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Leica V-LUX 2 vs Panasonic G1

The Leica V-LUX 2 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2010 and September 2008. The V-LUX 2 is a fixed lens compact, while the G1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (V-LUX 2) and a Four Thirds (G1) sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 14 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Leica V-LUX 2 versus Panasonic G1
Leica V-LUX 2 Panasonic G1
Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 Micro Four Thirds lenses
14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60i Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 6,400) ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
11 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
410 shots per battery charge410 shots per battery charge
124 x 80 x 95 mm, 520 g 124 x 84 x 45 mm, 360 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica V-LUX 2 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Leica V-LUX 2 and the Panasonic G1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Leica V-LUX 2 vs Panasonic G1
Compare V-LUX 2 versus G1 top
Comparison V-LUX 2 or G1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic G1 is somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Leica V-LUX 2. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V-LUX 2 nor the G1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the V-LUX 2 has a lens built in, whereas the G1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the G1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 124 mm 80 mm 95 mm 520 g 410 n Sep 2010 849i
2.
 
Panasonic G1 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon SX40 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 600 g 380 n Sep 2011 429i
5.
 
Canon SX30 123 mm 92 mm 108 mm 601 g 370 n Sep 2010 429i
6.
 
Canon SX20 123 mm 88 mm 87 mm 600 g .. n Aug 2009 399i
7.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 125 mm 87 mm 110 mm 588 g 540 n Sep 2012 949i
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 124 mm 81 mm 95 mm 540 g 410 n Dec 2011 949i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 1 141 mm 86 mm 142 mm 734 g 360 n Sep 2006 849i
11.
 
Olympus E-410 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 435 g 500 n Mar 2007 699i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 528 g 410 n Aug 2011 499i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
14.
 
Panasonic G10 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499i
15.
 
Panasonic G2 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599i
16.
 
Panasonic GH1 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 899i
17.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica V-LUX 2 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Panasonic G1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the G1 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Leica V-LUX 2 and Panasonic G1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Leica V-LUX 2 offers a higher resolution of 14 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the Panasonic G1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.41μm versus 4.33μm for the G1). However, it should be noted that the V-LUX 2 is much more recent (by 2 years) than the G1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the V-LUX 2 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica V-LUX 2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the V-LUX 2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.6 x 16.2 inches or 54.9 x 41.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.4 x 10.8 inches or 36.6 x 27.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic G1 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica V-LUX 2 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

V-LUX 2 versus G1 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 2 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
2.
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
4.
 
Canon SX40 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p........
5.
 
Canon SX30 1/2.3 14.0 4320 3240720/30p........
6.
 
Canon SX20 1/2.3 12.0 4000 3000720/30p........
7.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 4 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 1 1/1.8 10.0 3648 2736480/30p........
11.
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240
13.
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
14.
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
15.
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
16.
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264
17.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The V-LUX 2 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the G1 does not. The highest resolution format that the V-LUX 2 can use is 1080/60i.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the G1 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the V-LUX 2 (1440k vs 202k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Leica V-LUX 2, the Panasonic G1, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 2202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
2.
 
Panasonic G11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX40202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 10.3 Y Y
5.
 
Canon SX30202 n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.6 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX20202 n 2.5 230 swivel n 1/3200s 0.7 Y Y
7.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 41312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 1235 n 2.0 207 swivel n 1/2000s 2.0 Y Y
11.
 
Olympus E-410optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 12.0 Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
14.
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
15.
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic GH11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.

The V-LUX 2 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the G1 uses SDHC cards.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Leica V-LUX 2 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Panasonic G1Y----mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX40Ystereomono--YES2.0---
5.
 
Canon SX30Ystereomono--YES2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX20Ystereomono--YES2.0---
7.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 4YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3Ystereo---mini2.0---
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 1Ymonomono---2.0---
11.
 
Olympus E-410Y-----2.0---
12.
 
Panasonic FZ150Ystereo---mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
15.
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

Both the V-LUX 2 and the G1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1 was replaced by the Panasonic G2, while the V-LUX 2 was followed by the Leica V-LUX 3. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Panasonic websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica V-LUX 2 or the Panasonic G1 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Leica V-LUX 2:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14 vs 12MP) with a 8% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60i movies.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the G1 requires a separate lens.
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the G1 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 202k dots).
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2008).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1 comes out slightly ahead of the V-LUX 2 (9 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

V-LUX 2 08:09 G1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Leica V-LUX 2 and the Panasonic G1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the V-LUX 2 or the G1. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica V-LUX 2.......... Sep 2010 849i
2.
 
Panasonic G1..+ +70/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
4.
 
Canon SX40..+..4.5/54/5 Sep 2011 429i
5.
 
Canon SX303/5+ +..3.5/54/5 Sep 2010 429i
6.
 
Canon SX20..+ +73/100..4/5 Aug 2009 399i
7.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5....3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
8.
 
Leica V-LUX 4.......... Sep 2012 949i
9.
 
Leica V-LUX 3.......... Dec 2011 949i
10.
 
Leica V-LUX 1.......... Sep 2006 849i
11.
 
Olympus E-410..86/100+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
12.
 
Panasonic FZ1503/5+ +76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499i
13.
 
Panasonic FZ100..+..4.5/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
14.
 
Panasonic G103/5..70/1004/54/5 Mar 2010 499i
15.
 
Panasonic G2....72/1004/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
16.
 
Panasonic GH1..+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899i
17.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Leica V-LUX 2:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic G1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica V-LUX 2 vs Panasonic G1

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Leica V-LUX 2 Panasonic G1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2010 September 2008
    Launch Price USD 849 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Panasonic G1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 14 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4320 x 3240 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.41 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 49.86 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 53
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 463
    Screen Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Panasonic G1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Panasonic G1
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 11 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Panasonic G1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica V-LUX 2 Panasonic G1
    Battery Type BP-DC9 DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge410 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 80 x 95 mm
    (4.9 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    124 x 84 x 45 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 1.8 in)
    Camera Weight 520 g (18.3 oz) 360 g (12.7 oz)

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