Review of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

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Hi Huneybees,

Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX1 is the company's latest addition to its G-series lineup. And although the camera bears the '1' appendage in its model name, it is clear from even a cursory glance that with the GX1, Panasonic has provided the long-awaited spiritual successor to the highly regarded Lumix DMC-GF1. Of perhaps even greater significance, the move to introduce a separate GX product line (as opposed to releasing the camera as a 'GF4') would seem to suggest a long-term commitment by the camera maker to meet the demands of enthusiasts who embraced the GF1.

The Panasonic GX1 represents three years of iteration on Micro Four Thirds cameras, combining the three best elements from Panasonic's previous cameras into one: the blocky, retro design of the GF1, the G3's 16-megapixel sensor, and the touchscreen LCD first introduced on the GF2.

It’s clear that the GX1 is meant to be a “serious” camera; with its boxy, but carefully designed shaped body, the thumb dial, the constellation of buttons. Although it will, take a picture when you press the shutter release button, it’s not the kind of camera you know photos will come back blurry.

Panasonic GX1 specification highlights

  • 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • ISO 160-12,800
  • Orientation sensor (providing information with non-OIS lenses)
  • 3.0", 460k dot LCD
  • Full AVCHD 1080/60i video (from 30fps sensor output)
  • Continuous shooting up to 20fps (at reduced resolution)
  • Electronic level gauge
  • Four available Fn buttons (two onscreen)

The design of the camera is straightforward and on the right side, you will find a fairly subtle bump on the front, highly textured that allows you to grip tightly. On the back, a thumbgrip that feels bigger than it looks, makes for easier one-handed operation, without having to change any settings while doing that.

What I like about the camera

Like Panasonic's micro four thirds predecessors, the camera takes very nice photos in daylight, and the improved sensor resolution only makes daylight shooting easy. What really sets this camera apart, is how easy it is to use. Any settings adjustment is always just a quick tap away. That means more time taking pictures, and less time staring at your camera.

Also the flash on the side is elevated enough that you won’t catch the shadow of your lens in the picture (I always have that problem with my GF2).  And speaking of comparisons, see how much shorter the lens is, making the whole bringing out a camera so much more "lighter".

Same range but so much more compact!
Did I mention how much I love the HD lens? Now I can shoot pictures in 16:9 ration and with the easy zooming button on the left of left, it makes so much more easier when I'm zooming in and out whilst recording a HD video! 

Below are some shots I took whilst at Marina Bay Sands.

What I do not like

Pictures were generally sharp, with very low noise up until ISO 6400. JPEGs are rendered a bit flat in the “standard” render style, and it’s definitely worthwhile to test out the other modes, which are fairly subtle. The art-style modes are a bit much, of course, and you can always do adjustments in post, but it was fun to try them out....


Normal View
Retro View
Toy View
And another sad thing is that my ring light would not fit onto the lens due to diameter constraint, which means I have to go get another! Kind of a pity right?

So should you get yourself a GX1?
The GX1 is a powerful camera, there's just a hint of identity crisis here. This clearly wants to be a photographer’s camera, so why so many auto and art modes? Why a touchscreen and a galaxy of buttons? However, disregarding those issues, the GX1 is a powerful contender against the likes cameras of other brands, offering a sort of camera-lover’s camera without any gimmicks or weird styling. It’s practical, compact, and performs well. Why not get yourself one right?

Even Gloomy agrees too!


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