It's probably a good camera...I'm just not used to it.
Woodshop Man, Amazon
11 October 2014
Summary: To be honest, this is my wife's camera. I used to own a commercial photo business (now retired) and now use only Canon DSLR's with "L" lenses and battery grips. Much to balky for my wife on vacation. So I bought her this. I personally don't like all the small buttons because I'm used to much larger dials and buttons on full size DSLR's.
Returning it, but not because of the viewfinder...
9 March 2014
Summary: I really wanted to like this camera, and my first impressions were very positive. First of all, it's very small given its sensor size and zoom range. Also, it feels like it's high quality. I personally have found the viewfinder to be useful. Yes, it's small, but I would say I used it easily half of the time vs the rear LCD screen. I think it's more than adequate. My two (pretty major) gripes with this camera are, first and foremost, image quality and, second, the wifi.
Summary: I just got this camera--it looks very nice so far. Be warned, though, that the wifi connection options are in practice just terrible. I have had two panasonic cameras with this feature and both have proved so frustrating that I have just given up on them. Also the connectivity to an iPhone is terrible, requiring new entry of codes and passwords each time you want to connect.
Excerpt: Bought this Lumix LF1 as part of the Holy Grail Search to find THE camera to fill the void between my iPhone and my DSLR. (Spoiler alert - I am still looking...) My photographic needs are generally simple ones and the Canon A1200 was *so* close. Nice optical viewfinder! Such high hopes... But I missed the shots I cared about for a year, proving out all the reviews that said it was too slow to capture anything moving faster than rocks and flowers. (They were so right...
Excerpt: This is an ongoing experience report of the Panasonic LF1, which I bought just last month. It's not so much an article, but more a list of observations I made during everyday use of the LF1 as mostly a snapshot camera. My main motivation to buy the LF1 was top complement my always around fixed lens iPhone with something that offered a zoom lens while still fitting into trouser pockets . Everything else I consider bonus, but of course welcome bonus.
Summary: EVF Viewfinder - meh. It is very small. I thought it would rescue me from those times the big screen washed out in bright sunlight. It has not been much help in these situations. (The optical viewfinder in my Canon A1200 is much brighter, and was very helpful in this situation.) No Printed Manual: Other than the auto IA mode, you'll likely need more than a little time with the 265 page manual, which comes only on a CD and not a printed paper copy.
Summary: I'm pleased with the camera, although I've only had it for ten hours at the time of writing. Fortunately, I've had lots of experience with old fashioned SLRs which used films (remember them?). Unfortunately, the Panasonic manual (PDF document on disk) runs to 285 pages. Intuitive the camera is not! It'll take a while to push the camera to its limits, so I can decide if it was worth the thick end of three hundred quid.