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on 10 June 2012
When I say compact I don't mean tiny like the average point and shoot. The camera has a good size to hold onto and has a moderate weight to it. The finish and controls convey a quality product. The body and kit 14-42mm lens easily go into much smaller bag than you would need for even the smallest Nikon with a zoom lens and of course the whole shooting match is a lot lighter. Some parts of the body like the on/off switch and the battery door while substantially made are plastic. This camera has on it all the quick activate buttons for all the major features a photographer needs- ie ISO, WB, Focus area, F or Shutter wheel combined with facility to compensate your exposure value. Also an exposure mode dial on the top and a couple of other buttons which can be assigned to what you like. Mostly the camera is intuitive to get to grips with without reading the somewhat confusing manual. There is also on the back of the camera a quick select function which brings up a list of the other widely used parameters like image quality, size, flash options and other things. All in all everything is close to hand and I quickly got into shooting with this camera. I've used a variety of lenses with this camera and am impressed with the output- the Panasonic/Leica 25mm gives razor sharp images at 1.4, also the 20mm 1.7 and the 14mm 2.5. You do need to familiarize yourself with all the parameters you are going to use on this body as its possible to accidentally 'press' a combination of buttons which will throw a few of your assigned functions out, thus requiring a 'reset' from the screen menu. The body has a touch screen ability but you don't have to use it- the camera works just as well without majoring on the touch screen option. Sometimes touching the screen throws the focus area reticle out of position and you need to resize and reposition this using the touch screen.
The image quality compared to the new OMD Olympus is about x1 ISO less, but still excellent- remember the GX1 body is half the price of the Olympus offering. If you later decide to get an Olympus body all the lens will fit it. The GX1 body is small enough to carry two bodies to cut down a bit on lens changing in the field.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 April 2012
Although I am going to write this from the perspective of a GF1 owner thinking about the GX1, the points I will make are relevant to anyone thinking about this camera. The GX1 is, at last, a worthy successor to the legendary Panasonic GF1 micro four thirds camera. While being reassuringly familiar to GF1 owners - it looks very similar and feels very solidly built, it offers many upgrades. To start with, there is a new grip on the front of the camera which makes it much easier (and less risky) to hold it one-handed, and it just sits in the hand much better now. The control layout has seen relatively minor tweaks - the key thing is that there are still plenty of controls enabling you to access what you want quickly and efficiently. The main upgrades from the GF1 are fourfold: (1) the 16MP sensor in this camera has far better high ISO performance and lower shadow noise than the 12MP sensor in the GF1, G1,G2, EP-2, etc. At base ISO the GF1 and old 12MP are generally superb, so if you only tend to shoot at low ISO, perhaps using a tripod, this first gain is perhaps not that dramatic for you, but if you shoot low light shots you are going to see much better performance (still not APS-C performance though - the Sony 16MP APS-C sensor is still king for getting the balance between MP and noise just right); I am seeing about one to two stops better performance at high ISO than the old 12MP sensor; (2) the autofocus - it is MUCH faster than the GF1 autofocus, offers a new mode (AF-F) which is quite useful, and the touch screen offers the interesting option to touch for focus and shutter release; note, however, that continous autofocus tracking of moving subjects such as children playing sports, still lags behind the Nikon V system or DSLRs with Phase detect autofocus - but that is true for most mirrorless systems apart from Nikon's; (3) the JPEG engine is much improved, though as is usually the case, to get the very highest umage quality you need to process from raw - not using the included Silkypix software (good for colours but not for resolution) - I suggest you use Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom or Capture One). In particular, high ISO Jpegs strike quite a nice balance between retention of detail and noise reduction. Sure, I can do better using raw and post-processing techniques and Photoshop plugins such as Neat Image or my current favourite, Topaz DeNoise, but this takes work and time; (4) the optional electronic viewfinder, the LVF-2, though expensive (around £200) is superb - it is essentially the standard electronic viewfinder present in the Panasonic G1, G2, G3 etc, and with its 1.4 million resolution is far better than the tiny LVF-1 electronic viewfinder for the GF1 (note that the LVF-1 will not work on the GX1 and that the LVF-2 will not work on the GF1 camera). The LVF-2 has a tilt function just like the LVF-1 and with the magnification of the viewfinder you get a big, bright image to look at. Other small improvements - the menu system is more extensive and more intuitive, there is now a digital level gauge to help you get straight horizons (though unlike in Olympus cameras, there is no calibration routine for it, which seems a shame); Colour is generally more pleaseing than earlier incarnations of Panasonic micro four thirds cameras - pretty much gone are the magenta sky issues and weird colour casts with landscapes that sometimes dogged my GF1 shots. Skin tones seem pretty good, especially when shooting raw. Dynamic range - well, my own findings don't fully agree with DXO Mark - DXO labs don't report much difference in DR between this sensor and the 12MP sensor used in the GF1 but my shooting has shown that the camera's exposure metering plus the sensor's DR seem to mean I get fewer blown highlights.

