Adventures with a Lumix G1

A little while ago I decided I wanted a better camera to travel with and the Nikon D200 was a bit much to fit into my regular bag. After doing a bit of research, I stumbled across this little gem, the Lumix G1.

Now why is this camera special? Well, it looks like a DSLR, acts like a DSLR, but it isn’t a DSLR. It is one of the first of a new generation of interchangeable lens digital cameras that is based on the micro 4/3 system of Olympus and Panasonic. The micro system is different from standard 4/3 in that there’s no mirror box, so the image plane is much shallower and the camera can be made much smaller. The viewfinder lump actually houses a high-resolution color video monitor that for me is very familiar — it is much like the viewfinders on high-end video cameras. The shallower image plane means that virtually any film lens can work on this camera and that was the attractor for me — I’ve always wanted a Leica for the fantastic glass, but couldn’t afford one. Now with the Lumix G1, I can mount Leica M-mount lenses, 39mm screw-mount lenses from yesteryear, Nikon glass, and even Bolex C-mount lenses.

This little camera is a lens collector’s dream. I’ve stumbled upon my perfect camera and can’t wait for the HD video version to come out. Will I keep my Nikon bodies? Only time will tell…

The stuff: