Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Picked up a Panasonic GF1

In a previous post about selling my Canon G10. Since then the Panasonic LX-5, Canon G12, Canon S95 and a few other cameras have been released (and since originally writing this the GF2). I looked at each one very carefully. All three cameras are very similar to their previous generations. The Canon's add 720p video. And it looks pretty darn good. But I still have the same issues as before:

- slow autofocus
- unusable past ISO 200

So in good light you get great photos but in mediocre to terrible light you get terrible photos. For the primary intended use of this camera, family photos, mediocre to terrible light is the norm. I was about to plunk down the cash and buy the Panasonic LX-5 and then I noticed the Panasonic GF1 has a serious price drop. Then it dropped again. So a couple weeks back I went for it and I couldn't be happier! I'll post some photos soon but the autofocus while not on par with an SLR it is really good. The image quality and low ISO while not on par with an SLR is really good too. The video is amazing. And the size of the unit while not a pants pocketable camera it can fit in a jacket or sweatshirt pocket without any problems. I've had small Elph cameras and I have never put them in my jeans pocket so I didn't consider the small size of the S95 much of a benefit. In fact, my large hands had a hard time using the S95 which is another reason I opted for the GF1.

I have a small lens case for an 85mm lens that it fits in quite comfortably. I used the same lens case for the G10. Both cameras are very similar in size except for the protruding lens. I opted for the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens. Someday I'll buy the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5. Probably when I do my next epic outdoor trip this Winder.

For family photos I've been carrying around the Canon 5D with the 50mm f/1.8 but the GF1 + 20mm is much much smaller. For long outdoor trips I have been using the Canon 5D with the 24-105. I think if I get the 14mm I'd be happy to carry the GF1 instead.

I do have a few complaints. The nob on the back is a little hard to rotate. The grip on it seems to be a little to rounded. And for some reason the autorotate of the images is tied to the lens and the 20mm lens doesn't have that feature.

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