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Showing 1-10 of 31 reviews(5 star). See all 51 reviews
on December 5, 2010
I've been a Canon DSLR owner for years. First the Digital Rebel 300D and presently the 30D with lots of nice glass. But it's all heavy and big and somtimes stays home because I don't want to lug it around. On those occasions in the past I took a Canon Powershot, but now the GF1 is my best friend!

I've only had the camera for a couple of weeks, but I'm already totally impressed with it. I love the size, weight, features and picture quality. The 14-45 kit lens is plenty sharp for me. In fact, I think the pure focus accuracy coming from the GF1 CMOS imager is probably better than Canon using a separate focusing sensor that must be critically aligned to guarantee excellent focus at the CMOS imager itself. What does that mean? It means perfect focus with a decent lens will give a better picture than mediocre focus with L glass. Think about that! I also bought the 45-200 Lumix lens and love it. It focuses very close (1m) even at 200mm (a 400mm equivalent). Nice bokeh, too!

I love the ability to shoot multiple formats including 1:1 (same aspect as some of the old medium format cameras). The ability to compose using those formats live on the excellent LCD is great!

My only suggested improvement would be some rubber in the hand grip area. For people that want a better grip for one handed shooting, you might prefer a GH1 or similar, but I chose the GF1 because I wanted the classic rangefinder look.

I also love the ability to adapt old manual focus lenses to the GF1. I bought adapters and now can use my old Canon FD lenses and the manual focus is nicely assisted by a highly magnified view on the LCD. There is no focus confirmation "beep", but you can tell on the LCD when critical focus is reached. It works better than using a focus confirm chip with manual focus lenses on the 30D. Somehow I never hit precise focus on my 30D even though those focus confirm adapters give me a good beep.

So, all in all, the GF1 has really impressed me and may completely displace my DSLR equipment. Perhaps I'll be selling it all someday soon.

If you're all about brand name and the "professional" appearance of a DSLR then keep lugging all that gear around. But for me, I think I'll be filling out my micro 4/3 lens collection and only keeping the most essential pieces of my DSLR collection.

But wait, maybe Canon will do the right thing and create a APS-C camera like the GF1 that will accept a compact set of EOS lenses and all the current EOS lenses, too. Ok ... I won't sell just yet!

If you're considering buying a GF1, go for it. You won't be disappointed!
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on October 2, 2009
B. Fuller's Review is quite extensive - so I can only add that after one day of producing test shots - still life and landscape, that this is my favorite digital camera so far. I have owned quite a few - ever since digicam's hit the 2 megapixel mark, including camera's with very different sensor technology, and even the leica M8. I look at lens and image quality first, build quality and features / usability and price, and for the money, the GF1 is a real winner. I also have a Sigma DP-1, and while I really love it - it suffers the same issues as the EP-1. Really nice cameras, but with shortcomings that are just a bit too much to justify (IMHO).

I have been a huge fan of the Leica designed lenses on just about all of the Panasonic Lumix cameras, and their OIS is quite amazing.

If my Sigma DP-1 had the fast focus and responsiveness of the GF1, and if it has a zoom lens with _some_ range, it would have held the top shelf position. I have replaced my Panasonic Lumix FZ-50 with the GF1 with the 14-45mm lens, and it is the first digicam that meets or exceeds every requirement I have - including DSLR image quality in a small but very rugged / built like a tank package. I must admit - the lens on the FZ-50 was a real work of art - its range and quality for what it did at that price point was simply a killer deal.

But the GF1 is the latest in a great set of Panasonic products.
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on December 7, 2013
Oh, this camera is so awesome. I bought two lens to go with it but the lens I love is the fixed focal length 20 mm. Works like a charm on this camera. If you want the functionality of an SLR but the compact nature of a point and shoot, the quality of leica glass....then you have found your camera. I own many, many camera (Canon 5d mark II, Canon 6D, 4 x 5 film, etc...) and this is one of my favorites to use.
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on April 23, 2010
This camera works great. I really beated around the bush about getting this or waiting until I could afford the Leica X1, but love the GF1. I sell to magazines. This camera takes photographs that are just as good as my Nikon D200. I say that after taking pictures of the same building in uptown Charlotte,with both systems, making prints on a HP B9180 printer and then comparing the prints. I showed these prints to friends, and no one could really tell any difference. When I pushed them, they picked the print made from the GF1. No, you wouldn't shoot weddings, or sports with this camera, but for everything else you could go with just the GF1. It is really that good. How sharp is the 14-45mm lens? Tack sharp. Just not as fast as my other systems lens. When I took my Nikon uptown and put a pro lens on it, building security would come out and tell me that I could take pictures. That happened every time I took the camera uptown and I really mean every time. I have only been asked once since I bought this camera who I was taking pictures for, and that is because he hoped that it was going to be in the paper. I have really used this camera every day but one since the camera was delivered. I may be selling my other system but only time will tell.
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on November 2, 2009
I've only owned point-and-shoots or super-zoom cameras so far, but I wanted something better and was researching D-SLRs. However I realized I wouldn't carry a big camera with me all the time, so I turned to the micro-4/3 cameras.

