Lumix GF1 Review

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Thu 2009/10/01 14:50 JST in Gadgets
Review of the recently released Lumix GF1. Was only teasing about the Olympus EP-1 ^^;
While the EP1 was enticing, I've been berry pleased with the Lumix LX3 so the natural choice in my eyes was to go for the GF1.
The GF1 is a micro DLSR that employs the Micro Four Thirds standard. The standards provide a means to develop interchangeable lenses and a more compact camera body size compared to the regular DLSRs.
Love taking photos and seek the best device that enables me to do so. The Lumix LX3 is a great camera which I will still use but I want to be able to change lenses while having a compact body. The Kiss 2 is just too much of a bother to carry around due to the size and weight.
Like a standard sized DLSR, the GF1 has a switch at the side of the main jog dial and where you can see the familiar S, M, A, P settings.
Gorgeous bright screen just like the LX3. Gorgeous girl too.
A load of settings to play about with. Could not find any language settings so you will be stuck with Japanese for those who don't read. Will double check later and update in the comments.
Pop up flash looks cool. Very rarely use flash for any of my photography - prefer to decrease shutter speed and wot not instead.
There is no view finder and one looks at the live view screen for taking photos - but taking photos out in sunlight can be a problem as the screen can be hard to see at times.
Panasonic have also released the DMW-LVF1 live view finder which costs 17,770 yen (170 USD) - prolly end up getting one.
have not read the instructions at all and have just been playing about with the settings from my knowledge of using the LX3. Not too sure what this socket is for but prolly has something to do with the flash mount.
Small panel flips open to reveal sockets for this n that.
Battery is surprisingly big.
The charger is one of those annoying ones with a tail. Canon seem to have the best chargers I've seen which plug in straight into the wall.
Looks like I will need to get the DMW-LMC46 lense protector too which will cost me 2,377 yen.
No automatic opening like the LX3 - manual lens removal.
The Micro Four Thirds system gets rid of the mirror that flips up to expose light onto the sensor. Because there is no need for the mirror, physical space is not needed which is why a compact body size can be achieved.
One does however need to be extra careful when changing lenses as dust can now easily get on to the sensor without the protection of a mirror.
Having said that though, mechanical dust will still get onto the sensor. Probably good idea to carry around a few cotton buds and a blower when out n about.
Micro Four Thirds attachment is compatible with lenses made from different companies.
Currently thinking of some other lenses for the camera.
The H-ES045 Macro Lens - costs more than the camera itsself at 99,750 yen! (997 USD).
Click on the photo thumbnails on this page to see samples taken by the various lenses.
But before I do fork out for new lenses, I will get myself an adapter that allows me to use my current Canon lenses on the GF1. This page has photos of how EOS lenses will look like attached to a Micro Four Thirds camera. I still need to figure out exactly which mount is the one I need.
While the GF1 was a free sample, looks like I will be spending quite a bit of moolah on the lenses ^^;
This is what the GF1 would look like with the Canon wide angle attached.
Canon lenses compared to the Micro Four Thirds 14-45mm/F3.5-F5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. that comes with the GF1.
Comparison with the Kiss 2. So much smaller and lighter with hardly any difference in picture quality to my untrained eye.
Less than half size without the lens.
Side comparison.
Kiss 2 and GF1 screen comparison.
Front comparison.
Nice n compact compared to the Kiss 2.
Attachment for the lens. Unlike the Canon lenses, there is no rubber around the base so be careful not to stick it up your bottom.
Table O image weaponry. Hmmm, Whats that in the middle?
Box with too much reading material. You can also click about on the official site to see more bits n pieces on the camera.
Snap of the LX3, GF1 and Kiss 2.
And now some comparison shots of the LX3 and GF1.
Certainly not as compact as the LX3 but compact and light enough to take on hols.
Screen comparison.
The back of the GF1 looks a bit cheap. Buttons on the LX3 look much nicer.
The GF1 lens kit cost about 79,000 yen (790 USD) while the Olympus EP1 lens kit costs about 120,000 yen (1200 USD).
I'm guessing the crappy look of the back was a factor to reduce production cost and allow competitive pricing against the EP1.
Side comparison.
And now onto the sample photos all taken on the GF1. Some of the settings are a bit different than the LX3 so will probably take a bit of getting used to.
Have only had it for a day so far and am pleased with the results.
Took a quick video with the GF1 which you can see below.
There are HD, WVG!, VGA and QVGA settings.
Two compression choices - AVCHD Lite ideal for playback on a HDTV and Motion JPEG - apparently ideal for playback on a PC or Mac. The video below was set to Motion JPEG.
The GF1 auto focuses while shooting video too.
Ratios available are 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1. I prefer my photos wide which is why I like 16:9.
Playing about with the dynamic color settings here.
Gorgeous Saber.
The current 14-45mm/F3.5-F5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. is not really ideal for taking pictures of figures - I recommend a macro lens for that. This lens is a good all rounder and ideal for trips out n about.
Aoi-chan about to eat her cake.
Nendo Puchi Hatsune Miku.
Afternoon tea with Mr Donuts.
Double V-Zone.
Monitor colors turn out nice. I usually either use AWB and Bulb for my shots.
Got a new pair of eyes coming soon for Nanoha - wonder what she will look like in them.
BTW - have not forgot about the Google Giveaway and will announce winners later on today.
I think I'll call her Ai-chan instead? Shes waiting for a pink wig and blue eyes. This Saber wig is for sale - 20,000 yen.
Can get a really nice bokeh with this lens.
Owe you a review of Narika.
Owe you a review of Mirim too.
Tokyo Figure Show in Singapore?
Kotone lost her banana.
Dont see much of this sukumizu Taiga around - was you able to get one?
More bokeh.
When the desktop is messy, icons start to overlap.
Pointing at the pantsu hanging from the ceiling.
Owe you a review of Yoko too.
Shelf O girls.
This is what Chris stares at when trying to figure out problems. Hes working on now which should be ready today. Will announce the submission process soon.
One of my fave figures.
Google tell me they got more stuff to give to readers - will probably get to see it at the Chrome event next week.
I generally like bright photos so increase the brightness settings.
GF1 samples out n about.
At full zoom.
Nearby roadworks.
Today's lunch was crab with lettuce spaghetti.
At full zoom.
GF1 has met my expectations of what I wanted it to be and could possibly replace the Kiss 2. With the Kiss 2, I need to take a few shots and confirm what it looks like on screen. With the GF1, I can immediately see the effect of changes to WB for example.
Also the lighter and more compact form is another major factor for me. The Kiss 2 is just too bulky and heavy to carry around all the time.
Folks in Japan can pick up the GF1 in red, white or black at Amazon for 79800 yen.
What camera type are you using at the moment? Are you thinking up upgrading your imaging armory?
I know that many of you are into photography - if you have some photos to share with us then post them at
If you take photos and are located in Japan then by all means show us your goodies. Am in the middle of working with The Japan Times on an exciting project and would love to involve you - win win all round.