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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