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140 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very competent consumer camera - also can handle Leica M lenses
The Panasonic G1 is a much debated camera, the first micro 4:3 camera.

As a professional photographer I was intrigued with the electronic viewfinder, and also the light weight and compact size, and figured it would be a great gift for my girlfriend. I received the camera about 1 week after the US release. Until now it have worked flawlessly, the battery last...
Published on February 14, 2009 by Bo Lorentzen

versus
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still not sure.
I am a professional photographer who uses nikon cameras, but i always like to carry a small light camera around with me at all times. For about a year and a half that has been a panasonic lx-3. I love the lx-3, especially the fast wide lens, but like all point and shoots it has it's limitations - the biggest one is the tiny sensor. I have been watching the parade of micro...
Published on August 9, 2010 by R. Kamand


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140 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very competent consumer camera - also can handle Leica M lenses, February 14, 2009
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12.1MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Lens (Black) (Electronics)
The Panasonic G1 is a much debated camera, the first micro 4:3 camera.

As a professional photographer I was intrigued with the electronic viewfinder, and also the light weight and compact size, and figured it would be a great gift for my girlfriend. I received the camera about 1 week after the US release. Until now it have worked flawlessly, the battery last well through a day with power to spare. To be clear, I am not talking a studio work day, but my girlfriend putting 300 frames on the camera in a day.

We already own 4:3 cameras and she picked it up and worked with it instantly, no learning curve required. The camera is well laid out and controls are positioned where you would expect to find them.

Electronic Viewfinder.
The most unusual part of the camera is the EVF (Electronic View Finder) which instead of a optical system literally have a display, but unlike typical "super zoom" EVF cameras which have a low-rez viewfinder, this camera have a HD viewfinder, this means you can actually see what is in focus in the image, the screen also have a very quick refresh, so you do not have the feeling of waiting for the screen. (unlike previous EVF cameras you can exchange lenses on the G1)

I originally questioned the EVF system concept for a SLR, but once I got the camera in hand the viewfinder have proved to work very well. Panasonic have developed this technology to a point where this camera is possible and very functional.

Lenses:
Panasonic is launching this camera with 2 lenses and more to come, for years Panasonic have received design help from Leica, and this show in the quality of the lenses, the standard kit lens is a great lens.
Olympus created the 4:3 system, Panasonic is a partner in this system. Thankfully the G1 being a micro-4:3 camera can accept both m43 lenses but with a adapter also all previous 4:3 system lenses. This mean you have access to exotic lenses from 600mm to 8mm. The dedicated zoom for m43 are VERY compact... however this is meaningless if you have a serious need for a 300mm f2.8 lens as there would be no size difference, so you would not save weight or space by using a dedicated m4:3 lens. Panasonic recognizes this and have launched the camera with a couple of outstanding lenses which are great everyday zooms, this is the ones you will want for family photography (including some family sports photography), but it is good to know that if you get the urge for photographing lions in Africa the camera will accept ultra fast lenses such as the sexy 150mm 2.0 low light tele-lens from olympus.

We already own a large selection of 4:3 system lenses, including the 8mm ultra wide and all of these work with the adapter on the G1.

Image stabilization:
Panasonic lenses have GREAT stabilization and the camera takes tack-sharp images at incredible low light.
However there is kinky point for me which you should be aware about, Panasonic have chosen to use in-lens stabilization, where Olympus uses in-camera stabilization. THIS is the biggest weakness in cross system compatibility. Thanksfully Panasonic have a good collection of Leica designed lenses which is stabilized, but for owners of Olympus lenses (such as myself) one should realize that Olympus lenses will not be stabilized on the G1 (not that you are likely to hand-hold a 600mm tele lens, but you should know).

Image quality is above expectation.
The images are simply outstanding, in both color, exposure and details, I say this as the owner of several pro DLSR and Leica M8 cameras. (well lets get real here. Clearly the camera do not compare to a $5000 camera, nobody would expect that, but at the $700 price its in a class by itself. you will be hard pressed to find a better camera for under $1000). The bottom line on image quality is this camera will not let you down, you can share pictures with friends and feel good about the image quality.

LEICA M lenses.
Most interesting for me was the ability to mount Leica M lenses with a adapter on the Panasonic G1. I have been shooting images with the 35mm lux and 75mm lux. As it turns out the G1 works best with longer lenses, 28mm tend to get soft edges when using Leica M film lenses, this is because of the way these lenses were made and not a problem with the camera. Naturally this does not apply to use of Panasonic or Olympus lenses on this camera.