What about the touch screen - I don't list it as an improvement because I'm not sure it is. It is a bit better in direct sunlight, compared to the old screen, but still low resolution compared to what is on offer on most DSLRs, the EP-3 and the new OM-D. Panasonic is only now starting to introduce a 920k dot LCD panel on its micro four thirds cameras and I guess we will see that kind of panel on the GX2, but for now we are stuck with a 420k panel. My major problem with it is that when you magnify the playback view to check focus is achieved, it's sometimes hard to tell. It's actually more accurate, due to the greater resolution, to check focus using the LVF-2 add-on viewfinder. Somehow I found the screen on the GF1 a bit easier in this respect, even though it is the same resolution - I think these touch screens that we see here on the GX1 just seem a bit less sharp and contrasty. One big advantage of the touch screen is the ability to touch the screen for focus and shutter release, though to be honest any serious use of this technology will probably require a tripod to steady the camera. And once you are into the realm of tripod mounted macro work, which is where this touch screen feature is really beneficial, you would, to be honest, most likely be better off with a swivel LCD such as that offered by the Panasonic G3.

So, in summary: Fast autofocus (but not for moving subjects), strong build, nice new grip, lots of manual control, good 16MP sensor with good high ISO performance and good DR. Better colours and JPEGS than previous Panasonic models. The only real downside is the low resolution LCD and the high cost of the LVF-2.

What about the Panasonic G3 - isn't that better value and virtually the same or better than the GX1? Well I own a G3 and it is a great camera. It is only a bit bigger than a GX1, offers a built in EVF, the same sensor, same touch screen and almost the same focus speed. However, the GX1 has better build quality and is smaller if you detach the LVF-2 viewfinder. The G3 does have a tilt and swivel LCD, which is damn useful for macro. Overall I like using the GX1 more, because I am happy to carry the LVF-2 viewfinder in one pocket and the GX1 body in another pocket - some moan about detaching, re-attaching the LVF-2 but at least it doesn't keep sliding off the camera like Olmpus' VF-2 does off my EP-2 !

I heartily recommend the GX1 to GF1 users thinking about an upgrade - try one out a local camera store if you can. To be fair, you should also look at the Olympus EP-3 and the new Olympus OM-D, though these excellent offerings from Olympus are more expensive. If you are a macro shooter and don't mind more plasticky build quality, also check out the Panasonic G3 as it is good value for money and offers most of the features of the GX1 in a more DSLR shaped body.

Now, as for the LENS - the power zoom lens included in this deal sounds great on paper, but a number of users and review sites (e.g. Imaging Resource) reported some quality control problems with this new lens, creating blurred images at certain settings - it seems to be shutter speed dependent. My own advice, for what it's worth, is to buy the GX1 body only, and pair it with the superb Panasonic 14-45 micro four thirds lens instead. The 14-45 is a better lens in my view - it's a superb kit lens that performs very well, though it is not a power zoom and it is bigger than the power zoom lens as it is not collapsible. But the IQ of the 14-45 lens is superb.
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on 14 July 2012
I always carry a Nikon D300S whenever I go traveling an most of the time it stays in the hotel safe as it's too big to carry around. Instead I carried a Canon S100 which whilst a great camera I found it was a little slow.

