I’ve long waged a personal war against overweight, over-sized digital SLRs. As the effective digital film frame is mostly stamp-sized why on earth does the body and lens of every camera maker’s DSLR have to be so bulky?
When the Micro Four Thirds cameras began to appear I wept tears of joy. At last, a totally digital approach to quality digital capture! And in a small form factor.
The GF1 goes one step further than the PEN E-P1 in having a retractable flash cell; the Live MOS sensor can capture 12.1 megapixels; the rear 7.6cm LCD screen has 460,000 pixel resolution; internal body optical image stabilisation means you enjoy steady shooting with any lens; seven preset effects — Expressive, Retro, etc; face detection of up to six faces; auto dust reduction; stills and HD video shooting.
Olympus and Panasonic announced the new, mirrorless format / lens mount based on (and compatible with) Four Thirds in August 2008. The Micro Four Thirds system uses the same sensor size (18 x 13.5 mm) but allows slimmer cameras by removing the mirror box and optical viewfinder. The new format has three key technical differences: (1) roughly half the flange back distance (distance from mount to the sensor), (2) a smaller diameter lens mount (6 mm smaller) and (3) two additional contact points for lens-to-body communication (now 11 points).
Removing the mirror mechanism allows this shorter flange back distance, meaning lenses for the new mount can be considerably smaller than current Four Thirds designs. The format will require framing to be carried out using Live View on either the LCD monitor or an EVF. Existing Four Thirds lenses can be used on Micro Four Thirds cameras using an adapter.
The DMW-MA1APP adapter allows existing Four Thirds lenses to be used with the Micro Four Thirds mount. The adapter is not designed to work with other accessories, such as tele-converters and extension tubes. You’ll also be able to use the Olympus OM adapter on the GF1,as well as a wide range of other mount adapters that are becoming available.
Using the adaptor, the G1 can mount the full range of legacy Four Thirds lenses. However, its smaller size can result in combinations that are less well balanced than would be the case with Four Thirds DSLRs.