Panasonic Lumix G1 Review
The G1 has a 3.0" wide screen display built onto a hinge that allows it to swivel and tilt. The LCD is made up of 460,000 dots, making it one of the higher-resolution examples available. It's not quite on a par with the screens starting to appear on the higher-end enthusiast and pro DSLRs but it's a step ahead of all the current entry-level DSLRs the G1 is competing with. The screen can be turned around completely ('face in') to protect it when not in use.
Possibly the biggest barrier to acceptance of the idea of a non-reflex 'SLR' has been the lack of an electronic eye-level display that can come close to offering the clarity of a traditional mirror, focusing screen and pentaprism/mirror system. The G1's newly developed electronic viewfinder uses single-panel LED-illuminated Direct-view LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) technology, and is based on Panasonic's latest professional high-end system video cameras. It is the first time this technology has been used in consumer-end products.
According to Panasonic LCOS technology can produce much higher resolution images than liquid crystal display or plasma display technologies. Compared to conventional LCDs in which the back light is projected through RGB filters and into the eye, in LCOS, liquid crystals are applied directly to the surface of a silicon chip coated with a highly reflective aluminized layer. RGB light is then reflected off this surface and into the eye, therefore minimizing overall color loss often associated with the low quality of color filters in conventional LCDs. This allows the G1's Live Viewfinder to achieve over 90% of the NTSC color gamut (this, apparently, is unusually high).
The G1's single panel display chip shows the red, green and blue components in succession (field sequential display) - your brain does the combining to produce the full color image. This means you can't see the individual pixels - there's no gap between them (there's no mesh surrounding the color filters such as in conventional LCD displays). The viewfinder is able to refresh the three RGB colors at a rate of 60Hz, therefore achieving the 60fps Full-Time Live View.
We've certainly been impressed by the unit. There's still the slight color 'tearing' if you move your eye too quickly (something common to all field sequential viewfinders we've tried), but the sharpness, resolution, refresh rate, brightness and color are excellent. The real revelation is when you try it next to the Olympus E-420 (using our tried and tested method of putting a camera up to each eye); the G1's viewfinder image looks huge (it's at least 50% larger), and a lot brighter with a standard zoom attached. There's no doubt that electronic viewfinders aren't going to replace optical reflex finders for all applications in the near future (the display gets quite noisy and the refresh rate drops to a rather 'jerky' level in very low light, and it will inevitably impact on shutter lag), but this is a real move in the right direction - it's perfectly possible to check critical focus using the EVF, and there seems to be very little video lag.
Next to the eyepiece there's a sensor that automatically switches between the main screen and the EVF when you put your eye to the viewfinder (there's a slight delay - but we're only talking a fraction of a second).
Camera settings display
There are three different types of display that can be brought up while shooting images with the G1. "LCD monitor" mode looks most like a compact camera display, with icons overlaid on the image. "Finder mode" is very similar but places a black bar across the bottom of the screen, to make it more familiar to DSLR users used to using an optical viewfinder with a status bar along the bottom. Finally, there's a status panel of the type that has become common on entry-level DSLRs.
|The 'Finder' style view retains a black strip along the bottom of the screen to mimic the behavior of an optical viewfinder. Unlike an optical finder, however, it can re-size the view to match the aspect ratio (4:3, 3:2 or 16:9)||Status panel mode behaves just like the other modes, with the Q.Menu button being used to access the different settings.|
In keeping with the G1's aim of behaving exactly like a DSLR, the EVF very closely mimics the appearance of a DSLR. And, unlike DSLRs with Live view, the layout of the information is consistent between the viewfinder and the rear LCD (unless you're using the Status Panel mode on the rear screen). The result is no hunting around for settings - they're always shown in the same place. And, unlike a DSLR, the G1's viewfinder can show you the options for each setting, rather than just reflecting the current settings.
|1||Flash setting||11||AF mode|
|2||Film mode||12||Metering mode|
|3||Optical Image Stabilization mode||13||Recording mode|
|4||Drive mode (blank in single frame mode)||14||Aperture|
|5||Digital zoom||15||Shutter speed|
|6||Picture size/ aspect ratio||16||Exposure indicator|
|7||Quality setting||17||Sensitivity setting|
|8||Power LCD mode||18||White Balance|
|9||Intelligent exposure||19||Frames remaining|
|10||Battery status||20||Focus confirmation|
Battery Compartment / Battery
The G1 has a 1250mAh, 7.2V battery, meaning it can deliver 9.0Wh, in excess of the power output we've seen from recent entry-level DSLRs with small batteries (though, of course, it's reasonable to assume the G1 will draw more power than those cameras, unless they're used in their Live view modes). Battery life is around 330-350 shots (CIPA standard), depending on whether you use the electronic viewfinder or the slightly more power-hungry LCD screen - this is similar to most digital SLRs used in live view mode (though of course here you don't have the option of an optical finder to extend battery life). In these days of 8GB SD cards it's easy to shoot that many pictures in a day, so a spare battery might be a good idea.
The G1 uses a new battery, the memorably named DMW-BLB13PP. The DE-A49 charger is also new and offers a 9.3V DC output that the optional DC cable/dummy battery (DMW-DCC3) can be plugged into.
Secure Digital Compartment
Like most of cameras at this end of the market, the G1 accepts the popular SD format of memory card (including the larger capacity SDHC variety). The card slot sits under a sturdy slide-out spring-bound door (there's no lock but the door is stiff enough to avoid accidental opening).
On the left hand side of the camera is the familiar micro USB digital/video connector and a c-type Mini HDMI connector for connection to your HDTV. No HDMI cable is included with the camera, however, so that's something you may need to invest it.
- 18 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 19 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 20 Photographic tests (DR)
- 21 Photographic tests
- 22 Compared to
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (JPEG)
- 25 Compared to (JPEG)
- 26 Compared to (JPEG)
- 27 Compared to (JPEG)
- 28 Compared to (RAW)
- 29 Compared to (RAW)
- 30 Compared to (RAW)
- 31 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 32 Compared to (Resolution)
- 33 Conclusion
- 34 Samples
Jan 19, 2009
Sep 12, 2008
Jan 18, 2012
Jan 12, 2012
|Hot Air Balloons Over Bagan by User9320321874|
|Blue mood by darub|
from Fixed lens shootout.
|Yellow Warbler by LeeS|
from A Big Year - birds
|Waiting for the Parade by tcoker1103|
from - La Vida Loca - (Black and White Street Photography+ A Border)
The Pictar grip provides a number of customizable physical controls for your iPhone camera, but at its price point we would like to see better materials and build quality.
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not known as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you know where to look. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.