Feeds
80%
Panasonic DMC-GX1 micro four thirds compact system camera

Panasonic DMC-GX1 compact system camera

Micro Four Thirds maestro

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Pancake recipe

With the tiny new zoom fitted, the GX1 slips easily into a coat pocket and becomes a very flexible take-anywhere camera. APS-C based cameras, such as Sony’s NEX range may offer much smaller camera bodies, but the lenses are necessarily much larger, making them more bulky when fitted with a zoom. The GX1’s larger body, but more compact overall kit size makes for much better handling.

Panasonic DMC-GX1 micro four thirds compact system camera

A full family of lenses and compatible with other MFT makers

The GX1 delivers significant refinements over the GF1, with its ISO sensitivity now extending as high as 12800. It also does a pretty good job even at this high sensitivity and is a vast improvement upon the previous generation Micro FourThirds cameras. Despite its relatively small sensor – when compared to DSLRs and APS-C compacts – the results were impressive. Exposure was handled well both indoors and outdoors, and the auto white-balance did a good job of rendering colours faithfully under a variety of lighting conditions.

Even with tricky exposures, the GX1 rarely put a foot wrong. Difficult scenes such as backlit naked branches backlit or the subtle shades of clouds against a grey sky were most often rendered without any loss of detail due to overexposure provided the ISO setting was kept low enough.

There’s plenty of competition for the LumiX DMC-GX1 from other vendors, but perhaps the biggest threat comes from Panasonic’s own Lumix DMC-G3. It’s physically a little larger, but features an almost identical image sensor and broadly similar features minus a few physical controls. Lest we forget, Panasonic has recently unveiled the DMC-GF5 – a revamped DMC-GF3 with full HD video capture.

Panasonic DMC-GX1 micro four thirds compact system camera

The DMW-LVF2 electronic viewfinder is a useful but costly extra

The DMC-G3 also costs less yet comes with a fully articulating screen, and that expensive electronic viewfinder is already built in. If you don’t need the articulated screen, the GX1 is clearly a better camera but the DMC-G3 is much better value for money. Indeed, this is no cheap alternative to a DSLR, this is a serious camera which costs serious money if you kit it out with the best lenses and accessories – indeed these pricey extras do impact on the overall rating here. For instance, the optional DMW-LVF2 electronic viewfinder will add around £230 to the cost of the camera. And if the EVF and compactness is important to you, then there's always the Nikon One V1 for about the same price as the DMC-GX1 without the DMW-LVF2.

Verdict

If you loved the GF1, the GX1 could be exactly the camera you’ve been waiting for. Its superb build quality and ergonomics are matched with speedy performance and excellent image quality. It’s a little unnecessarily complicated to use and could do with a few more operational hints from the screen, but put in a little time with the manual and you’ll reap great rewards. Save a few quid and buy the lens kit with the new Lumix X 14-42mm zoom and you have a very flexible, pocketable camera with superb control and performance. ®

More Compact System Camera Reviews…

Sony
NEX-7
Pentax
Q
Olympus
PEN Mini
E-PM1
Samsung
NX200
Nikon
1 V1

Top three mobile application threats

80%
Panasonic DMC-GX1 micro four thirds compact system camera

Panasonic DMC-GX1 compact system camera

Enthusiast appeal Micro Four Thirds compact with a comprehensive array of physical controls and a touchscreen to boot.
Price: £580 (body only), £760 (Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm lens kit) RRP

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.