Panasonic DMC-GF1

Last updated (16 March’12):
- Review by SteveHuffPhoto

Panasonic DMC-GF1 is the world’s smallest and lightest Digital interchangeable lens system camera with a built-in flash (Sept’09). The camera features 4/3-type Live MOS sensor with 12.1-megapixel, HD movie of 720P in AVCHD Lite, Supersonic Wave Filter, Venus Engine HD incorporates two CPUs, ISO 100-3200, iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode with Face Recognition, LUMIX G 20mm/F1.7 ASPH, and a 3.0-inch 460,000-dot LCD screen.

panasonic-gf1
Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info


Expert Reviews

Panasonic DMC-GF1 Reviews

SteveHuffPhoto reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Out of camera image quality isn’t the greatest—even with the highly rated Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Pancake Lensattached to it. Perhaps it may be great for amateurs and hobbyists, but for people that make a living off of their images you’ll need to work some more in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3or Adobe Photoshop CS5as part of the normal post-production process.”
Rating: N/A

Panasonic DMC-GF1 Video Review by Adorama;

ThePhoblographer reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Out of camera image quality isn’t the greatest—even with the highly rated Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Pancake Lensattached to it. Perhaps it may be great for amateurs and hobbyists, but for people that make a living off of their images you’ll need to work some more in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3or Adobe Photoshop CS5as part of the normal post-production process.”
Rating: N/A

BuynShoot reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“The image quality and resolution is great when shooting up to ISO 1600, with detail retention quite high. Combining the GF1 with the superb 20mm f1.7 pancake lens really makes the camera something to behold, creating a classical photographic tool that is extremely easy to take anywhere and produces results that would defy many onlookers’ expectations.”
Rating: ★★★★½

PhotographyBay reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“In short, I love the GF1. It is my current pick of the mirrorless camera genre. Sure, the GF1 is not going to replace anyone’s 5D Mark II or D700 anytime soon. For casual photos though, it’s tough to beat for image quality, functionality and portability. The GF1 easily earns my high recommendation.”
Rating: N/A

ReviewBoard reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“if you aspire to something more sophisticated than a point-and-shoot and will be shooting subjects slower moving than toddling kids and running pets–and it’s still better than the typical snapshot camera for that–I recommend the GF1.”
Rating: N/A

NeutralDay reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“The GF1 somehow is better than just the sum of its parts, using it is a blast, and especially with the 20mm f/1.7 attached, there’s little reason to not carry it with you everywhere. As such, for photographers (especially enthusiasts) looking for the best compact sized mirrorless camera, the GF1 isn’t just “Highly Recommended”, it’s “Essential”. Easily one of our recent favorites.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Video Review by StuffMagazine;

WDC compares the Panasonic Lumix GF1 to Olympus E-P2 and writes;
“When it comes to shooting though the GF1 is certainly the winner – it’s autofocus is considerably faster and more accurate than the E-P2.”
Rating: N/A

T3 reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“More contemporary looking than the E-P2 and with a built-in flash, this is an amazing deal as long as you can live with the lack of anti-shake by instead buying an image-stabilised lens .”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PCAuthority reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“In fact, the only issue we have is that noise levels at ISO 1600 and above are noticeable and less well-controlled than they are with either the best consumer-level Nikon and Canon DSLRs or the Olympus PEN E-P1.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

NeutralDay compares the Olympus E-P2 to Panasonic GF1 JPEG Engine Comparison and writes;
“I’ll grant E-P2 fans that it does produce slightly more appealing JPEGs right from the camera, but the differences are very small, and some photographers will appreciate the GF1’s more natural approach.”
Rating: N/A

About.com reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“The GF1′s image quality is outstanding most of the time, as the colors were realistic and images were sharp. You can shoot at a variety of ratios (including 4:3, 16:9, 1:1, and 3:2) and a variety of resolutions. “
Rating: ★★★½☆

ePhotozine reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“This is where this camera simply blew me away. Online reviews and other magazines all agree that the JPEG output could do with some improvement and I agree, but for literally all landscape photographers, imagery is all about the Raw file at base ISO. I am excited to report the Panasonic GF1 is a landscape killer; the images are absolutely stunning and I mean it.”
Rating: ★★★★½

ePhotozine compares the Olympus PEN E-P1 to Olympus E-620 and writes;
“It’s been a close call throughout the test and in their individual tests, they both scored very highly…If you’re looking for a camera with a DSLR sensor but without the size then the Micro FourThirds is a great option and if this is you then you need to buy the Panasonc Lumix DMC-GF1.

