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Friday, 12 September 2008


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A really interesting comparison of sizes. Of course, G9 is one of the biggest (non-superzoom) compacts, but this is relevant nevertheless. One point however: the G9 lens retracts mostly inside the camera when not in use.

How about comparing LX3 and G1 side by side?

Still too big. In fact even the DP1 is. The G9 looks big, but remember the lens stays nicely tucked in so yu can actually slip it into your pocket unlike the DP1. Too bad its sensor is crud.

Unfortunately I don't think you can make a truly pocketable camera with interchangeable lenses, if only because the lens has to be big enough to grip as you twist it onto the mount. I hope they prove me wrong with the 20mm f/1.7.

They should have gone with the flush grip a la E-420 or L1, it would look much smaller (despite the fact that even the expected 20mm f1.7 would likely protrude more than that).

Geez, seeing the 20mm I'm almost in heaven.


First of all, thanks for the link to S.C. Much appreciated!

Like many others, I'm excited about the 20/1.7 lens on the Panasonic roadmap. Imaging Resource says that this lens will be "super-compact". I'm hoping that Olympus brings out a more compact body to go with it.

All the best,

The comparison is important because a lot of high-end compact owners are the ones who are looking to M4/3 to deliver a "DMD" type form factor. Panasonic said they could have made the G1 much smaller but didnt for fear of US market consumers would find it TOO small! Hopefully Olympus will show a more compact RF style body - and please - a pancake prime or two!

I wonder if it is possible to design a digital camera (micro 4/3) that is similar to a Retina IIIC? The folder style allows for storing it in a jacket pocket or small fanny pack. The Retina had interchangeable lenses, of a sort, in that you didn't actually change the entire lens, but it worked. I did an entire Maine vacation in the 1990s with only my Retina IIIc and 3 lenses--very compact. Good photos, too.


If the sizes of lenses were a huge factor in "grippability," then the Pentax pancakes wouldn't be nearly as popular as they are:

And, of course Olympus' own 25mm pancake. And Nikon's old pancakes. They were (and still are) quite popular. Pair the 40mm with a small camera like the *istDS or the K100D (which isn't as small) and you have a NEAR pocketable full SLR.

G9 wins the beauty contest.

I like the G9 form factor better; but the elongated e520 shape has an even better balance in the hand than the squarish G9. Hopefully some of the Micro Fourthirds will come in an elongated, boxy rangefinder-ish shape and have a shutter speed dial as well as aperture and focus rings on the lens.

Oh, and a 40mm f2 pancake, please, if that's not too much trouble.

The debate over this camera maybe being too big is nuts. I've got a G9 and it's just the right size for a small camera, take anywhere camera. Anything smaller and I would think it would be difficult to use the buttons and feature controls. At some point I think people have to realize that if you want something so small that it fits in your pocket there is a good chance you are going to have to sacrifice image quality - especially if it's a camera with a detachable lens.

Panasonic's task with this camera was to make the new format as palatable as possible to DSLR owners in order to gain credibility as an enthusiast camera. This means it needed to be somewhat conservative, maintaining a familiar body style and addressing concerns such as viewfinder quality and AF speed above all else. They have explicitly stated that they couldn't afford to fail out of the gate and that this conservative approach was only their first move, with more compact cameras to follow.

The G9 seems to have vanished from the face of the earth. No longer shows up at B&H or Adorama, and the chain electronics stores (Circuit City / Bestbuy) don't seem to have any in stock. Propbably means a G10 is going to be announced shortly.

Put the "roadmap pancake" on the G1, and the form factors draw closer. Personally, I love my G9, but consider it a tad chunky. The G1/pancake will be chunkier. And the pancake will not feature IS, right? So the 2-stop advantage it will have over the f/2.8 Canon lens is negated (for most shooting) by the Canon's IS.

Assuming the Panasonic sensor is up to 2 stops more sensitive than the Canon's smaller sensor, you may be looking at ISO 1600 images from the G1 that rival ISO 400 images from the G9.

Although our kind host (Mr. Johnston) has indicated that the lack of video capture on the G1 might be a mere quibble, I will mention again that for considerably fewer simoleons the G9 also provides detailed, 1024x768 videos that put to shame my standard definition, dedicated camcorder (a Sony).

So, for compact-loving shooters who also value image quality, is the bigger G1 worth a price (with pancake) that will be more than double the price of a G9?

I own a Pentax ME, introduced in 1977, that measures 5.13 x 3.24 x 1.93 inches and weighs 16 ounces. It's thus slightly larger and heavier than the Panasonic G1, but the Pentax ME is a *full-frame 35mm camera.* The 50mm f/1.7 Pentax-M that's mounted on the front of my ME adds another 1.25 inches to the depth, but it has a 49mm filter thread as compared to the 52mm filter thread for the equivalent Lumix 20mm f/1.7. So how exactly does the Micro 4/3rds format represent some great achievement in miniaturization?

Believe me, I'm happy it's smaller than most of today's bulky DSLRs, and I hope the rest of the lenses are equally compact, but let's not get caught up in the hype. Micro 4/3rds is just a way to market a camera with a smaller, less expensive sensor. Make a small camera with a full-sized sensor. *Then* I'll be impressed.

I could live with something a little wider and just a tad taller than the G9 as a go-anywhere camera, but the depth of the G1 with its viewfinder protrusion to the rear and the is-it-the-popup-flash? / pseudo-mirror-box on top and out front is an issue, let alone the giant lens. As a general-purpose camera for someone who wants better-than-a-P&S but not as much as a DSLR, this sort of thing has a great future.

Someone's got a set on Flickr of a person handling the G1:


why do you compare two different cameras ?

"why do you compare two different cameras ?"

Because the size of one is known and the size of the other isn't, yet. It's just to give people an idea of the size of the new camera.

Mike J.

There's a huge size difference because the G9 lens retracts. Thus the G9 can easily fit in a briefcase or a big pocket. The G1 cannot.

The G1 looks bigger than the Contax G1. (Anyone remember that camera?).

I like a pull rotating LCD on the G1. If the G9 lens is the same as previous Cannon cameras from the G series a lack of a filter threads, for lens protection, would be a no buy for me. One constant complaint I have with most digital cameras is how slow the lenses are. My first low end Pentax H3V 35mm camera came standard with a f2.0 lens. That would be blazing fast on most current digital cameras today.

Wouldn't it be nice if an m4/3 camera had a mount design whereby you take off the lens after using the camera and an iris snaps shut across the lens and the body? Then you can pop the body in a pocket and have a lens or two in other pockets (after all they are compact lenses).

It isn't point and shoot but I think it would be very practical.

Or, maybe get a similar outcome without the iris, by making up an ultra compact bag with foam inserts of the exact size to fit the body and each lens snugly without caps, so the owner can grab the body and a lens and fit them without hassle. Custom foam inserts could be made with that space-filling spray foam.

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