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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 12.1MP Micro Four-Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 Aspherical Lens

100 customer reviews
| 17 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
  • Full-time Live View and new My Color mode
  • Elegant, compact design and it includes Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 aspherical lens
  • 4/3-type 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor , clear images even when taken at high ISO sensitivity
  • Capture 1280 x 720 HD video in AVCHD Lite format for longer recording time
  • 4/3-type 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor; clear images even when taken at high ISO sensitivity
  • Elegant, compact design; includes Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 aspherical lens
  • Full-time Live View; new My Color mode
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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

The LUMIX DMC-GF1 is the latest addition to the award-winning LUMIX G Series, which debuts as the world’s smallest and lightest system digital camera with a built-in flash. The LUMIX DMC-GF1 distinguishes itself from previous models with its elegant, compact design reminiscent of classic film cameras, yet builds on Panasonic’s success with the revolutionary LUMIX G Series of digital interchangeable lens system cameras based on the Micro Four Thirds system standard. With its compact size, user-friendly design and ability to record High Definition (HD) video and take professional-quality photos, the LUMIX GF1 continues to redefine digital photography standards.

From the Manufacturer

The LUMIX DMC-GF1 is the latest addition to the award-winning LUMIX G Series, which debuts as the world’s smallest and lightest system digital camera with a built-in flash. The LUMIX DMC-GF1 distinguishes itself from previous models with its elegant, compact design reminiscent of classic film cameras, yet builds on Panasonic’s success with the revolutionary LUMIX G Series of digital interchangeable lens system cameras based on the Micro Four Thirds system standard. With its compact size, user-friendly design and ability to record High Definition (HD) video and take professional-quality photos, the LUMIX GF1 continues to redefine digital photography standards.

Panasonic GF1 highlights
With its lightweight body, the LUMIX GF1 provides experienced photographers with the ideal digital camera to carry with them at all times. Like its predecessors in the LUMIX G Series, the LUMIX GF1 eliminates the pentaprism found in traditional interchangeable lens cameras. Thus, this mirror-free structure allows Panasonic to dramatically reduce both size and weight.

Though small in size, the LUMIX GF1 does not compromise in advanced features. The LUMIX GF1 thoroughly optimizes the advantages of a system camera to ensure high performance, whether capturing photos or HD video. The LUMIX DMC-GF1 can record 1280 x 720 High Definition video in AVCHD Lite, a format that enables longer recording times. With a dedicated video record button, capturing video is convenient and easy. The LUMIX GF1 can also record HD Motion JPEG in 1280 x 720 and other video recording formats include: QVGA, VGA and WVGA. The LUMIX GF1 has a unique Movie Program Mode that allows consumers to adjust the depth-of-field while shooting in HD video, so background and foreground can be blurred to give creative effects--something typically only possible with expensive professional camcorders.

The LUMIX DMC-GF1 includes the new My Color mode, which includes seven preset effects--Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, Silhouette and Custom--all which let users manually set the color, brightness and saturation levels. With the Live View function, users can see how these settings will effect the photo before they shoot, making it easier to capture the exact mood or atmosphere desired. For even more elaborate effects, users can choose from a total of nine Film modes, and set the contrast, sharpness and saturation levels for each. A custom function lets users store their favorite settings in memory. Furthermore, the exposure meter can be displayed in other shooting modes and the correlation between shutter speed and aperture is shown, with a color-coded warning that alerts users when the settings are not in the proper range.

For those users not quite comfortable with extensive manual and creative controls, the LUMIX GF1 provides a user-friendly setting that can address a beginner’s comfort level, while helping them evolve their photography skills. For instance, Panasonic’s new Scene mode, Peripheral Defocus, lets users take a photo where the foreground is in focus and background is blurred--or vice versa. This popular effect can be intimidating for a beginner, but in the Peripheral Defocus mode, by simply selecting the objects to be blurred and focused using the camera’s keypad, it is simple for photographers of any level.

Panasonic Lumix GF1 Highlights

Versatile Functions and Superb Images
The GF1 adopts the Micro Four Thirds System standard, which was developed as an extended version of the Four Thirds System standard for digital camera systems. By using this standard and developing a camera body that eliminates the mirror box and optical viewfinder unit, LUMIX was able to achieve a dramatic reduction in both size and weight compared with conventional digital SLR cameras, to create a new-generation system camera that features Full-time Live View, high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF, HD movie recording, and more. The GF1 is small enough to take anywhere yet sophisticated enough to take you as far into photography and movies as you want to go.
Panasonic GF1 highlights

12.1-Megapixel Live MOS Sensor: Higher Image Quality, Lower Power Consumption
The 4/3-type 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor featured in the GF1 offers the best of both worlds--the superior image quality of a CCD sensor, and the lower power consumption of a CMOS sensor. This sensor is also advantageous for photo and movie recording with its high S/N, thanks to a new circuit structure that is unaffected by the noise generated in each of the circuits. It results in clear images even when taken at high ISO sensitivity.

Extended HD Movie Recording with SLR Quality
The hybrid GF1 lets you take both high-quality photos and HD movies. You can shoot breathtaking HD (1280 x 720) movies in AVCHD Lite format (MPEG-4/H.264) backed by the high sound quality of Dolby Digital Creator. And you can record for a longer time without running out of memory because AVCHD Lite stores data more efficiently than Motion JPEG while maintaining stunning image clarity and detail. A dedicated "movie record" button on the top lets you instantly start recording movies while shooting photos, so you don't miss a second of the action.
*"AVCHD Lite" and "AVCHD Lite" logos are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation. Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.

A Built-In Flash in a Stylish Body
Some compact size cameras reduce weight by not including a built-in flash. With the GF1, the built-in flash is concealed inside the body and out of sight. A single touch pops the flash up for easy shooting anytime you want. You can also adjust the light intensity in the range of ±2 EV at 1/3 EV steps to match your subject.

My Color Mode Puts You in Control of Your Colors
Naturally you want your photos to be unique. My Color mode on the GF1 lets you control each and every photo with eight unique preset modes in all, including a colorful Expressive mode, a soft and moody Pure mode, and a Custom mode that lets you adjust the color, brightness, and saturation just the way you want them. You can dramatically change the images of even familiar subjects to express your own creativity.

The Soft Focus of Peripheral Defocus Mode Lets You Achieve Professional Results
The GF1 automatically adjusts the focus to match the AF area you positioned while gently defocusing the foreground and background to emphasize the subject. You don't have to change the aperture yourself to take photos with the highly attractive soft focus effect of an SLR camera.

iA Mode Helps Prevent Shooting Mistakes in a Variety of Situations
Select iA mode, and the GF1 automatically activates a host of advanced functions and technologies that make it easy to capture beautiful, clear shots.
Panasonic GF1 highlights
  • Face Recognition: This function recognizes the faces of subjects that have been registered in the camera and displays the names of up to three people. The GF1 then optimizes the focus and brightness of the registered faces. Turn Face Recognition item ON and register the person with a full-face portrait on the shooting menu in advance.
  • AF Tracking: Once you've focused on a subject, AF Tracking keeps the subject in focus--even if it moves--until you press the shutter release.
  • Intelligent Exposure: The camera can correct the brightness in parts of the image that are too dark due to insufficient lighting, backlighting or use of the flash.
  • Intelligent Scene Selector: The camera automatically selects whichever of five Scene modes--Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery, and Macro--best suits the situation.
  • Face Detection AF/AE: The camera detects when there are faces in the frame and adjusts the focus and exposure to capture them properly. This allows you to shoot beautiful portraits without any hassle.
  • Intelligent ISO Control: If the subject moves as you snap the shot, the camera automatically adjusts the ISO sensitivity and shutter speed to help prevent subject blur.
  • MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer): Gyrosensors built into the lens detect hand-shake and an O.I.S. shifts to compensate. Assisting you in getting those clear, beautiful, blur-free photos.
*Some functions in iA mode will not be available depending on the lens that is mounted.

Produce Original HD Movies
Unlike most other cameras, the GF1 allows the use of My Color mode and Scene mode to record HD movies. And Motion Picture P mode lets you change the aperture for more creative HD movie recording.

Panasonic GF1 highlights
iA Mode: Beautiful HD Movies with Point-and-Shoot Ease
Select iA mode, and the GF1 automatically activates a host of advanced functions and technologies that make it easy to capture beautiful HD movies.

Full-time Live View: See How the Image Will Turn Out Before You Shoot
The GF1's Full-time Live View lets you see in the LCD how adjusting the exposure, white balance, aperture and even the shutter speed will affect the shot. This makes it easier to capture a special shot or particular kind of image without shooting again and again.

Let the Exposure Meter Guide You
The on-screen meter display indicates the degree of aperture and shutter speed that can be changed within a suitable exposure range. The range in which appropriate exposure is not possible is shown in red, so you can intuitively grasp the corresponding aperture and shutter speed combinations.

Take Advantage of Leica and Four Thirds Lenses
More than 20 available Leica M/R lenses or 30 Four Thirds lenses can be used with the Micro Four Thirds System standard GF1, simply by mounting a separately purchased lens adaptor.

An Optional Live View Finder Mounts to the Hot Shoe
You can equip the GF1 with an optional 202,000-dot equivalent Live View Finder (LVF) featuring a magnification of approximately 1.04x (0.52x*) and 100% field of view. Because it displays the same information as the LCD, it is effectively used in situations where the LCD is difficult to see, such as under bright sunlight. The LVF is also handy for low-angle shots because it can be tilted vertically from 0 to 90 degrees.
*35 mm camera equivalent

The High-Speed, High-Performance Venus Engine HD
The Venus Engine HD incorporates two CPUs. This not only boosts image processing speed, it also helps achieve an exceptional noise-reduction performance. Also, the two CPUs of the Venus Engine HD allow long-time movie recording in AVCHD Lite format while maintaining low power consumption. And the Venus Engine HD features HDMI output too.

Dust Reduction System Protects the Image Sensor
If dust or other foreign matter gets inside the camera when you're changing lenses, it could cling to the image sensor and show up as a spot in photos. The GF1 helps eliminate this possibility by placing a Supersonic Wave Filter in front of the Live MOS sensor. Vibrating around 50,000 times per second, the filter repels dust and other particles. This keeps the image sensor clean at all times and eliminates the need for cumbersome maintenance procedures.

HD Photos and HD Movies with VIERA Link Networking
The GF1 is equipped with an HDMI output terminal for direct transmission of digital image and sound signals. Just connect the camera to an HDTV using a single HDMI mini cable (optional). It's also easy to enjoy slideshows in which both photos and movies are played according to the recorded timeline. If you have a VIERA TV, you can control the camera's playback functions with VIERA's remote control unit.

Easy HD Image Viewing with the SD Card Slot
Simply take the SDHC/SD Memory Card from the GF1 and slip it into the card slot of a Panasonic VIERA or Blu-ray Disc player, and you're ready to view HD images. For even greater impact and entertainment fun, you can add background music and image effects to your image slideshows.
*To play movies recorded in the Motion JPEG format, you need the included AV cable.

PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0 HD Edition Makes Photo and Movie Editing Easy
AVCHD Lite movies can be transferred to a PC from an SDHC/SD Memory Card or via the USB cable to view or edit them. You can also make a DVD disc from AVCHD Lite files by converting them to MPEG-2. The software makes it easy and fun to edit or organize a collection of photos. It features a Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in the photos stored in your PC and lets you sort them by face. Also, photos shot with My Color mode can be categorized and viewed by style. The sophisticated interface allows you to enjoy emotion-packed slideshows with a variety of effects and music. And motion images can be directly uploaded to YouTube

SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 SE Adjusts RAW Images Any Way You Want Them
The GF1 records original image data in RAW file format, which allows images to be developed according to your intention. A number of highly advanced functions can be applied to these RAW images by using the SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 SE software utility, with its unique combination of high resolution and extraordinary color separation.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 1.4 x 2.8 inches ; 1 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B002MUAEX4
  • Item model number: DMC-GF1C-K
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,625 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at September 1, 2009

Read about our customers' top-rated cameras and lenses on our review pages: Compact System Cameras, Lenses

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

300 of 315 people found the following review helpful By shuTTL3bus on October 6, 2009
Bottom line up front: The elusive compact camera with interchangeable lenses, DLSR Image Quality, DSLR Focusing speed and DSLR performance has finally been made. It is the GF1.

I live in Japan so I have been lucky enough to have been playing with this camera since 18 Sep. This camera sold out on the first day from Bic Camera in Japan so it is going to be hard to get a hold of one. Please be aware that this camera is "region" coded so if you buy a Japanese version you will not be able to change the menu language to English.

This review is equally applicable to both versions of the GF1. I personally prefer the 20MM (40MM equivalent) f1.7 lens to the 14-45MM (28-90MM equivalent) f3.5-5.6 lens for the following reasons: 1) Since the m43 is relatively small compared to a full frame sensor you need a fast lens to get shallow depth of fields. 2) As a fast lens it is far more usable in low light situations. This lens is ~2 to 3.5 f stops faster than the 14-45MM lens. What this means is that given a certain situation, if you were to select the same shutter speed you would let in 4-11 times more light (Each full f stop change changes the light by 2. Going to a small f stop doubles the light. Therefore, you arrive at how much more light there is by raising 2 to the number of f stops. 2^2=4 and 2^3.5 =11) allowing the use of a lower ISO setting or you could set a 4-11 times faster shutter speed to allow you to prevent motion blurring. 3) This lens is smaller so it makes the camera eminently more portable. What you give up is the ability to zoom with your hand. There is a work around for this and it is called zooming with you feet. However, in confined situations, you may not be able to move back are far as you need to.
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475 of 509 people found the following review helpful By Nick on November 15, 2009
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Ok - so this is hands down the best little camera available right now. But is it good enough? My humble opinion - not so. I bought this camera from Amazon a month ago - with the 20mm 1.7 lens. I have used it for a vacation in Barbados as well as street photography and 'go anywhere' type of shots. Here are my impressions.
- Nice form factor and small size. It can easily slip into a big pocket.
- Finally, someone figured out the contrast detection autofocus. It's not perfect. On about 5% of my shots - the autofocus locked but the shot came out clearly misfocused. I found this to be acceptable, though.
- The 20mm 1.7 is a great lens - very sharp, very fast and a pleasure to use.
- The build quality is good.
- The camera feels solid, the controls are generally well laid off, and it is speedy to shoot.
- The features offered are on par or above the mid level DSLRs out there.
- Good image quality up to ISO 200.
- The display is good (especially when compared with the dinky display of the EP1), but not as good as the Nikons and Canons in the same price range (e.g. 3inch, 920k dots).

- Overall image quality came below my expectations - for a sensor close to APS-C in size. It's head and shoulders above a compact camera, but for $900, you can get much better IQ from an entry level or mid level DSLR, especially above ISO 200.
- Low light performance is at the level of APS-C sensor a generation or two ago (think Nikon D40, not Nikon D90). This is particularly problematic in the shadows - with significant noise visible at relatively low ISOs - e.g. ISO400. The noise is also of the worst type - chrominance as opposed to luminance.
- I do not miss the viewfinder and I would not get the optional EVF for this.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By GM on October 10, 2009
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Fantastic portable cam with decent image quality and extraordinary features. It filled the gap between my Panasonic LX3 and Canon 5DMkII as a small size camera with all the features I want. What do you get? Small package; fast great lens (20mm); DSLR IQ; HD movies; fast autofocus (+ face-recognition AF); super looks (+ pride of ownership); very sharp LCD. Importantly, you don't look like a geek when you use it in a group. The colors are very very good (I shoot raw and develop in Panasonic Silkypix in "Filmcolor A" mode).

Downsides? High ISO noise is not as good as Canon DSLRs (40D etc). AF area selection is painful, because the arrow buttons no longer can be used for their original functions. Colors of the LCD screen are not accurate. Continuous autofocus in movie mode tends to use f/1.7 & it hunts a lot. This means significant portions of the movie end up out of focus. In some auto modes (e.g.: aperture priority + auto-ISO), camera picks 1/30 exposure time, resulting in blurry photos. Current price is quite high ($900 for body+20mm). These are small nags compared to what you get.

Doubts about fixed focal length lens? Fast 40mm-equivalent lens is sufficient for ~90% of my daily shooting needs (family, kids, friends etc). Unless travelling or taking artistic shots, I don't feel the need of a different focal length. I think most casual shooters would feel the same.

You may want to consider getting a Lowepro Rezo 60 camera bag. The camera + 20mm fits snugly into that.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence B. Solum on October 25, 2009
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Summary: This is an excellent camera for its intended use--prosumer controls on a camera that is much lighter than a DSLR but not small enough to slip in the pockets in your shirt or pants. Outstanding build quality, flexible feature set, good but not superb low light performance.

Background: My previous digital experience is with Nikon DSLRs (D3, D200, D70, D40x and with Canon "SD" or digital elph pocket cameras (several models). I am an experienced photographer, shooting both raw and jpeg in all modes (fully manual, automatic, etc).

Comments: Like many photographers who use DSLRs, I have been looking for a camera that is easy to carry, but provides the same level of control and image quality associated with DSLR cameras. The features that are important to me are: (1) full manual control over exposure (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO); (2) useable built-in flash, (3) high quality screen for image review, (4) portability, including both volume and weight, (5) decent low-light performance, (6) excellent image quality from both raw and jpeg files, and (7) design (simple and elegant). My impression after several hundred images is that the GR1 with the 20mm pancake lens is the first camera that falls within the acceptable range on all my criteria. Here are some thoughts about specific features:

(1) The control system is complex, but can be mastered within a few hours of normal use. Once you learn to use the control wheel (which can be depressed to switch between modes), it is easy to adjust aperture and shutter speed. The "quick menu" provides easy access to most important features, and the programmable function button is very handy.
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