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Saturday, 31 January 2009


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Okay, I'm sold. Time to order one.

Everytime I see an old nikon F* next to an SLR I think back to the old bolt on finger grips you could buy in the back alleys of whatever seedy photo-store we all used to visit back in the day. I always thought they looked horribly ostentatious trying to be all cool and ergonomic.

Granted, I think a current poly-maggo-alloy DSLR would look even worse if it didn't have a molded finger grip to latch on to.

This really has nothing to do with anything just random memories escaping into the world.

Thanks for showing! :D

Congratulations. I bet you have a M-u4/3 adapter :-)

I am waiting to see what Olympus has up on its sleeve. That and I am waiting for more disposable income.

i don't get the G1, is it that much more compact than say a d40?

the carrot com looks interesting but I'd buy it if someone took a G1 sensor and stuck it in an lx3 or a G10 or a p6000 (and strip out some of the pointless "functionality")

I had a chance to play with one in a store yesterday.

The EVF is very funky, cool and weird. There is almost certainly one of these in my future, just waiting on some more lenses. :-)

Hi Mike,

Ahhhh, now you are beginning to realize the Panasonic G1 was really the most important camera released in 2008, and not the Canon 5D MkII that everybody has already forgotten... The G1 is the first interchangeable lens camera that doesn't look like an old SLR or rangefinder camera with an electronic sensor grafted as an afterthought.



It seems to me that the G1 has received more commentary and evaluation by people who have never even picked one up than any camera in recent memory. It's been labeled "revolutionary", or "a stinker" based mainly on website photos and promotional material. I know those kind of "evaluations" are nothing new, especially on the internet, but they seem to me to be more prevalent with the G1. I look forward to reading your take on this camera now that you actually have one to evaluate.

I also hope this evaluation is like the other ones you've done recently - info people who actually make photographs are interested in and can use. All the technical jargon that is contained in some camera tests excites some, I know, but for me, cameras are still for making photos. Opinions by people who still love the craft more than the gear are always more interesting to me.

I find the G1 a bit... well, ugly.
The Micro 4/3 is a platform that will evolve...
We will see many interesting things designed by Olympus and Panasonic.
I hope the big mistake of 4/3 (lack of fixed fast lenses) will be avoided now...

Mike you need to check some camera porn at flickr, like this:

Problem is that the standard lens is already very good.

Also have a G1... and my m8 is getting some dust for now.
Not my number one camera for working, but for play nothing beats it.

Fernando Guerra

Good grief! I thought the G1 was supposed to be small. As someone who grew up in the Olympus OM1 era and used Pentax MXs, the Nikkormat was on the large side. Guess it and the G1 are downright compact these days. It does look handsome. Thanks, Mike.

am I the only one married to 3-2 aspect ratio?
I just can't get my head around 4-3!

I just bought a G1 and it came last Thursday. I LOVE it. But I agree, the EVF needs enough light - otherwise it's fairly grainy. And the shutter sound makes me smile.

Enjoy. I've had mine for a little over 2 weeks and it's proved to be the most useful digital I've owned. I'm actually selling off my D300 to fund some more glass for the G1.

It does have its warts though. The White Balance is poor and the MF assist function has issues in low light. And the ISO ratings are less than accurate (ISO 100 is really 160, all the ratings are about 2/3 of a stop under reality). But the kit lens is quite good, the handling is excellent and it's both discreet and responsive.

I kind of view it as the real digital equivalent of a RF when using the EVF, and a TLR when using the LCD.

The only downside is there's a strong rumour that the 20/1.7 pancake is delayed until the fall.

I see that Panasonic replicates a problem I have with the Pentax, in that you cannot use the flash if you have anything in the accessory shoe**.

My solution is here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=30387924

By the way, those little, built-in flashes are wonderful for fill light and even primary light sometimes. Since I always have my camera with me, I certainly don't want to lug around an external flash that is as big as the camera.

** Am I showing my age by calling it that?


I was wobbling on ordering my Sony with or without liveview. The G1 convinced me to go with the a700, and later get a micro 4/3. I used an evf with the Minolta 7Hi, and have no problem with them.
By the time my wife calms down from the a700 purchase Olympus should have something available. I have always felt a bit guilty about abandoning them when I went digital.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts on this camera. I think I can safely say you're a bit of a traditionalist and the idea of an electronic viewfinder is probably an anathema to you -- I was to me until I tried it.

I'm of a certain age where my eyesight is not what it once was, and the EVF is what sold me on this camera. I can see everything including many of the settings. I could never do that before with my Canon and Olympus dslrs. Also, the viewfinder makes it very easy to focus manually.

It's certainly not equal in image quality to my 5D and I'd really like a fast 'normal' prime. I'm waiting to see the promised 20mmf1.7; otherwise, I'd probably try a fast wide 'older' lens but there aren't many in a reasonable price range that are wide enough to compensate for the half sized sensor.

Still, nothing's perfect and I've already done some good work with this camera.

I love mine so far. It is just a great feeling to put a handstrap on the G1 and just walk around with it. Now I take this camera with me almost everywhere.

Been waiting for some common sense observations on this camera. Have seen Michael Reichmann's take on it and it will be interesting to compare his notes with yours. There does not seem to be a sample to look at within a 1000 mile radius(bitter hyperbole). Of course the missus must catch no wind of my interest in this camera. She already thinks I'm going through a late middle age crisis with my loyalty flitting between a different photo toy on an almost weekly timescale.

Geez, that FT3 looks nice!

