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Panasonic G1 vs GF2

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2008 and November 2010. Both the G1 and the GF2 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 versus Panasonic GF2
Panasonic G1 Panasonic GF2
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 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-6,400
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 460k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 2.6 shutter flaps per second
410 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
124 x 84 x 45 mm, 360 g 113 x 68 x 33 mm, 310 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-GF2? 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 GF2 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The GF2 can be obtained in four different colors (black, silver, red, white), while the G1 is only available in black.

Size Panasonic G1 vs Panasonic GF2
Compare G1 versus GF2 top
Comparison G1 or GF2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GF2 is notably smaller (26 percent) than the Panasonic G1. Moreover, the GF2 is markedly lighter (14 percent) than the G1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1 nor the GF2 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.

Concerning battery life, the G1 gets 410 shots out of its DMW-BLB13 battery, while the GF2 can take 300 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLD10 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Panasonic G1 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 12.7 oz 410 n Sep 2008 599i
 
Panasonic GF2 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.3 in 10.9 oz 300 n Nov 2010 549i
 
Olympus E-410 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Mar 2007 699i
 
Panasonic GF6 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 11.4 oz 340 n Apr 2013 499i
 
Panasonic GF5 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.5 in 9.4 oz 360 n Apr 2012 499i
 
Panasonic G3 4.5 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 11.9 oz 270 n May 2011 599i
 
Panasonic GF3 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 300 n Jun 2011 549i
 
Panasonic G10 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 13.7 oz 380 n Mar 2010 499i
 
Panasonic G2 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.9 in 15.1 oz 360 n Mar 2010 599i
 
Panasonic GF1 4.7 in 2.8 in 1.4 in 13.6 oz 380 n Sep 2009 749i
 
Panasonic GH1 4.9 in 3.5 in 1.8 in 13.6 oz 300 n Mar 2009 899i
 
Panasonic L10 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 GF2 was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the G1 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 GF2 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 GF2 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the GF2 is much more recent (by 2 years and 1 month) than the G1, and its sensor will 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-GF2 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

G1 versus GF2 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Panasonic G1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000none21.110.346353
 
Panasonic GF2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654
 
Olympus E-410 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.110.049451
 
Panasonic GF6 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254
 
Panasonic GF5 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861
 
Panasonic G3 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756
 
Panasonic GF3 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849
 
Panasonic G10 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152
 
Panasonic G2 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353
 
Panasonic GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354
 
Panasonic GH1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The GF2 indeed provides for movie recording, while the G1 does not. The highest resolution format that the GF2 can use is 1080/60i.

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 GF2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the GF2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic G1, the Panasonic GF2, and comparable cameras.

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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
 
Panasonic G11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GF2optional n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
Olympus E-410optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GF6none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Panasonic GF5none n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Panasonic G31440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GF3none n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.2 Y n
 
Panasonic G10202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
Panasonic G21440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 1/4000s 2.6 Y n
 
Panasonic GF1optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GH11440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The GF2 has a touchscreen, while the G1 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

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 GF2 does not have a selfie-screen.

The G1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the GF2 uses SDXC 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-GF2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Panasonic G1Y----mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GF2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Olympus E-410Y-----2.0---
 
Panasonic GF6-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Panasonic GF5-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GF3-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G10Ymono---mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GF1Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic GH1Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

Both the G1 and the GF2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1 was replaced by the Panasonic G2, while the GF2 was followed by the Panasonic GF3. 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 how do things add up? Is the Panasonic G1 better than the Panasonic GF2 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor 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.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (410 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2008).


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2:

  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x68mm vs 124x84mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 50g or 14 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 1 month of technical progress since the G1 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1 comes out slightly ahead of the GF2 (6 : 5 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 06:05 GF2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic G1 and the Panasonic GF2 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the G1 and the GF2 in practical situations. 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Panasonic G1+ +70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599i
 
Panasonic GF282/10070/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549i
 
Olympus E-41086/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 699i
 
Panasonic GF6+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 499i
 
Panasonic GF5....4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499i
 
Panasonic G3+ +75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599i
 
Panasonic GF382/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549i
 
Panasonic G10..70/1004/5..4/5 Mar 2010 499i
 
Panasonic G2..72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599i
 
Panasonic GF185/10069/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749i
 
Panasonic GH1+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 899i
 
Panasonic L1085/100+3.5/5o4/5 Aug 2007 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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 GF2:
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 GF2

    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 GF2
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date September 2008 November 2010
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 549
    Sensor Specs Panasonic G1 Panasonic GF2
    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 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor Venus HD Venus FHD
    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) 463 506
    Screen Specs Panasonic G1 Panasonic GF2
    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 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic G1 Panasonic GF2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2.6 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Panasonic G1 Panasonic GF2
    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 GF2
    Battery Type DMW-BLB13 DMW-BLD10
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 84 x 45 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 1.8 in)
    113 x 68 x 33 mm
    (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 360 g (12.7 oz) 310 g (10.9 oz)

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