Bottom line.
A revolutionary new camera, combining traditional single-lens photography with modern technology. Its a favorite walk about camera, light weight and comfortable in the hand.
Camera is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED,
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209 of 214 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great first step, January 12, 2009
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12.1MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Lens (Black) (Electronics)
For those who don't know, the Panasonic G1 is the first (of hopefully many) camera that adheres to the new micro 4/3 format. What is so exciting about it? All SLR cameras use mirrors, prisms, and optical viewfinders so that the photographer can see what his/her subject "through the lens." SLRs have remained the defacto standard for most serious photographers because most find the whole viewfinder concept so appealing. The micro 4/3 does away with the mirrors and prisms, and replaces the optical viewfinder of SLRs with an electronic viewfinder. This allows the cameras that adhere to the standard to be much smaller (and wideangle lenses designed for this mount to be smaller as well). Onto the real review...

The EVF on the G1 is the first that I've seen that is remotely usable. While not as good as the OVF in my 5D, it is considerably better than the OVF in my older 350D. The first look through the EVF will impress anyone who hasn't used a Full-Frame camera before. While there is a noticeable lag (particularly when moving the camera around...a delay of a 10th of a second maybe), the fact that you can see a live histogram in the VF makes the lag completely worthwhile. Even better, the VF can increase the gain of the screen in darker conditions so you can actually see what you are shooting (it does get grainy, but it is better than seeing nothing at all). Finally, when you engage Manual Focus, the view in the EVF zooms in on your subject automatically which allows for perfect manual focus adjustments every time!! Without a doubt, this is the best interchangeable lens camera on the market if you are interested in manually focusing.

The articulating LCD is another design choice that is spot-on!! Why haven't other manufacturers caught on that "live view" is completely useless without an articulating LCD? Switching from the LCD to the EVF is as simple as putting your eye next to the viewfinder. There is a sensor there that detects when it is being used. The LCD doesn't have the super resolution of the new 5DMkII or the D700, but it has twice the resolution of my older 5D.

So is the camera pocketable? Not a chance. However, it isn't much bigger than the larger (with its kit lens) than modern superzoom Point&Shoot cameras. I bought it because I found that I was leaving my 5D (with 24-70 f/2.8) at home more often than not because i didn't want to carry so much weight. The G1, in comparison, is a joy to hold and carry. For me, the size is just right. Any smaller and the controls would be unusably small. Any larger and the camera would begin to resemble smaller DSLRs. Side Note: The kit lens has to be seen to be believed...it is SO small. Even the 45-200 lens (90-400) isn't much bigger than kit lenses for APS-C or FF cameras (let alone comparing it to the monstrous 100-400 lens that canon makes).

Noise is reasonable. I wouldn't go past ISO1250 for prints with the G1. ISO1600 and 3200 are more than useable for web viewing (which is how a majority of my pics are displayed). I never really understood how printable ISO6400 prints are suddenly required for every camera...how many people actually print a large number of images anyways? Downsized to Facebook or Picasaweb sizes, I would imagine that a ISO6400 G1 image would be more than adequate.

What I don't like is the lack of any large aperture lenses for the format. You can buy adapters to use standard 4/3 lenses but the older 4/3 lenses are likely larger than their future micro43 counterparts (and AF doesn't work with many of them). Adapters also exist for Leica M mount (I'm trying to convince my fiance that leica lenses are a better investment than the stock market right now...but I don't think that she is buying it). The depth of field for micro43 is already larger due to the smaller sensor so it will be hard to get subject isolation in photographs until large aperture prime lenses become available.

I'm really excited about the future of this format. Panasonic has promised a G1HD someone in the first half of this year (a G1 with video capabilities). In addition, 3 new lenses have been announced: a 7/14 f/4, a 14-140, and best of all a 20 mm f/1.7 pancake! Olympus also showed off a concept of a micro43 camera that looked no bigger than a small point&shoot. The future is exciting!
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88 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Camera, finally a little camera alternative, March 3, 2009
By 
Kachadurian (Traverse City, MI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12.1MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Lens (Black) (Electronics)
I am a professional photographer and I have looked for a perfect take-it-anywhere camera since I abandoned my Nikon 28Ti when I stopped shooting film. I have had everything in the small camera class from the original Nikon Cp950 to the Panasonic LX3. I had Canon G9 &10s, the Pro-1, various Fujis and a Ricoh compact. None of them came close to delivering the sort of image I get from a real DSLR. For a while I used a Canon Rebel TXi, but it just wasn't a size savings because the lenses are so big.

