Take a look at the original Panasonic GF1 patent

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Companies do not only patent specific technologies but also camera designs. Take a look at the following Panasonic patent that explains the Panasonic GF1 design (Source: freepatentsonline). That’s the description:

In one aspect, a mirrorless type imaging apparatus is provided. The imaging apparatus includes a mount to which a lens unit is mountable, an imager operable to produce an image signal from light incident through the lens unit, a light-emitter operable to emit light, and an electric storage device operable to supply electric power to the light-emitter, wherein the electric storage device is disposed behind the mount and below the imager.
According to, in the imaging apparatus of the aspect, the electric storage device is disposed below the imager, so that imaging apparatus can be miniaturized. Additionally, the electric storage device is disposed below the imager, so that an influence of heat generation of the imager on the electric storage device can be reduced.

You might want to read the rest of the patent to see what’s so special on the GF1 ;)

Reminder: The Panasonic GF2 is in Stock almost everywhere (as usual US is the latest country in the world to get stocks of Panasonic cameras!). Check out price and availability clicking on those direct GF2 links: Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

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  • Zaph

    Given that heat rises, wouldn’t it be better to put it *above* the imager?

  • Isn’t this a patent for the GF1 instead of the GF2? I didn’t read the patent, but the pictures clearly depict a GF1…

  • Admin

    Corrected!

  • Alan

    How disappointing that Panasonic haven’t chosen to take the GF1 concept to another level, so much potential barely half fulfilled.

    OK m43 fanboys, sharpen your knives and please form an orderly queue with the death threats……

    I’m sorry, but to me this whole m43 format is one of the big disappointments of the current photo scene. Don’t get me wrong, I would love it to succeed, but it just hasn’t seemed to gel yet.

    43 made lots of claims about smaller lenses but didn’t really deliver on that front, so they came up with m43 as a further step in that direction. It certainly promises much, but little has been delivered. The Pany G1 with standard zoom may have shaved a few millimetres off a Canikon entry level APS-C, but not enough to make any significant difference, Even the GF1/zoom combination still cannot be described as pocketable. To really make a difference a selection of pancake lenses is needed. And for that we need to accept some restrictions on aperture values, f1.4 wide angles, for example, are never going to be compact.

    Many posters on this forum speculate about “pro” lenses. Have you thought this through? Something like the Oly 14-35/2 is huge on 43, it would be a nightmare on m43! Primes made to pro standards might make sense if we were prepared to compromise on max apertures, but there would obviously need to be a pro level camera to match. But both Oly & Pany seem to be going in the opposite direction, increasingly concentrating on the lower end market.

    Anyway, pros don’t use m43, they use Canon or Nikon for handheld cameras. Perhaps a few invested in the Oly E3, but they were burned and probably deserted when they realized the system wasn’t coming.

    Ironically, the name “Compact System Cameras” seems to be catching on. Ironically, because no one yet has a real system. And if you mean a compact system, i.e. with pancake primes, Pany have 2 of these lenses, Oly just one, Sony also just one, and Samsung 2 – which of these brands qualifies as a system? Although I have invested in one of these brands, I don’t see it as an unalterable choice, as none of them really measures up yet. Even something like an EPL2 or EP3 plus v/f with 12/2.4 & 20/1.7 pancakes, a slightly bigger 50/2 and the existing 7-14 w/a zoom would be a useful package and significantly smaller than DSLRs, but even this minimum seems too long coming.

    Rant over……no, one more thing…… Could we stop the notion that, say, 25/1.4 on m43 is the equivalent of 50/2.8. What?… For FOV comparison OK, for DoF comparison arguably, but some seem to have the idea that light dissolves when acting on a smaller sensor. Follow this example. Take the standard lens from a MF Hassleblad – 80mm f2.8. Mount it on a FF Nikon, you have 80/2.8, a short telephoto lens. Now mount it on a Pany GH2, you have 80/2.8, a mid telephoto lens. In each case we are taking a section of the image and using it for a smaller format. The level of light at the film/sensor remains the same in each case (ignoring minor vignetting). If we set exposure with a separate meter we will use the exact same exposure level. It remains an f2.8 lens throughout, just as the actual focal length also remains constant. We’re just using a smaller part of the image, giving the effect of a longer lens.

    • What is the point in saying “Anyway, pros don’t use m43, they use Canon or Nikon for handheld cameras.”
      I don’t care what pro use. I’m in telecommunication business, I don’t think you’d want to use professional telecommunication equipment, it is true for IT business too, and for any other business. Professional equipment is not for amateur or advanced users. Do You use mainframes, cluster systems, servers, storage matrixes at your home? Maybe You do, but almost all of us use desktop or notebook style non-proffesional equipment on daily basis and that amateur equipment fulfills most of our needs.
      It’s no argument for me. Pro don’t use X so X is bad. It is simply not an implication it is manipulation.
      I’m not a pro in photography and I don’t need professional equipment. I need light weight one that fulfills my needs. And MFT is almost perfect in it. It is almost 2x lighter than my previous systems (by no means were “profi” but they were based on “profi” DSLR technology). I’ve waited many years for small high quality photo equipment and it finally has arrived!
      My gear is under 1 kg, I never wanted to put it in the pocket… I have my cell phone in it already and sometimes it seems too big to comfortably fit in. ;-)
      Yes I need now high quality portrait lens, and there is none so far – you are right about it, but I can hardly wait for panasonic’s 12-50 mm bright zoom. Even if it will be larger than my present 14-45 I don’t think it will weight over 500-600 g. (Lumix G 45-200 weights 340g, Leica D VARIO-ELMARIT 14-50mm/F2.8-3.5 ASPH weights 490g and so one). For me, lens under 500 g if of high quality is 100% acceptable.
      And I don’t care of pro. If someone want to carry 3,5,10 kg on ones shoulder it is ones choice.
      If You want to go deeply in pro usage of different systems and find real pro usage differences try to read this blog: http://soundimageplus.blogspot.com/
      It is not my blog :-) bu t it is very valuable. it shows how systems like Leica M, Canon, Nikon, Sony Micro Four Thirds behavein pro environment.
      Another thing is EVF which in my case is one of the most important advantages of EVIL concept. I don’t want to use OVF anymore!
      It is my point of view. MFT is for me, and of course it is not for everyone.
      To me the really big dissapointment was all these years when people to shoot HQ images had to buy DSLRs (over 50 years concept slightly modified) and there were no other choices (except maybe Sony R1 – I still slightly miss it ;-)).

  • disco

    uhm, so what’s so special about it?

    • James

      The difference in weight for my m43 system to a comparable APSC system is at least 1.5 (in case of something like A55) if not 2 times (in case of 60D). Do the math. m43 has definitely delivered on the promise.

  • If they choose to put the battery under (or above) the sensor, wouldn’t the camera shape become boxier than now? They would have to add space underneath to put the battery (a la battery grip?) which doesn’t exist in the patent illustration

    Would make the camera look bulkier IMO

    • Zaph

      Pretty sure “electric storage device” != battery

  • oluv

    maybe the battery is to blame why all panasonic-sensors show green imbalance problems. most mFT cameras i have tried had the problem more pronounced to the right side.
    a pity only panasonic produces sensors for mFT. we need a bit of diversification from other manufacturers…!

  • GreyOwl

    ‘Electric storage device’ (109 on the drawing) is a capacitor. The battery unit is 400 on the drawing, and not the same thing at all.

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