17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: Body Only
I've had this camera for a couple of weeks and have tried multiple cameras in the mirroless category after deciding to sell my Canon t2i.
When compared to the NEX 5n and Ep3, the build quality and handling is far superior. The ergonomics, from button placement, to the way it's grip feels in my hand is most certainly a step above the rest.
Image quality is top notch. Pictures taken with the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 were crystal clear and in high and low ISOs.
I took some family photos for Christmas and while I normally find using a camera's built in flash a waste of time, found this ones ability to bounce light to the ceiling just by pushing it back, a pleaseant surprise. When I used it, photos remained clear and colors did not get washed out.
The lens selection for Micro Four Thirds is also unbeatable at the moment.
I'm very happy with this purchase and I'm quite happy with the results I'm getting with it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2012
Color Name: SilverStyle Name: Body OnlyVerified Purchase
Bought this camera about a week ago through Amazon and 17th Street Photo...and after a week of use, no buyer's remorse. I absolutely love this camera. Purchased just the body only and Panny's 20mm f1.7 lens, they're excellent together. Full disclosure, I'm moving up from a P&S camera...but I am familiar with the features such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings through general use, reading photo books and my old h/s photography class years ago. :)
- The build. It'll be the 1st thing you notice when you take the camera out of the box...and it's built like a tank (not literally, but it's sturdy). Very solid, premium built to it. The battery cover/door concerned me initially (just seems/feels flimsy) but no issues since purchase and I don't believe it will be.
- The customization. On the mode dial there are 2 custom options, along with assigning quick access features to any of the 'fn' buttons. There are 2 on the body (back of the camera) itself and 2 more within the touch screen menu with a section that pulls out from the right hand portion of the screen. I've primarily been using the Aperture priority dial, but the ability to quickly access a preferred camera setup via the Custom mode dial is a nice feature.
- The flash. We've all taken a picture with flash and we get that bright face with the unwanted shadow from the subject in the background. I find it brilliant that Panasonic incorporated a tilting feature to the flash. Haven't needed to use the flash due to it's strong low light capabilities, but I have tested it. A gem. Simply tilt towards the ceiling and it softly lights the subject without over exposing and no unwanted picture ruining shadows in the background.
- The touch screen. This may be a personal preference, but it's not too bright. I tested the Olympus PEN E-P3 at a local camera shop and felt the OLED screen was way too bright...and if you plan on being outside in the sun, you'll more than likely get glare from the screen. With the GX-1, it really hasn't been an issue with me. I do wish there was a built in EVF, but thus far the live-view screen hasn't been an issue for me and will save me from having to purchase one.
- New 16MP sensor. And it captures images beautifully. I know that for some advanced photobugs it's nothing new...but coming from a point & shoot...Wow. And the images I get from the 20mm lens as well. AMAZING! (look no further than the reviews from amazon on the 20mm lens) It really gives the image some 'pop' and depth of field. The bokeh (blurred background) is rendered nicely as well.
- The grip on the front of the camera and thumb rest behind the camera. Very useful. Especially if you have large hands.
- The iAuto button. My wife is not camera savy, but I'm definitely comfortable with handing it over to her and taking some shots with the iAuto feature turned on...especially if we're on vacation in the future. The button lights up a bright blue, so there is no mistake in telling you that it's on.
- Video features. Great 1080 quality with no jello effect. What's even better is that you can switch from AVCHD to MP4 format. MP4 compresses (I believe) the video file better and it's been a breeze to upload videos to our Mac and email. Haven't used it much and don't believe I will, but if the situation comes up I know I have good working camcorder on hand. I'd def make sure to turn OFF continuous AF within the video camera menu. It's defaulted to ON and with my lens, it's constantly auto focusing and you can hear the motor in the video...and it gets annoying.
- The Panasonic family of lenses. There's a lot to choose from.
- RAW format. Renders the image just like my eyes see it. The colors are wonderful and true.
- Too many more to list.
- JPEG. My biggest con. (Well, I soon able to fix one of them) A lot sites knocked on the GX-1 for its JPEG processing. Images are great, clear...no issues. It's just the color rendering leaves much to be desired. BUT! It can be fixed. The iResolution and iDynamic within the camera is defaulted to OFF...go within the the menu and put them both on 'Standard'...huge difference. The JPEG defaults (in my opinion) renders the image a little too dark, muted and flat...especially if there is shadows. Turn them both to 'Standard' and your set. Colors come our richer (in my opinion) and looks like what your eye sees. Granted that was resolved, but in JPEG pics...when indoors, for whatever reasons, it gives a little bit of a brownish cast. It's not always, but when testing indoors the lighting had an ever so slight brownish glow to it. And yet if I took another picture, it would go away. Not sure if it's a white balance or metering issue...just be on the lookout for it.
- The camera is small. Took a little getting used to, but I prefer it much more over a bulky Canon or Nikon. If not for the large grip and thumb rest, I'd have shipped it back that same day.
- Touch screen. Again, this may be personal preference yet to me, the touch screen is not sensitive enough. Initally you feel as though you have to give the screen a slightly firm press/touch. Not to the point of breaking it obviously, but if you're a touchscreen phone user, you'll definitely notice the difference between the camera's touchscreen and your phone. Granted after a while, you'll get used to it.
Really can't think of too much else and don't want to be too techincal. As a 1st time buyer of a mirrorless camera, I'm very satisfied and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: 14-42mm Kit
I own a 5DMkII and a 7D. I have several 'L' lenses including the 70-200, 17-40 and the 85 prime. I'd consider myself a serious hobbyist. I am also not a pixel scientist. I run my shots through LR4
I was in the market for a smaller camera for a trip to D.C. with my daughter. Since we timed the trip for August, I knew it would be hot/humid and I didn't feel like lugging a DSLR around. Mainly, I just wanted to be able to enjoy the trip and still get some nice shots.
After alot of research, I picked the Lumix GX1 and was not disappointed. Light, capable, easy to use once you play with it for awhile, the GX1 really helped me spend more time on seeing the sights and less time complaining about 3 plus lbs of camera hanging from my hip.
Nice focus, great LCD even in bright light, nice color tone right out of the camera. Fits well in my hand and I'm over six feet so small cameras are a bit of a concern ergonomics wise. Enough manual control through the dials to make shooting painless. And it looks neat :}
I really have nothing but good things to say about this camera and would recommend it wholeheartedly.
A nice side bonus: The GX1 seems to match up well in reviews against the OLY Pen3(which I did not test out). I got the GX1 and the 20mm lens for about the same price as the Oly. Though to be truthful, if the Oly had included the EVF, I might have gone in that direction.
One caveat: I did not push this camera in the way I would push a DSLR. Physics are physics. Maybe some day they'll figure out how to hold down noise on a small sensor at high ISOs but that's for the future. If you're looking to shoot above 800 and like to pixel peep for noise, spend the money and get something else. If you're looking for super fast focus on moving targets, get something else. If you're looking for a great carry around camera capable of handling most situations with some nice lens choices and are realistic enough to realize you can't get $6000 worth of camera in a $400 body, then the GX1 is a great choice.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2012
Color Name: SilverStyle Name: Body OnlyVerified Purchase
Received my GX1 on 12/24, and have been testing all aspects of the camera with 20mm f/1.7 Lumix lens, LVF2 viewfinder, and Metz MZ40-3i flash. So far the camera meets my expectations and many areas it exceeds. I have been looking for a camera that performs close to Leica M7 & 35mm Leica lens combo in picture quality, portability, build quality, and available lens choice. I also have a LX5 which is a very good camera. GX1 is very similar to LX5 in many respects such as overall body size, buttons layout, picture quality, and menu system. In fact, GX1 looks like a big brother of LX5.
Here's what I have found out so far.
1. Overall build quality is excellent. The wheel button, battery cover, and connection port cover can be a little beefier but not that bad.
2. Picture quality is quite good although I've seen more detailed shots from my Canon 1DS Mark2 with 35mm f1.4 lens combo. But this is not a surprise to me considering the sensor size and price differences.
3. The overall size and weight are just perfect for me. This is one aspect that I like GX1 combo better than Leica combo although Leica was lighter than most 35mm Pro SLRs at the time.
4. Ergonomics is excellent. The camera feels very comfortable in my hand. FYI-my hand is a little bit on the smaller size.
5. The built-in flash is not powerful at all but you can still use it for very near subject and use it as a master for slave flash set up.
6. Metz flash works quite good with GX1 although looks strange because the flash is almost two times the size of the camera. A funny thing I noticed on GX1 is that the mode button is higher than the accessory shoe so my flash knurled knob interferes with the mode button. I rectified the problem by adding a thin nylon washer on the flash. FYI - Metz flash has an extra large diameter locking knob where most don't.
7. The menu layout is very similar to LX5 so I am familiar with it. It's very simple and straight forward.
8. Battery life is okay. I haven't tested it properly but seems lasting long enough. I keep the extra one charged anyway for just in case.
9. Video seems quite good and the stereo microphone picks up sound good too. I am not a video user so do not take my comment too seriously.
I think I have found a holy grail camera. I enjoy it very much.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2013
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: Body Only
I bought this as my introduction into mirror-less cameras as I have a daughter on the way who's life I want to document visually, and I needed something that was fairly transportable.
Having brought it to Europe and purchased the pany 20mm f1.7, the 14-42 pancake zoom lens, and used a Olympus 45mm f1.8 on the body, I can say that this is a very capable camera. When paired with a high speed lens, there's little between you and taking a low-light, well balanced photo.
My brother and I swapped between his Olympus OM-D em-5, and swapped the lenses between the two bodies. For being essentially 1/3 of the price of the OM-D, he was impressed with it, mostly with it's controls and "click wheel" which can easily jump between shutter speed and lens aperture. The on-screen metering and (what he called) "cheater bars" which tell you when you're in a good range of the aperture and shutter speed settings, along with the light meter, makes taking a photo very expedient.
Another great feature of the GX1 is it's "auto" mode (Auto Ai or something?). You can push a button, even if you have the camera in manual mode, and it goes into a mode where someone that doesn't know how to use a camera can take very good pictures. And the button for this mode glows blue- so you, the person telling the operator how to use your camera to take a picture of yourself with your significant other, can tell whether they're going to take a good picture or not, at a distance. The glowing blue button also notifies my wife whether it's in "her mode" or not. This feature has very little face time on positive reviews, and I find this feature, a simple glowing blue button, to be very useful.
At very sensitive ISO levels, expect more noise than an awesome camera like the OM-D, but for 1600 and lower, the noise is almost non-existent. In very low light situations I'll bump it to 3200, but it's very rare when I do that when working with a fast lens.
If it had a built in EVF, it'd be everything I'd ever need in a compact system. It packs well in a cargo pants pocket, or in a small diaper bag, or my wife's purse. It also went well in a day bag when walking all over Europe.
Essentially- it's great performance in a package that's mobile enough for real life activities without being a burden of any kind. If you can pack a year 2000 point-and-shoot camera, you can pack this with a pancake lens.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: 14-42mm Power Zoom KitVerified Purchase
I have the GX1 and 14-42X just received from Amazon as the kit. The lens serial number starts with HH1L. It definitely shows the blurry effect that is worse with the OIS turned on. Shots taken at 1/30 look MUCH better than shots taken at 1/60 to 1/200 with OIS turned on. Even with OIS turned off the shots at 1/30 look better than shots at 1/60 to 1/200. That was surprising to me. My shots were handheld and zoomed out to 42mm.
I shot the same series with the 20mm 1.7 lens which has no OIS and saw the normal shake you would expect at 1/15 to 1/20, clears up at 1/30 and faster.
The camera itself is terrific. Some say they get lenses with no issues, so I hope to next time. Panasonic has not handled this well at all as this problem has been showing up for five months now. Seems to be related to shutter vibration, but the shutter vibrates no worse than mirror slap on traditional SLR cameras. So it seems that the OIS elements in the lens vibrate whether the OIS is on or off at certain shutter speeds. And let's face it, OIS is not exactly new, nor is shutter (or mirror) vibration. I hear newer releases of this lens don't appear to have the problem--well I will find out shortly.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2012
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: Body OnlyVerified Purchase
What a pleasant, capable, and understated camera!!
I have been playing with m4/3 for a while, and this one is a keeper. I will be looking for new homes for my Olympus E-PL3 and Panasonic G3.
The camera is suprizingly delightful to use: it feels great in the hand, and whatever improvements they made to the UI/buttons/controls really work, and the camera feels very intuitive and customizeable.
The LCD feels of better quality than G3's (with respect to color and touch sensitivity), and the quality of pictures seems great (I like them better than what I get from my G3 and E-PL3... perhaps, because settings are easier to customize, and my subjects are not intimidated by GX1's understated looks?).
I had doubts about getting this camera -- it wasn't clear it would be all that different from what I had -- but I am really glad I did. The camera is great spec-wise, AND is a delihgt to use.
This camera goes straight into my "everyday-carry-with-me-always" bag.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2012
Color Name: SilverStyle Name: 14-42mm Power Zoom KitVerified Purchase
I bought this camera for three reasons. 1 I was tired of people borrowing my GF1. 2 I like the performance vs size the micro4/3 format (+ already had glass). 3 The GX1 is a real follow up to the GF1 (which I was very happy with). Camera is very similar to the GF1 but there are some differences. I really like the fact that you can pull back on the flash, and bounce it off the ceiling (this works real well in rooms with lower ceilings). I don't like that while the menus and button layout is very similar to my GF1 it is just different enough to slow me down looking for an option that I know is there, I'll get used to it. As a side note the PowerX lens is neat but it has weird button/lever layout (especially the focus), It has also worked with my GF1 (as far as I can tell, perfectly well) although it is not "supported" (i.e. you won't get an update for the firmware for GF1). Oh If you do buy this camera, I would suggest that you go and buy the Panasonic pancake lens that came with the GF1, it is my favorite lens, great at getting shot in poor/low light.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2013
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: Body OnlyVerified Purchase
After reading a great many reviews and repeated reality checks on the amount of money I can actually afford to spend on a camera, I decided on the GX1. I have not been disappointed.
I was nervous making the switch from an APS-C sized sensor to a m4/3, theoretically providing less depth-of-field and less spectacular low-light performance, but have not had any problems in the real world. Perhaps I am getting less depth-of-field with this camera, but it is negligible to say the least. Portraits I have taken have had fabulous background separation, both with my adapted Pentax 50mm f/1.4 and with the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake (which I highly recommend). The low-light/high ISO performance is also well within acceptable ranges. In theory, the Sony NEX series can provide better high-iso photos, but Sony pancake lens is a f/2.8. Practically speaking, this means you need to use a higher ISO in similar light settings (IMO, a step backward in methodology) or you need to affix the much larger 35mm f/1.8 lens to the camera (putting a serious dent in the camera's pocketability). No regrets on either of those fronts.
My big reasons for buying the system were the lenses available and the portability. Portability of this camera is wonderful. Instead of carrying around my massive DSLR, I have something that will (just barely) fit into a pocket. When taking street photographs, I almost never have "that guy" in my picture anymore (you know, the one looking directly at the camera with the burning hatred of a thousand suns glinting in his eyes). This has made a huge difference in the number of usable photographs I get from a shoot. I also no longer leave the camera at home or in the car. Even if I'm going out and doing something social, I bring the camera with me because it isn't that much of a burden. I have gotten some of my best shots because of this, do not underestimate the value of portability. The lenses are also fabulous. I have only used the 20mm f/1.7 pancake and the (slightly difficult to find) 14-45 f/3.5-5.6 Panasonic lenses. Both have provided mind-blowing sharpness for the cost. As a hobby photographer, I scoff at dropping huge sums of money on fabulously sharp lenses, so having two cheap lenses that produce magnificently sharp images is a real plus. Spend the extra money on the older 14-45mm instead of the 14-42mm, you will not be disappointed.
Relatively cheap, marvelously sharp, diminutive in size, full control over every function, the GX1 is a nearly perfect camera. My only gripe? I want more knobs and buttons! Considering this camera cost me 1/4 of the Olympus EM-5, it is a fantastic value, but it still sorta handles like a compact point-and-shoot.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2013
Color Name: BlackStyle Name: Body Only
I was torn between 4 and 5 stars on this, due to what I was comparing it against, and due to the price being cheaper(1/3, though with the must have EVF it's closer to 1/2) than one of the ones I'm having it go against. I decided to go to 4 stars for reasons mentioned below, but for some, this can be a 5 star camera. I have 2 other Micro Four Thirds, the E-PL1(got it for $140) and the Olympus OM-D E-M5. I got the GX1 first, then the E-PL1 for long exposures and a backup, then the OM-D E-M5 recently.
First, I'll go over what I liked: This camera is very nice. Image Quality with raws I loved, even at higher ISOs I could use ACR to clean up into nice pictures. I didn't shoot much in the 3200 range, and I mostly try to star 800 and below, but I liked some of my 1600 and a few 3200 pictures. This camera also has a lot of nice features I liked, including the Auto bracketing for HDR, the optional viewfinder(a must have), quick auto focus, accurate, nice video settings, though not fully designed for it like the GH series. From the moment I got the camera, I liked it, and the photos that came from it, on the Panasonic lenses I had (the 20mm f1.7, the 45mm f2.8 and the 45-200.)
I also liked the size, I could fit it into larger pockets with the 20mm, and in some decently sized belt pouches if I couldn't fit it in pocket. I also liked the flash, although not great, the tilt feature and having it available unobtrusively is nice. The touch screen is pretty nice as well, allowing you to choose focus points, and the custom controls I definitely made use of. I tried it against the E-PL1 and, well, that's mixed. The GX1 seemed to have truer colors, and it took higher quality photos, but the Oly had nicer looking colors for certain shots. Still, as I mostly worked with raws(didn't quite like the jpegs), that didn't matter much to me, as it could be adjusted if desired in PP.
The feel of the camera is very nice, I like the grip. Most of the buttons are nice too, though the wheel I have to say isn't my favorite. Trying to adjust quickly is a pain: sometimes I had a longer exposure saved in M mode, and normally use aperture. However, if I tried to switch back to M to manually expose a shot, it would take a bit of spinning to get the exposure to where I want it. There's also the fact that in M mode, it would sometimes change from shutter speed to apeture while I was turning it. Compared to the OMD's setup, this one is lacking. I do realize it saves space, however. The optional EVF makes for 3 points, and is nice, but it isn't cosmetically pretty, and hard to carry around while trying to be portable. Still recommended though.
However, one of the things I like about the system is the ability to adapt other lenses to it, and the fact that we have two manufacturers producing excellent lenses, giving you a great range of lens selection. However, this lent to a small problem: Image Stabilization. I think Olympus has the better idea here, between the two companies. Panasonic cameras work excellently with Panasonic lenses (the also auto correct CA and stuff for Panasonic lenses). As you grow in focal length, however, they will be worse with any other lens, even MFT ones from Olympus or other third parties who don't use OIS. Since this was one of my favorite things about m43, I have to dock a star, even though I know this is a company policy. It's an important draw to the system for me and my brother, who unlike me, is married and on a stronger budget, meaning using adapted lenses is more ideal for him. He uses the E-PL1 also, and definitely sees the benefit with his almost completely minolta adapted lens setup (he has my 14-42 kit, but no other MFT lenses.)
After switching to the OMD, I noticed I could get more stabilized pictures on all my focal lengths, which especially helped me since I had purchased the 75mm and have a 200mm MF lens (the reason I use this, instead of my 45-200mm, is sometimes the MF lens is faster for me trying to get exactly what I want.) The versatility of the system just seems stronger here, you can use almost any lens you want, while with Panasonic, it feels you need to use their lenses. Additionally, I prefer primes to zooms. Panasonic seems to make very excellent zooms, and some excellent primes, while Olympus seems to do very well with Primes. Since I want to use primes from both companies, Panasonic's in lens design just isn't good for me.
If you plan to use primarily Panasonic lenses, especially some of the expensive but good zooms like the 12-35 and the 35-100, or mostly Panasonic primes, then this camera is an excellent 5 star camera.
If you plan to use other brand lenses, Olympus, Sigma, Adapted lenses, etc, then I'd rate it between 3.5 to 4 stars. You can definitely still get wonderful pictures out of it, and of course, OIS at certain focal lengths wouldn't help you with living or moving targets, but IBIS starts to shine better when using non-panasonic lenses, especially as you pass 45mm focal length.