I've compared the Olympus EP1 with the Lumix GF1, and I found the GF1 better due the faster auto-focus and the built-in flash.

I bought it with 14-45mm kit lens, however I recommend purchasing the model with the 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens instead, which turns the GF1 into a really portable camera. Later I bought the 20mm f/1.7 Pancake Lens separately and I found I keep the pancake lens on the camera most of the time, as it's much more compact and convenient to carry with me. I also recommend the Lowepro Apex 60 AW (Black) bag that fits perfectly the camera with the pancake lens (no space for the 14-45mm lens however).

The 14-45mm kit is very practical, but gives only a short 3x zoom. Better range you can find on the Panasonic 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 lens, however that's much more expensive.

Overall, highly recommended camera if you're looking for something with much better image quality than point-and-shoot or super-zooms, but don't want to carry the bulk of a D-SLR camera.
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on November 14, 2009
I have been into amateur photography most of my life (getting too old to carry all the heavy stuff) and wanted a light, easy to use, go everywhere camera that takes quality pictures comparable to a mid-level DSLR. The Panasonic Lumix GF1 delivers.
This camera is very light and handles well. The image quality is excellent with both the 14-45mm and neat little 20mm f1.7 lenses. I have made 16x20 enlargements with raw images in photoshop with great results. These are close to my Canon D50 shots using an L series lense. The focus is fast and true, great live view with sharp auto and enlarged screen manual focusing. The viewing screen is sharp and clear; however I did get the optional viewfinder which works well especially with bright scenics. I will not review the video or the numerous features other then to say there are many, easy to use options, some quite sophisticated.
OK so any major drawbacks? Not for me. However I'm not sure I would strongly recommend this for the casual consumer who just wants some nice 4X6 images of the family with an occasional enlargement. While the GF1 is superior to point and shoots, it is also more expensive and complicated. The instructions need to be read over carefully several times if you want to successfully use many of the neat options. It can be used for auto everything, but if that is what you want, there are much cheaper and easier to use cameras.
If you want one of the most functional, unique, quality cameras around, the GF1 could be for you.
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on April 3, 2010
I wanted a new camera to replace my existing P&S camera. I was always disappointed with on what was a high end P&S at the time of purchase: Outside shots were good, but inside were so-so, low light was bad, and flash was abysmal. I considered purchasing a DSLR, but I wanted a camera I would actually take out, and the DSLRs seemed too big.

At first a lot of my shots with this camera were very mixed: There were a lot of good ones, but the low light was bad, flash was terrible, and I got a lot of shaky pictures even during the day. I didn't see much benefit from my P&S.

My problem was I was trying to be Mr. Professional Camera man right away. If you just put it on the "Intellegent Auto" mode you'll get some pretty impressive shots. Once I did that a lot of my problems went away.

I also figured out that when you're playing with shutter speed and aperture that this camera has an exposure assist. This was really helpful once I felt comfortable moving away from iA. I felt pretty "pro" fiddling with things and having it come out nice like, even though I didn't know what I was doing at first. Now I've got a sense of what the combinations of ISO/SS/F will affect the picture. It's like the camera taught me.

I really like the pre-whatchamacallit focus scene mode. This helps with getting those narrow depth of field shots, which I'm surprised I can pull off with the lens this came with.

I still don't care much for flash shots. I've played with the settings and have gotten better results. Part of me thinks I just hate flash.

Also, I've seen this critique before, but the lack of a view finder makes outdoor shots in bright light a pain.

And one tip: Get a higher class SD card. I took the old 1GB card from my P&S and there was sometimes some big waiting between shots. When my class 10 card came in, it was significantly reduced. In the manual it recommends at least a class 6.

