Pany's new micro four thirds

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by suhaskulkarni, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Panasonic has relvealed their first macro four third systems camera - an interchangable lenses camera without mirror.

    "September 12,2008: Panasonic today announced the release of the DMC-G1, an exciting new digital interchangeable
    lens camera that is based on the new Micro Four Thirds System Standard. Combining a downsized body and advanced
    camera features that realize the operational comfort even as easy as that of compact cameras, the super-mobile G1
    shatters the old notion that all digital SLRs are bulky, heavy and hard to use. This, plus the superior picture
    quality made possible by a 4/3-type image sensor, draws a clear line between the new-generation Lumix G1 and all
    conventional digital SLR cameras."

    The design is defintely a change from the old slr design coming through past 50 years! The camera will have full
    time live view and EVF. The focus is contrast based autofocus, with high speed (panasonic mentioned some
    statistics in the release)

    Lenses are limited as of now. (only two lenses introduced - LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-F5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. and
    LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-F5.6/MEGA O.I.S) Also the new lenses are not Leica badged - they are Lumix lenses. I
    hope Olympus will introduce their camera with in body image stablization. Current 4/3 lenses can be used using
    adaprot but only few of them can autofocus.
  2. man they missed the boat, I love 4/3s but this camera is not going to cut it. Why put the hump on top if it doesn't need it for the prism? If the goal is size and micro 4/3s slims the camera then why not make it even smaller by shaving off the prism hump or adding an optical viewfinder? I do have faith that someone, someday will get it right.
  3. Sorry it's not "macro four thirds" its "micro four thirds"
    Moderator - can you change the subject?
  4. Take an E4xx, add liveview A, a bright 100% 0.7x-equivalent finder (those are Nikon D3 specs!), and a big high-res articulating display. Given all that they've added, I'll cut them some slack about not shrinking it much. I'm waiting to see the price and whether Olympus introduces something, but almost certainly my Nikon D40 is headed for eBay.
  5. As an Olympus DSLR owner, nothing about this camera/system is too exciting. None of my Olympus lenses autofocus on it. It's really hard to imagine them coming out with this system and not giving their already limited users the ability to use current lenses on it. What a screwy decision, and one that relegates this system to one that I have no interest buying into.
  6. From a business standpoint, I can understand Panasonic's move: they have little chance of winning much ground in the DSLR fray, so start a new category and hope that it catches on.

    From from a photographic / user standpoint, I think they are charging off in a not-too-useful direction. For me, and I suspect many more serious amateur photographers, the decision tree goes like this: today, do I want to take with me a camera that I can comfortably put in my pants pocket (or comfortably put in a belt case), or am I willing to carry something bigger on a strap around my neck? (We will leave the view camera out of the discussion for now.) If I don't particular want to need to carry a camera small enough to drop into my pocket, then a size reduction from my DSLR, but not enough of a reduction to get it into my pocket, doesn't excite me much. I can't see investing in a system camera along the lines of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1.

    What I, and many others, really want is compact digital with a relatively large sensor and either a very fast prime or a good, modest zoom lens (35mm equivalent of 50mm f/1.7 or 28-75mm f/3.5-4.5 would be okay). Even the standard four-thirds size sensor would be a very substantial improvement over the common sensor sizes in compact digitals. The Sigma DP-1 held some promise in this regard, but has too many limitations and too high a cost.

    But of course what I'm describing is not a system camera, so Panasonic has less chance of hooking people into future sales of more lenses, then new bodies to fit the lenses, on and on.
  7. I am not looking for a small-sensor camera to replace my DSLR...

    However, I would be very interested in a digital camera that:

    - produces much better image quality than higher-end digi-cams (like the G9, DP1, Ricoh);

    - easily fits in my jacket pocket;

    - has robust build;

    - has exposure control (including WB and ISO) directly available (no menu fishing);

    - has a BBVF (big bright viewfinder - electronic or optical);

    - mounts a decent range of relatively fast (f2.8 > f4.0), compact primes - at the wide, standard and short
    telephoto focal lengths; and

    - is priced more like an entry-level or mid-level DSLR system than a Leica.

    That is the direction I would like to see micro 4/3rds take - a rugged, compact, good quality, go everywhere,
    digital camera system.

    Looks like Panasonic could be on that track.

    Cheers! Jay
  8. This is a camera worth keeping an eye on. I am very interested to see how this system evolves. I wish Panasonic would have copied the classic rangefinder styling rather than sticking to the SLR format. I feel there is a great deal of potential for a resurgence of the classic range finder camera.
  9. While I would preferred to see this camera to be even smaller and lighter, I think the G-1 is great for the first
    generation micro 4/3. I want a quality camera which is small, light and mobile with better IQ than my P&S. I
    feel that current offerings of DSLR's are too heavy and bulky for me. At the current size and weight, there is no
    FF DSLR in my future. I will wait to see reviews of the the G-1 and any micro 4/3 introduced by Olympus, before
    making a decision.

