Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Micro FourThirds : A New Standard in camera design

Once in a while, a new camera announcement catches my eye to make it worthy of a mention here. Photokina 2008 is around the corner, and manufacturers are releasing 'teasers' to photography websites and interested parties including the tech press of their latest and greatest. Usually, new releases are merely upgrades of what is existing,..higher pixel count, new functions, new colour schemes, throw in some slightly better performance and a few new lenses. Like cars, a brand new model seldom comes around, and most new models are just improved and face-lifted old ones.

However, recently, Panasonic announced their joint venture with Olympus to produce and commit to a 'new' standard of camera design, based around the FourThirds sensor which currently drives their DSLRs like the Lumix L10, Olympus E3, E420 and E520, and also the Leica Digilux 3.

Lumix announced the released of their new G1 digital camera with a FourThirds sensor and interchangeable lens. So what's fancy about this, you may ask.

Firstly, it is NOT a DSLR in terms. From the outside it looks like a compact DSLR. It shares the same size sensor as their FourThird counterparts, and has 12.1 MPs and is the first Electronic Viewfinder interchangeable lens digital camera. Unlike a DSLR, it does not have a viewfinder prism and therefore, does not have a mirror assembly unit between the lens and the sensor plane. This shaves a cool 20mm of the thickness of the body unit, and hence, smaller camera, voila!

A smaller camera means smaller lenses, and a lighter and smaller system, without sacrificing DSLR-like quality of a large sensor.

Regular FourThirds lenses can also be used on the G1 with an adaptor. For more information, visit the Panasonic website here. Best of all, it also comes in Red and Blue. Now that is cool..

Photos courtesy :


Zawi said...

What is your verdict? Is it a buy?

svllee said...

Hi Zawi, I have not heard of the pricing yet for the G1. It should be quite affordable if Panasonic are trying to gain market share of this new standard. For me, I would wait for the announcement from Olympus, the other main partner in the MicroFourThirds System to see what they can offer at Photokina 08. Also I would like to see new fixed lenses instead of the slow zooms they are including in the kit. Otherwise, i think it will be a good system to get into. Weight reduction being the main advantage for me.