G1 size: Detailed analysis with photos

Started Sep 14, 2008 | Discussions
PixelMinded Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
G1 size: Detailed analysis with photos

Pana G1:

Leica M8:

Much of the criticism for the G1's size and the suggestions for how it can be made smaller are based on misconceptions IMHO. The critics almost always attack the hand grip and tilt and swivel LCD as the main contributors to the large size of the camera. While in reality, most if not all lenses will make the additional thickness added by the hand grip irrelevant. As you see in the illustration above, the grip adds about 8mm over the thickness of the body up to the lens mount level, the lens mount itself is protruding 5mm from the front of the body, there is no interchangeable-lens camera with a flat lens mount even the Leica M8's mount is not flat as you see in the 2nd photo above.

When the 14-45 is attached to the G1, the combo is about 117mm thick, the lens alone is about 59mm long, when attached to the body 8mm overlap with hand grip protrusion, resulting in only 51mm additional thickness. Since the G1 is not a fixed lens camera, these 51mm should not matter to you, you can get the already available 25mm Olympus pancake or wait for the upcoming 20mm mFT pancake (photo in the next post), and if any of them adds less than 8mm thickness when attached to the body, you can complain about the 1 or 2mm that the grip is adding to the thickness of your combo (tongue-in-cheek, of course).

It is difficult to estimate how much thiner the G1 would have been, had it not had a tilt & swivel, the extra thickness due to swivel that you see above is about 5mm, but the LCD does not occupy all the rear area which is flat with the LCD, so if the camera had a fixed LCD, the internal & external parts benefiting from the extra thickness of the swivel would have to be pushed away elsewhere by the designer of the camera.

The biggest contributer to the thickness of the G1, is the EVF, about 11.5 or 12mm that are not shared with any other component. Personally I would easily accept a camera with nothing but a tilt & swivel LCD as my only viewfinder, many disagree, I know. But at least you now have an idea which part is contributing how much to the size of the G1. I have a Pro1 with a tilt & swivel LCD + EVF and I NEVER use the EVF, it just makes the camera unnecessarily more bulky IMO.

The other two dimensions (width and height) of the G1 are quite good, very close to my Pro1 or the FZ28 and actually smaller overall than the Leica M8 as you see in the comparison photos on the next post.

In conclusion if another G is made without an EVF to make it more rangefinder-like, the thickness can be made as small as 66-12=54mm + the lens length. Reducing the grip won't make a difference as no lens is likely to be of zero thickness (unless you buy a P&S with an internal [retreating] lens). As for the tilt & swivel , having a fixed instead of movable screen could reduce 2 or 3mm --> 54mm - 8mm - 3mm= 43mm (body only meaningless measurement) not too far from the M8's 37mm, but the ergonomics of a design like the G1 is --at least for me-- much better than that of Leica M8.

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OP PixelMinded Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
More photo's & illustrations

G1 vs M8 in the HxD dimensions 123x86=10578mm² vs 139x80=11120mm² (G1 smaller as far as these two dimensions are concerned), 2 photo's first the G1 then the M8:

Example of how compact the G1 can be with a compact lens (upcoming mFT 20mm pancake prime):

G1 side by side with the FZ28, they look almost the same size to me:

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theranman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,228
Re: More photo's & illustrations

Last pic is very helpful. Thanks.

MaineTim Veteran Member • Posts: 3,086
Thanks for the analysis...

very interesting. I'm one of those who loves this combination of articulated LCD and EVF, but I'm sure we'll be seeing the fixed-LCD only version coming along, if the design sketches floating around are any indication.
Just wait.

Tim
--
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Kevin Coppalotti Veteran Member • Posts: 9,553
Re: G1 size: Detailed analysis with photos

More relevant to the average buyer is how it will look on the shelf at the local camera store against similar priced cameras from Nikon, canon, oly and sony etc.

It seems to be slightly smaller than the entry level cams from the others, so size is not going to be deal breaker. I guess some people were expecting an ultra slim pocketable compact with a 4/3 sensor, obviously that has not happened (yet)
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OP PixelMinded Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
What about with articulated LCD but no EVF

MaineTim wrote:

very interesting. I'm one of those who loves this combination of
articulated LCD and EVF, but I'm sure we'll be seeing the fixed-LCD
only version coming along, if the design sketches floating around are
any indication.
Just wait.

As you saw above, the articulation of the LCD only adds 2 or 3mm thickness, while the EFV adds 12mm. If it's necessary to have a viewfinder in addition to the LCD, then maybe an optical one like that of many points and shoots (eg my Canon A610 has one), that's not TTL and has parallax error but many people still want it and it can be made much more compact and less expensive than an EVF. There is a redundancy in having two electronic screens (LCD & EVF) on a camera. In bright sunlight which is the main reason for having EVF, the LCD could be made more visible by increasing its brightness or by opening it and shade it with your hand. Alternatively the manufacturer could make the EVF detachable.

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Art Vandelay II Regular Member • Posts: 394
Re: G1 size: Detailed analysis with photos

Here's a Flickr photo set that might be even more helpful:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/audioblog/sets/72157607245255351/

I wasn't sure before seeing that. But after seeing the photo of the woman holding the lens, and the other photo of her using the camera I'm sold on the MFT's system. My Pentax K10D is going up on ebay very soon.

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OP PixelMinded Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
Re: G1 size: Detailed analysis with photos

Kevin Coppalotti wrote:

More relevant to the average buyer is how it will look on the shelf
at the local camera store against similar priced cameras from Nikon,
canon, oly and sony etc.
It seems to be slightly smaller than the entry level cams from the
others, so size is not going to be deal breaker. I guess some people
were expecting an ultra slim pocketable compact with a 4/3 sensor,
obviously that has not happened (yet)

You are right but I guess if the average buyer see the G1+20mm pancake (see the photo before last in my second post), I guess that could be a deal breaker for some buyers. Canon, Nikon & Sony don't have such a compact prime in their line-ups AFAIK.

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MaineTim Veteran Member • Posts: 3,086
Yes, those are all good options...

I prefer to have this particular combination as it just suits my habits. I like the visual isolation of a VF when framing a "normal shot", and the flexibility of an articulated LCD for those times when using a VF would require you to become a contortionist.

But I'm sure we'll be seeing most of the configurations we've mentioned (except perhaps the removable EVF, though it's something I personally like and use on my Ricoh).

Tim
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Andario Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Yes, those are all good options...

Very useful pics, thank you.

The link provided by Art Vandelay II is excellent to get a comparative idea of the camera size (Unless they´re using a HuGe woman...

danbarry Senior Member • Posts: 1,484
I think this is a first

A quality technical product with primary female marketing. The world is changing towards equal.

Kai-Uwe Och Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: I think this is a first

I am VERY surprised, how quickly things happen right now. Olympus announced the mFT system... What?.... four, six weeks ago? I expected that the first camera would not show up before some time next year. Now Panasonic hits the shelfs in just a few weeks!

The G1 looks very interesting, and I am couriously waiting to get my hands on the first camera body in the mFT system and see, how well the EVF really performs. However I would like to see a body of the build quality of the E3. There is still a lot of tiny plastic parts on the G1, just take a look at those thin levers for on/off and the one next to it. I prefer a bit more "real" stuff!

So this time it looks like Panasonic has been the driving engine behind the mFT concept. Hopefully Olympus surprises us with something tougher, weather sealed, just like a shrinked E3!

Kein Mensch New Member • Posts: 5
Another size comparision - to small DSLRs
jackbw Senior Member • Posts: 1,702
Re: More photo's & illustrations

I'm interested in that 20mm F1.7 pancake lens, though I rather have a flat rangefinder shape without a grip and EVF hump. With that design, it should be perfectly possible to carry the body and lens separately on either pocket. But having a grip and EVF protruding like that makes it impractical. Since the pancake is dead last on the roadmap, I'm hoping that Pany is working on a proper body for it.

Tom K.
Tom K. Senior Member • Posts: 1,728
I was looking at cameras at Circuit City...