Enter the G1. It's very small, but still easy to use and hold steady. The lenses are tiny. You can use Leica-M lenses with a cheap adapter. The image quality is right there with a DSLR. Not quite as good as a Canon 5D at ISO 800, but fully useable at everything up to 1600 ISO. The G1 at 800 is better than the G10 at 100.

I highly recommend this camera to any serious photographer looking for a small, high quality alternative to a big DSLR with way better quality than even the best small sensor camera.

Tom Kachadurian
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This camera is just right., May 13, 2009
By 
I had decided I wanted to step up to an entry level DSLR camera. So I started looking and had settled on the new Canon Rebel T1i at first. I bought the camera, took it home and started snapping a bunch of pictures with it only to discover that at full size, the pictures were a little soft. For a $900 camera, that wasn't something I wanted to deal with. Yes, I'm aware the pictures can be doctored after the fact but I don't want to have to do that with the majority of my pictures.

So I returned the T1i and started considering the Nikon D5000, Pentax K20D, Olympus E620 and the Panasonic G1. The K20D is a very nice camera but was just a little too big for my liking. After handling the Olympus E620 I just didn't come away very impressed (just didn't feel good in my hand). I really liked the Nikon D5000 and gave that camera very serious consideration. However at the end of the day, the G1 just felt really good in my hand and impressed me with its features. I'll list specifics next.

The things that sold me on the G1 are as follows:
1. Camera is small size and fits well in my hand
2. Terrific articulating LCD with great resolution
3. Super fast auto focus in live view mode, best I have seen
4. Has all the control and features of most entry level DSLRs
5. Takes terrific pictures
6. Relatively fast operation
7. The "rubber like" texture of the camera body feels good
8. Performs well in low light and small pictures up to ISO 1600 are usable although not quite as good as the best entry level DSLRs
9. Electronic View Finder is very clear
10. Auto focus assist light

Of course there are some Cons as well:
1. Low light performance not quite as good as best entry level DSLRs. Although this should be expected with the smaller sensor.
2. Would be nice if the flash popped up automatically
3. Limited selection of lenses since the micro four thirds format is so new
4. Is easy to block the auto focus assist light while holding the camera
5. White Balance indoors under fluorescent lighting is poor. However you can manually adjust this.
6. It's expensive in stores (I paid more than I care to admit), although Amazon's price is reasonable in my opinion and a more logical price point. It is worth the $650 price.

The cons I've listed are actually minor. It really is a great camera and I'm very happy I decided to go with it. I have always liked Panasonic's picture quality. Especially if there is lots of light I have found that Panasonic cameras take as good a picture as anything else out there. It's a great handling camera that has all the performance of the entry level DSLRs without the bulk. I'm anxious to see what the future has in store for the micro four thirds format.

If you are looking for a camera that is a little smaller than the entry level DSLRs but has all the performance, this is the camera for you. Its live view performance is top notch and the image quality is impressive (even DPreview spoke highly of the G1's image quality). I'm anxious to get the 45-200mm zoom lens to see how it performs also.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars kicks butt, May 8, 2009
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I've done 35mm slr photography for 30 yrs and have now used the Panasonic G1 for six months. After a lot of shooting, my assessment is that the G1 kicks butt. I converted my old Konica Hexanon lenses to use with it, which give great image quality and less depth of field than the standard zoom lens. The standard lens itself is sharp as a tack and small. The viewfinder is amazing for one that does not use a mirror reflex system. I purchased an Olympus ultra-wide zoom that performs nicely on the G1 (with Panasonic adapter). Auto-focus on the Olympus is excellent. The camera is easy for a novice to use in programmed modes, but allows amazing control when shifted to manual. I had been unable to use my old manual focus Hexanon lenses due to eye deterioration, but the G1's manual focus assist, which zooms the viewfinder, enables me to focus precisely once again.
The only negative is that certain autofocus settings/combinations can slow the camera down, but this is remedied with experimentation. It's still not as rapid as high dollar SLRs. The size is an amazing advantage over such cameras though, if you don't want to carry something heavy and obtrusive.
After a lot of use, I am a big fan.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Bang for the Buck, January 24, 2009
By 
Howard Butler MD (Lantana, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12.1MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Lens (Black) (Electronics)
This camera is awesome. Bought it for my daughter to teach her photography and was absolutely blown away by its output. It has the best dynamic range per $ I have ever encountered. What a treat.