I've only had this camera for a little while, but I've taken a lot of shots, and I'm extremely happy with it. I've taken some beautiful shots of my wife, my dog and my cat, as well as friends and flowers. I feel like they look like they came from a magazine.

EDIT: Still happy after a month. I got the smallest Lowepro bag that would fit and it has worked well.
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on January 16, 2010
I am by no means an advanced photographer (intermediate at best), but ready to move up from a pocket camera. The GF1 is an excellent entry point into the kit camera range. There are plenty of ways to control a photo ... manual shutter, aperture, focus and ISO settings, along with a healthy variety of filters. Plus plenty of auto settings. With its large sensor (compared to any compact), photos without a flash are amazing in light conditions which used to be hopeless for me. Indoor photos without flash seem to come out brighter than what I see with my eyes. Right after I received this camera a couple weeks ago, I field-tested it on a business trip to Tampa and was very pleased. I've uploaded a few of those "customer images" to Amazon that were taken in several challenging lighting conditions. Judge for yourself.

I've only shot 2 video clips so far but don't really have an opinion about quality yet, although it's pretty easy to use.

Build quality is first class. Rock solid with controls and fittings that feel like they should last forever.

I bought the kit with the 14-45mm lens which has a very smooth zoom but seems especially large on its body. I tested the lens with its Optical Image Stabilization switched off, and it does make a noticeable difference. Sometime this year, I'm going to get the 20mm pancake lens that the critics are raving about. Hopefully by then, I'll have mastered how to choose the setting or combo for each effect I want. I'm really looking forward to learning how to take much better photos, and I now know for sure that this camera will teach me.

The most negative thing that I can say about the GF1 is its price. Fortunately, I managed to get it for "only" $849 from a very reliable retailer on Amazon the day after Christmas. That deal seems to be long gone. But it's still an excellent camera for anyone who wants to take their photo skills to the next level beyond point-and-shoot.
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on April 23, 2010
Not much new to add here, except that I find the feel and use to be outstanding. I can one-hand it very easily, it fits the hand very well, and there are no awkward inadvertent button pushes. I like the top button that rotates to select single shot, multiple, bracketing, and time exposure. I also have used the custom settings and the quick menu feature frequently. It would be nice if it had a built-in viewfinder, but I am finding that I don't need it as much as I had thought. And I much prefer the size to what would be required with the viewfinder.

I have both the 14-45 lens and the 20mm pancake, the latter being my first prime lens. It is great, but you have to learn how to manage depth of field.

I own a Canon 30D which I like a lot, but the size factor on the Panny is so much an improvement that I may sell the Canon. The SLR is quicker on the fire and reload factors, but the Panny is good enough. And did I mention it is much smaller than the 30D? It's not going in your pocket, but it won't stretch your neck over the course of a day either.

I tried the Canon S90, and G11 as alternatives, but found them to be too slow on the fire/reload in comparison to the GF1. All three take excellent pix, but in large format the GF1 leaves them behind. Also the manual focus function of the GF1 is far superior to that in the Canons. I found the manual focus very crude and nearly undecipherable on the Canons. I still might end up with the S90 for my pocket, or maybe the Panasonic LX3, but that's for another time.
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on July 12, 2010
Most what can be said about this camera feature-wise has been said. But I think few have subjected their camera to as much abuse as I have recently, so I'll offer my experience here.

I bought the Panasonic GF-1 with the 14-45 mm lens and used it on a two week family trip to Europe recently. Well, it came days before the trip and in the midst of chaos I left the camera strap at home and just stuffed the camera in a small, sagging camera bag. On day two, while on the road, the camera flew out of the opened bag, and landed on hard pavement after tumbling a few feet. A small section of the edge of the LCD screen was dented. I was surprised there were no additional physical damage. And this was just the beginning of the trip. In all, the camera got dropped, in the bag, a few more times (due to the lack of a strap) during the trip.

After all that, the camera performed as well as new. Pictures came out very well. No rattles or loose parts. Lens mount seems to be very solid still.

This could not be said about my Sony point and shoot (W290), which probably saw less abuse. Before the Sony, it was a Canon SD800 IS. My son's soccer ball sent it to digital camera heaven (lens came loose).

Bottom line, a very solid camera that is easy to use and produces very good image quality.
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