Art Vandelay II wrote:

Here's a Flickr photo set that might be even more helpful:

I had a little time to kill so I stepped into a Cicuit City and was looking at the camera displays. They had Nikon, Canon, Sony and Olympus dSLRs all lined up in a row on their stands and frankly, they looked comically large. Ridiculously bulky.

I think Panasonic is getting it right.

-- hide signature --

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OP PixelMinded Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
Re: I think this is a first

danbarry wrote:

A quality technical product with primary female marketing. The world
is changing towards equal.

Hopefully this marketing approach doesn't result in the new camera becoming so feminine in people's minds that some males start to feel shy of owning it.

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OP PixelMinded Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
Re: Another size comparision - to small DSLRs

Kein Mensch wrote:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=29322942

Thanks a lot, this shows clearly how much more compact the G1+ kit lens combo compared to its DSLR counterparts, considerably smaller than the 1000D which is Canon's most compact DSLR.

The depth or thickness dimension with the kit lens ( 117mm for G1) is much more important than the body-only thickness that is conventionally given in the specs sheets (for the G1, 55mm according to Panasonic or 66mm according to dpreview's different method of measurment).

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OP PixelMinded Senior Member • Posts: 1,033
Re: More photo's & illustrations

jackbw wrote:

I'm interested in that 20mm F1.7 pancake lens, though I rather have a
flat rangefinder shape without a grip and EVF hump. With that
design, it should be perfectly possible to carry the body and lens
separately on either pocket. But having a grip and EVF protruding
like that makes it impractical. Since the pancake is dead last on
the roadmap, I'm hoping that Pany is working on a proper body for it.

That's interesting, you say you want the body to be as thin as possible for when when you carry it separately from the lens.. I was mistakenly assuming that not many people would do that, because of the hassle of assembling/disassembling the combo and because of the headache of the dust on the rear element and the sensor. Definitely there are at least two types of irreconcilable designs needed, one like the G1 with hand grip + tilt & swivel and one that's absolutely as flat & thin as possible giving up features of comfortablilty for the sake of maximum pocketability.

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jackbw Senior Member • Posts: 1,702
Re: More photo's & illustrations

I just miss carrying my FX8 in my pocket. I guess it makes sense that the LX3 is shaped like a rangefinder and that the G1 is shaped like an SLR.

Gary R. Veteran Member • Posts: 3,216
Re: What about with articulated LCD but no EVF

PixelMinded wrote:

As you saw above, the articulation of the LCD only adds 2 or 3mm
thickness, while the EFV adds 12mm. If it's necessary to have a
viewfinder in addition to the LCD, then maybe an optical one like
that of many points and shoots (eg my Canon A610 has one), that's not
TTL and has parallax error but many people still want it and it can
be made much more compact and less expensive than an EVF. There is a
redundancy in having two electronic screens (LCD & EVF) on a camera.
In bright sunlight which is the main reason for having EVF, the LCD
could be made more visible by increasing its brightness or by opening
it and shade it with your hand. Alternatively the manufacturer could
make the EVF detachable.

Wow, I can't think of a bigger mistake they could make. The electronic veiwfinder is a major feature in this camera; to leave it off or add it as an afterthought would kill the thought of ever buying one for me, without a doubt, and I think many others.

While technique is certainly up to the user, LCD's are best suited to studio conditions on a tripod, and even at that a good evf is as good or better; they're at a disadvantage outside in bright light, require that the photog hold the camera in a position that's not good for stability, are not good for following action, and require awkward use of reading glasses for many. For quick and active photography, you need a solid clear view of the subject, not what you see in an LCD screen outdoors as you hastily hold the camera out in front of you. If you're going to leave something off, leave off the LCD screen. (when reviewing my photos, I nearly always use the EVF anyway, due to the much better viewing conditions with the external light blocked and good diopter adjustment.

I doubt there's a quicker way to kill this camera's marketability than to relegate it to a point-and-shoot type LCD only model, or to add a simple optical viewfinder which has none of the considerable benefits that come with an EVF.
--
Gary
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