The GX-1 fits the bill, a great camera with some great results and with the power zoom you get 28-90 (35mm equiv) in a really small package.

I have since purchased a few more lenses and the electronic viewfinder (which is great as I need glasses for close work).

Also worth a look are Panasonic's additional wide angle and telephone "converters" which go onto the 14-45 power zoom.

Verdict: I love the GX-1 and whilst it doesn't have all the functionality of the D300S it is still a very capable camera and one I will carry around whilst out and about. I never thought I would say this but the D300S will be left at home now when I go on holiday. I have just ordered another GX-1 so I can have one camera with the 14-45 and the other body can be used with the wide angle or longer 14-175 lens. The best part is that they will both fit in a small bag and will be easy to carry around!

Very happy indeed!
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on 10 October 2013
I previously had a Canon EOS 5D with L-Series lens, but found the size/weight prevented me using it as much as the price should warrant. In the end I sold it and bought a Panasonic GF1, which in turn was replaced with a GX1. I am so glad I switched to micro 4/3! This panasonic is a lovely camera - a classic design, lovely to hold, small enough to slip into a rucksack. The image quality is superb, once you learn how to get the best from it (using the lens sweet spot, accurate focus, etc). I have turned off the touch screen, just because I didn't have time to learn how to use it.... at some point I will learn and switch it back on, but for now I use the buttons for everything.

The price has continued to fall since it was released, and it is now a bargain (considering I paid double and still got value for money!).
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on 13 September 2012
I bought this with the new smaller 14-42 lens ... and have been so impressed !

My wife has a GF1 I have always liked and the GF2, 3, etc just haven't done it for me in the same way as the GF1 did - so when the GX1 appeared it seemed a natural thing to go look.

It is not pocketable in the way of smaller compacts but then you are getting so much more. It is not big, just too big for a pocket. I have bought the Panasonic case for it and that is excellent ... and far better quality than the numerous ebay ones like we got for the GF1. They are adequate but this case is really, really good ... albeit expensive.

Image quality is superb and with the two X lenses is a formidable camera. I have 14-42 and 45-175. Both lenses are excellent and I have not experienced any issues like some others have mentioned - though I do have the up to date firmware.

Weight of the camera is very good and about right for it's size. It feels reassuringly solid and is really well made. I find the controls easy to use and the camera quick to use. Autofocus is very fast and I can't really fault the camera full stop. Noise is well controlled and better than I expected - I have only tried to ISO 1600 though. I don't use video so can't say what that's like.

I have the EVF and found with the longer zoom it is a welcome addition - the image is very good and crisp ... and I am pleased I got it.

The flash is limited - but I expected that on a camera this small.

Given I used a Canon 5D II and a 7D ... I think this will be the camera that gets taken out and used most. Overall a superb combination of image and build quality that works so well. A grown up GF1 and certainly a camera I could recommend to anyone ... from someone starting out wanting a good compact where you can change lenses ... to someone like me who is used to using bigger cameras but wanted a good carry round compact.
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on 30 December 2012
I have had this camera for about a month now and shot 250+ images on two different lenses so I feel I can give some first impressions on this now. When reading this bear in mind that I've been a DSLR user for a few years now and was looking for a second camera that was very portable but lost as little as possible of the quality I have been used to in images. The camera I've been using for almost two years now is a Nikon D7000 and it is an exceptional camera. My comparison here is with this Nikon in a number of aspects and I realise that I am seeking very high quality images.

The actual body of the Gx1 seems mostly very well made and has a sturdy feel however it is not heavy. The exception to that is the cover over the three sockets (HDMI/Remote/AV) which is frankly a pathetic bit of plastic and I would imagine would not stand up to being opened and closed very well over time. The other slightly doubtful bit of construction is the rear dial wheel. As I will explain shortly this needs pressing in as a button as well as rotating and does feel as good as the rest of the camera.

