Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

Released September, 2009
New: Lumix DMC-GX1 (Nov, 2011)
  • 12 MP
  • Four Thirds 18 x 13.5 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
It's fast, fun, capable of stunning results in raw mode (and competitive results in JPEG mode), offers decent HD movie capture, and has enough features to satisfy even the most enthusiastic tweaker.
by DPReview (Oct, 2009)
8.6 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Lumix DMC-GF1
7.9
NEX F3
9.3
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Lumix DMC-GF1
6.4
NEX F3
6.9
Focus lag and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Lumix DMC-GF1
8.2
NEX F3
8.4
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

Lumix DMC-GF1
9.5
NEX F3
9.0
Reviews from 43rumors.com, trustedreviews.com, techradar.com, photographyblog.com and 1 more

8.6

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Lumix DMC-GF1
8.6
NEX F3
8.8

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

Lumix DMC-GF1
513 ISO
NEX F3
1,114 ISO
Lumix DMC-GX1
703 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

Lumix DMC-GF1
2,100 LPH
NEX F3
2,800 LPH
Lumix DMC-GF6
2,600 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Lumix DMC-GF1
409 ms
Nikon 1 J2
94 ms
Nikon 1 V1
97 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Lumix DMC-GF1
72 ms
NEX F3
21 ms
Lumix DMC-G3
80 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Lumix DMC-GF1
1,400 ms
Lumix DMC-GF6
800 ms
Lumix DMC-GF2
1,000 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Lumix DMC-GF1
3 fps
Nikon 1 J2
60 fps
Nikon 1 V1
60 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1


9.0
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.

10.0
Shooting log-exposure shots in low light at high IS settings is usually a sure recipe for chronic image noise, and some previous 4/3 cameras have stumbled at this particular hurdle, but the GF1 performed much better than I expected, producing virtually noise-free images at 800 ISO, which is what I would expect from a good APS-C digital SLR.

8.0
The GF1 delivers photo quality on par or slightly better than the G1-it improves on the G1's exposure and color accuracy-and with entry-level dSLRs, and I'd rank them as two of Panasonic's best digital cameras to date in this respect.

Overall

9.0 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Lens

Most of the lenses in the system do features Panasonic's acclaimed Mega OIS optical image stabilisation system, but the 20mm f/1.7 kit lens shown here does not.
by TrustedReviews (Dec, 2011)
Even then, the 20mm Panasonic lens lacks optical image stabilization-some might argue that you don't need it for such a short focal length-and doesn't support continuous autofocus, which you might want for movie capture.
by c|net (Oct, 2009)
The fast maximum aperture of f/1.7 makes it easy to create out-of-focus backgrounds, and the 40mm equivalent focal length provides an appealing angle of view that's slightly wider than human vision.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2009)

Sensor

The default setting (zero) smears color detail at high ISO settings, and the results are far from pleasant.
by DPReview (Oct, 2009)
There is some colour noise visible at 1600 ISO, but the shot is still quite usable.
by TrustedReviews (Dec, 2011)
This difference gets progressively more pronounced as you move up the ISO scale, with the GF1's ISO 3200 JPEG output looking pretty poor (the E-P1's output, for all its faults, is far more pleasing to the eye).
by DPReview (Oct, 2009)

Image quality

In standard mode the dynamic range isn't brilliant, with dark shadows and burned out highlights.
by TrustedReviews (Dec, 2011)
WARNING: Although ACR and Silkypix were able to retrieve the 'luminance' (brightness) of wedge steps which were previously clipped there's no guarantee of color accuracy as individual channels clip before others.
by DPReview (Oct, 2009)
JPEG image quality is good, though I think most users would prefer the Olympus E-P1's punchier output and appealing colors.
by DPReview (Oct, 2009)

Focus

Focus and metering are very reliable (far more so than the E-P1), and since both lenses are excellent, overall impressions are very positive indeed - we took over 3500 shots during the production of this review, and the number of problems we had that could be laid fairly and squarely at the feet of the camera (as opposed to the operator) was tiny.
by DPReview (Oct, 2009)
Fortunately the monitor is sharp enough for accurate manual focusing.
by TrustedReviews (Dec, 2011)
We found no systematic focus errors (though as always if you let the camera choose the focus point it will occasionally focus on the wrong thing) - we took about 3000 shots during the production of this review, and of the handful that were out of focus, only a tiny proportion could be put down to camera (as opposed to operator) error.
by DPReview (Oct, 2009)

Video

In AVCHD Lite mode the GF1 offers high quality HD video capture at 1280 x 720 pixels (720p) at 25/30 frames per second (depending on whether you're shooting in PAL or NTSC format), though the files are doubled up to 50/60 fps for HDTV compatibility.
by DPReview (Oct, 2009)
The GF1's movie mode lacks the advanced video functionality of the GH1, but there's still plenty of scope for creative control, including AE compensation aperture priority (though strangely you can't actually choose a specific aperture - you just get a depth of field slider) and access to all the Film and 'My Color' modes.
by DPReview (Oct, 2009)
For video, you can set encoder type (AVCHD or Motion JPEG MOV files), quality (60fps 720p at three different bit rate choices, and various lower resolution options), metering, four levels of Intelligent Exposure, and four levels of wind filtering.
by c|net (Oct, 2009)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type CMOS
Megapixels 12 MP
Resolution 4000 x 3000
Size Four Thirds
Area 18 x 13.5 mm
Crop factor 2.0x
Pixel size 20.3 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 3,200 ISO
Codecs
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,100 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,100 LPH

focus system

Type Contrast detection
Focus points 23
Cross type focus points 0
Supports continuous No

shutter

Min 60 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 119 x 71 x 36.3 mm
Thickness 36.3 mm
Weight 330 g
Is weather sealed No

features

Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization None

video

Video 1280 x 720 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p No
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack None
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection

display

Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 460 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror None
Viewfinder None

performance

Max continuous shooting 3 fps
Battery life 400 photos
Continuous shooting 3 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 409 ms
Shutter lag 72 ms
Startup delay 1,400 ms
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