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Panasonic Intros New Interchangeable Lens Camera

Secaucus, N.J. – Not to be outdone by the on-rush of intros from its rivals, Panasonic announced its first digital camera based on the recently announced Micro Four Thirds standard along with two new Micro lenses.

Due in November, the 12-megapixel Lumix G1 weighs in at .85 pounds and, because it removes the internal mirror used by conventional d-SLRs, it sheds size and weight vs. traditional models, the company said.

Like a d-SLR, the G1 does offer interchangeable lenses.

Panasonic will offer the G1 in black, blue and red.

The unit features an electronic Live View Finder in place of an optical viewfinder. It also features a built-in sensor which switches off the LCD when the user raises the camera to his/her eye.

Photos can also be framed via a 3-inch Live View LCD which can swivel out from the camera body 180 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically. The LCD features auto power technology to boost brightness based on ambient lighting.

A new contrast AF system features a multiple area autofocus with up to 23 focus areas, face detection and AF tracking. It also incorporates Panasonic’s intelligent auto mode previously found on its compact camera line.

Panasonic will introduce a new processor, the Venus Engine HD, alongside a sensor vibrating dust reduction system, an HDMI output, the ability to save the five most recently used menu settings for quicker retrieval, and custom menu color.

Joining the new camera will be a pair of Micro Four Thirds standard lenses – the Lumix G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S lens (which will be sold in the kit with camera body) and the LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S.lens. The G1 is compatible with existing Four Thirds lenses with an optional adapter.

Pricing on all the new products will be released next month.

Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to the G1 as a d-SLR.