PANASONIC-LUMIX-DMC-GF1The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 is part of the Lumix G line, equipped with a Micro Four Thirds which combines the flexibility of a reflex camera with the reduced dimensions of a typical compact point-and-shoot camera, making it the first camera with integrated flash and compact body of it’s class. This camera is ideal to take still pictures, like portraits or landscapes or fast moving ones, like children or pets. Besides having interchangeable-lenses, it has an integrated flash to capture the best situation, and it also has the capability of making High Definition videos with an AVCHD format, although the lack of an optical viewfinder may deter some users and find it a weakness, instead of an advanced featured for a cutting edge design, with a retro-nostalgic touch.

Innovative optics and mirrorless design

Although the innovative Micro Four Thirds lenses used by this camera tend to be a little more expensive than the regular ones, while still offering a rather limited variety of models to fit into this kind of cameras, they offer an advantage and optimal design for this kind of mirrorless design. Panasonic’s system rely on the optical image stabilization, but the supplied 20mm lens lacks this, which could be reasonable for such a lens with so short a focal length, and it also lacks continuous auto-focus, useful when capturing movies. But the 20mm and the 14-45mm lens tested provide a sharp and comfortable manual focus capability.

New functions
The HD Venus Engine combines perfectly with the Live CMOS sensor in this camera. It can capture high-quality pictures with up to 12 Mb. in resolution. The images sent from the CMOS sensor to the viewer are sent in real time and with great speed, allowing a fast image pre-visualization, more clear and uniform. This HD engine also allows a great quantity of different functions, including an HDMI output.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 come with a highly efficient dust reduction system, based in supersonic waves placed in front of the CMOS sensor. By vibrating about 50,000 times per second, it gets rid of all particles effectively.

The GF1 offers face recognition and it is able to save up to six faces in its memory, along with personalized information, such as name and birthday so, during playback, the person’s name appears onscreen. Unfortunately, this same information is not stored in the EXIF data of each image.

Slim design with high functionality
The physical body of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 is thin, but enough to have a good grip. It feels sturdy to the touch and the controls are well located and easy to understand. It offers a lot of features and functions, enough for those with a more ample knowledge in digital photography.

Panasonic has done a good job designing the interface to interact with the most frequent used shooting modes. The navigation buttons can recall ISO sensitivity, white balancing, AF mode (in each modality: single area, 23 area modus, tracking or face detection) and an extra function button to which it is possible to assign some extra functions, such as film mode, aspect radio, image quality and size, exposure, metering and some display options.

For the rest of the functions is the Q. Menu button, which calls the panasonic outstanding color moding, which allows the user to preview the picture in any mode before it is taken. The diferent modii include: standard dynamic, nature, smooth, nostalgic, vibrant, plus black-and-white version of the dynamic and smooth modes.

In general, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 offers a wide range and ease of use, both for advanced users and for those who come from a point-and-shoot setting. With the added video recording capability, it will satisfy most of the users looking for a reliable camera with excellent picture quality and colors.

Video Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

Photos: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

panasonic lumix dmc-gf1 back

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