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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:36 pm 
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Hi everyone, we've just heard back from Panasonic regarding some of our questions about the G1, so I've updated the preview with new details on the AF, EVF and movie modes.

Apparently there will be a Micro Four Thirds from Panasonic with video in 2009.

Gordon


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 Post subject: Death of DSLR's
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:04 am 
My title, the Death of DSLR's, is pertinent to the G1 given the level of technology we have, both how primitive it really is, and future promise. When I was a kid, there was no TV, no computers, just "records" made of shellac and played with needles. It's good to see that the old mirror technology is going to die, the sooner the better. There will be nostalgia for the stuff, as there are music buffs who swear by "analog" records, or camera fans who cherish film. But I dreamed of the digital/virtual world of media 50 years ago, and told people about it. I feel like we still have one foot in the cave, but the Pana G1 at least lets us squeeze another toe out of the entrance, so we can hope for relief from the primitive contraptions we've been "blessed" with for 50-plus years.


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 Post subject: Noise
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:56 am 
One very positive thing we can look forward to with the G1 is low-to-nonexistent noise. I say that based on the dramatic reduction in noise they accomplished with the LX3. Probably their strongest feature with the LX3, which may surprise some people who are familiar with their other efforts being unduly noisy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:53 am 
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It could be the future of DSLR, but it depends on some factors:

- Is the camera responsive enough (fast AF, shutter speed, burst etc).
- Are the camera and lenses are affordable especially for amateurs?
- How big is the commitment of four third producer on this project?
- How well are the lenses and other accessories now and in the future.

These questions might not be answered today, but it is an exciting new system.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:42 am 
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I find it interesting that so many people are flummoxed by this camera. Everyone is wondering who the target market is -- the target market is people like me.

I am a compact camera user, but I want to upgrade to a camera that has better image quality, since I've become something of a "pixel peeper" and want my images to look good at 100% on my monitor. However, I absolutely do not want to lug around a huge DSLR.

I think this camera will become very popular (if it has good picture quality and specs). The DSLR segment of the market is growing faster than the other segments specifically because people want better image quality. If those people have the option of moving up to a better camera which isn't huge, I think many of them will choose a M4/3 camera. In addition to that, many DSLR owners will be happy to have a smaller camera with good image quality for those times when they don't want to lug around a giant.

What Panasonic has done with the styling is very interesting. Because the camera has a DSLR's sensor, they decided to give it DSLR styling (including a faux pentaprism hump). They did this, I'm sure, to signal to buyers that this is a "serious" camera. Certainly the camera can be made smaller, but I assume that Panasonic felt that the G1 was "small enough" for their introductory model. Future cameras will probably be smaller, and the faux pentaprism hump will probably be abandoned pretty quickly.

As for the type of focus, I'm sure there are benefits to the traditional phase-change AF system used by DSLRs; but as long as the AF is fast, it really doesn't matter which technology is used. Panasonic has designed this contrast-detect AF system to be very fast, and that's the important thing. Also, I've read on other sites that the G1's highly sophisticated electronic viewfinder is almost like looking through an optical viewfinder -- except that it has the advantage of being more visible in low light.

I really do think we are looking at the future here. I think many of you are underestimated how important size is to most consumers. Another site said that mirrors and prisms are legacy technology. If the EVF is very good (and getting better with time), then mirrors and prisms just aren't needed anymore. I can see a day when all viewfinders are electronic.

Provided that there isn't some serious drawback or defect to this camera, I'll probably snatch one up as soon as it is available.


Last edited by Caleb Murdock on Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: DSLR?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:05 am 
The biggest problem with people getting a grip on this is the term 'DSLR'. There is no such thing as a DSLR sensor, for example, since DSLR refers to a "reflex" system with a mirror. The sooner we can appreciate this technology (digital, electronic) on its own terms the better our understanding will be.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:14 am 
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Well, perhaps I should have said a DSLR-sized sensor. I think you know what I meant.


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 Post subject: dslr
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:33 am 
Caleb Murdock wrote:
Well, perhaps I should have said a DSLR-sized sensor. I think you know what I meant.

