|The unique feature of Micro Four Thirds is that it benefits from the quality of a DSLR yet features the size of a compact camera. This combination is unique compared to traditional cameras like the DSLR and compact camera. The compact camera is nice and small, as well as convenient to carry along with you regularly. If you set off with a digital SLR, you often have a plan, a target to shoot something; otherwise you would not take such a large and heavy camera along. The DSLR is primarily known for its quality, the compact for its portability. These points all come together in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1, a Micro Four Thirds System camera par excellence.|
|Panasonic Lumix GF1 photography modes
This will also directly reach a very large group of photographers. Photographers looking for quality while maintaining convenience, and, serious DSLR-photographers looking for convenience without a loss of quality. This is why the operation of the Panasonic GF1 works two ways: you can opt for pure simplicity and shoot in the 'iA mode, or you can try to reach the limits of your creativity by using programs such as P/S/A/M and even a creative video mode.
Panasonic GF1 compact & light system camera
During discussions with various people from Panasonic Japan, not only by me but also by many colleagues, the wish for a true compact Micro Four Thirds camera was expressed, actually an LX3 version, but providing interchangeable optics. The Panasonic Lumix GF1 certainly meets the wish of many serious photographers. The camera features a sophisticated operation, and if you have worked with the GF1, you will quickly conclude that everything is excellent in terms of ergonomics and functionality. The camera is comfortable when it comes to operation, it can be quickly and easily set as required, and provides several useful features that enhance the shooting experience.
Focussing with the Panasonic Lumix GF1
The focusing speed is decent and without a doubt faster than the somewhat slow AF speed of the Olympus PEN E-P1. I should also mention the fact that Panasonic clearly knows how to get more out of contrast detection AF than its rivals, which is an achievement through which Panasonic really distinguishes itself. The focusing speed of the Panasonic Lumix GF1 is similar to an average digital SLR camera.
|Whereas most DSLR cameras settle for an average 11-point AF, the Panasonic GF1 offers a 23-point AF and the possibility of placing a single AF point over the entire image for the autofocus. Add to this the comfortable and precise AF tracking, and we can say the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 is a true revolution.
Panasonic Lumix GF1 command dial
Even the sound of a picture being taken is pleasant to the ear. Panasonic has opted for a single command dial with click function on the back. Personally, I prefer two dials, to keep (S) Shutter speed and (A) Aperture separated. However, as you'll eventually get used to virtually anything, Panasonic’s logic will soon sink in, and you'll operate the GF1 as if you’ve always worked with it. Shutter speed and Aperture are beautifully rendered in a kind of scales ratio. This way, it is immediately clear that one thing directly affects the other when a setting is changed.
Panasonic Lumix GF1 film modes
The Panasonic DMC-GF1 also has a quick menu that is accessible via the Q.Menu button. The arrows of the multi-control button allow you to change the settings. Upon pressing the Q.Menu button, the settings will appear at the top and bottom of the screen. You'll soon find out that you will make frequent use of these in practice, except for when you want to shoot fully automatically (iA mode). The thing I seem to be getting gradually more joy from, are the built-in filter effects or Film modes, as Panasonic calls them. I can't make up my mind entirely why, but it strikes me that both the Olympus P1 and Panasonic GF1 make you feel more involved with the object you're shooting. Perhaps this feeling is related to the short focal length of 20mm (40mm on a 35mm camera) that we used in order to test the Panasonic GF1.