Tonight I bought the January issue of Popular Photography with it's test of the G1. After reading the results summary I wondered what Pop Photo had found on some of the best of the best cameras they'd tested within the last year.
Sooooo...going online I did a little study of the Popular Photography's tests of the G1, Canon 5D MkII, Canon 50D, Rebel, Nikon D3, D700, D300, D90, D60, Pentax 20D, Sony A900, A700, A300, Olympus E3 and E520.
I think some of you may find the results quite eye opening and, of course, very promising:
For overall image quality (ASA 100 - 400) the Lumix G1 matched the best of the best. According to Pop Photo..Excellent. (No higher ranking here).
In terms of line resolution the G1 came in at 2370 and was bested by ONLY the Canon 5D Mk II (21 MP full frame DSLR coming in at 2820), the Canon 50D (a very impressive 2420 for but with a APS sized sensor with 15.1 MP) and, not surprisingly, the Sony A900 (with it's humongous 24.6 million pixels coming in at a whopping 3230). Interestingly enough the D700, D300 and D90 did not beat it (although they are easily within spitting distance.)
Color accuracy? Hold on to your hats. The tiny G1 blew everyone away with the best score of the bunch. (In Pop Photo parlance the lower the score the better and the G1 came in at an uber low 6.21 rivaled at best by Canon's newest 5D.
Noise: At ASA 100 and 200, the G1 is the champ. Bettered only slightly by the best of the best at ASA 400. (Now granted, after that, the G1 for the most part wilts like a potato chip in a cigar humidor. But the point is under certain conditions the G1 is formidable in the low noise department.)
Is this camera as flawless up to the stratospheric ASA/ISO levels of some cameras going for several times its base price? No.
But at certain levels (ASA 100 - 400) this camera is tough to beat. And with its resolution prowess well documented, put on some of this fine super-fast Leitz (or even Zeiss) glass and even with some low light deficiencies, with the right optics (like, say, a 0.95 Noctilux? Hmmmmm.) it again bodes well for some impressive low light performance within these ASA/ISO levels through 400.
With all the griping about the price by some of the reviewers IMHO that is unfounded. Under certain conditions this little gem apparently shines beyond many others.
Not bad for the first time at bat.