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Panasonic G1 vs GF1

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2008 and September 2009. Both the G1 and the GF1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Panasonic G1   Panasonic GF1
Panasonic G1 Panasonic GF1
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-1600 (100-3200) ISO 100-3200
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD, 460k dots 3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
410 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
124 x 84 x 45 mm, 360 g 119 x 71 x 36 mm, 385 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 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 Panasonic G1 and the Panasonic GF1 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Panasonic G1 vs Panasonic GF1
Compare G1 versus GF1 top
Comparison G1 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 notably smaller (19 percent) than the Panasonic G1. However, the GF1 is markedly heavier (7 percent) than the G1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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
 
Panasonic G1» 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 12.7 oz 410 n Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
 
Panasonic GF1« 4.7 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 13.6 oz 380 n Sep 2009 749- i Panasonic GF1
 
Olympus E-410« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic GF6« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.4 oz 340 n Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic GF5« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 9.4 oz 360 n Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF3« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 300 n Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GX1« » 4.6 in 2.7 in 1.5 in 11.2 oz 320 n Nov 2011 699- i Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF2« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 10.9 oz 300 n Nov 2010 549- i Panasonic GF2
 
Panasonic GH1« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 1.8 in 13.6 oz 300 n Mar 2009 899- i Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic L10« » 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599- i Panasonic L10
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The G1 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 20 percent) than the GF1, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic G1 and Panasonic GF1 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 12 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G1 and the GF1 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the GF1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the G1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

G1 versus GF1 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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
 
Panasonic G1» Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000-21.110.346353Panasonic G1
 
Panasonic GF1« Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354Panasonic GF1
 
Olympus E-410« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.110.049451Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic GF5« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF3« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849Panasonic GF3
 
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 GF2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654Panasonic GF2
 
Panasonic GH1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic L10« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.310.842955Panasonic L10

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GF1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the G1 does not. The highest resolution format that the GF1 can use is 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G1 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic G1 and Panasonic GF1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
 
Panasonic G1»1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic G1
 
Panasonic GF1«- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GF1
 
Olympus E-410« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic GF6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic GF5« »- n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF3« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2 Y n Panasonic GF3
 
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 GF2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n Panasonic GF2
 
Panasonic GH1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic L10« »optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic L10
The G1 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the GF1 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the G1 and the GF1 write their files to 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 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
 
Panasonic G1»Y----mini2.0---Panasonic G1
 
Panasonic GF1«Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF1
 
Olympus E-410« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic GF6« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic GF5« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF3« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF3
 
Panasonic GX1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GX1
 
Panasonic G10« »Ymono---mini2.0---Panasonic G10
 
Panasonic G2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G2
 
Panasonic GF2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF2
 
Panasonic GH1« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic L10« »Y-----2.0---Panasonic L10

Both the G1 and the GF1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1 was replaced by the Panasonic G2, while the GF1 was followed by the Panasonic DMC-GF2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.


Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic G1 and the Panasonic GF1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (20 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2008).


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 720/30p video.
  • More compact: Is smaller (119x71mm vs 124x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the G1 emerges as the winner of the contest (5 : 3 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

G1 05:03 GF1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G1 and the Panasonic GF1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the G1 or the GF1. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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
 
Panasonic G1»+ +70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
 
Panasonic GF1«85/10069/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749- i Panasonic GF1
 
Olympus E-410« »86/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 699- i Olympus E-410
 
Panasonic GF6« »+ +-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
 
Panasonic GF5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
 
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
 
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 GF2« »82/10070/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549- i Panasonic GF2
 
Panasonic GH1« »+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899- i Panasonic GH1
 
Panasonic L10« »85/100+3.5/5o4/5 Aug 2007 599- i Panasonic L10
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Panasonic G1:
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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Panasonic G1 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 Panasonic G1 Panasonic GF1
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2008 September 2009
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 749
    Sensor Specs Panasonic G1 Panasonic GF1
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4000 x 3000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.33 μm 4.33 μm
    Pixel Density 5.34 MP/cm2 5.34 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-3200 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor Venus HD Venus HD
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 53 54
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.1 21.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.3 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 463 513
    Screen Specs Panasonic G1 Panasonic GF1
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic G1 Panasonic GF1
    Autofocus System Contrast-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 SDHC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic G1 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 Panasonic G1 Panasonic GF1
    Battery Type DMW-BLB13 DMW-BLB13
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 84 x 45 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 1.8 in)
    119 x 71 x 36 mm
    (4.7 x 2.8 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 360 g (12.7 oz) 385 g (13.6 oz)

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