Best of Both Worlds?

Being the first interchangeable lens camera that provides real functional live view, the Lumix G1 is well implemented even though video was omitted. It was a joy using the live view feature, both with the Live View Finder and the huge LCD - we did not miss the traditional optical view finder one bit. Paris was windy and very cold in the winter, which provided a real world challenge when we were shooting there.


The G1 was very responsive shot to shot, and the live view auto and manual focus worked very well. The digital grid feature also helped make composition at night a little easier. We like the compact size and performance of the 14-45mm kit lens, the only one we needed in Paris.


Overall, the Lumix G1 is an excellent performer and a great first step in bringing together the best of both worlds, DSLR performance and the convenience of live view.


However, the G1 is not perfect. The shutter noise was relatively loud for a camera that doesn't have a mirror - we were hoping for something more discreet. We would love to see a compact point-and-shoot camera with this type of sensor from Panasonic in the future. There are a few problems with ergonomics. We find it slightly heavy for its size and not as comfortable to hold as a bigger camera like the Nikon D40X DSLR, for example. The buttons are well laid out, but they seem to be more suitable for a smaller point-and-shoot camera. The intention here is to keep things small and compact, but we really think this would be even a better camera if the designers weren’t fixated on keeping it small. For once, we think bigger is better! Since the camera is solidly built and not pocketable anyway, why not make it a little bigger and more comfortable? In the cold, we accidentally pushed and scrolled the front dial, inadvertently turning on exposure compensation a number of times.


>> paris photo gallery

  • fantastic Live View Finder (LVF) and LCD
  • responsive performance
  • excellent image quality
  • lens based optical image stabilization
  • comprehensive photographic features
  • easy-to-use controls and menu interface
  • customizable grid lines feature
  • multi-format: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
  • excellent built quality
  • good value

  • relatively loud shutter release noise for a camera without a mirror
  • some issues with ergonomics
  • no video
  • expensive spare battery
  • expensive remote release cable

  • great for those who like SLR image quality and controls but prefer a more compact camera with the convenience of live view
  • SLR like camera with live view
  • price when tested: $630
  • 12.2009 street price: $600
  • price as tested: $630
  • I.S. lens: 14-45mm (28-90 35mm equiv)
  • body colors: black, blue, red
  • Flip LCD + Live View Finder
  • 12 Megapixels
  • multi-format: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
  • no video
  • SD/SDHC memory card
  • rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • dimension: 3.29'' x 4.88'' x 1.78''
  • weight: 1.4 lbs
  • Lumix G1 info @