    If this camera performs well, is well priced and the lens offerings are broaden, I think this camera will be a
    great success.
  10. I agree with you John. It would be great to see this technology lead to some rangefinder type cameras. I'm looking at the Lumix LX3, but there are few options at this time.
  11. There's a photo floating around of the 20mm f/1.7 on a G1, and it's a tiny little pancake. I'm in heaven!
  12. I think it is a shame that Panasonic are ape-ing the DSLR style instead of making a better quality 'pro-sumer' camera, a big but smaller brother to the FZ50. There is little need for interchangeable lens when you have a good range of focal lengths in a compact zoom. I have not changed a lens for years ... that is not quite true but relatively speaking is accurate.
  13. This is a great leap forward. The EVF needs to be very good but apart from that it is my camera. The new Olympus lenses work AF. I feel the digital camera may have come of age. Olympus tried range-finder styling with the E-300 and E-330 they were both criticised for not looking like a DSLR. Stupid I know but it killed the E-330.
  14. I think it looks promising. I agree that the false mirror hump is unfortunate, but if the electronic viewfinder is usable, I'd strongly consider buying this camera to replace my Canon G9, especially if the lens has a close-focusing capability. The 1/160th flash sync is disappointing: I'm used to the electronic shutter of my G9 with its incredibly high sync speed. But I can probably live with it.
  15. It weighs 22 ounces with the kit lens. An Olympus E-420 with a f/2.8 25mm pancake lens and the same sensor size weighs 19 ounces and it has a mirror and pentaprism. This thing is not a lightweight compact.
  16. I was really excited about the micro 4/3 announcement, but this camera sounds like the wrong implementation. It's not apparent that there's much to differentiate it from any of the smaller form factor DSLR.

    Hopefully Olympus announces more interesting cameras, along the lines of a modern and updated 35RC or even the other G1, the Contax RF of a decade ago. What would really appeal is something like a well executed Sigma DP-1, or a Canon G9 with a big sensor.
  17. Dave, that is not a fair comparison. An Olympus E-420 with
    similar lens (14-42/3.5-5.6 instead of 14-45/3.5-5.6) weighs
    635 versus 630 grams for the new Pany.

    I believe DSLR cameras are doomed, due to the minimal
    quality advantage they currently have over pocket-size
    digicams. However I'm not sure this is the camera that
    spells their doom. Personally I prefer constant-aperture
    lenses like Pentax makes; f/5.6 seems pathetic.
  18. Interesting thread. Two observations, though: 1. This camera seems to have polarized opinion more than any other I've seen. A new design, new lenses, and the newest format all rolled into one. 2. If this is the first attempt at m4/3, I can't wait to see what comes next. This looks like a damned nice unit.

    I'm not sure the mirror hump is totally fake since the EVF is large and the supporting electronics might require the room. the hump doesn't bother me at all. Size-wise, it's only .5" wider and taller than my G9, with a much larger sensor. Not bad. I'll wait to see the full review, but this could send my G9 to eBay. That camera with those two lenses look like an excellent travel kit.
  19. @Bill: Good point and your comparison is fairer. But only five grams gained in going from "full" 4/3rds to micro 4/3rds? Seems like a trivial difference to me.
  20. I believe DSLR cameras are doomed, due to the minimal quality advantage they currently have over pocket-size digicams.
    [Cough, sputter, blink.] Oh I get it, you are joking. You are being facetious. Ahahahahaha. The statement is so clearly nonsense that you are of course joking. (Of course you know that noise at higher sensitivities, ability to control depth of field, and other image quality issues allow any current DSLR to wipe any current compact digital for many pictures.)
    And Bill, as Dave Kee pointed out, lose the mirror and prism for a less than one percent weight savings?!
    I really like the idea of a camera a lot smaller than any current DSLR, with a relatively large sensor, and reasonably sharp, fast lenses. But this does not appear to get small enough. Not even close, from what I can see.
  21. Sorry, I'm not joking. I have seen a Pentax W30 produce better results
    than a Canon 20D with pro 28-80/2.8 lens. Not always, but sometimes.
    The Canon G9 produces consistently better results than a Rebel
    with 18-55 kit lens. A bit of corner softness is not a terrible tradeoff
    considering cost and portability advantages of a digicam.
    DSLR results are often fuzzied by mirror slap, a well-documented
    phenomenon from the film days.

    The Panasonic G1 was not designed primarily for low weight,
    but rather for appeal to the traditional buyer who thinks cameras
    should look like this. It is noticeably smaller than the E420.

    The recent "live view" craze is more evidence that camera buyers
    don't care about viewfinders. It's only us old-timers born in the 1800s.
  22. Both that comment and the one about the lenses. NO ONE makes constant aperture consumer lenses, i.e. the Pentax 50-200 f4-5.6, 18-55 f3.5-5.6 and 55-300 f4-5.8. Those are consumer lenses. Pentax does makes some truly outstanding, fast primes and constant aperture zooms. So does Olympus...constant f2 zooms in fact, but they and the Pentax constant aperture lenses are not amatuer lenses.
  23. I've seen many excellent images from digicams...have a few myself that were taken in conditions where they COULD do a good job, but the fact is compacts are flat inferior for way too many subjects to make any wide-sweeping comments about their ability being any where near equal to a DSLR.
  24. Kind of reminds me of the old Pentax 110 SLR, neat little toy if you need a neat little toy, but not very good for serious photography. Simply put, the laws of physics mean it will make worse pictures than a DSLR, which has a larger sensor. Less DOF control. Smaller photosites. Lenses that need to resolve to a higher resolution to make the same quality picture. Make it cheap enough (really cheap) and I might get one just to put in my glovebox... maybe it would be ok for backpacking...
  25. The comparison to film-based APS about says it all. I see no advantage to the G1 over my E-420.