I guess other than quality of image one of the main issues with any camera is how accurately it works out the exposure. I've used the camera mostly in A mode (aperture) or S (shutter speed). The exposure using "multi" or "centre" ("spot" is available) have tended to be no better than OK when compared with the Nikon (which is very good). However it is possible to have a live histogram on screen (and playback can be set to show highlight clipping) so adjusting the exposure is relatively easy once you've worked out how. The rear dial needs pushing in to take you into exposure compensation and then rotating, then pressing again to go back to altering the shutter speed or aperture. It did take me a while to do this easily but it works ok although I find I use it far more often on this camera than on the Nikon.

The quality of images from this camera has been very good. I shoot RAW and there is plenty of detail in the images. The lenses I've been using are the Panasonic H-H014E Lumix G Pancake Lens (14 mm, F2.5 Wide-Angle) and the Panasonic 14-45mm Lens - H-FS014045 (Micro Four Thirds Mount) (note this is either of the flavours of kit lens which do not get very good reviews). The images are probably not quite as good as the Nikon but considering the weight/size it would be very odd if that were not the case. The quality does deteriorate with increased ISOs and more than on the Nikon but is still good at 400 ISO though 800 is not really good enough for me (it continues to take passable pictures well above this is quality is not the main aim). I guess it is the fact that this is not as fast a camera as the Nikon that would one of the main issue for me.

Obvious good points
* Weight/size make it a great camera to carry around. I do use the LVF which makes it a little bulkier however I felt I needed that because of the DSLR usage and it is very good (though not cheap)
* RAW images and quality generally is very good with good size/quality options easily available
* There is a "level" guide available onscreen which I like a lot (both horizontal and vertical)
* The ability to store four custom user settings is great
* You can assign function button (though two are touchscreen ones which I don't use as I use the LVF)
* Setting generally are very good once you have been around them a few times. I like the fact that the "Intelligent Automatic" button can be changed to a press and hold to avoid switching to that accidentally. Equally the movie button can be disabled if that is not your thing for example.

Poor points
* The fact that Panasonic decided to save 50p (?) a box by not providing a paper handbook is really irritating. A camera such as this which has plenty of settings needs a book you can read not a pdf that you open on your pc. Panasonic have also crippled the pdf so you cannot annotate it/bookmark it etc - very silly
* While the handbook seems quite well written it certainly has some errors. The handbook states that in "creative mode" (black/white etc etc) RAW files are unaffected - not true, they are. This is silly as the whole point of RAW files is that they are unprocessed

I'll not comment on the touch screen as, using the LVF, I don't use the touch screen but it seems to get good press generally. Equally I didn't get this for movies though I have shot a couple and they seem fine. There are all the scene type modes you would expect on any camera as well as the creative ones and they are fine if you want that aspect of a camera.

I will add to this if anything crops up with usage however this is a very competent camera indeed for its size and weight. I didn't get this from Amazon - always worth looking around when buying higher priced items. It gives something fairly close to DSLR quality in a very small package. The lens you buy/use needs thought but I have no regrets at all about finally trying a micro four thirds and this will be with me more often than not.

* Added to after a couple of months use
Having taken around 700 images now I do really like this camera. It has foibles but you learn to live with that. I tend to find myself catching the rear buttons when I get it out of the bag for example and having to "cancel" whatever it is I've accidentally hit. Equally exposure is a bit variable - mostly good but not as good as the D7000. I have found that single point autofocus on fast moving objects (specifically rally cars) leaves something to be desired but I still got some good shots.

As with most actual photographers video is not something I usually stray into however I have used it on this and for me (no expert) it was simple and high quality.

All in all a good, lightweight small but powerful camera.
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on 1 March 2012
Normally Amazon are the best for prices. However on this occasion they are not. I bought mine from Mathers of Lancashire an online store.

Very good swift service with next day delivery. They are approx £120 cheaper and are giving Lightroom 3 with the GX1. This is until the end of March so get your skates on if you want this camera. Mine was delivered to Northern Ireland within 24 hours at a cost of £9.99. But that is still a saving of over £200 against Amazon or Jessops.

Mathers do not supply Lightroom 3 to you, you will receive a voucher which you send off to Panasonic UK and within 40 days you get the software.

