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Canon 1100D vs Panasonic GF1

The Canon EOS 1100D (called Canon T3 in some regions) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2011 and September 2009. The 1100D is a DSLR, while the GF1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (1100D) and a Four Thirds (GF1) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1100D   Panasonic GF1
Canon 1100D Panasonic GF1
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
720/30p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-6400 ISO 100-3200
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
2.7" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g 119 x 71 x 36 mm, 385 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 1100D and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1100D and the Panasonic GF1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1100D vs Panasonic GF1
Compare 1100D versus GF1 top
Comparison 1100D or GF1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF1 is considerably smaller (35 percent) than the Canon 1100D. Moreover, the GF1 is markedly lighter (22 percent) than the 1100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1100D nor the GF1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1100D) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (GF1). Mirrorless cameras, such as the GF1, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the 1100D gets 700 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the GF1 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLB13 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1100D» 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Panasonic GF1« 119 mm 71 mm 36 mm 385 g 380 n Sep 2009 749- i Panasonic GF1
 
Canon 2000D« » 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« » 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« » 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« » 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« » 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon 450D« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« » 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Panasonic GX1« » 116 mm 68 mm 39 mm 318 g 320 n Nov 2011 699- i Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10« » 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« » 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1« » 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 899- i Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic G1« » 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 1100D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the GF1, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1100D features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic GF1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the GF1 is 30 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the 1100D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GF1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon 1100D and Panasonic GF1 sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the 1100D offers a slightly higher resolution than the GF1 (12MP), but the 1100D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.15μm versus 4.33μm for the GF1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 1100D is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 5 months) than the GF1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The Canon EOS 1100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

1100D versus GF1 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the 1100D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the GF1 (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1100D» APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Panasonic GF1« Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354Panasonic GF1
 
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466Canon 550D
 
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-----Canon 1000D
 
Panasonic GX1« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p20.810.670355Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic G1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000-21.110.346353Panasonic G1

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (720/30p).

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 1100D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GF1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1100D, the Panasonic GF1, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1100D»optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Panasonic GF1«- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GF1
 
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n Canon 550D
 
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1000D
 
Panasonic GX1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10« »202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic G1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic G1

The 1100D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the GF1 uses SDHC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 1100D and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1100D»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Panasonic GF1«Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF1
 
Canon 2000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 550D
 
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1000D
 
Panasonic GX1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10« »Ymono---mini2.0---Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic G1« »Y----mini2.0---Panasonic G1

Both the 1100D and the GF1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The GF1 was replaced by the Panasonic DMC-GF2, while the 1100D was followed by the Canon 1200D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.


Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 1100D better than the Panasonic GF1 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 1100D:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 5 months after the GF1).

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1:

  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (460k vs 230k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (119x71mm vs 130x100mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 110g or 22 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2009).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1100D comes out slightly ahead of the GF1 (7 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

1100D 07:06 GF1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1100D and the Panasonic GF1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1100D or the GF1. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 1100D»80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Panasonic GF1«85/10069/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749- i Panasonic GF1
 
Canon 2000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
 
Canon 4000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon 1200D« »+-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 650D« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon SX50« »+ +72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i Canon SX50
 
Canon 600D« »o77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Canon 550D« »+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699- i Canon 550D
 
Canon 450D« »+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 1000D« »82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449- i Canon 1000D
 
Panasonic GX1« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2011 699- i Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10« »-70/1004/5-4/5 Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »-72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GH1« »+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899- i Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic G1« »+ +70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 1100D:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic GF1:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 1100D vs Panasonic GF1

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1100D Panasonic GF1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Canon 1100D Panasonic GF1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO 100-3200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 Venus HD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 513
    Screen Specs Canon 1100D Panasonic GF1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1100D Panasonic GF1
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1100D Panasonic GF1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1100D Panasonic GF1
    Battery Type LP-E10 DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    119 x 71 x 36 mm
    (4.7 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 385 g (13.6 oz)

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