    Michael J Hoffman
  26. I believe DSLR cameras are doomed, due to the minimal quality advantage they currently have over pocket-size digicams. ...>>
    Not the case in my experience, and I am both an enthusiastic user and a proponent of compact digital cameras.
    Nor is there much evidence of this impending "doom" if dslr sales figures I've seen are to be believed. I don't follow that info intensely, but my sense is that the so-called "entry level" dslr's are a competitive and growing area of the market. That's as it should be, given the impressive quality of those cameras and their dropping prices.
    Meantime, too many of the compacts boast meaningless, if not downright photo-degrading megapixel increases while they hype laughable high iso 'capabilities' -- all on tiny sensors.
  27. I don't get the need to compare M4/3rds with current DSLR systems. I look at it as a potential for a vast improvement
    in digi-cam tech and performance.

    I don't think any of the camera makers have made any significant "useable" improvements in digi-cams for many
    years. It is still difficult to frame and focus in bright light, with these cameras (even worse
    if you need reading glasses) and, as has been mentioned above, they continue to compromise image quality by
    cramming more&more pixels onto tiny sensors.

    On top of that, some of the better digi-cams are getting large...some are too large to easily fit in a jacket
    pocket...while the smaller cameras' performance could soon be eclipsed by cell-phone cams.

    Furthermore, when I spec my 4 yr old casio exilim P-700 camera against current models from any brand, I cannot
    find a compelling reason
    to buy another digi-cam...they just haven't done enough to improve these things. The current digicam development
    trend seems to be focused more on gimmicks than on improvements to usability and image quality.

    If M4/3rds lives-up to its promise, I think it might just make a huge dent in the digi-cam market (or drag the
    rest of them
    up the quality scale):

    - for shoot-over-your-head snapshots, where image quality is not important, I think
    cell phone cams could overtake digi-cams for the "non-enthusiast";

    - for the average person, who wants a "real
    camera" to take on holiday or to
    important family events, a compact M4/3rds could be the perfect camera system; and

    - for enthusiasts (maybe even working photographers) with DSLRs (and larger
    format cameras), M4/3rds might finally offer a viable option for a decent, compact, take-everywhere digital camera.

    Cheers! Jay
  28. I agree with Dave Redman. My current kit consists of 3 devices. I have a Canon Rebel XTi with two zooms and one prime, a Fuji F31FD and a Canon HV20 HD Video Camera. Whenever quality still images are my goal, i pick up the XTi, when i need to put something in my pocket (or my wife's purse) the F31FD is brought along.

    There is no question that the XTi produces better results, even though the Fuji's sensor is one of the best every produced in a digicam. There are other times when the XTi is completely unpractical, where the Fuji is perfect.

    This camera would not effectively replace either of my current cameras, and would most certainly not replace both.
  29. I'm heartbroken. They totally could've made a digital rangefinder, but they didn't :(
    Oh well, next year.
  30. Once you put a decent sensor of sensible size in the pro-sumer camera then the DSLR doesn't have a dog's show
    for general average shooting. The interchangeable lens is a feature slavishly followed as essential by so many is
    false thinking and nothing to do with photography but a fashionable fad . I have used a pro-sumer camera with great
    enjoyment for years now and only bought my DSLR to give me close focusing ability with my extension tubes and
    bellows from film days. The pro-sumer is definitely inferior to the DSLR IQ wise when enlarged big, but featurewise
    is vastely superior .... its Achillies heel is it's small sensor which with micro4/3 could be resolved for most
    assignments. I'm suprised and pleased to read Bill Tuthill's comments becuase it is basic common sense and not
    as some seem to think a joke .. sorry the joke in on those suprisingly blind DSLR advocates still using a 1950
    vintage style camera instead of taking advanmtage of the electronic revolution's advances. There is an adage
    that 'you cannot teach an old dog new tricks' which I seem to have proved wrong with my involvement with digital but
    it does seem to be true with many other DSLR diehards.
  31. The advantage that DSLRs have over compacts isn't only the sensor size; the ability to actually see what you're taking,
    to be able to control the exposure easily and all those small things is what makes them so much better. DSLRs are
    better in the same way that 35mm SLRs were better than good 35mm compact cameras; the two are in completely
    different leagues.

    Anyway, concerning the new G1 - it's minimal size difference when compared to an e series Olympus is a bit
    disappointing; whatever the situation, an actual viewfinder, that would incorporate proper autofocus (not contrast AF)
    would be far superior to an electronic viewfinder. While there will be a market for this camera, if not only because it is the
    first micro 4/3rds camera there is, the potential for the format probably would be in something such as a Sigma DP1
    competitor - with an integrated lens. The extra lens, while smaller than normal SLR lenses, is still mighty large, and a big
    disadvantage for a camera like this; it is not a portable compact camera.
  32. A digital rangefinder? Why? If the EVF is as good as they say, why waste time with some clumsy mechanical and less than accurate framing device? If you mean something that mimics an M8 style camera with an EVF in place of the viewfinder, well, maybe.

    I guess I don't get why people don't get this camera. First of it's kind, and if the EVF is as good as we've been reading about, it may signal the beginning of the end of traditional mirror-box viewfinders. Why bother with a mirror, submirror, prism, and all those mechanicals when you can just view the image on the sensor? Simpler design, smaller cams, total silence, and higher reliability. I can't wait to try one...
  33. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    the ability to actually see what you're taking, to be able to control the exposure easily and all those small things is what makes them so much better.
    Most compacts let you see what you are taking on the LCD. Maybe all. Many compacts let you control exposure easily. Try the Ricohs. So what small things are you talking about?
  34. Did I mention mirror slap? Leica rangefinders and
    good film P&S cameras could take sharper pictures
    than SLR at similar shutter speeds due to less vibration.
    The same is true of DLSR I am sure, if somebody would
    bother to test it.

