The latest high-end Lumix compact is all dressed up with nowhere to go.
23 July 2013
Conclusion: Like most high-end compact cameras these days, the Lumix LF1 tries hard to carve out its own niche. We've seen many rivals that replicate some parts of its feature set, but none that matches it spec for spec. The Nikon Coolpix P7700 , for instance, offers a 7.1x zoom and a 1/1.7-inch sensor, but the LF1 forsakes its comfy grip and flip-out screen to make the combo pocketable.
Excerpt: Over the years I’ve owned a number of digicams just like this one and each has been damned useful. Pop in the pocket. Pull it out. Shoot. And enjoy. However, in the last 2-3 years they have become really fearsome beasts with tech specs that ring with power. Not only can these more recent arrivals shoot big, big stills but some have enormous zoom ranges and all can shoot Full HD video. So who needs a DSLR or a MILC?
Summary: The electronic viewfinder is the LF1's trump card, offering an alternative means of composition without compromising the body size or cost. Before you get too excited though, the LF1's viewfinder delivers a fairly small and low resolution image that's a world apart from the size and detail offered by the viewfinders in top-end system cameras or accessories for higher-end compacts.
Pros: Genuinely pocketable body., Built-in electronic viewfinder., Decent 7.1x zoom range with f2.0 at wide-end., Built-in Wifi & NFC for wireless control and image transfer.
Cons: Viewfinder image is small and low resolution., No 1080p video, only 1080i., No touchscreen., No multiple exposures or timelapse mode., No built-in GPS - have to use app on smartphone.
Conclusion: That said, if you're looking for a compact camera to use as an everyday backup to your main, heavier, camera, then it is a very good option with very good image quality and some fun features, such as digital filters and panoramic mode. We'd have liked to have seen a touchscreen, though.
Excerpt: This 12 megapixel compact camera has a 7X (28—200mm) optically stabilised zoom lens. It is built around the sensor and processor of the excellent LX7 but with a slower, longer lens. It has all the manual controls for the serious photographer, including a customisable selector ring around the lens. The 75mm LCD is supplemented with a tiny, but useful, electronic viewfinder. Like the LX7 images can be captured RAW.
Excerpt: To outperform the smartphone, pocket digital compacts now come festooned with bells and whistles that provide the sort of manual, hands-on photographic control that at one time you'd only get via a digital SLR, along with creative image-enhancing options familiar from phone apps. The relatively slender Panasonic Lumix LF1 measures just 27.9mm deep and comes with a suggested price tag of £375, a bright f/2.0 maximum aperture lens (an improvement on the usual f/2.8) aiding...
Pros: Solid-feel build, Electronic viewfinder, Raw files can be shot
Excerpt: We first saw the Panasonic Lumix LF1 behind closed doors at a press conference and it got us rather excited. The small size, suitably wide-ranging zoom lens and a built-in electronic viewfinder appeared to be Panasonic's all-in-one - and more budget - answer to Sony's prevailing RX100.
Pros: Small size (particularly considering feature set), lens control ring, built-in viewfinder has its appeal, bright aperture at wide-angle, raw & JPEG, 1/1.7-inch sensor size better than many standard compacts, manual focus and focus-distance indicator
Cons: Poor quality viewfinder isn't of much use, limited battery life, lens dips to f/5.9 at 200mm equivalent, stubby lens control ring, pricier than LX7, images a little flat, overexposure common in bright conditions, no touchscreen