PW

Panasonic GF1 Comparison Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in September 2009 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 12 megapixel.

badge

The GF1 has an Elo rating of 1425. The Camera Elo represents a comprehensive assessment of digital cameras, as derived from a large number of pair-wise comparisons of body, sensor, and feature characteristics.

The Elo rating puts the Panasonic GF1 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category – Four Thirds cameras – the GF1 also ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera receives a 2.5-star performance rating.

Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, and reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison with a credit card

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Panasonic GF1 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Panasonic GF1 vs credit card front
GF1 versus credit card top view
GF1 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic GF1 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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 GF1 119 mm 71 mm 36 mm 385 g 380 n Sep 2009 749- i Panasonic GF1
Olympus E-P1« » 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Jun 2009 799- i Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« » 121 mm 70 mm 36 mm 355 g 300 n Nov 2009 799- i Olympus E-P2
Panasonic G7« » 125 mm 86 mm 77 mm 410 g 350 n May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
Panasonic G6« » 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
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 GF2« » 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549- i Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« » 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 1,499- i Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GH1« » 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 1,499- i Panasonic GH1
Panasonic G1« » 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Panasonic GF1 was launched in the US market at a price of $749. 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 with a 35mm slide

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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Panasonic GF1 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Panasonic GF1 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Panasonic GF1 sensor measures

For most 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 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 GF1 Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354Panasonic GF1
Olympus E-P1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.453655Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.450556Olympus E-P2
Panasonic G7« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p----Panasonic G7
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
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 GH2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GH1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264Panasonic GH1
Panasonic G1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000-21.110.346353Panasonic G1

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic GF1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

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)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Panasonic GF1- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic GF1
Olympus E-P1« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 n Y Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« »- n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 n Y Olympus E-P2
Panasonic G7« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G7
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
Panasonic G10« »202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 2.6 Y n Panasonic G2
Panasonic GF2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 2.6 Y n Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« »1534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GH1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH1
Panasonic G1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4001 3.0 Y n Panasonic G1
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 GF1Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF1
Olympus E-P1« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-P2
Panasonic G7« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G7
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
Panasonic G10« »Ymono---mini2.0---Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G2
Panasonic GF2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GH1« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Panasonic GH1
Panasonic G1« »Y----mini2.0---Panasonic G1
 

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the GF1 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. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

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 GF185/10069/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749- i Panasonic GF1
Olympus E-P1« »Rec66/1004/54/54.5/5 Jun 2009 799- i Olympus E-P1
Olympus E-P2« »Rec69/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2009 799- i Olympus E-P2
Panasonic G7« »HiRec80/1005/54.5/54.5/5 May 2015 649- i Panasonic G7
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
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 GH2« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GH1« »HiRec72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 1,499- i Panasonic GH1
Panasonic G1« »HiRec70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Panasonic GF1 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the GF1.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the GF1?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Panasonic equipped the GF1 with the Venus HD image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the GF1?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200.

Can the camera be equipped with an optional viewfinder?

Yes, Panasonic provides the DMW-LVF1 as an accessory (here on amazon) that can be mounted on the hotshoe.

Does the Panasonic GF1 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp build-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The GF1's flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.

Which battery does the GF1 use?

The camera gets its power from the DMW-BLB13 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

 

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of 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. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

~

    You are here  »   »