answers this challenge as consumers can benefit from the flexibility of changing lenses; a quick Auto Focus; and a sensor that produces high-quality photos, in an extremely compact body with easy-to-use features familiar to point-and-shoot users.”

It will be released in mid-November, with a 14-45mm/f3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S lens, and in black, blue and red. We will be sending it to our test lab as soon as it's available, but if you can't wait, Which? has reviews of other Panasonic cameras, including Best Buy DSLRs and compacts.

Rich mix of features

The G1 features list boasts AF Tracking , Intelligent Exposure, image stabilisation, Intelligent ISO and scene sensing, and face detection, which are available on other cameras across Panasonic's range. Other advanced features include, a Live MOS Sensor, an update to Panasonic's 'Venus HD' image processing engine, a supersonic vibrating dust reduction system , and HDMI output.

It also benefits from an electronic Live Viewfinder, with an impressive high-resolution 1,440,000-dot equivalent, that allows the user to shoot the exact image the camera sees, while also displaying information about the camera’s settings through the view finder. There's also a clever built-in eye sensor, so the camera can detect when the user is nearing the view finder and automatically switches off the LCD, thus conserving battery life. The LCD itself can swivel 180 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically, making it easy to take high- and low-angle shots.

Which? technology expert, Al Warman, reckons the G1 stands a good chance of being a Best Buy. "For photographers who are considering the Best Buy DMCL10, or the FZ18 and FZ28 bridge cameras, this new model may well deliver the best of both worlds."