I shoot with a Canon 1DsMKIII and MKIII and must say that DR is as good as my MKIII, which to date I have considered the best. Of course one needs to put that comment into perspective as the G1 is no MKIII nor does it have the pro features or capabilities.

But for those looking for an "entry" level DSLR on a "budget" this is the one.

Yeah, it doesn't have built in video, which is the new craze, but if you don't need it big deal. My main complaint with this camera is the electronic viewfinder, which needs lots and lots of improvement.

Controls are well laid out for the beginner or advanced photographer, auto-bracketing and bracketing in general a snap. With HDR I tend to use AB much more often than I did and this camera makes it a snap. While there are those who will argue about HDR, for me it is a must and the ease of AB is a big concern for me.

In summary, this new technology, is awesome with better and better things on the horizon. You won't be sorry buying this camera; whether you are looking for an entry level DSLR or a light weight carry around to supplement your high end gear it will be hard to put this thing down once you see its awesome images pop up on your computer screen.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New World, April 1, 2009
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12.1MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Lens (Black) (Electronics)
The G1 is my first interchangeable lens, large sensor, electronic view finder camera. Or, in simpler terms, its my first DSLR. Yeah, it doesn't have the mirror, but most people don't really know what SLR refers to anyway, so I usually don't bother explaining.

Let me first say that the main reason I bought this was my disappointment with just about every point and shoot camera's low light performance. I was sick of using the flash in every indoor situation, and usually getting crappy photos. And in this department, the G1 delivers as I have been more than satisfied with its performance up to ISO 800. Above that, and the grain can start to become an issue, but even 1600 is very usable. As it stands, I can now capture family moments that were previously out of reach. But don't take my word for it, read the review at the "dpreview" website to see how it stacks up against other entry level SLRs like the Canon Rebels and Nikon D60 or D90. Its performance is on par with all of these and better in some cases.

Regarding the settings, they are as advanced as you want them to be. For those desiring simplicity, simply set the camera to Intelligent Auto mode and click away. You'll get a message if you need to open the flash, but other than that, no worries.

For someone like me, who enjoys tweaking, the menus are very adequate, and I appreciate the large variety of options available. For instance, in manual mode you can freely adjust ISO, aperture, shutter, etc. and see a readout showing what the expected exposure value (EV) will be. You can also switch to Live View and the camera will display sample images every second to help you understand what exactly your final photo will look like using the current settings, and will adjust accordingly as you change them. 90% of the settings can be adjusted directly on screen using the Quick Menu button, and the menu system itself can be navigated very efficiently using the scroll wheel.

The provided lens is good for most situations, and if you need extended range, get the very good Panasonic 45-200mm f/4.0-5.6 Lumix G Vario MEGA OIS Zoom Lens for Panasonic Digital SLR Cameras. I have both, and I've definitely been able to take pictures with the zoom lens that I might not normally have considered. I'm now taking pictures of birds and just about anything else that will hold still long enough for me to snap it.

The viewfinder is excellent in normal light, and allows you to view a live histogram which can help you take better shots. Its performance does suffer (grain, lower frame rate) in low light, but as far as I'm concerned, this serves as a reminder that you'll need to do something else, such as open the flash or adjust the shutter speed, if you want a decent picture. Regardless, the viewfinder works adequately in just about any condition.

The LCD is excellent as well and the fact that it swivels in just about every direction gives you lots of flexibility. Not only can you take much better self portraits, but you can be a lot less conspicuous too. No longer do you have to hold the camera glued to your face or directly at eye-level, standing out like a sore thumb. I can hold it in my lap or at waist level, tilt the LCD facing up, and take pictures at will while only appearing to be fiddling with the controls. This works on family and strangers too. Have fun snapping...