Glad to see you've finally got your new toy. I hope you manage to get out using it more than I have mine so far. I've become a fan of this site in the year or two that I've been lurking and I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing what you have to say about your experiences with the G1.

(I hope that you don't mind me mentioning, but I've just posted my own write-up of my initial experiences of using the G1 over at my own site. I know mentioning it might be considered a little "naughty", but you, or some of your loyal following, might find it of interest...)

Best wishes,

I have not noticed this before, but it looks like there is a talented budding studio photographer in the house!

So here is a question. Do you get amazon referral money if the order actually goes through an amazon reseller?

Nice work, Zander!

"So here is a question. Do you get amazon referral money if the order actually goes through an amazon reseller?"

Yes. The key is that you have to go to Amazon from my site. Anything you buy while you're there gets credited to me in some fashion. The rates vary depending on what it is and who ultimately provides it. As I've mentioned before, the price is the same to you either way--Amazon just shares a bit of its profit with me if you start at TOP.

Mike J.

"It has the most delicious shutter release noise..."

Am I the only one who would prefer a mirrorless "DSLR" to NOT make a noise when firing? One of the top 2 reasons I would buy such a camera is silence; the other is size.

And Mike, I'm disappointed you didn't buy the G1 in red. If nothing else it would have matched your new poster ;-)

For the record, I didn't buy the G1. It's a loaner.

Mike J.


I'm the same way about 3-2 aspect ratio. It's what I grew up with and my eye and brain just work that way...

My current camera (a Ricoh GX100) and the Panasonic both support shooting in 3-2, and when my G1 comes that'll be the first thing I set.


I didn't know it could be configured for 3-2.

Forgive someone who still uses his D200
(soon to be D700)as a manual camera. I have worked in high tech for 40 years but prefer to avoid it when I can to see if I can still think in analog.

"Geez, that FT3 looks nice!"

I agree, Mike. It just looks so serious and what a real instrument should look like. The feel of cold hard metal comes straight to mind.

On a second look at the G1, I see a nice-looking DIAL instead of a LCD screen with menus. Things are looking up! I'm looking forward to your evaluation of the PRINTS, Mike!

The shutter is still mechanical, hence the noise. Maybe Olympus will use an electronic shutter, but I doubt it. If it helps any, the sound is quiet and discreet.

I interested to see what you think, Mike.

I've already kvetched a little about the G1 in this forum - still not sure if it's a keeper. After the muffled, midrange 'bzzoot' of my E1, I find the trebly 'clack' of the G1 troublesome. More importantly, there are handling and menu issues that can get in the way at critical moments.

The cure for that, of course, is practice, practice, practice and tolerate, tolerate, tolerate. I'm a wage-earner - I have to live with my errant camera purchases; at least for a while.

Those Contax lenses look mighty sweet, though. Enjoy.

I've been using a G1 for a couple of months now. I've bought a number of adapters and more used glass than sanity permits. I even picked up one of those T-mount 400mm f/6.3 preset monstrosities! It's got the FOV of a 800 on the G1. The combo looks pretty silly but it works.

As it stands right now there is no other camera that I want to own or to use. I take it when I go on walks, I take it when I'm out and about. I rarely if ever did either with my D100 or my D200--too big, too heavy, too obtrusive.

As for that EVF. It's great. Stick any lens on it, set the aperture to f/16 or so and marvel that the image is viewable. Adjust the shutter and or the f/stop and use the live histogram to know when to stop. Fire off a shot and see what it looks like right there in the viewfinder--no one can tell you're chimping!

Oh yeah. I like the sound of the shutter. Sounds like a shutter should.

I have found my camera. Life is good.

"One of the top 2 reasons I would buy such a camera is silence [...]"

I second that and would want to learn more about the noise.

@Miserere: The G1's got a shutter, it's pretty much a requirement if using a CMOS sensor (Electronic shutter cameras which can be essentially silent all use CCD sensors with inferior high ISO performance)

@Dale Moreau: The G1 can shoot also in 3:2 aspect ratio at 10MP. Both the EVF and the LCD will show a 3:2 image when that aspect ratio is selected. 16:9 at 9MP is also possible. The RAW files do respect the aspect ratio used.

@Pete: The G1 is noticably smaller than a D40 height and depth and marginally less wide. But its the G1 and kit lens combo that makes the real size difference, the kit lens is MUCH smaller than the D40's 18-55 (in fact the G1/kit combo is smaller than a D40 with the Voigtlander 40/2 pancake mounted).


I agree with you, as the camera a G1 would replace for me is a Leica Digilux 2, which has perhaps the most nearly silent shutter I have (barely) heard. While I agree with the others that the G1's shutter sound is indeed a very appealing one, as shutter sounds go, I was quite surprised by how loud it was when I first heard it.

> I second that and would want to learn more about the noise.

Carsten, I've got a write-up over at my own site, where I was asked about the shutter noise. I've recorded an MP3 comparison between my G1, my Canon EOS 350D and my Canon PowerShot G9. It won't tell you how loud the G1 is in absolute terms, but it should give you a rough idea. The file is linked in the comments and you're welcome to come a take a listen...

I will be very interested to hear your reaction to the EVF. I had decided to wait for v2.0 of this concept, but folks have been in full "new gear rave" mode. Any plans to try it out with non-G glass?

Ben Marks

So far I'm enthused. Initial images look good. The size is great. The EVF is nice.

After 18 years of nothing but Canon EOS means I have no idea how to operate this thing...

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