Digital cameras continue to evolve adding more features and new formats. The first cameras using a new camera format called Micro Four Thirds have just started to appear. The Panasonic G1 is the one of the first new cameras of this type. Let’s see how it performs.

The G1 and other Micro Four Thirds cameras have interchangeable lenses, so they fit into the SLR category but they are not SLRs by the strictest sense of the word.  SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex. This refers to the mechanical mirror system that reflects direct light from the lens to an optical viewfinder. Micro Four Thirds cameras substitute an electronic viewfinder for the mirror box. So they can be physically smaller and have smaller lenses than traditional digital SLRs. We took a look at the Panasonic G1 to see if this new format could deliver SLR-quality photos in a smaller form factor.

As you can see from Figure 1, the G1 comes in a fairly plain cardboard box. Unpacking the box reveals the camera itself. As shown in Figure 2, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 body comes with a G Vario 14 – 45 mm F3.5 – F5.6 ASPH.Mega OIS lens, lens hood, lens cap, and neck strap. A lithium-ion battery pack is also included. Although we reviewed the black model, one of the unique features of this camera is that it also comes in red and blue which is unusual for a camera of this size.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1K Digital Camera ReviewFigure 1: The G1 in the box.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1K Digital Camera ReviewFigure 2: The G1 with lens and hood.

As you can see, the G1 is smaller than other digital SLRs, but not as small as we had hoped it would be. It measures 4.9 x 3.3 x 1.8 in (124 x 84 x 45 mm). We have seen prototypes of smaller Micro Four Thirds cameras and think that future cameras of this type will become even smaller.

The G1 also comes with several other accessories, as shown in Figure 3. There is a video cable, USB connection cable, software CD, small wrist strap, rear lens cap, body cap, and lens storage bag. The battery charger has a long cable as is standard for cameras of this type. The 166-page manual comes in several languages.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1K Digital Camera ReviewFigure 3: Included accessories.


Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up’s Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.