PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


Real Innovation

Remember the little Micro-4/3 camera that Panasonic launched recently?  The Panasonic G1.  Well it just went up 10 notches in historical significance.

First, if you haven't already, check out the performance of its tiny kit lens.  Besides that lens, there is something else to know about this camera that is making some circles buzz recently. They say it just got infused with a chunk of turbo-charged awesome, nay an intravenous shot of whup-ass.

Some people connected these two dots:

  1. The Micro-4/3 flange distance is 20mm.
  2. The Leica M flange distance is 27.8mm.

With this stroke of genius:

The tiny Summicron-M looks average-sized when mounted.

They accomplished four things at once:

  1. This is lowest entry price into the Leica M system by about $5K.
  2. This is the first and only means (in history) of shooting a Leica M lens with “TTL” viewing.
  3. This is even smaller than the G1's native kit, and is easily pocketable in a regular coat pocket.
  4. This might just be the most image quality per ounce, or per cubic inch, out of any imaging system available.

Imagine a G2 successor that has in-body IS/VR and shoots HD video...  both would be historic firsts for the Leica M lens system!  I really hope that the Leica+Panasonic relationship is going well and that we'll see a true Leica body emerge with a similar foundation.  I can easily imagine a rangefinder using a digital RF patch.

Just when you thought the order of things was settling down, we get this turbulent mixing of new and old… with surprising results. Very exciting.

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  1. This is interesting and great news, but it is a pity I haven’t heard this in some of the bigger blogging websites or camera new sites so the word gets out. This can only aid 4/3rds standard.

  2. I pointed it out to Mike Johnston and he posted it on TOP. That’s a big one. ;^)

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