The camera in black is a gem to behold, well made with a nice feel to it. Its fast with great colour rendition and clarity.

You will receive in the package two discs, one for the user manual advanced and another disc I would not be bothered with called silkypics. If you are going to use Lightroom 3, which is a superb image editing package forget the silkypics.

Best camera I have ever had and I have had a few. I will probably edit this in a few weeks when I have had the chance to really put the camera through its paces.
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on 1 November 2013
I've owned this camera for a month or so and I also have a GH3 that takes the same lenses. Both are pretty compact compared to my previously owned Canon 7D, but as someone once said - the best camera is the one you have with you! I just found the 7D with a couple of good lenses very heavy to cart around all day. This camera and the GH3 plus 3 lenses probably weigh less together! The quality is superb for both stills and video. Is there a difference compared to the 7D? Of course! But only when you view the images massively enarged on a computer screen or make prints the size of a poster, and in reality how often does that happen? I can happily crop and print images from this camera at A3 and it has all the features I'm looking for. I love using it set to RAW+Jpeg with the monochrome mode set. That way I can shoot black and white but have colour raw files if I change my mind. Yes it makes for a bit more storage on my hard drive but this camera just is with me all the time - its great as a point and shoot and its great for full manual shots. The video doesn't give me quite as much control as the GH3 but then this camera was a quarter of the price and the video is great quality. As a serious 'digital range-finder' its really good value at the minute. I'm sure the new GX7 is better - but is it three times better because its around three times the price even if you shop around. All I can say is unless your budget is unlimited you won't be dissappointed with this camera. Great build quality and great features.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 16 April 2012
Although I am going to write this from the perspective of a GF1 owner thinking about the GX1, the points I will make are relevant to anyone thinking about this camera. The GX1 is, at last, a worthy successor to the legendary Panasonic GF1 micro four thirds camera. While being reassuringly familiar to GF1 owners - it looks very similar and feels very solidly built, it offers many upgrades. To start with, there is a new grip on the front of the camera which makes it much easier (and less risky) to hold it one-handed, and it just sits in the hand much better now. The control layout has seen relatively minor tweaks - the key thing is that there are still plenty of controls enabling you to access what you want quickly and efficiently. The main upgrades from the GF1 are fourfold: (1) the 16MP sensor in this camera has far better high ISO performance and lower shadow noise than the 12MP sensor in the GF1, G1,G2, EP-2, etc. At base ISO the GF1 and old 12MP are generally superb, so if you only tend to shoot at low ISO, perhaps using a tripod, this first gain is perhaps not that dramatic for you, but if you shoot low light shots you are going to see much better performance (still not APS-C performance though - the Sony 16MP APS-C sensor is still king for getting the balance between MP and noise just right); I am seeing about one to two stops better performance at high ISO than the old 12MP sensor; (2) the autofocus - it is MUCH faster than the GF1 autofocus, offers a new mode (AF-F) which is quite useful, and the touch screen offers the interesting option to touch for focus and shutter release; note, however, that continous autofocus tracking of moving subjects such as children playing sports, still lags behind the Nikon V system or DSLRs with Phase detect autofocus - but that is true for most mirrorless systems apart from Nikon's; (3) the JPEG engine is much improved, though as is usually the case, to get the very highest umage quality you need to process from raw - not using the included Silkypix software (good for colours but not for resolution) - I suggest you use Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom or Capture One). In particular, high ISO Jpegs strike quite a nice balance between retention of detail and noise reduction. Sure, I can do better using raw and post-processing techniques and Photoshop plugins such as Neat Image or my current favourite, Topaz DeNoise, but this takes work and time; (4) the optional electronic viewfinder, the LVF-2, though expensive (around £200) is superb - it is essentially the standard electronic viewfinder present in the Panasonic G1, G2, G3 etc, and with its 1.4 million resolution is far better than the tiny LVF-1 electronic viewfinder for the GF1 (note that the LVF-1 will not work on the GX1 and that the LVF-2 will not work on the GF1 camera). The LVF-2 has a tilt function just like the LVF-1 and with the magnification of the viewfinder you get a big, bright image to look at. Other small improvements - the menu system is more extensive and more intuitive, there is now a digital level gauge to help you get straight horizons (though unlike in Olympus cameras, there is no calibration routine for it, which seems a shame); Colour is generally more pleaseing than earlier incarnations of Panasonic micro four thirds cameras - pretty much gone are the magenta sky issues and weird colour casts with landscapes that sometimes dogged my GF1 shots. Skin tones seem pretty good, especially when shooting raw. Dynamic range - well, my own findings don't fully agree with DXO Mark - DXO labs don't report much difference in DR between this sensor and the 12MP sensor used in the GF1 but my shooting has shown that the camera's exposure metering plus the sensor's DR seem to mean I get fewer blown highlights.

