L'amour est bleu
God, I want this camera. But I just spent a chunk of my paycheck on tickets to Cirque du Soleil, and Nelson's Ledges Reggae Fest for my August festivities. Maybe on my next pay period? Really, the feeling of having a paying job now with insurance and extra little perks (like climbing, kayaking, zipping) has been a really gratifying thing. Especially now that I know what it feels like to be broke and inadequate.
Anyway, so back to this pretty little thing--the Panasonic Lumix G1 is sexy... and blue. Not to mention it possess a crapton of innovative features, gears, and gadgets. It is the world's first electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens camera. Utilizing the controversial micro four thirds system, the G1 has the capability to interchange lenses available from other manufacturers (here is a list of lenses that are compatible with the G1). The micro four thirds system also means it possess a smaller sensor, allowing for a smaller bodied camera that functions more like a compact DSC (compact digital still) whilst offering the quality and versatility of those bulky DSLR (digital single-lens reflex).
The G1 also possess a live viewfinder at an impressively high-resolution of 1,440,000-dot equivalent (as well as a conventional viewfinder), allowing the user to see the exact image the camera sees. Information on the camera's settings is also displayed on the viewfinder at the same instance. This provides the user with a 100% field of view, allowing the user to adjust settings before the photo is taken. The advantage to this feature, and the capacity to change these settings as you work with a potential image, allows for a larger learning curve when discovering best manual settings for specific and potential photographs. There is also a built in eye sensor that detects when the user is nearing the viewfinder, and automatically turns off the LCD screen to conserve battery life. Images in the viewfinder can also be enlarged to 5x-10x, and a quick auto focusing setting also automatically focuses what is in the viewfinder right away, leading to more quickly focused photographs for those crucial moment shots.
The G1 is also equally comprehensible in its Intelligent Auto (iA) mode. When in iA mode, the G1 will automatically detect shooting conditions and adjust settings respectively. Other iA features include: Face Detection and Digital Red-Eye correction, Intelligent Scene Selector (detects ambient conditions and selects appropriate 'scenery', 'portrait', 'close-up', 'night', etc. modes), Intelligent ISO (detects movement and automatically changes camera's ISO and shutter speeds to correlate accordingly), MEGA O.I.S. to compensate for hand trimmers, and Intelligent Exposure to prevent over and under exposed photographs. Other really cool features that absolutely blow my mind are the Supersonic Wave Filter Dust Reduction System that allows the image sensor to vibrate up to 50,000 times per second, preventing the build-up of dust and other particles from settling on the lens. Features like My Color Mode, that could potentially replace programs like Photoshop, or at least assist the user in editing shots before the image is even captured is also a really convenient feature for those who can't afford certain photo-editing softwares.
The only real downside I have found to this camera is that the G1 does not have the ability to record video. Having the option to shoot photographs and record video on the same device is rather convenience. Arguably, a handful of professional users would rather choose the option of owning each device separately, and individually. But, for those who still longed for one solid entity that sophisticatedly combined these two desired features were rewarded a few short months after the G1s release. In March of 2009, Panasonic released their new GH1--for the "G1 lovers" in need of their filming fix. The price is roughly $1,000 more than the regular G1, which can be quite the pretty penny for those who are merely in need of a really nice, professional-grade camera. The price of the GH1 compared to its recording ability is probably a bargain if you were to decide to purchase these devices separately, but still, the price is rather steep for my range. And if you didn't already notice, the GH1 doesn't come in blue.