So far Panasonic makes only two lenses designed specifically for the micro four-thirds format - a 14-45mm F3.5 – 5.6 (28mm to 90mm 35mm equivalent) and a 45-200 f4.5 – 5.6 (90mm to 400mm 35mm equivalent). Both take 52mm diameter filters and a built-in mega O.I.S. anti-shake system. More lenses are promised, but for photographers who can’t wait for “faster glass” for low light shooting situations, Panasonic has a micro four-thirds lens adapter that allows you to use any regular four-thirds lens on the G1. Some of the Panasonic and Olympus lenses will even maintain all their auto-focus capabilities. But for really hard-core lens collectors the micro four-thirds adapter can be combined with one of the many already-available adapters made for using Nikon, Canon, and even Leica lenses on the four-thirds bodies. Because the G1 has a shorter lens to shutter distance than regular four-thirds bodies you can actually focus to infinity with Leica rangefinder lenses! One Asian photo site published pictures of a 50mm f2 Leitz Summicron mounted on a G1, which makes it into the equivalent of a 100mm F2 on a 35mm body (the four-thirds sized sensor is ¼ the size of a full-frame 35mm film area and effectively doubles the focal length of a 35mm lens). Talk about small, light, and very, very sharp. That picture alone made me so sorry I sold all my Leitz lenses when I sold my Leica 35mm bodies.
If you’re tired of lugging around a DSLR but still want a fully professional-grade camera, the Panasonic DMC-G1 may very well be just what the doctor ordered. The only person who will lose out on the deal will be your chiropractor.
To link to the prior installment of this series: