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
With its aluminium chassis and rangefinder style, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 is likely to appeal to enthusiast photographers. In use, the camera does not disappoint, either. Its touchscreen enhances its handling and I have not come across a more rapid way to accurately meter and focus for a scene. Also, with four function buttons, the GX1 is a breeze to use.
As the GX1’s sensor is essentially the same as that found in the Lumix DMC-G3, its image quality is equally impressive and the best yet for a Panasonic four thirds model. However, the sensor size means that performance at higher sensitivities does not quite match up to the current crop of APS-C-sized sensors, particularly regarding dynamic range.
The ‘X’ kit lens complements the size of the GX1 body beautifully, and I like the option to have a smaller body and attach a viewfinder as and when it is needed. However, with the ‘X’ lens and LVF2 viewfinder included, the combination is almost double the price of the G3. When choosing between the two, therefore, it is a matter of what counts more – your wallet or the size of the camera.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1: Focal points
The double-hinge design of the built-in flash means it pops up to a reasonable 20mm (approx) from the body. It has an output of GN 7.6m @ ISO 160 (GN 6.3m @ ISO 100).
Like the G3, the GX1 features a 3in, 460,000-dot screen, but in this case it is a fixed type, whereas the G3 screen is articulated.
This port is compatible with the LVF2 viewfinder only, and will not support use with the LVF1. If a viewfinder is not in use, then any of Panasonic’s FL220, FL360, FL500 or third-party flash units can be used.
Function buttons (x4)
Two function buttons on the body and two extra function controls in the touchscreen menu make the GX1 the most customisable version of the G-series cameras yet.
Stereo sound is available, and the GX1 offers a microphone-level adjustment for louder or quieter scenes, and the levels can be displayed on-screen. Furthermore, a wind-cut function reduces the distracting noise created by wind blowing into the microphone.
There is a wealth of information available on-screen, such as a histogram, level gauge (for the first time in a Lumix G model), highlights and also guide lines, including rule of thirds.
Sensor clean and pixel refresh are available through the main menu, and are achieved manually, not automatically on start up or shut down.
In playback mode, favourite images can be flagged with a star for easy reference, converted to an alternate aspect ratio, resized, cropped and rotated.