Summary: For the final rating, the GF1 was put in the large digital camera category because it is not a DSLR but when we take into account the size of the lens, even the smallest, it does form a rather sizable camera. Anecdotally, the reason the rating would be higher in the DSLR category is because the rating system considers performance of all DSLRs which have been around for much longer. There are not many competitors to look at.
Pros: Very good image quality, just below average for a DSLR, One of the smallest interchangeable lens digital cameras, Very good metering and white-balance systems, Accurate image colors in standard mode, Quick autofocus, Excellent LCD refresh, Good LCD visibility, Very flexible display option, Continuous autofocus possible in movie-mode, Good build quality other than the built-in flash, Startup almost as fast as a DSLR
Cons: Reduced dynamic range compared to a DSLR, causes highlight clipping, Button-dial is clunky and exposure may change accidentally, Shutter-button difficult to reach when using strap, Digital preview not so good or useful, Slow shutter-lag, Relatively weak flash, Not exposure priority, Useless continuous drive as LCD cannot keep up, Cluttered view, too many icons overlaid, Cannot autofocus with most Four-Third lenses, Limited selection of lenses at this time, Short batte...
Excerpt: I’ve long waged a personal war against overweight, over-sized digital SLRs. As the effective digital film frame is mostly stamp-sized why on earth does the body and lens of every camera maker’s DSLR have to be so bulky? When the Micro Four Thirds cameras began to appear I wept tears of joy. At last, a totally digital approach to quality digital capture! And in a small form factor.
Summary: The compact design means inevitable compromises when compared to a 'full size' SLR, but the GF1 gets so much right that it's a real winner in our eyes. Great image quality, a well-rounded feature set and surprisingly zippy performance put it a little ahead of the Olympus E-P1, and much more versatile.
Pros: Superb resolution, excellent overall image quality up to ISO 1600, Stunning raw output, Reliable exposure and focus and generally reliable white balance, Excellent build quality & great screen, Surprisingly good handling, fun and easy to use, Very compact design, Intuitive user-interface that combines compact and DSLR features, Large number of external controls including a very useful 'push-and-turn' dial, Fast contrast detect Auto Focus (on par with entry level DSLRs...
Cons: Dynamic range and high ISO output not quite as good as best in class (including Olympus E-P1), JPEG output nowhere near as good as it could be - shoot raw for best results, Default settings don't produce particularly appealing (JPEG) color, Flash is very weak, No in-body IS (and 20mm pancake not stabilized), Autofocus doesn't work with all legacy Four Thirds lenses, Still a very limited range of dedicated lenses, Orientation sensor uses lens IS system (so no automatic...
Conclusion: Panasonic Lumix GF1 digital system camera At the time of writing, there are only two truly compact Micro Four Thirds System cameras available. Both are similar when it comes to functions and dimensions. Olympus and Panasonic are the promoters and developers of the Micro Four Thirds system, and are thus faced with the difficult task to convince the traditionally established camera market that such a system is the answer to the consumer's demand.
Excerpt: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 is part of a new breed of camera that combines small size, light weight and impressive versatility for photo enthusiasts. It combines the ease of use of a point-and-shoot camera with the versatility and quality of a dSLR. Learn...
Excerpt: (1 items) Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GF1 might be the ideal camera for anyone who doesn’t want to make major compromises when they’re not using a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. The DMC-GF1 is also good if you’d like to upgrade from your point-and-shoot, but don’t want to commit to the weight of an SLR.
Pros: Full feature set, High-quality, removable lenses, Larger sensor for very good image quality, Very good interface, Extremely well-built
Cons: Noisy in low light at high ISO, LCD viewfinder only
Summary: The Lumix GF1 and E-P1 achieve this goal by adopting the Micro Four Thirds standard developed by Olympus and Panasonic. This takes the sensor size of the existing Four Thirds DSLR standard, but dispenses with the traditional SLR mirror and optical viewfinder to allow a much shorter lens to sensor distance. This in turn enables smaller and lighter cameras to be built, while the mount allows different lenses to be fitted.
Pros: Compact body with DSLR-sized sensor., Detailed 3in / 460k screen and optional EVF., HD movies with choice of encoding formats., Great Auto mode and full Manual controls.
Cons: No stabilisation in body or 20mm kit lens., Viewfinder is a pricey accessory., Screen suffers from reflections in bright light., Focusing restrictions with many lenses.
Excerpt: The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF1-K is a compact, easy to use, and definitely stylish D-SLR-like camera. It's based on Micro Four Thirds technology and is available in lens kits. One kit includes a gorgeous 40mm, f/1.7 pancake lens, while the other includes a 28-90mm zoom lens.