The DMC-G1 is supplied with a Software CD containing:
PHOTOfunStudio Viewer 2.1 (Windows) - A photo browser / editor with some basic workflow functionality (also includes a tray icon automatic import tool). While PHOTOfunStudio Viewer was able to view G1 RAW files it couldn't convert them to JPEG and wasn't able to display all exposure information (clearly didn't fully support the G1).
SilkyPix Developer Studio 3.0 SE (Windows / Mac OS X) - SilkyPix is a RAW conversion application developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory which is probably better known in Japan. SilkyPix provides a wide range of advanced RAW conversion options including adjustable noise reduction, lens aberration correction and rotation / perspective correction.
As is normal in our digital SLR reviews we like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software, any optional manufacturer RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. In the case of the DMC-G1 we had the supplied SilkyPix Developer Studio and Adobe Camera RAW 5.2.
JPEG - Large/Fine, default settings
SilkyPix - SilkyPix Developer Studio 3.0 SE (quality 99)
ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 5.2 (default mode)
Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter. Typically we are used to seeing almost no difference between in-camera JPEG and the supplied RAW converter as it is normally intended to exactly duplicate the color response of the camera. However the SilkyPix software was not developed by Panasonic and clearly has a completely different color map, this means that RAW images converted through SilkyPix will immediately have a different 'look' to them than the camera. Interestingly ACR's output is much closer.
Sharpness and Detail
While the G1's JPEG output is pretty good to start with there is a slight improvement in sharpness and definition when you convert a RAW file in SilkyPix. However, the best overall image was from Adobe Camera RAW with very good sharpness and definition of texture.
In terms of resolution the G1's JPEG output can easily compete with the best cameras in the entry-level DSLR segment and by shooting RAW you can squeeze even more resolution out of the the G1's images. This would seem to indicate that the Panasonic's new sensor has a comparatively light anti-alias filter.
The bad news is that in both RAW images moiré becomes an issue at very high frequencies. Beyond 2800 lines both converters also begin to struggle with the demosaicing of our test chart. Having said that this is much more an issue in our test chart shot than it would be in most real life images. ACR probably ekes a tiny bit more detail out of the image than Silkypix does but the difference is rather marginal. ACR also produces a slightly cleaner image. However, in this test the standard JPEG is the cleanest image.