Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 review

January 14, 2012

Overall Rating:


Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

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Price as Reviewed:


Panasonic introduces the premium compact-style Lumix DMC-GX1, its fourth current compact system camera in the range that packs the same number of pixels as its larger siblings

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 at a glance:

  • 15.8-million-pixel, Live MOS, four thirds (17.3x13mm) sensor
  • 3in LCD touchscreen with full-area AF
  • 0.09sec touch AF
  • Compatibility with new premium ‘X’ lenses
  • Street price around £750 with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ‘X’ lens

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 review – Introduction

According to Panasonic, the best-selling compact system camera (CSC) in 2011 was its own: the SLR-styled Lumix DMC-G3. The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 may well enjoy a similar level of popularity, as it has the same imaging sensor – which should deliver equally good results – yet it comes in a more compact body.

If the market trend is anything to go by, there is equal demand for both styles of compact system camera, with the larger type often chosen by first-time buyers over a DSLR, and the compact type considered by those who already own a DSLR but want a smaller body.

Panasonic’s first compact type, the Lumix DMC-GF1, had a premium feel. Its follow-up cameras, the Lumix DMC-GF2 and the current Lumix DMC-GF3, departed from this in favour of a smaller sized and more cost-effective body that tapped into the mass market. By reintroducing the compact body and aluminium chassis, the GX1 is aimed squarely at the enthusiast and professional photographer.

One main drawback to a smaller camera body is that there is no space for a viewfinder. However, there is the option of attaching an external unit via the hotshoe port, and this is available separately. Panasonic released the 1.44-million-dot LVF2 electronic viewfinder alongside the GX1, and it has the same resolution as the EVF found in the G3.

While the GX1 has much in common with the G3, there is a vast difference in price, especially when you add the cost of the optional viewfinder. There is the option to buy the GX1 with a regular 14-42mm kit lens or the 14-42mm ‘X’ lens. The ‘X’ lens is new and collapses to a much smaller size when not in use. This lens costs around £250 more than the standard kit lens.

In this test, I will be keen to find out just how much the smaller body affects the overall handling of the camera.

  • White Balance: Auto, 5 presets, 2 custom, Kelvin, all with fine-tuning
  • Video: Full 1920×1080, 50i AVCHD 25fps (PAL), 1920x1080 MPEG-4 (30fps)
  • Built-in Flash: Yes. GN 7.6m @ ISO 160 (6.3m @ ISO 100)
  • Shutter Type: Focal-plane shutter
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Viewfinder Type: Optional LVF2 electronic viewfinder
  • Output Size: 4592x3448 pixels (15.8 million pixels)
  • LCD: 3in, 460,000-dot touchscreen LCD
  • Field of View: 100% on LCD
  • White Balance Bracket: 3 frames
  • AF Points: 23-area and touch focus anywhere in the frame
  • Sensor: 16-million-effective-pixel Live MOS
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/160sec
  • Focal Length Mag: 2x
  • Exposure Modes: Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, iA+, 17 scene modes
  • Connectivity / Interface: Mini HDMI, digital/video out, remote release
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Weight: 272g (body only) or 413g (with battery, card and 14-42mm lens)
  • Shutter Speeds: 60-1/4000sec, bulb
  • File Format: JPEG, RW2 (raw), raw + JPEG, MPO (when attaching 3D lens in micro four thirds-system standard), AVCHD, MPEG-4
  • Drive Mode: 4fps for 7 frames in raw, 20fps or unlimited JPEGs at a reduced 4-million-pixel resolution
  • Dimensions: 116x68x39mm
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Metering System: 144-zone, multi-pattern sensing system with options for spot, centreweighted and multi-segment metering
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1/3 steps
  • Lens Mount: Micro four thirds
  • ISO: 160-12,800
  • Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, manual, face detection, AF tracking, 23-area, 1-area-focusing, pinpoint, touch
  • DoF Preview: Yes, with shutter speed simulation
  • Tested as: High-end CSC

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