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Panasonic Lumix G1 camera on sale November 1st

First Micro four thirds camera available now

Panasonic G1 flash

The £600 Lumix G1 offers keen amateur photographers an alternative to bulky DSLRs and simpler compact and bridge cameras.

Which? has already got its hands on a G1, and has a First Look G1 video guide showing the basic and advanced features of this revolutionary 12Mp camera.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1’s official launch date is November 1, 2008, and its cost of £599.99 will include a standard 14-45mm kit lens.

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.

Panasonic G1 lenses

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.

Three further lenses are scheduled for release in Spring 2009, including a 20mm pancake lens, a 7-14mm wide angle lens, and a 14-140 telefocal lens.

Digital camera market research

Panasonic’s market research indicates 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.

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.  Photos from the UK launch are available in the Which? technology Flickr gallery, including a comparison of cut-away G1 and L10 models, clearly showing the size difference and simplified optics.

The Panasonic G1 does not have a video mode, but Panasonic revealed at a UK press event in October that a new HD G1 model will be released in Spring 2009 and will feature an HD video mode. 

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