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Panasonic Lumix GF1: T3’s Camera of the Year

13 Oct Posted by Matt in News, Reviews |
Panasonic Lumix GF1: T3’s Camera of the Year

Panasonic LUMIX GF1Gadget magazine T3 has crowned the Panasonic LUMIX GF1 (a compact DSLR-esque affair) their camera of the year.

The LUMIX GF1 was the “unanimous choice of our judges and the reader vote winner” say T3, who go on to praise the image and build quality as well as the value for money it offers. A basic GF1 kit with a standard zoom lens comes in just under £500.

Our take on the LUMIX GF1

Panasonics’ interchangeable lens cameras offer much better flexibility than traditional compacts, but in a small form-factor that makes them more convenient than a traditional DSLR.

The LUMIX G Micro System family is what’s known as a micro four thirds system.  Micro four thirds is a standard used by Panasonic and Olympus for interchangeable lens cameras, featuring an image sensor considerably larger than that used by most compacts (for better quality, especially in low light) but smaller than the APS-C format used by most consumer DSLRs.

There are few disadvantages to micro four thirds cameras over compacts other than a physical increase in size, although in some cases even this is marginal. Compared to one of our favourite compacts, the Canon PowerShot SX210, the Panasonic is bigger, but not by much (though the Canons’ lens neatly retracts into the body, whereas LUMIXs’ won’t).

When compared to DSLRs the pros and cons become a bit more contentious. This time, the LUMIX GF1 scores very favourably on the size front – we’ve used a Canon EOS 1000D to illustrate the difference here.

Panasonic LUMIX GF1 Relative Size

Panasonic LUMIX GF1 Relative Size

Lumix GF1 comparison table

Should I buy one?

If you want something better than a compact but know that you’re unlikely to want a plethora of lenses then the GF1 could be just the answer – it won’t weigh you down, the image quality is excellent, and it will give you more creative freedom than even a high-end compact.

If you do want a selection of lenses then don’t write the LUMIX GF1 off, but be aware that lenses for these cameras tend to be reasonably expensive, and that the choice is more limited.

Whilst the Panasonic LUMIX GF1 is all about size, the LUMIX G2 sells for around the same price and offers a slightly better feature set including a viewfinder and pop-out articulating LCD.  Whilst noticeably bigger than the GF1, the G2 is still smaller than a typical DSLR.

Read the T3 awards summary and their full review of the LUMIX GF1 here.

 

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