Needless to say, I'll be demanding a fully articulated LCD on any SLR-like camera I purchase in the future. But for now, this camera has opened up a whole new world for me, at least when it comes to photography, though I do wish it had video, but I won't hold that against it. If you really need video, wait for the GH1 coming out later this year, which I'm sure will be much more expensive. As for the G1, I'm glad I got it for only [...] bucks last month. One has to wonder why the price shot up so suddenly.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great compact interchangeable lens camera, January 8, 2009
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12.1MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Lens (Black) (Electronics)
This camera has been great thus far. I have a Nikon D200 and D300. Three Elph Powershots, an Olympus 1050 and others. The fact that this camera is so compact and so sharp with excellent versatility and features makes it a unique and balanced addition to the others. It is so tight and compact and it has done an excellent job under a variety of conditions.
The camera records very detailed images and is able to maintain that detail at lower shutter speeds in despite of the O.I.S. The white balance appears excellent on the LCD but has not been great under certain conditions which have been easily corrected.
Focus is quick, battery life is good, color rendition is quite good and there is not much more to ask for when looking to complement a pro SLR. This camera can go where you want without the liability or the excess weight and it takes superb images. The tests will prove it.
Printed images should be good. It has been skiing in the Alps and the images have needed almost nothing. White balance is good when you don't have to think to hard about it or when a camera is consistent. The color rendition of skin tones under a variety of conditions is excellent and that includes the flash. The contrast detect AF is great but has not been tested with bursts or ultra low light. Nonetheless, this camera is a winner in my book and will most likely become a cult camera if it does not get adopted widely. It has worked very, very well thus far.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still not sure., August 9, 2010
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12.1MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Lens (Black) (Electronics)
I am a professional photographer who uses nikon cameras, but i always like to carry a small light camera around with me at all times. For about a year and a half that has been a panasonic lx-3. I love the lx-3, especially the fast wide lens, but like all point and shoots it has it's limitations - the biggest one is the tiny sensor. I have been watching the parade of micro 4/3 cameras and figured that the g1 would be a good replacement for the lx-3. It has everything that i was looking for in a replacement - much larger size sensor, interchangeable lens, articulating lcd and while it's larger than the lx-3 it's still much smaller than a full size dslr (nikon d200).

After having it for about a month and using it as my carry everywhere camera i have mixed feelings about the camera. There is definitely things to like about it but there are also things that i have a real problem with. It's dynamic range is not as large as a dslr, especially in the highlights and if i use the multi metering pattern it will blow out the highlights quite often. Another let down is it's overall speed, i was looking forward to something that would be closer to my d200, but unfortunately it's no faster than an lx-3, except the focus speed which is much faster than any point and shoot.

I can get over the speed and with a fast card it's not really that bad, but the metering system is something that really annoys me. Now, i frequently had to adjust the exposure compensation on my lx-3 but it was usually overexposing it to open up the shadows. Maybe i'm just not used to metering systems that have a tendency to overexpose but i find it annoying and really debated returning the camera and may have if i hadn't filled out the registration card (doh!). I am still on the fence and may end up selling it but for now i am using it (with an almost constant use of exposure compensation and sometimes spot meter and ae lock) and it's getting easier as i get a bit more used to the quirks of this camera, but i have not abandoned my search for the perfect (for me) carry everywhere camera.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful little camera and system, April 22, 2009
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I have been using pro equipment for years and sometimes I just don't want to carry around so much weight. This camera changes all that. So far there are only two lenses which do a reasonable job most of the time and sometimes do a brilliant job. The camera body is well thought out - I have small hands and that helps. The functions are many and most are easily accessible. I am amazed at all the user friendly options like the histogram reading taken beforehand visible on the LCD or through the viewfinder; the clear LCD and Viewfinder; the ease at which settings can be changed using the LCD; being able to view beforehand what the image will look like in terms of color and lighting and making changes on the spot,etc. Its also a cute, discrete camera and seems durable. There is a lot to learn and I would not recommend this for beginners unless they just use the auto settings and scene modes. I am eager for more lenses to be introduced. Panasonic seems to move slowly in this regard. The system needs a wide angle and a macro though converters can be bought and used with other maker's lenses which is great. The kit lens does a reasonable job. Images are sharp edge to edge and clear for the most part and there is not much chromatic aberration. Though it is not a macro lens, close ups are possible and come out well. The silky pix software is awkward so I use Adobe Lightroom for RAW files and then finish them in Adobe Photoshop. The files stand up to manipulation and are not noisy if kept below iso 400. I recommend this camera - its very versatile and has a lot of potential.
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