Rating: N/A

GXGarnerings reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Noise is not a significant issue with the GF1. Images up to ISO 800 are very smooth. In fact, the images are too smooth for film camera users. No hesitation is needed even in using the ISO 1600 setting. The ISO 3200 images are less complimentary.”
Rating: N/A

Shutterbug reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Panasonic GF1 is a lot of camera in a tidy little package. Not without its faults, this Lumix does succeed in making picture taking a fun endeavor. But more than that, the camera, with either the 20mm or 14-45mm zoom, does a commendable job.”
Rating: N/A

PopPhoto reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“up against the Olympus E-P1, it’s tough to declare a winner. If you don’t mind the E-P1’s sluggish focus, you’ll get less noise, plus sensor-shift image stabilization (Panasonic puts it in the lens). If you don’t mind cranking up noise reduction and sacriflcing some of its higher resolving power, the GF1 will provide a more seamless shooting experience.”
Rating: N/A

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“The camera’s image quality and performance are excellent, allowing it to perform with dSLR cameras that fall into its price range…this is an excellent option for anyone looking for dSLR performance and quality but don’t want to lug around a big camera.”
Rating: N/A

Shutterbug reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“The GF1 produces images with a nearly perfect saturation of 101,8 percent. The automatic white balance works well under all lighting conditions and reproduced the GretagMacbeth test chart with nearly perfect neutral settings. Skintones reproduce very well and show only a little shift into greener colors in our standard shot and a little shift into warmer colors in our flash portrait shot.”
Rating: N/A

Craigmod reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Thanks to the quickness of the 20mm f1.7 lens, you can leave the GF1 at ISO 100 most of the time. Only when I entered a particularly dark interior space, or was trying to speed up a night shot did I ever ratchet it up.”
Rating: N/A

ComputerActive reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Although it cannot quite match a DSLR for creative photography, and it is really rather expensive, it’s a brilliant alternative for anyone who wants to take great pictures without lugging a heavy camera around.”
Rating: ★★★★½

NeoCamera reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Image noise is kept under control by some aggressive noise-reduction. Until ISO 400, details are plentiful and there is little noise to be seen. At ISO 800, things get softer due to noise-reduction which does its job of hiding image noise in all but the darkest areas. At ISO 1600, we see more softness and more noise, both are balanced well as none jumps excessively.”
Rating: ★★★★½

MacWorld reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Pros: Extremely well-built; very good interface; full feature set; high-quality, removable lenses; larger sensor for very good image quality. Cons: Noisy in low light at high ISO; LCD viewfinder only.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CameraLabs reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“So our review of the fourth Micro Four Thirds body is another glowing one, and in many respects the GF1 is the best model yet. It’s a lot less physically compelling when fitted with the 14-45mm zoom, but mount the 20mm and you’ll have one of the most satisfying combinations we’ve used for a long time – and one which easily comes Highly Recommended.”
Rating: ★★★★½

WDC reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Picture quality is excellent, it’s easy to pick up and use from the getgo and performance is a fair marriage of compact-meets-DSLR. Ultimately, if you’re in the market for this sort of a camera – where comparably small and light competitors come very few and far between – then the GF1 is certainly the best one on the market.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Preview video by DigitalRev;

PhotoCracti reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“the GH1 offers the best of all worlds: the features/speed/versatility of a DSLR, the versatility of a camcorder (and superior video quality), plus the intelligent automation of a Lumix point-and-shoot digicam. This combination definitely makes the camera attractive to many types of consumers.”
Rating: N/A

TechRadar reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“High ISO performance is not quite as good as the Canon G11, but it’s a close run thing, as our test images reveal. The Lumix DMC-GF1′s Micro Four Thirds sensor does a great job of resolving detail, and results are certainly as good as a budget SLR.”
Rating: ★★★★½

LetsGoDigital reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“The image quality of the Panasonic DMC-GF1 is high. And if you opt for the RAW format, you will soon find out that there’s more to this camera than just a standard JPEG picture. The resemblance to a standard DSLR is made quickly, and it’s only the higher ISO of 1600 and higher, that is not able to keep up entirely with values that a large sensor camera is able to achieve. However, we are still satisfied with these results. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

PCMag reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“the GF1 was so sharp, in fact, that its resolution scores were higher than entry-level and mid-range D-SLR cameras like the Sony A230 and the Nikon D5000 across all ISO sensitivities. At ISO 100, the GF1 delivered spectacular sharpness scores at every f-stop. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

TrustedReviews reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“In the Lumix GF1 Panasonic has created a camera that I’m sure will come to be regarded as a classic. It really does offer comparable flexibility and image quality to a good digital SLR in a form that can slip into a jacket pocket. Build quality, performance and most importantly image quality are all of the highest order. “
Rating: ★★★★★

CNET reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“The best interchangeable-lens compact we’ve see thus far, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 delivers great photo quality and performance in an enthusiast-friendly shooting experience. Like competitors, however, the lack of an optical viewfinder limits its usability for photographing action.”


Rating: ★★★★☆

ByThom.com compares the Panasonic DMC-GF1 to Olympus EP-1 and writes;
“the GF1 is much better in AF speed than the E-P1, even with the E-P1 update…Olympus E-P1, which produces a more subtle, higher quality JPEG out of camera…. I was expecting a bit more out of the Panasonic, and perhaps that’s clouded my judgment a tiny bit, but it just doesn’t push the m4/3 compact forward enough over the E-P1 to be a clear winner.”
Rating: N/A

CNET.uk reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Don’t get the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 if you want a camera that does as much as possible as cheaply as possible. With the DMC-GF1, you’re buying simplicity, quality and precision, not gadgets. It will appeal most to dSLR owners looking for a portable back-up, as well as old-time photographers who want the emphasis shifted away from the tech and back to the pictures. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

GoodGearGuide reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“We like the build quality and the look of the GF1 very much, and its picture quality is great as well. It has a fast burst mode (up to three frames per second), a useful HD video mode (albeit without stereo audio recording), and it’s very easy to use. What we don’t like is its noisy performance at high ISO speeds, its sometimes unreliable autofocusing in dimly lit scenes, and the fact that the screen often misrepresents the shot about to be taken. .”
Rating: ★★★★☆

TOP reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“The GF1 is fast. Maybe not quite as fast as the fastest DSLRs, but I was not missing any shots because of shutter lag or slow focusing. I was surprised at the GF1′s focusing speed (particularly in relatively low light)…”
Rating: N/A

ImagingResource reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Overall, the Panasonic GF1 is an extremely good camera for such a small package, recording impressive detail thanks to its quality sensor, image processor, and fine optics. While we’d never say it’s for everyone, the Panasonic GF1 will be irresistible for many of our readers; and it’s a sure Dave’s Pick.”
Rating: N/A

DCR reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Default images out of the GF1 were very good with regard to color, quality and sharpness, and if you shoot program auto or any of the manual modes you have a wealth of adjustments to manipulate the final result..”
Rating: N/A

PhotographyBlog reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“In summary, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 takes most of the good points of its bigger brothers, the G1 and GH1, and literally squeezes them inside a smaller, more compact-camera-like body. The fantastically well-implemented Live View, lightning fast auto-focus, excellent image quality and added bonus of 720p video make the GF1 a great camera for beginners and more serious photographers alike.”
Rating: ★★★★½

DCRP reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“it’s roughly the same size as the E-P1 and has better AF performance, a built-in flash, a higher resolution LCD, and a nicer movie mode. Add in full manual controls, a second-to-none live view experience, great photo quality, and lots of bells and whistles and well, I was smitten. Not only do I highly recommend the DMC-GF1 — I can tell you that I bought one to take on my trip.”
Rating: N/A

PhotoReview.au reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Image noise was negligible at ISO settings up to 800 but was very obvious by ISO 3200, where colour noise combined with pattern noise to reduce image quality…. video recorded with the review camera looked as good as the clips we shot with the GH1. However, as with the GH1, autofocusing was slow”
Rating: ★★★★½

HardwareZone reviews the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and writes;
“Panasonic Lumix GF1 is a joy of a camera to shoot with. It gave us better shots than we could hope for with any compact, at an acceptable trade-off between size and convenience. It’s dead-easy to use, with Panasonic’s intelligent iA (Intelligent Auto) mode for point and shoot situations, and full manual settings for finer control.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Panasonic DMC-GF1 preview video by Vidcast2009;

Panasonic DMC-GF1 preview video by WDC;

User Opinions

Panasonic DMC-GF1 User Reviews

Finally The Digital Camera Holy Grail | Rating: ★★★★★
“…Panasonic has engineered the worlds first compact camera with “DSLR” level performance and has created an outstanding stills camera with good HD video camera capabilities. It’s a great time to be a photographer!” - by B.Fuller

Very very nice product | Rating: ★★★★★
“GF1 from Panasonic really satisfied my expectation and truly unveiled the new possibility of micro four third.
Not to mention, the lens from Panasonic are just in a different league….”
– by Frederick

More user opinions | Write your opinion

Samples

Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos

- Olympus E-P2 VS Panasonic GF1 Sample Photos @ WDC
- Olympus E-P2 VS Panasonic GF1 Sample Photos @ NeutralDay
- Sample Photos: 123 @ ePhotozine
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ Steve’sDigicams
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ NeoCamera
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ CameraLabs
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ LetsGoDigital
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ TrustedReviews
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ CNET
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ CNET.uk
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ DCRP
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ HardwareZone
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ FourThirdUser
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ LetsGoDigital
- Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Photos @ Dpreview

Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Videos

Sample Video by FourthThirdUser;

Panasonic DMC-GF1 Sample Video;

Manual

Panasonic DMC-GF1 User Manual (PDF)

Click to view or right click and select Save Target As..(Firefox) or Save link as.. (IE) to download

Coming soon..

Specs

Panasonic DMC-GF1 Specifications

Sensor • 4/3 type MOS (‘Live MOS sensor’)
• 13.06 million total pixels

• 12.11 million effective pixels
• RGB (Primary) color filter array

Image sizes

• 4000 x 3000 (4:3)

• 2816 x 2112 (4:3)
• 2048 x 1536 (4:3)
• 4000 x 2672 (3:2)
• 2816 x 1880 (3:2)
• 2048 x 1360 (3:2)

• 4000 x 2248 (16:9)
• 2816 x 1584 (16:9)
• 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
• 2992 x 2992 (1:1)
• 2112 x 2112 (1:1)

• 1504 x 1504 (1:1)

Aspect ratios 4:3
3:2

16:9
• 1:1

File formats • RAW

• RAW + JPEG Standard
• RAW + JPEG Fine
• JPEG (EXIF 2.2) – Standard
• JPEG (EXIF 2.2) – Fine

Movie mode • AVCHD lite (three quality levels)
• Motion JPEG
• Mono sound
• AVCDHD: 1280 x 720, 60p (sensor output is 30fps) 9-17 Mbps

• MJPEG: 320×240, 640×480, 848×480, 1280×720 (all at 30fps)

Lenses

• Micro Four Thirds mount lenses
• Four Thirds mount lenses via adapter (DMW-MA1PP)

Autofocus only available with:
– Olympus Zuiko 25 F2.8 ‘Pancake’
– Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6
– Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6
– Panasonic Leica D Summilux 25mm F1.4 ASPH
– Panasonic Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-50mm F3.8-5.6 ASPH. Mega OIS

– Panasonic Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. Mega OIS

Focus modes • Auto Focus
• Manual focus

• Face Detection
• AF Tracking
• 23-Area-Focusing/1 Area Focusing
• Single or Continuous AF
• AF detection range: EV 0-18 (F3.5 lens, ISO 100)

• Pre AF (Quick AF/Continuous AF), AF+MF, MF Assist(5x, 10x)

AF assist lamp Yes, dedicated lamp
Image stabilization None (lens only)
Extended optical zoom Yes
Digital zoom • Up to 4x
Exposure modes • Program AE

• Aperture priority AE
• Shutter priority AE
• Manual
• iAuto
• SCN

• Movie
• Custom (2)

