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Landmark cameras: Panasonic Lumix G1

Panasonic has now made extra Micro 4 Thirds mirrorless digicam fashions that we are able to rely, however the one which began all of it of was the Lumix DMC-G1 again in 2008.

We take mirrorless cameras without any consideration now, however this was a serious technological leap again then, when DSLRs dominated the earth and digital digital viewfinders had to date solely been seen within the compact digicam market. 

Till now, the one mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras had been area of interest merchandise just like the Epson R-D1 and Leica M8 rangefinder cameras, however right here was a small, inexpensive interchangeable lens digicam for fans that ditched the DSLR mirror mechanism and with it a great deal of weight and bulk of DSLRs of the time. The Lumix G1 was the very first modern-day mirrorless digicam.

However whereas the design was new, the sensor really wasn’t. The unique Four Thirds format was launched collectively by Panasonic and Olympus manner again in 2002, however it was used as a part of mirror-based digicam designs that made little headway towards established manufacturers, not least due to the smaller sensor format.

However 2008 marked an impressed design and advertising and marketing shift. The 4 Thirds system was rebranded as Micro 4 Thirds and was now mirrorless. And maybe by advantage of hitting the market first, Panasonic and Olympus have maintained a robust place within the mirrorless market ever since.

What had been the specs?

By at this time’s requirements, the Panasonic G1’s specs look fairly tame. The Micro 4 Thirds sensor measures 17.Three x 13mm, which supplies it about half the realm of an APS-C sensor – however that is nonetheless a serious step up from the tiny sensors utilized in smartphones and most compacts.

The G1’s decision of 12.1MP can be greeted with howls of laughter at this time, however really that was fairly good in 2008. In the identical yr, Canon launched the 12.2MP EOS Rebel XSi / EOS 450D and Nikon introduced out the 12.2MP D90. In 2008, 12 megapixels was the place it was at.

You can get greater megapixel counts from full body cameras just like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Nikon D3X and Sony A900, however within the inexpensive fans market, the G1’s decision was very aggressive.

The EVF had a decision of 1.44 million dots – not a lot by at this time’s requirements, however fairly spectacular for a digital viewfinder again then.

The autofocus system was contrast-based with 23 AF zones however, presumably on account of the smaller sensor dimension and lighter lenses, it felt very snappy even in direct comparability with DSLRs of the time.

With an ISO vary of 100-3200, the G1 was by no means a low-light specialist, although, and the smaller sensor dimension put it at a drawback in comparison with APS-C cameras, and that high-ISO efficiency distinction persists to at the present time.

The rear Three-inch display screen had a decision of 460,000 pixels and was absolutely articulating – an astonishing leap in comparison with DSLRs of the time, whereas the EVF had a decision of 1.44 million dots – not a lot by at this time’s requirements, however fairly spectacular for a digital viewfinder again then.

The mirrorless design introduced massive financial savings in dimension and weight. The G1’s physique measured 124 x 84 x 45mm and weighed simply 380g, whereas its 14-45mm f/Three.6-5.6 equipment lens (28-90mm equal) weighed simply 195g. On the draw back, the utmost steady taking pictures velocity was simply 3fps and there was – amazingly – no video mode. Panasonic’s cameras have introduced large will increase in velocity and efficiency since then!

You additionally bought lumbered with a battery lifetime of 330 pictures, which we now realise is just about what we should anticipate from the common mirrorless digicam, however again then it triggered some grumbling.

What made it so particular?

We will look again now and suppose that the Lumix G1’s specs look fairly tame, and again then it was such a brand new concept that photographers raised on a weight loss program of clunky, lumpy DSLRs and little else hardly knew what to make of it, so the response was extra muted than maybe the digicam deserved.

However with the hindsight of historical past we are able to see that the Panasonic Lumix G1 was a breakthrough. Right here was a mirrorless digicam that did what a DSLR did and extra, because of that articulating rear display screen and everlasting stay view. It was small, mild, exact and fairly nicely put collectively – all these issues we have particularly come to understand within the generations of mirrorless cameras which have adopted.

It is the digicam that made photographers and digicam makers realise what a mirrorless digicam system might do, and despite the fact that the G1 was lengthy gone by the point mirrorless pictures gained correct momentum, it deserves to be remembered because the digicam that made us all sit up and brought discover of mirrorless know-how.

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