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.cn, Digitalrev, eBay.