    Pentax made a nice 16-45/4 and makes a seemingly
    great 17-70/4. They also make a reasonably priced
    50-120/2.8. What I like about constant aperture
    is that you can set exposure and still zoom.
    Back in the film days Pentax made an inexpensive
    but superb 28-70/4.
  35. Folks

    it seems that people are stuck in the mould of the optical SLR. Cameras don't have to be like the SLR's of the 60s ~ 90's to be good useful tools. My first swivel body coolpix was essentially a SLR although the "reflex" was being done electronically.

    Looking at the features on this camera I think we're looking at some fantastic possibilities. I am very interested in the ability of the focal point to track the subject once locked on target. No more missed AF because my subject moved out of my AF zone (like kids tend to do).

    The weight and size remind me of my coolpix 5000 more than my 10D and a Tokina 12-24 lens.

    I'm very eager to see what this tool will do!

    hope that its not priced out of my reach (like over $1000)
  36. Bill,

    I think we have different perceptions. My G9 produces nice images, but nowhere near the quality of a 5D at any ISO. Mirror slap has never been a problem. Only downside to the 5D is size and weight. I've never seen a proper comparison that favors any P&S over a DSLR with a good lens. We must be looking for different things in the shots, I guess.
  37. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    The part of this camera that interests me is the 20mm registration distance.. And the fact they already have an adapter for the larger 4/3 lenses.

    As a Canon FD shooter with 38 lenses and no way to adapt them to any digital body due to the need for an image quality reducing optical element to fix the near sightedness you have when the lens has a 42mm registration distance and the digital body has a 44mm or more registration distance.

    If this body has a way to meter when using a lens with no aperture info it could be the answer to many peoples wishes for a digital body capable of being adapted to use the FD mount lenses.

    Granted you would end up with a 2.13X magnification factor making my 17mm f4.0 a 36mm f4.0 And my 24mm f2.0 a 51mm lens BUT on the other end of things it would get real nice my 200mm f2.8 becomes a tiny 426mm f2.8 and my 500mm f4.5L becomes the ultimate birding lens at 1065mm f4.5L

    With 22mm to build an adapter in the only question is one of the lens opening circle and whether the aperture levers on the FD lenses would be a problem.
  38. My memory of the rangefinder system is that they are a quick and easy way to find focus and not a clumsy system .. certainly surer than trying to detirmine focus than on a dark ground glass screen. When coupled with a 1:1 optical viewfinder system they are a delight to use. While I like the accurate viewfinding of the reflex system there is no doubt that the rangefinder is a very efficient way of finding focus. The ideal is to combine both to get the best of each world. Interesting would be a rangefinder/ EVF system.
    My experience of the pro-sumer, top line digicams if you wish, is that the EVF is more accurate than the DSLR ... ie 98<100% rather than only 95% of the DSLR if you are worried about that much accuracy.
  39. Silly design. We don't need a smaller "DSLR" with electronic viewfinder. They went out of business five years ago. We need a Sigma DP-1 with faster operation and interchangeable lenses. A small digi compact with a big sensor. Sigma has got a lot of things right in the DP-1 but its operation is not very friendly and it is anemicly slow.
  40. Once you put a decent sensor of sensible size in the pro-sumer camera then the DSLR doesn't have a dog's show for general average shooting. The interchangeable lens is a feature slavishly followed as essential by so many is false thinking and nothing to do with photography but a fashionable fad.
    For most people, that would be true, but once you put a decent-sized sensor, you will have to make it much bigger, with a much bigger lens.
    I'm suprised and pleased to read Bill Tuthill's comments becuase it is basic common sense and not as some seem to think a joke
    Basic common sense? More like basically unawareness of the laws of physics. Control of depth of field becomes a bigger and bigger problem as the sensor gets smaller. All else being equal, noise gets worse. These days I mostly use a three-year-old 6 MP DSLR with good-but-not-stellar lenses and a one-year-old Canon digicam that DPReview gave its top rating ("highly recommended"). At base sensitivity (ISO 80), outside on a sunny day, the digicam can produce quite nice pictures. But as the sun goes down, especially indoors, the digicam falls far, far behind. The DSLR has in-body image stabilization and usually wears, in 35mm terns, a 28-74mm f/2.8 lens. The digicam has in- lens image stabilization and has, in 35mm terms, a 32-129mm f/2.6-5.2 lens. At ISO 400, the DSLR looks super- clean, but the digicam looks very noisy for anything over maybe a 5x7-inch print. At ISO 1600, the DSLR has produced some nice 8x10-inch prints, but the digicam looks horrible, even on its 2.5-inch screen. With the digicam, using wide apertures to control depth-of-field is nearly impossible; even at f/2.6, the digicam has about the same depth of field as the DSLR at f/8 or f/9. The stuff about mirror slap and all that is nonsense, and wholly irrelevant to at least 97% of the public. For rare shots where that would be an issue, I just use the DSLR's mirror-lock-up that works with the 2-second self-timer. The bigger issue is that I can hold the DSLR much more securely, and press its shutter release with much less disruption to the camera body, so hand-held (where 99% of people take 95% of their shots), I think the DSLR actually does better / gets steadier / clearer shots.
    Don't get me wrong: I like the digicam. I has made some nice pictures. And a digicam in your pocket beats a DSLR in your closet.
    But that comes back to the central problem with the new Panasonic micro-four-thirds: it is not sufficiently smaller and lighter than existing DSLR's that anyone would want to carry it where they wouldn't want to carry a more conventional DSLR. And it's so much bigger and heavier than most current digicams that it won't appeal to most digicam users.
  41. Hi "We don't need a smaller "DSLR" with electronic viewfinder... We need a Sigma DP-1 with faster operation and interchangeable lenses." isn't what this is? When I compared the dimensions it was only 2cm wider than my nikon coolpix 5000 (which was smaller than the 5400 and others which followed). Granted this "zoom" is sticking out, but if fixed focal lengths were used (such as on the DP-1) it would be more compact than it is. It seems to me that this camera has the opportunity to be everything the DP-1 is and more still!
  42. My coolpix fits nicely in my hand, and into a side pocket of my backpack. It does this with its lens effectively 28mm wide angle lens.
    This is something that my 10D or any other DSLR can't do but something I'm thinking that this panasonic might be able to do.
    Compare the specs carefully, its not as big as it looks
  43. just found some interesting discussion on this topic over on dpreview forums. The pointer to these images on flickr should settle size issues

