Panasonic has announced the world's first Micro Four Thirds system camera, the 12.1-megapixel Lumix DMC-G1, that they say is the world's smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera, weighing in at around 385 grams.

The camera is based on the new Micro Four Thirds System standard, eliminating the internal mirror found in digital single-lens reflex cameras, so is smaller and lighter.

The G1 offers an electronic full-time Live View Finder, as opposed to an optical one, that has a built-in eye sensor, so the camera can detect when the user is nearing the view finder and automatically switches off the LCD, so saving battery life.

It also has a 460,000-dot resolution, 3-inch LCD that can swivel 180 degrees horizontally and 270 degrees vertically.

There's tons of intelligent shooting tech to help users take better pics and the G1 gets Panasonic's new Contrast Auto Focus function that includes multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, and AF Tracking.

Other features of note include Panasonic's Venus Engine HD imaging processor, HDMI Output and internal dust reduction.

Due to be available in black, blue and red models, the G1 will be available in mid-November as a kit with the new Lumix G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S lens. Also available in November is the Lumix G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6/MEGA O.I.S.lens.

Pricing for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 and its Micro Four Thirds accessories will be announced in early October.