Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

2009, Image editing

Well this new camera from Panasonic was being expected by many. A camera that has the look of its smaller cousin the LX3, but comes with interchangeable lenses. It will compete with the Olympus E-P1 and will likely benefit from some of the advantages of the Panasonic system like the faster autofocus. And the camera, the Panasonic DMC-GF1, will come with an additional electronic viewfinder unlike the small Oly. For a full round up of all the news you might want to check the extensive preview at dpreview or follow all the buzz at 1001noisycameras.

It all sounds like a very interesting camera to me, more so when you consider the new 20mm f/1.7 lens that is also revealed. Now I wonder what Leica is going to do. Leica will have an announcement on September 9 and there will be a live webcast on that day. Yesterday they came up with a video on several websites mentioning the live webcast. Rumors says it that Leica will announce a full frame M9, but some do also hope that they will come up with a real Leica version (and not just a rebadged Panasonic) of the new Panasonic GF1.

Last Saturday I photographed with the Panasonic DMC-GH1 in combination with the 7-14mm lens. Although the electronic viewfinder gave me a somewhat indirect feeling it was still so much better than using the LCD screen. I was stunned by the performance of the lens and I am curious how the 20mm lens will perform.

Red white and blue by Wouter Brandsma

Red white and blue by Wouter Brandsma

Red white and blue by Wouter Brandsma

All photographs by Wouter Brandsma

12 thoughts on “Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

    1. It could well be something to start saving money. I think a Leica equivalent will cost much more money and the current rumors mention a fixed lens. And I still hope Ricoh follows this direction too. As long as the cameras becomes as small as your Olympus OM2n!


  1. Hi Wouter,

    I bought a GH1 and have been having fun getting to know it. You are right about the lens, it really is amazing for such a zoom range. I’m really curious about the 20mm, because that would make this seem like a completely different camera. The kit lens is just so big that it dominates the whole rig, but with a svelte 20mm on the front I think it would handle (and look) very differently.

    Since the GF1 and GH1 are so similar technically I’m not too tempted by the GF1. There will be a lot more interesting small cameras to come, I think. I just sent my Ricoh GX-100 in for repair for the 3rd time (!!) and this time not under warranty. They wanted $200 to fix it. I will pay it, but only because I have a soft spot for that camera and would like to continue using it. It will be the last time though. Next time it breaks I’m looking ahead. I hope Ricoh can get their quality control in line, they make great small cameras.


    1. Since the GF1 shares most of the technology from the G1 and not the GH1, I think you still have the better camera. And I think the GH1 EVF is better too, because it has more pixels. I do think that the 20mm and your camera will be a perfect match. Normal focal length and f/1.7, very nice.

      Well Eric, Ricoh payed a lot of attention in my opinion on their quality control. And not only that, but they also improved the reliability. I have had no problems with my Ricoh GX200 and I haven’t read any stories from others concerning problems with the GX200.


  2. Hey Wouter, I didn’t want to mention any camera upgrade stuff but the GF1 (and in my case, the possible Leica version) is a significant event…it is what most of us have wanted for so long. So, whether these cameras turn out to be great or disappoint us, I’m done with DSLRs. I’ve already notified the organizations I shoot for (as a volunteer) of the change of course. I’ll be saving some money.

    1. These are the cameras we had hoped for last year. I think these type of cameras do make the decision easier to step away from your dSLR. I look forward to next week when Leica comes up and maybe Ricoh will jump on the wagon too.

  3. Indeed, these cameras take me a step away from DSLRs as well. I had an assignment shooting an indoor corporate event yesterday and shot with the GH1 alongside the Pentax K-7 and the GH1 did OK. I suspect that with some faster glass, the GH1’s AF success rate in poor lighting will improve – the kit lens is anything but fast. So I think I’ll put the K-7 on eBay. I prefer working with live-view and there’s no need for two interchangeable lens systems. By the way Wouter, that first photo is fantastic; I wish I had taken it.

    1. The K-7 on eBay? Well I agree about your assessment of two interchangeable lens systems. That might be too much. I think it is all improving, but I would love to see an interchangeable system with the finish of the Ricoh GRDIII.

      And thanks for your comment about the first photo 😀

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