  44. Is the Panasonic Lumix G1 a marketing dream, by intending to appeal to those who want the control of DSLR's but
    opt out for its size. Also, there is a belief that the transition from Digital Compact to DSLR's are too much
    for some people, is this founded in reality, and is £600.00 a huge sum, to pay for a mirror-less DSLR. The Nikon
    P5100 Coolpix is a superb Compact and is very creative. at less than half the price.
    I recall Pentax 110 tried this size revolution in the early 1980's and failed and that today Olympus E410 and
    E420 have tried very hard for compact size and 4/3rds too However, for a Camera this size will 12 MP present a
    strain on the sensor, or am I missing something with 4/3rd's ?
  45. It seems to me that Panasonic's lens collaboration with Leica is working out better than whatever Canon is doing right now. Here's an image a friend sent me from his 17-85/4-5.6 EFS. As the EXIF says, f/5.6 at 85mm. Bokeh is stunningly bad. This lens cost $600 when he bought it, and I'd say it's a worse lens overall than the Leica zoom on my FZ18, which cost < 1/2 that price, with a camera body thrown in. I stand by my assertion that the quality gap between DSLR and digicam is not as great as you would expect given the price differential. The 5D costs as much as a used car, so give me a break.
  46. Bill,

    I'd love to see the ISO 1600 comparisons between the ancient 5D and any P&S you choose. While you're at it, try shooting
    a night football game with that P&S. Trust me, P&S cameras will never kill the DSLR. At lower ISOs, and with stationary
    subjects in good lighting, they can produce nice images. After that, well...
  47. "isn't what this is? "

    No it isn't. It is shaped like a E-420 and not much smaller. Why would I, or anybody else for that matter, want just a
    slightly smaller body that is not an SLR? Electronic viewfinders are a poor solution. They went out of fashion several
    years ago when SLRs became affordable. I had a Minolta A-2 which has the best electronic viewfinder ever put into a
    compact digicam. I agree that this G1 might have an even better one. But very often I had to look at the viewfinder
    image with my other eye, from the side of the viewfinder, to actually see what I was framing at.

    This one is 10mm wider than DP-1, 25mm taller and 16mm thicker without the lens. Obviously, a large zoom would
    add to that a lot, but even the slimmest pancake lens would bring it to 20mm or so deeper. That is quite a lot more
    in every dimension. And the DP-1 is not very small, as digicams go. I thought the whole idea of this micro 4/3s was
    to make smaller cameras that are based on different design concept. I find the E-420 actuallly a little bit too small for
    my hands to use, with all its buttons and controls. Ricoh GRD and DP-1 are okay because of their simpler concept.

