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.
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.
Summary: Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LF1 is certainly a good camera but it is up against many excellent advanced compact cameras, so it may struggle to find its own place in the market. Obviously, the 7.1x zoom lens and electronic viewfinder are the defining features, but while an EVF is something I hope to see in more cameras, the resolution of this one is very low and the viewfinder window small.
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: 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