Canon Rebel XSi or 450D is Canon entry-level dSLR camera, while Panasonic G1 is a new camera breed that have many similar features of dSLR minus the size. Panasonic camera is part of micro-four third sensor which means the sensor size is in 4:3 ratio unlike the common 3:2 ratio. Four third sensor is also slightly smaller. Micro four thirds does not provide space for a mirror and a pentaprism, allowing thinner bodies to be designed. Because Panasonic G1 does not use any mirror, users look at electronic view finder instead of SLR viewfinder. Electronic view finder is generally found in superzoom bridge camera.
Panasonic has also designs several new smaller lenses for this system. If you have collection of Four Third system lenses, you can use it on micro four third system by special adapter.
Canon XSi / 450D advantages:
- 1 stop better noise handling especially from ISO 800 and above
- Compatible with all Canon EOS lenses
- Availability of optional vertical battery grip and other Canon EOS accessories
- More responsive, less shutter lag (0.160 sec vs 0.372 – 0.357 secs) and processing time
- Longer battery life (500 vs 300 shots)
- dSLR Viewfinder although only 95% coverage
- Better kit lens (Lens that bundled with the camera)
Panasonic Lumix DMC G1 advantages:
- Smaller form factor, solid feel
- Swivel 3″ inches lcd screen
- Higher resolution lcd screen (460k vs 230k)
- 100% coverage electronic viewfinder
- Available in many colors such as red, black, blue
Panasonic Lumix G1 is a new system that challenge the superiority of dslr. The system main advantage is in the size and development possibility of becoming multimedia gadget such as advance video and audio recording. The main disadvantage of this camera so far is the responsiveness. Even though it is faster than compact cameras, but it is still two to three more times slower than entry-level dSLRs. Electronic viewfinder has advantage of 100% coverage but the processing speed to deliver the electronic imagery is still lagging.
Because it is the first micro four third camera, there are still many room for improvement. Recently Panasonic just announce Panasonic DMC G1H which based on this model and include HD video recording capability.
Panasonic G1 will be suitable for people that value small and compact more than speed, while Canon XSi will appeal to general audience because of its versatility, compatibility to many lenses and accessories. It is significantly more responsive for fast action shooting such as sports. XSi/450D also performs better in low light condition.