    But I am sure some other manufacturer, Olympus or Leica, maybe even Sigma, understands what this is all about
    and makes a true compact.
  48. If I were in the market for a light weight "DSLR like" camera the G1 would be perfect, but I am not. I am happy with
    my Nikon D40 and the G1 (with a similar kit lens) only saves me 3 ounces and has a smaller sensor. As noted by
    Ilkka above, for a carry around camera I want a Sigma DP1 that works more quickly than the current version, and the
    G1 is not that. Even with a pancake lens to make it comparable to the fixed lens DP1, the G1 will still weigh in at 16
    ounces or so vs the DP1's 9.5 ounces, and when you multiply the three dimensions of each camera the G1 has
    more than twice the volume of the DP1. That makes a huge difference in portability. So if Sigma does not come out
    with an improved DP1 soon I will be getting my second choice - an LX3.
  49. Hi
    "No it isn't. It is shaped like a E-420 and not much smaller."
    well, it looks quite smaller to me, but I guess that I'll have to wait to see one in the flesh
    "Why would I, or anybody else for that matter, want just a slightly smaller body that is not an SLR?"
    I can't answer for you, but I can answer for me (under the anybody else clause)
    because I don't find the optical SLR format meaningful for much of my photography.
    Now, IF I was a sports photographer I certainly WOULD find the optical viewinder of a reflex camera essential. However for what I've been doing lately I find that its actually annoying to be forced to be behind the camera and looking through it.
    For looking straight ahead while standing or sitting the reflex camera operation is probably the best evolution I've yet experienced. But its not so comfortable for macro's of mushrooms on the forest floor, or wedged into a crack behind an icicle forming on a rock like this:
    "Electronic viewfinders are a poor solution. They went out of fashion several years ago when SLRs became affordable."
    probably I agree with you on them being a poor solution, in fact I prefer the screen on the back of the camera. I loved the swivel screen as soon as I saw it, and I notice that its migrated from Nikon (where I think it debued) to almost every camera.
    Seems to me swivel screen is still "in fashion". I also very much like the ability to zoom in and confirm focus that the G1 seems to offer. I really can't see the viewfinder on my APS DSLR as nicely as I could on my old film EOS. Combined with how much more easilly I can make bigger prints from these smaller sensors than I once could critical focus is more essential to me than it once was. I like my view camera because I can put a x10 loupe on the glass and see what I'm going to get, the G1 seems to offer something as good as that. Of course this implies perhaps working off a tripod, but hey I do that type of thing.
    "This one is 10mm wider than DP-1, ... Obviously, a large zoom would add to that a lot, but even the slimmest pancake lens would bring it to 20mm or so deeper. That is quite a lot more in every dimension. And the DP-1 is not very small, as digicams go."
    well, perhaps in comparison with an EXILIM, but I don't know that we have the physics yet to make a camera that small with a 4/3 or APS-C sized sensor in it yet. This micro 4/3 seems to perhaps be the best comprimise yet. Certainly I'd have been happier to see some "pancake" styled 28mm kinda width slim lens (perhaps without MEGA O.I.S) on the camera too, perhaps these will be announced later? Still it does sound a tempting package, especially with the point of being able to lock and track focus on a subject.
    "I thought the whole idea of this micro 4/3s was to make smaller cameras that are based on different design concept."
    definately I agree that I'd prefer to see this sort of thing come out with some nice simple single focal length lens too. Perhaps the "market" is no longer interested in such things, with only a few photographers being inclined that way. Dunno. But ...
    "I find the E-420 actuallly a little bit too small for my hands to use, with all its buttons and controls. Ricoh GRD and DP-1 are okay because of their simpler concept."
    It seems that your idea of smaller means slimmer (which isn't really such a criteria for me although I wouldn't mind). Personally I've come to find that my coolpix 5000 (with the UR-E5 adaptor on it all the time to add a barrel to hold and put a 46mm filter on (polariser/81B/80B)
    is a nice camera to use and stow in my pack. I like the ability to take candid photos of people (when they think I'm just reviewing the screen, holding a camera up to your face if a dead give away of "I'm taking your picture"). What I don't like though is the inability to use anything other than ISO 100. I can keep the camera steady for indoor images of people, but the people (when acting natural) can't keep still. Thus I need a little more than the little old Nikon gives me. I keep finding this every time I use my DSLR. I like the low noise high ISO that the bigger sensor affords, but I dislike the high weight (my 10D with the Tokina 12-24 ain't light) and noise it makes (quiet as it is, it ain't like my non SLR no-mirror-slapping leaf-shutter-in-lens range finders for that sort of stuff).
    This has been an interesting discussion, as it has made it clear to me (again?) that you can't please everyone with the same thing, and that there are quite a many differing views out there. When it does come out, if its about the same price as the E-420 then my aging Coolpix 5000 will find itself in retirement and I'll be putting my money where my mouth is and buying one (and some lenses). This will augment (not replace) my DSLR in areas where I find the DSLR lacking (and expensive lens spends don't help to fix it).
  50. I have nothing against the screen in the back. I think it would better for this type of camera, as the only available finder. The hot shoe on top would allow a dedicated optical viewfinder to be added by those (like me) who want it. That would of course only work well with a fixed focal length lens. With other lenses, I do not mind using the back of the camera. That is what I do now with the Ricoh when I use the 21mm lens. If Sigma can make the DP-1 significantly smaller while including a bigger sensor, I do not agree that the micro 4/3 must by any necessity be bigger in size. My main complaint about it is that it tries to be a smaller DSLR. I think we both fully agree that this is not what we want. There are plenty of small DSLRs around, with good lens selections that autofocus. Why make up another similar system? DSLR is not the right choice for every situation. That is why I have small compacts. But it would be good to be able to use some DSLR lenses in a compact that provides good image quality also in low light.
  51. Ilkka

    I think I agree with all your points (not being fond of EVF's myeslf). I am disinclined towards the DP-1 specifically because it has not got interchangeable lenses. If it did, I'd already have one (well, I'm not fussed on their lack of RAW shooting buffer either :)

    perhaps I'm more favourably disposed towards this camera because I'm becomming desperate for "something" to appear which is both smaller than my 10D and lenses and still as good.

    probably I'm being an optimist and I'll be disappointed with the camera when I see it "in the flesh".

  52. Some numbers for those who are interested in the L1
    instead of arguments about usefulness of low-noise ISO 6400:

    Minolta A1, best electronic viewfinder to date: 235,000 pixels, 100% view, magnification unknown

    Panasonic L1 electronic viewfinder: 1,440,000 pixels, 100% view, 0.7x magnification (35mm equiv)
  53. Bill is that 235Kpixels 'better' to look at than the L1 (which seems to be the same number of pixels as the G1). btw ... to me "high" ISO is 400 or 800 (and my coolpix 5000 IQ sucks at anything much over 200 while my 10D still makes usable clean images at 800 and better than blurry at 1600).
  54. overview
  55. Huh? The Panasonic L1 is a DSLR with optical viewfinder.
    Its 2.5" LCD has 207,000 pixels. No EVF on the L1.
    Does anybody disagree that the Minolta A1 had the best EVF to date?

