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Panasonic announce G1 camera price and launch date

Panasonic announce G1 price and launch date


The stunning Panasonic G1 digital camera: released in October 2008

The price and release date of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 digital camera have been announced. We reported on the announcement of the G1’s release in September, and the company has now revealed pricing details.

Price and release date

The cost of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 has been set at £599.99 and it will be released on November 1, 2008. The cost will include a standard 14-45mm kit lens.

A second 45-200mm telefocal lens will also be released at the same time, and this will cost £329.99. If the two lenses are bought as a bundle, then the second lens will be sold for half price. With a lens adaptor, then the G1 is compatible with a variety of existing SLR lenses.

Panasonic G1 accessories

Two camera bags will also be produced. A deluxe bag designed to match the red, blue or black colours of the G1 will be sold for £64.99, and a standard black bag will be sold for £29.99. Both will be capable of holding several lenses, an external flash, memory cards and filters.

Three further lenses will be released in Spring 2009, including a 20mm pancake lens, a 7-14mm wide angle lens, and a 14-140 telefocal lens.

Market research

Many years of research have revealed to Panasonic that there are around 113 million compact camera owners worldwide, and that 23 million of them would be willing to upgrade to a digital SLR if they were smaller, lighter and easier to use. Those photographers are the market that Panasonic is targeting with the Lumix DMC-G1, and it plans to hold 15% of the digital camera market share by 2009.

Smaller, lighter and easy to use

The G1 is 20% lighter than the Panasonic L10 DSLR and has a 52% smaller footprint. The kit lens of the G1 is 20% lighter than that of the L10. A Panasonic spokesperson said that the functionality that has made Lumix models easy to use in the past has also been incorporated into the G1’s design.

No video mode on the G1

The Panasonic G1 does not have a video mode, but Panasonic revealed at the press event that a new HD G1 model will be released in Spring 2009 and will feature an HD video mode. Prices and exact release dates have not been confirmed.

The G1 was showcased at Photokina in Cologne this year and we reported on the G1 at the CEATEC exhibition at Tokyo last month. The G1 is the smallest camera with interchangeable lenses, and is neither a regular compact digital camera or a DSLR. It has been labelled as a ‘Micro four-thirds camera’, and there are rumours that Olympus are developing a similar model.

‘There certainly seems to be a gap in the market for this new category of camera,’ explains Which? researcher Ben Stevens. ‘The cost of the G1 is roughly equal to the cost of a DSLR, but if this class of camera catches on, then like most new technology, the cost is likely to come down. We shall include this model in our next batch of digital camera testing, and if it fares as well as a standard SLR then we can expect this model to be very popular.’

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