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Panasonic announces Lumix DMC-G1, smallest and lightest interchangable lens camera

On Friday, Panasonic announced the first camera to support the new micro Four Thirds standard created by Olympus and Panasonic to deliver interchangeable lenses and other SLR-like features in more-compact form factors.
Written by Janice Chen, Inactive on

On Friday, Panasonic announced the first camera to support the new micro Four Thirds standard created by Olympus and Panasonic to deliver interchangeable lenses and other SLR-like features in more-compact form factors. The G1 is a bit smaller than the smallest dSLR on the market (the Olympus E-420), which the micro Four Thirds standard accomplishes by blowing off the "single lens reflex" part of the equation (i.e., the mirror and prism that allows the viewfinder to see directly through the lens of an SLR) but maintaining a dSLR-sized sensor. Poised to compete against high-end compact cameras like the Canon G9 (and upcoming G10), and Panasonic's own recently released Lumix DMC-LX3, as well as entry-level dSLRs, the G1 packs a 12.1 megapixel Live MOS sensor, sports a high-resolution 3-inch flip-out LCD viewfinder, and comes in the two decidedly non-SLR-like colors of blue and red as well as a standard black.

Not surprisingly, Panasonic also announced two micro Four Thirds lenses: the Lumix G Vario 14-45mm (28-90mm equivalent), f/3.5-5.6 lens, which will be the standard G1 kit lens, and the Lumix G Vario 45-200mm (90-400mm equivalent), f/4.0-5.6 telephoto lens. Both include optical image stabilization and will be available when the G1 ships in November. Pricing is supposed to be announced in early October.

Early expert previews are already available: Lori Grunin offers a good description at CNET's Crave and DPReview got an exclusive early look at a prototype and has posted an in-depth hands-on preview.

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