What about the touch screen - I don't list it as an improvement because I'm not sure it is. It is a bit better in direct sunlight, compared to the old screen, but still low resolution compared to what is on offer on most DSLRs, the EP-3 and the new OM-D. Panasonic is only now starting to introduce a 920k dot LCD panel on its micro four thirds cameras and I guess we will see that kind of panel on the GX2, but for now we are stuck with a 420k panel. My major problem with it is that when you magnify the playback view to check focus is achieved, it's sometimes hard to tell. It's actually more accurate, due to the greater resolution, to check focus using the LVF-2 add-on viewfinder. Somehow I found the screen on the GF1 a bit easier in this respect, even though it is the same resolution - I think these touch screens that we see here on the GX1 just seem a bit less sharp and contrasty. One big advantage of the touch screen is the ability to touch the screen for focus and shutter release, though to be honest any serious use of this technology will probably require a tripod to steady the camera. And once you are into the realm of tripod mounted macro work, which is where this touch screen feature is really beneficial, you would, to be honest, most likely be better off with a swivel LCD such as that offered by the Panasonic G3.

So, in summary: Fast autofocus (but not for moving subjects), strong build, nice new grip, lots of manual control, good 16MP sensor with good high ISO performance and good DR. Better colours and JPEGS than previous Panasonic models. The only real downside is the low resolution LCD and the high cost of the LVF-2.

What about the Panasonic G3 - isn't that better value and virtually the same or better than the GX1? Well I own a G3 and it is a great camera. It is only a bit bigger than a GX1, offers a built in EVF, the same sensor, same touch screen and almost the same focus speed. However, the GX1 has better build quality and is smaller if you detach the LVF-2 viewfinder. The G3 does have a tilt and swivel LCD, which is damn useful for macro. Overall I like using the GX1 more, because I am happy to carry the LVF-2 viewfinder in one pocket and the GX1 body in another pocket - some moan about detaching, re-attaching the LVF-2 but at least it doesn't keep sliding off the camera like Olmpus' VF-2 does off my EP-2 !

I heartily recommend the GX1 to GF1 users thinking about an upgrade - try one out a local camera store if you can. To be fair, you should also look at the Olympus EP-3 and the new Olympus OM-D, though these excellent offerings from Olympus are more expensive. If you are a macro shooter and don't mind more plasticky build quality, also check out the Panasonic G3 as it is good value for money and offers most of the features of the GX1 in a more DSLR shaped body.

Now, as for the LENS - the power zoom lens included in this deal sounds great on paper, but a number of users and review sites (e.g. Imaging Resource) reported some quality control problems with this new lens, creating blurred images at certain settings - it seems to be shutter speed dependent. My own advice, for what it's worth, is to buy the GX1 body only, and pair it with the superb Panasonic 14-45 micro four thirds lens instead. The 14-45 is a better lens in my view - it's a superb kit lens that performs very well, though it is not a power zoom and it is bigger than the power zoom lens as it is not collapsible. But the IQ of the 14-45 lens is superb.
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on 10 July 2015
Camera was good though the lens supplied never worked and would go out of focus soon as you zoomed in on anything. Sadly never got a replacement or fix. Camera body was fine though and for the price gave me some quite good pictures with my other M43 lenses.
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