Summary Panasonic DMC-GF1

Prices Price
Body only Unknown With 20mm lens $699
all DMC-GF1 prices
Score Snapsort rank
Within its price range #n/a of 26 Among similar cameras #n/a of 44
details details
Specifications Key specs
Sensor size Help Four thirds 18.0x13.5mm Screen resolution Help 460k dots
Megapixels Help 12 MP Movie format Help 720p @ 30fps
Screen size Help 3.0" Light sensitivity Help 3,200 ISO
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Lenses Lenses
Browse all Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 lenses at LensHero
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

Replacement

Panasonic has replaced the Lumix DMC-GF1 with the DMC-GX1 and DMC-GF2.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 announced November, 2011
Movie format Higher resolution movies
3D Takes 3D photos
HDR Has in-camera HDR

Compare the new Panasonic DMC-GX1 vs the DMC-GF1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 announced November, 2010
Movie format Higher resolution movies
3D Takes 3D photos
Touch screen Has a touch screen

Compare the new Panasonic DMC-GF2 vs the DMC-GF1

Videos

Sony NEX-5 First Impressions

Panasonic GF1 Windy Day Sample

Panasonic GF1 Side by Side Rev...

Sony NEX-5 First Impressions
  • Review
  • Amateur
  • Ergonomics
  • Image quality
Panasonic GF1 Windy Day Sample
  • Sample video
  • Zoom
  • Manual focus
  • Shallow DOF
Panasonic GF1 Side by Side Review
  • Review
  • Amateur
  • Preview
  • Image quality

Pros

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The Panasonic DMC-GF1 vs other recent mirrorless cameras

Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensor Help
Avoids dust in your photos
External flash External flash Help
Better lighting
Built-in flash Built-in flash Help
External flash not needed
Lens availability More lenses available Help
40 lenses
Longest exposure Long exposures Help
60 seconds

Cons

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The Panasonic DMC-GF1 vs other recent mirrorless cameras

Movie format HD movies Help
720p @ 30fps
Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
Risk of blur
Viewfinder Can only preview photos on the screen Help
None
Touch screen No touch screen Help
More buttons
Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
3 fps
Screen flips out Fixed screen Help
Less flexible
Focus points Fewer focus points Help
23
Shutter lag Poor shutter lag Help
409 ms shutter lag
Cross type focus points Fewer cross-type focus points Help
0
HDR Lacks in-camera HDR Help
You could do HDR manually
Announced Old Help
September, 2009
Light sensitivity (boost) Lacks boost light sensitivity Help
None
Popularity Not so popular Help
Among snapsort users
Low light performance Noisy at high ISO Help
513 ISO
Overall image quality Low overall image quality Help
54.0
Screen resolution Low resolution screen Help
460k dots
Color depth Less color depth Help
21.2 bits
Dynamic range Very narrow dynamic range Help
10.3 EV
True resolution Lower true resolution Help
12 MP
Supports 24p No 24p movies Help
Missing that film look
Panorama Lacks in-camera panoramas Help
You could stitch photos in post
Movie continuous focus Lacks movie continuous focus Help
Requires attention to focus while recording
External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack Help
Limited to the in-camera mic
3D Doesn't take 3D photos Help
No 3d support
Fastest shutter speed Slow shutter speed Help
1/4000 of a second

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Appearance

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Discussion

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
Lumix DMC-GF1
Panasonic

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Showing 4 comments

Avatar for Alex Black Alex Black (2:53 PM, July 10, 2010)
I do have one complaint about the GF1 so far, the AUTO-ISO feature is fixed to 1/30s, meaning, it only increases the ISO for you if the shutter speed falls below 1/30s, which often is not enough to avoid blur. Other cameras have a setting where you can choose the minimum shutter speed you'd like, so you could set it to 1/60s or 1/100s, and have the camera increase the ISO further.

See: http://www.f9photo.com/node/48
 
Avatar for Alex Black Alex Black (0:46 PM, May 02, 2010)
Ah, good point, the GF1 has a screen but no viewfinder.

When I first picked up the camera, I raised it up to my face as if to look through the viewfinder, but there isn't one! Most DSLRs have a fiewfinder.

I didn't find it to be a problem. I quickly got used to using the screen. One nice surprise is that the camera previews the exposure on the screen, which I don't think all cameras do. So, when you're using exposure compensation you can see approximately how much effect your compensation has had, though it doesn't seem to be perfect.

You can buy add-on viewfinders, I don't think I would though.
 
Avatar for babosa babosa (6:06 AM, May 02, 2010)
Many thanks for this review.
Is it a problem to have only a screen ?
 
Avatar for Alex Black Alex Black (10:36 PM, May 01, 2010)
I bought the Panasonic DMC-GF1 recently, and took a few hundred photos with it on my recent trip to Hatteras, North Carolina. Its pretty awesome. I got the kit with the 20mm f/1.7 prime lens.

Overall it met my expectations of having DSLR-quality in a small package. The photos look beautiful just like on my bigger DSLRs, and using the camera was easy and had a similar feel to a big DSLR, with most features available on dials/buttons on the button rather than in menus.

The lens

I was worried I would feel limited without any zoom. It wasn't as bad as I thought. I took tons of indoor shots with the camera, and didn't miss zoom much at all, it worked great for group shots, details shots, etc. I used it outdoors for landscape shots and it worked well, but it sucked for shots of people kite boarding and surfing, I'll have to look into getting one of the zoom lenses for it in the future :)

The narrow depth of field is great, and having f/1.7 means I could take many shots in low light without a flash. I took lots of shots at f/1.7, 1/30s, with auto-iso enabled.

Examples:
- f/1.7, 1/30s, ISO 320 night shot
- f/1.7, 1/30s, ISO 100, indoor natural light
- f/8, 1/1000, ISO 100 landscape shot

Size

I've been shooting with my Nikon D700 mostly, and started to find it to be a beast. I love its low noise at high isos, and its image quality and speed to react/focus, but it is too big for average use.

So, I loved how small the GF1 is. I felt like i could carry it around with me easily.

Performance

It felt quite similar to use the D700 in some regards. Focusing is fast, taking photos and reviewing photos is fast, I felt like I was using a responsive DSLR not a slow point and shoot.

I didn't end up using much past ISO 800, presumably because of the wide aperture and lack of hand-shake when using the camera. I'll hopefully push it well past ISO 800 in the future.

Features

- The wheel on the back is great. I shoot in aperture-priority, and the wheel by default then changes the aperture. You can very quickly access exposure compensation by 'pushing' the wheel like a button. In manual mode you push the wheel to switch between changing shutter and aperture, which works reasonably well, a nice compromise from say the D700 which has 2 wheels (one for each).
- It doesn't seem to have an orientation sensor, which means you have to rotate all your images after, feels like its 1999 again, but not a huge deal.
- You can record movies in any mode by pushing the record button, or use the dedicated movie mode
- You can *focus* while taking movies (unlike most DSLRs), its slow but works well. I had it on auto-focus, on the center point, and was able to pull focus nicely :)
- I started using the camera on center-point focus, but changed to face recognition, which worked really nicely at f/1.7. It meant I didn't have to focus and recompose, instead I'd just compose my shot, touch the shutter release, and confirm that the camera focused on the person's face, then take the shot.

Conclusion

Definitely a fun camera, and for me its brought the fun back into photography. Though it will mean I have to spend some more $ on another lens at some point.

Images:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/noirs/4557745880/in/set-72157623940089672
http://www.flickr.com/photos/noirs/4556099889/meta/in/set-72157623940089672