Scene modes

• Portrait

• Soft Skin
• Creative Portrait
• Architecture

Sports

• Peripheral Defocus
• Flower
• Food
• Objects

Night Portrait
• Night Scenery
• Illuminations
• Baby 1,2
• Pet

• Party
• Sunset

Sensitivity

• Auto

• Intelligent ISO
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800

• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200

Metering 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system
Metering range 0 to 18 EV
Metering modes • Multiple-Weighted
• Center-Weighted
• Spot
AE Lock • AEL/AFL button
• With shutter release half-press
AE Bracketing • 3, 5 or 7 frames

• 1/3 to 2.0 EV steps

Exposure steps 1/3 or 1.0 EV
Exposure compensation • -3.0 to +3.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Shutter speed • 60 -1/4000 sec
• Bulb (up to 4 mins)
• Flash X-sync 1/160 sec
White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Shade
• Halogen

• Flash
• Custom 1
• Custom 2
• Kelvin temp (2500 – 10000 K, 100K steps)

WB fine tuning Yes (blue/amber bias, magenta/green bias)
WB Bracketing • 3 shots

•+/-1 to +/-3 in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis

Color space • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Image parameters • My Color mode (Expressive/Retro/Pure/Elegant/Monochrome/Dynamic Art/Silhouette/Custom)
• Film Mode (Standard / Dynamic / Nature / Smooth / Nostalgic / Vibrant)
• Saturation (5 levels)

• Contrast (5 levels)
• Sharpness (5 levels)
• Noise reduction (5 levels)
• Monochrome (Standard, Dynamic, Smooth)
• My Film (2 memories, multi film mode)

Drive modes • Single
• Continuous H (3 fps)
• Continuous L (2 fps)
Continuous buffer • 7 RAW images
• Unlimited JPEG images with a fast card
Self-timer • 2 sec
• 10 sec
• 10 sec, 3 images
Remote release Optional DMW-RSL1
Flash • Manual pop-up
• TTL auto / manual
• Guide no. 6.0 (ISO 100, m)
• Sync modes: Auto, On, Off, Red-eye reduction, Slow syncro with red-eye reduction,
Slow syncro
• 1st /2nd curtain sync

• Flash power: Up to +/- 2EV in 1/3 EV steps

Flash X-sync speed 1/160 sec
External flash • Hot shoe
• TTL Auto with FL220/FL360/FL500 (Optional)
Viewfinder • Optional Electronic Viewfinder
DOF preview Yes
Orientation sensor Yes
LCD monitor • 3.0" Low temperature Polycrystalline TFT LCD

• 3:2 aspect ratio
• Wide viewing angle
• 460,000 dots
• 60 fps
• Approx 100% frame coverage

• Brightness (7 levels), Color (7 levels)
• Modes: Off / Auto Power LCD / Power LCD

Playback functions • Single

• Magnify (2 – 16x)
• Index (12 or 30 frames)
• Slideshow
• Calendar view
• Resize

• Text Stamp
• Trimming
• Aspect Conversion
• Audio Dubbing

Connectivity • USB 2.0 (High Speed)
• Video Out (NTSC / PAL)
• Wired remote control DMW-RSL1 (optional)

• HDMI

Print compliance • PictBridge
• DPOF
Storage SD / SDHC / MMC
Power • 1250 mAh 7.2v Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
• Supplied charger / AC adapter
Dimensions 119 mm x 71 mm x 36.3 mm (4.69 x 2.8 x 1.43 inches)
Weight (camera body) Approx. 285 g (10.05 oz)
Weight (inc 20mm lens, card and battery) Approx. 448 g (15.8 oz)


See also: Compact System Cameras | Digital Camera | Panasonic





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2 Comments »

Comment by R4卡
2009-10-30 00:10:51

Switched to the GF1 from a DSLR because I found I was not using the DSLR much due to its weight and size.

 
Comment by Cesar
2010-10-28 22:56:40

I hve been using the GF1 for over a year now and it has served me well. Whether it was taking pictures or video at my kids volleygame or taking pictures while on vacation in Europe, the camera has produced excellent images and was never a chore to carry along with 3 lenses in a separate waist pouch. Combining extreme portability with this level of image quality is truly an outstanding achievement. The gap between full size DSLR quality and the compactness and versatility of a point and shoot has greatly diminished. The GF1 should be any traveling photographer’s weapon of choice.

 

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