Not directed at you actually, but toward the forum as a whole. You will see in the near future lots of confusion in the postings due to mixups in the terminology. I just hope the signal to noise ratio is good overall.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:43 am 
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It took me a while thinking about this... but the placement is simple. If you put aside the changeable lenses, it's effectively a bridge camera and would probably attract the same sort of buyer. So if the pricing can be kept competitive, I see these pushing into the high end bridge camera space. If they can also make a good enough cheap 'universal zoom' lens for it, then it could also push into lower end bridge camera space too.

On the other hand, while ditching the mirror/OVF saves a bit of space, I'm not sure it saves enough space to make a big difference compared to DSLR. For the same sensor size, will the micro lenses really get that much smaller than for full FourThirds? I'm not great at optical physics. Does moving the lens back closer to the sensor help that much?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:00 am 
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Well there is one area where you can definitely build the lenses smaller: wide-angel lenses/zooms.
So a "pancake" 24mm or below or a 12-24mm zoom (acting like a 24-50mm zoom on that sensor) might be sufficiently small (and cheaper to build) to attract a followership.

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 Post subject: physics
PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:02 pm 
The physics on this are indeed very, very complicated. Funny thing is, even though I have used many small cameras, I was expecting something more substantial when I got the LX3, which feels very small in my hands. A really good trick of marketing and design in this new(?) micro-4/3 market will be to give the buyer something genuinely smaller, but that *feels* substantial, so you feel like you have a real camera, like you're getting your money's worth. If I were marketing this, I would not only have 3 colors, but I'd make a couple different sizes, for different size hands. I think a lot of people could relate to that.


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 Post subject: Re: physics
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:58 am 
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dalethorn wrote:
If I were marketing this, I would not only have 3 colors, but I'd make a couple different sizes, for different size hands. I think a lot of people could relate to that.


That would be awesome! I can't imagine them doing that though, it's a lot harder to make different sizes than it is to make different colours.

Maybe they could make differently sized grips like Logitech does with their mice.

I hope that EVF is very very good because it will need to be to come anywhere near an optical one. If they can pull if off, the potential it has will be amazing because you can give much more information with an EVF.

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 Post subject: G1
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:39 am 
Some of the DSLR's change the grip when an extended battery is attached, so there's experience in the field already for adjustable grips. The thing seems to be to make a lot of noise on the forums, then the mfr's respond (and they do seem to be responding). As far as EVF's go, the one I have on my FZ50 is very good, with a focus adjustment separate from the camera focus (so they work together for perfect focus in the image taken and the image viewed). So they should be able to improve that feature as well. I also hope they pay attention to balance when attaching heavier, longer lenses to a lightweight plastic body. There have been complaints about that with other cameras.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:52 pm 
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[quote="Cam-I-Am"]Let's hope Olympus (or Leica) will produce something like a 14-150 Micro 4/3 lens. With that you could create a compact camera with substantial zoom range and much less need to change lenses that will appeal to the photographers who are looking for something smaller and with less hassle than a DSLR.

A zoom range of 28-300mm in 35 mm equivalent on a 4/3 sensor is something I could live with I think.

[/quote]

According to DP Review, Panasonic have indicated that they will have a 14 - 140 Micro 4/3 lens in 2009.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:37 am 
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it seems that Panasonic has abandoned their regular 4/3rds efforts and I really hope that Olympus doesn't do the same. As an L1 user I this is sorta disheartening. I'm just hoping that my Leica 14-50mm F2.8-3.5 will be compatible since I'm not sure if this has the contrast based AF.

Also I noticed that it doesn't say "Leica" on the lens anymore, I guess they're not partnering with Leica on these lenses anymore.

I was really hoping that the size of the G1 would be like that of the FZs and Canon's S series. If its going to be just slightly smaller than the E420 it might be wiser to stick with the E420 for the reason that there's more lenses right now thats available for it.

And ofcourse, I'm curious to find out how much this thing will be hehe


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