    I don't dispute high ISO results, I just can't afford to pay > $1000
    merely to take pictures in near darkness. If I want a picture
    of two people in a dimly-lit room looking at a book, I'll buy yours!
  56. Agree that the A1 *had* the best to date, but if the new G1 is half as good as the previewers are describing, than the A1's EVF will seem like it's come from the stone age. That's why I think the G1 is a fairly imprtant step forward; if it's successful, it will change the game, and how cameras are designed. Full time live view offers so many advantages, but if the camera can't focus and view clearly while photographing action, it won't succees for many of us. Until then, SLRs will be the camera of choice for most working pros.

    Bill; your post about the A1 and L1--I'm mising something. Can you explain? (just curious...)
  57. I like the pictures of it. I'll likely get one to add to my 4/3 kit. The L1 has just come back with me from a three week
    photo expedition and I'm very very happy with what I see. Give me a camera that's thinner without the mirror flipping
    stuff that I can use the same lenses on, with equal image qualities, and I'll be in heaven.

    We can wibble about all the things we like or don't like. What I like is a camera with good controls and a good viewfinder
    that takes high quality pictures with the excellent lenses that I have. The G1, from the reviews I read, looks like it

    "All this fuss over two pounds of monkey brain!"
  58. Minolta A1 did NOT have the best viewfinder. A2 did.

    Minolta A2 viewfinder: 922,000 pixels

    And still it sucked, big time. I for one will never buy another EVF camera. At least until some totally new technology comes along. It is not just the resolution, it is the dynamic range as well.
  59. You can read more about it here:
  60. Thanks, Ilkka. Excuse me, I'm trying to suppress my memories
    of Minolta SLR ownership.
    So the Panasonic G1 represents a 56% increase in pixel count
    over the Minolta A2. It was not EVF dynamic range that
    I disliked, it was the refresh latency.

    David, my "huh?" question was directed at Chris, who at 3:48
    said the G1 has the same number of pixels as the L1.
    The L1 is an optical DSLR, whereas the G1 has an EVF, right?
  61. "it was the refresh latency. "

    Yeah, that as well. It is like watching slow replay on TV. (On a really small TV)
  62. Sorry Bill when you said "Panasonic L1 electronic viewfinder: 1,440,000 pixels, 100% view, 0.7x magnification (35mm equiv)" I thought you must have been meaning the little thing in the left of this image:
    "If I want a picture of two people in a dimly-lit room looking at a book, I'll buy yours!"
    LOL your mother in law may be less than interested in pictures of someone elses wife and grandmother in the family album (so, who have you been seeing ;-)
    But anyway I only paid about $300 for my 10D (cos I bought it after my 20D and after the 30D was released). Sure I've got a Tokina 12-24 on it, but the 17-55 would do well enough for much less.
    If your meaning however that the G1 will be > $1000 ... well dam, that would be a shame. I'd not be keen spend that kind of money for a new camera. Still if it takes images that are equal to my 10D then I'll perhaps sell that entire system and move over. After selling my TS-E lenses (when I became comfortable that 4x5 totally satisfies my needs in that area) I'm not so invested in the Canon system anymore (and my film bodies and flash system are worth dirt now too ;-)
    time will tell
    Ilkka: Ive only used one camera with an EVF that a fellow tourist asked me to use. The screen looked so ikky and pixelated that it was as bad as putting a x7 loupe on my Coolpix's back screen (eg dreadful), pallid and pixelated.
    Still, its the final images I'm keen to see and the rest are just tools to help me get the most of the camera. I certainly wouldn't want to be using the EVF much, though in some light conditions they could potentially be useful.
  63. Final image is what matters. But I do prefer to see what I am aiming the camera at, before pressing the shutter release button. With EVFs that is not always the case. Composition is very important part of photography and greatly affects the final image. How do you compose if you cannot see?

    The Minolta A2 is a big improvement over the pixelated viewfinder you tried, but still crappy. I am sure the G1 is better, with even higher resolution and another 3-4 years of product development behind it. But the combination of size and EVF is enough to put me off this fist attempt at micro 4/3s. I hope the next one is more to my liking. I do look forward to it very much.
  64. Bill,

    What confused me was your prior post:

    "Minolta A1, best electronic viewfinder to date: 235,000 pixels, 100% view, magnification unknown

    Panasonic L1 electronic viewfinder: 1,440,000 pixels, 100% view, 0.7x magnification (35mm equiv)"

    You must have meant the G1's EVF...
  65. Latency? Refresh rate? anyway when it is critical I use both eyes, one to frame the other to see in real time rather
    than history of the refreshed EVF or LCD image. Used to do this to make sure my subject hadn't blinked while I
    was 'blind' with the mirror going up of my SLR, and earlier to stop kids mimicing me as I closed one eye to look
    through the viewfinder ... little brats! :)

    Through this thread we do reveal our inhibitions with regard to equipment rather than actual design faults. :)
  66. Eh... give it about two years and check back to see if it caught fire or not.
  67. Yes, I meant the G1's EVF, sorry.
  68. If it does not have a mirror, is it therefore not a DSLR in the traditional sense of the world, and are the 4/3rds a red herring
  69. Anthony

    who cares if its not a DSLR ... personally I have no need for an optical reflex, as long as I can see through the
    taking lens (for things like DoF confirmation and composure: which this camera provides)

    are they are red herring? Well I could ask the same about the APS sensors in the "DSLR" range. I thought that
    when the D30 came out it was an interesting exersize in making consumers pay for the R&D while testing the ground
    for making SLR cameras which were digital. At that time the cost of sensors that big was enormous. I thought
    they would go full frame earlier than they did. It seems that finally the pressure is on in the full frame market
    and those of us who still have our 35mm lenses will be able to make good use of them (particularly the wider
    angle lenses).

