Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF1-K digital camera
Panasonic's GF1 looks good, feels great, and takes excellent pictures
- Solidly constructed, built-in flash, excellent clarity, easy to use
- LCD screen can be hard to view when outdoors, trouble focusing in low-light, noticeable noise at high ISO speeds
Panasonic's LUMIX DMC-GF1-K is a solidly built compact camera that lets you use different lenses. It's capable of capturing beautifully clear images and it's fast. It does have some issues when focusing in dim lighting, and noise is noticeable at high ISO speeds.
Price$ 1,649.00 (AUD)
Overall, colours are captured accurately by the GF1 (see Figure 4), and it does a good job of exposing images in tough situations. In Figure 5 you can see that it has done well to expose the dark side of the motorcycle as the sun back-lights the image. We used aperture priority and shutter priority for the majority of our shots, although you can also choose from fully automatic, fully manual, program and scene modes (there are 17 to choose from). You also get some art scenes, which change the tone and dynamics of an image, but there is nothing as good as Olympus’ film grain and pin-hole filters.
Figure 4: the GF1 captures colours that are accurate and not overdone.
Figure 5: exposures are handled very well, even in challenging situations.
The GF1 focussed quickly during our tests, as long as there was enough light. In dark environments the camera, despite having an AF assist lamp, sometimes struggled to find the correct focus point. The GF1 is a Live View camera, which means that the 3in LCD screen is the viewfinder, and it focuses by detecting contrast changes through the lens. This is similar to the way a compact camera focuses. The focusing performance of the camera may be unreliable in situations where there is little to no contrast, such as in overly dark environments. Manually focusing the lens using the LCD screen is easy though, as the LCD screen is crystal clear and it magnifies the image so that you can clearly see if details in your image are in focus. However, you will have trouble viewing the LCD screen in bright sunlight.
It’s worth noting that what you see on the screen isn’t always what you get. Often the image on the screen will be bright when you set up the picture, then dark when you play it back. Use the display button to bring up the histogram so that you can see via the graph if your pictures will end up too dark or too bright. It’s also worth noting that the battery life of the GF1 is great, despite the 3in screen constantly being in operation. We took around 300 shots and some videos on a single charge, but the life you get out of the camera will vary depending on the amount of video you shoot and other variables such as flash usage.
Focus modes include face detection, motion tracking, single focus and multi-point focus. All can be accessed by pressing a button on the body of the camera. A button can also be used to quickly go from autofocus (single and continuous) to manual focus.
With the ability to record 720p video (1280x720), the GF1 can save you carting a camcorder with you when you go on holidays. It will capture video clearly, and it can autofocus when you zoom in on your subjects, albeit a little slowly.
You can also use the video mode in conjunction with the art modes. The videos are captured using either Motion JEPG or AVCHD Lite formats. If you use the latter, they can’t be viewed immediately when you download them from the SD card. You’ll have to open them and convert them using the supplied software. If you’re serious about using the GF1 for video, you'll be disheartened by the lack of an external microphone port, as clicks and inadvertent taps are easily picked up by the internal mono mic and can be very annoying.
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. Nevertheless, it’s easy to overlook some of these issues because the GF1 has the ability to take some stunning shots and it feels so comfortable to use.
Follow @GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPTechnical WriterVIC
- CCService Designer (CX)NSW
- TPProject Support OfficerQLD
- FTSupport and Operations Team LeadNSW
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- FTMicrosoft ProgrammerSA
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- TPIT Project ManagerNSW
- CCProject Manager - Adelaide basedNSW
- CCGIS Developer - GeocortexWA
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)ACT
- TPOrganisational Change Manager - ICT Services TransformationQLD
- CCNetIQ Development & SupportNSW
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- CCSenior Mobile Application DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTFront-End DevOps Developer/Consultant - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTSenior Learning Specialist - Global OrganisationQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystSA
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- FTProject Manager (Software product development)VIC
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerACT
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW