I just received my Panasonic GF1 and 20mm f/1.7 lens from Amazon. I’ve been wanting one since it was announced… and I finally scrimped and saved enough to justify the fairly high cost. I’m going to start posting some images and thoughts about the camera as I get more familiar with it.
Trying to get a deal…
I like to get a good deal. After shopping around at Keh and B&H for a used GF1, I came upon a camera at Amazon Warehouse Deals. It was listed as “Used/Good” condition for $777. I decided to roll the dice and try to save $122 . A week later the camera has arrived. I opened the box to find everything I was supposed to, without any obvious wear or tear on the camera (the box was a little worn). I popped in my memory card and took a shot which got numbered around 350 proving that the camera had definitely taken a few shots in someone else’s hands. I tested out the camera and lens, and decided it was a keeper. Since the camera is not an officially refurbished one and had the warranty card in the box, I’m hoping that Panasonic will honor the 1 year warranty if anything crops up.
Out with the old
I’ve been using a Canon G9 for some time as my everyday shooter. In general, I’ve been pretty happy with it. It’s main shortcomings are in the responsiveness department, lack of dynamic range… and noise above ISO 200. The lens is a little slow, but pretty darn sharp around f/5.6. I haven’t been overly impressed with the image stabilization, finding my self shooting 3 or 4 images to make sure I got a sharp one at lower shutter speeds. Overall, the G9 has been the best point and shoot I ever owned… I’m letting my wife take ownership if she wants too, otherwise it’s going up for sale to help pay for the GF1.
GF1 Initial Impressions
I’ve only had the camera for one full day, but I’m going to give my initial gut reaction.
First the downsides…
- With the 20mm attached i the camera is slightly bigger than I expected
- When shooting in spot focus mode, the buttons move the focus area, and don’t give you direct access to settings like ISO. *** Edited – See comments below for the setting to change this behavior. Thanks David!
- Shooting with the lcd is ok, but glare has already been an issue on the first day. I don’t plan on buying the hot shoe evf, but an optical finder for the 20mm may be in my future.
And then the upsides:
- As all of the reviews of the 20mm f/1.7 have already said… Wow! It really is a super lens. Click the shot below for a full res crop @ f/4
- Auto focus is fast and accurate… impressive for contrast detection AF.
- When processed in Lightroom 3 Beta 2… the images are looking great.
The GF1 is an interesting camera. I don’t see myself buying many lenses for it… maybe a fast wide prime at some point. I don’t see it replacing my D200… but I’ll have to see how often the SLR gets taken along now. Without the 20mm 1.7, I don’t think the GF1 would be nearly as compelling
All of the GF1 photos in this post were processed with Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta 2. I just started playing with it to process the photos from the new camera… and I’m very impressed so far. The free beta is available for download at Adobe Labs… If you are a GF1 user and you shoot raw images… check it out.