    I hope that the 4/3 market will form the middle ground between stuff like 5D MKII/D700 and compact tiny sensor
    snappy cameras. IE good enough to take quality pictures equal to what compact 35mm cameras like Olympus Trip 35 /
    Konica Hexar sort of compact cameras which used to give reasonable quality without the price or bulk or an SLR.
    Hopefully we'll also get features and functionality which we (some of us) only dreamed of in the past
  70. That's exactly right.

    On reflection, the viewing system in a reflex camera is quite the Rube Goldberg contraption. This proxy path is obviously necessary for film, but is as good as a conceptual appendix for a digital camera.

    Perhaps the Panasonic G1 implementation is good, perhaps it's deficient. In either case, best case is that the micro 4/3 family gains traction and fleshes out over reasonable time. I want a digital version of the G1 like my other one, the Contax; I hope micro 4/3 becomes as ubiquitous as the old one too, the heir to the m43 mount.
  71. That's exactly right.

    On reflection, the viewing system in a reflex camera is quite the Rube Goldberg contraption. This proxy path is
    obviously necessary for film, but is as good as a conceptual appendix for a digital camera.

    Perhaps the Panasonic G1 implementation is good, perhaps it's not. In either case, I hope the micro 4/3 family
    gains traction and fleshes out over reasonable time. I want a digital version of the G1 like my other one, the
    Contax; I hope this micro 4/3 can eventually approach the ubiquity of that other m43.
  72. Whether or not the m4/3 system succeeds, I think Panasonic has shown us a glimpse of the future of camera design. If
    they can offer an EVF that provides the same speed of operation as today's DSLRs, why wouldn't any manufacturer want
    to abandon that clunky mirror/prism design? If you use the sensor to focus instead of reflected light along the mirror path,
    wouldn't AF be more accurate, and a lot less prone to error?

    I've been looking for a light travel kit, and will be taking a long look at the G1.
  73. rdm


    darn i wish some other company had this Idea but used a aps size sensor or larger, cuz then all us old 35mm
    Manual focus camera users would have a better option out there for mounting our old SLR lenses to.. But what realy
    supprised me was that Olympus didnt think of this idea first. I mean this is so reminecent of the old 35mm Penn F
    cameras, and they could have even released it under the name of "Digital Penn" for Nostalgia. Oh well im sure they
    will come out with their own version if they think its a good idea , or atleast lenses to work on them. And can somoen
    tell me why they abandoned the standard 4/3 mount? i mean i understand that the distance between the back of the
    lens and the sensor is shorter on the micro 4/3 but they could have made available a spacer with connectors to keep
    lens functions the same, calling it a 4/3 to micro 4/3 adapter. Thereby making the plethrea of 4/3 lense options
    available to anyone thinkin of purchasing this camera. In addition they could have marketed that same
    adapter/spacer relabled as a macro option for regular 4/3 lenses. ON ANOTHER NOTE so i gathered from all this
    debait about DSLRs vers point and shoot , that most of you feel that not even the Canon G9 is beter thain any DSLR
    ever made?
  74. rdm


    oh and i should mention what i wrote about the adapter i suggested, it only because from what i read here, not all the 4/3 lenses would function fully. However, I didnt see anything in the articals about the Lumux that suggested anything other thain full functionality of the lenses with the 4/3 adapter . Also i have not found mention anywhere of what the camera is gunna cost
  75. Yes and if Olympus could therefore make a Digital Pen - 4/3rds small light Camera, they may even have the equivalent of half size frames , so to double up on the available memory on their SD cards, another advance, inspired by the past
  76. I stumbled on an interesting bit of news over at the leica forum - interviews with Panasonic on the M43 Pana G1, target market, whats in store technology wise, etc:

    Matsushita takes out 'R' from Digital SLR Camera

    New AF Camera shoots sharper HD Video

    Development of a Mirrorless Digital SLR

    A good read in my opinion as it tells us more of what to expect from PanaLeica and Oly:

    Target Market for the m43:

    "Many ladies and beginners are intimidated by existing digital single-lens reflex cameras, and few of them fully utilize the camera," the company said. "We are going to change this situation."

    "We have created the world's most beautiful EVF, which was the top priority in our development," Matsushita said.

    AF speed:

    "According to Matsushita, while the focusing speed is approximately 0.2 to 0.5 seconds for normal phase-detect autofocus systems used in single-lens reflex cameras, that of the DMC-G1 is about 0.3 seconds, although it employs a contrast-detect system generally believed to be slow in focus speed. The 0.3-second focusing speed was realized when the focus point of a standard zoom lens was switched from infinite to 2m. "


    "Yes. We prioritized modest price in the development of the "Lumix G lens," an interchangeable lens that we have just announced. However, we have a plan to sell Leica-branded products, which are characterized by very high image quality."

    HD Video:

    "Our new product will be the world's first camera that features an interchangeable lens and can use an auto focus function for high-definition movies," Matsushita said. "Auto focus functions are essential for consumer models. Even high-definition broadcast cameras are normally equipped with them because it is very difficult to adjust the focus by looking through an optical viewfinder with the naked eye.

    Now all they Panaleica or OLy need to do is make a version that looks like a smaller DMC LC1 add a nice fast 14-50 f2.0-2.2 (28-100 35mm) Summricon or HG ZD and we'd have a cooking street cam! Oh and Oly to fix the AF issue.


  77. rdm


    what AF issue? did i miss somthin?
  78. Dan,

    Most current 4/3 lenses won't be able to use AF when mounted on the m4/3 camera.

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