Friday 18th April 2014,

Panasonic Lumix GX1

Andre Appel September 4, 2012 ,
Overall Score
4

Build Quality

Handling / Design

Features

Image Quality

Price / Value

The little Beast!

The Lumix GX1 is a small sized micro-four-thirds camera aimed at enthusiasts. I will not bother you with all the technical chit-chat, but it got a new 16MP sensor, quite a bump up compared to the 12MP sensor in the other compact micro-four-third cameras.  So, how well does it handle every day use?

Build quality

The build quality is really good, it is an all metal construction. Nothing wobbles and even the pop-up flash is firmly placed inside the cam when not in use. But why does the camera has a plastic battery door? Come on guys, you can do better than that.!I already dropped the camera once onto a dirt road, luckily without doing any damage to it. Normally I just drop it into my backpack without too much consideration and I used it in very slight rain without problems. So, I would say it is good enough for every day use and abuse without too much cuddling needed.

Handling and Design

Although it is small in size, it fits very well into your hands. The rubberised grip is really helping and you can hold it good and steady. All functions and buttons can be reached easily. I’ve never read the manual of this camera and nonetheless found everything I needed. The layout of the menus is clear and well structured, the buttons are labeled and do what they are supposed to do.

The only thing I had to get used to is the thumb-wheel. I shoot mainly AV priority and turning that dial flips through the f-stops as expected. But in order to dial in an exposure compensation, you CLICK (press) the wheel and release it again. Now turning it results in an exposure compensation as displayed on the LCD screen. Clicking again and you are back to changing the f-stop. This is quite cool and handy, but hard to guess if you did not read the manual.

One thing the manufacturer really raves about is the AF system. And I have to admit, it is really really fast. You can choose an AF point by tapping the desired area on the screen, which is really handy. The AF system of the mirrorless cameras has definitely reached a point where it is (almost) as good as in consumer DSLRs.

Features

The camera features almost everything you might ever need. The LCD screen offers 3.0″ with 460k dots resolutions, a little lower than the Olympus EP3. It is a resistive touchscreen though, so no multi-touch gestures are available. The camera features a build in stereo mic and an accessory port which takes the electronic viewfinder. Unfortunately there is no external mic-jack or an external mic for the accessory port. It takes full-hd videos and features autofocus during the recording of videos, either continuous or on demand (touching the screen where you want to focus and half-pressing the shutter). For that tiny body, the camera quite packs a punch.

Image quality

Of course with a camera it is all about the resulting images. I admit, I was preoccupied before diving into the micro-four-thirds world but got surprised by how good the image quality of those small sensors is. Also the dynamic range is very good. I have no concerns using the GX1 up to ISO 3200, with ISO 6400 and 12800 for emergencies only. Of the compact micro-four-third cameras the GX1 with its 16MP sensor currently delivers the best image quality and fine detail resolution, beating the EP3 hands down. Below you can find some images taken with GX1 which speak for themselves!

Dramatic Skies - Panasonic GX1 Sunset - Panasonic GX1
Dramatic skies Sunset
The red boat - Panasonic GX1 2 chairs and a red boat - Panasonic GX1
The red boat 2 chairs and a red boat
Meeting the foal - Panasonic GX1 Gras and Sky - Panasonic GX1
The meeting of the foals Gras and sky

What I don’t like …

Beeing spoiled by using a DSLR with a battery grip, I find the number of shots you get from the Panasonic GX1 a little dissappointing. I get around 300 shots out of a full battery, so the first thing I bought was a second battery to keep me going when out shooting! I guess a second and third battery are essential for longer trips. But, that’s all I can pick on. The GX1 is otherwise an awesome little beast!

Conclusion

The Panasonic GX1 is an excellent camera. The image quality is awesome and the controls leave nothing open to the serious shooter. Especially as a travel kit the Panasonic GX1 with the kit lens is a very nice setup that will cover most of your shots (if you get some spare batteries). So, if you are either coming from a compact camera and want something more serious with a lot of manual control or want a nice light setup to go along your DSRL kit, this camera is just right for you!

So, are you already using a micro-four thirds camera or planing on buying one? Or do you stay with your DSLR? What’s your favorite shot of the images above? Comments are welcome!

Future ToDos

I definitely want to test the camera in the studio and shoot some portraits. Furthermore, I would love to test the camera with some primes and not only the kit lens. So, stay tuned for more to come!

 

 

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About The Author

I'm a professional photographer from Central Germany where I run a photo studio. I love to shoot portraits and I always like to push the limits. Whenever I'm not in the studio I'm outside chasing the light. I'm totally addicted to photography!

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1 Comment

  1. Duncan Wright September 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I’ve got a GX1 myself and absolutely love it. Nice and compact, easy and quick manual control and superb image quality. Especially with the Panasonic 20mm Pancake. Great review!!!

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