First Look: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1
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First Look: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1

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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 is a camera that people will either love for its speed, photo quality, and interchangeable-lens flexibility, or hate for its large-ish size, electronic viewfinder, and occasionally frustrating design.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> Lori: Hi, I'm Lori Grunin, Senior Editor with CNET and this is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1. This camera is most notable for being a hybrid camera, it's fundamentally a point and shoot back here but it handles interchangeable lenses so while it looks like a Digital SLR it lacks the most important component of being an SRL, which is the mirror. It's kind of expensive; it seems as if for everything I like about this camera there's something that I dislike equally. The kit lens, which it ships with, which is the first of the Micro 4/3's standard lenses, is actually a very nice lens, it's got a flip and twist LCD, which Canon got rid of on the PowerShot G series and a lot of people have never forgiven Canon for that. It's got a rubberized feel that I happen to like, it's got a nice grip; this one is blue it also comes in red as well as your basic black. Things that are not so great; this front dial is actually a jog dial, you press it in and scroll it to use Exposure Compensation, when it's not pressed in you use it for shutter speed aperture depending upon what mode you're in. Several times during shooting session I always accidentally press it in and end up in a mode changing something that I didn't intend to. Another thing that I don't like is the Electronic View Finder, as far as EVF's go this one isn't bad but in general I find EVF's a real pain in the butt to work with. It has an automatic sensor, which will automatically shift when you bring it up to your face, however, it's very easy to fool the sensor. And the G1 produces very nice images even there though there are some tradeoffs. On one hand they're sharp and it has an excellent noise profile, you can't disable the film modes and the film modes affect everything. The standard mode tends to push the saturation a little and that's the default. Another thing that gives me mixed feelings is the way this handles bracketing, on one hand, it has a very nice bracketing interface with this virtual dial that you can scroll and see exactly what you're bracketing. On the other hand, you can't control separately how many frames and how many stops so you have to stick with its fixed options and there's no full stop bracket. It's never gonna be the pocketable camera that you get even with the G10, which a lot of people think is too big to begin with. Personally, I think most people love this camera or hate this camera. If you're willing to make the tradeoffs I think you'll be pretty happy with it. I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1. ^M00:02:30 [ Music ]

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