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Change language on a Japanese GF1

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by parvenu, May 11, 2010.

  1. parvenu

    parvenu New to Mu-43

    May 11, 2010
    Bought a GF1 while I was in Japan back in September before it came out here in the US. It just happens to have Japanese menues, which hasn't been a problem for me. I'm slowly learning the language but it is not that hard to figure out what the different options are and I have aquired an English manual to make up for any confusion. However my wife has been harassing me as I promised her I'd look into if one could update the firmware in a way that would change the operating system to English. Might be a long shot, but I thought I'd check!

    Thanks in advance.
  2. hodad66

    hodad66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 27, 2010
    Indialantic, Florida
    From what I've read, unless something has changed, you can't
    change the menu language....
  3. parvenu

    parvenu New to Mu-43

    May 11, 2010
    Thanks for your reply.

    You definitely can't do it on the camera, but I thought maybe you could completely replace the software with a firmware. I knew it was a long shot.
  4. antonisphoto

    antonisphoto New to Mu-43

    Dec 29, 2009
    The GF1 Menu offers a choice of languages. In the export edition, it includes English along with other western languages. Maybe in the Japanese edition it includes English - besides other Asian languages?

    You can check by going into the Setup menu (wrench icon) at the bottom of page 4 (there are 5 total pages for this menu). If you can show us a screen shot, maybe we can be of help.

    And the latest firmware has just been released .... just in case!

  5. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    I looked at buying a Japanese G1 and so asked the seller. He advised the language could not be changed. The price was very tempting. Firmware will not add a language unless it is specifically mentioned in the new release (can't remember it ever happening).
  6. I have a Japanese GF1 and since, being Japanese, I can read it, it was no big deal. But I was told by the Panasonic rep at Yodobashi Camera that they purposely lock out English so that people don't export the camera outside of Japan. It specifically states on the box "Japanese Only" (in Japanese...) and as far as I know, there is no way to swap out the software either.

    The same thing applied to the LX3 as well and I will assume their other point and shoots too. Too bad since I know lots of people in the US who would love to get it from over there due to, if not the price (depends on the currency exchange after all), the fact that it's actually in stock and sometimes different colors. I picked up the GF1 and the pancake lens in Japan while the US was completely out.

    So yeah...sorry. But many of the functions are icon driven so...I can't imagine it's not usable. Good luck!
  7. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Sounds like Panasonic are as bloody-minded about their menu languages as they are about their batteries! :frown:
  8. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    At least my Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens which came from Japan is in English. :wink:

    It is a pretty low trick if you ask me in this 'global' economy. Some countries like Australia, all camera gear is overpriced because there is little competition and we are use to being overcharged (I guess).

    The requirement for only Panasonic branded batteries was another low point.
  9. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010
    You can tell your wife you looked into it, but found out it is impossible. Does this help you? Oh, Japan might look like a very open minded country, but don't forget they have two faces, so you just have to find the right one to talk to :wink:.
    - Actually at limitted locations in Japan you can buy Panasonic camera's with non-Japanese language menus, but there you will have to pay a premium or get discount if you go for the Japanese-only version.
    - In Korea I was actually offered Canon P&S made in China vs mad in Japan, with same specification :mad: .
  10. pengful

    pengful New to Mu-43

    Jun 21, 2010
    Hope this helps.

    GF1 HD 1080p 32Mbits hack - ClubSNAP Photography Forums
  11. Letrow

    Letrow Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Cameras should be viewed as a commodity. Everyone world-wide will love a good camera and will work with the same camera.
    Shutting out certain language options is a bad move in my opinion. Why would some customers get preferential treatment?

    Nowadays with Internet I can buy most of the goods I want online from stores all over the world. Books? from the US or the UK or Germany, depending on where I find the best price. Which is how it should be. I pay import taxes if I get something from outside the EU (I live in the Netherlands) and I am fine with that.

    Camera equipment? No way. I can't order from the US, but even stranger: I can't order from the UK or Germany or whatever country outside of the Netherlands. I am restricted to online stores in my country.
    I don't know, but can only guess it has to do with price agreements.

    I find this weird in this day and age!
  12. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010
    Is Panasonic the only company doing this?
    - I (knowing Japan a little than average) doubt it...
  13. yiddishyak

    yiddishyak New to Mu-43

    Jan 29, 2010
    G1 with Japanese menus

    I also bought a G1 with Japanese menus from Ebay not long ago. The price was wonderful, so I bought it. As was noted, the menus have icons, so most of the regular settings you can set...but nothing very sophisticated. (At least I havent been able to do anything other than basic photography.)

    However I will give the previous internet citation a run andsee if that works (to work around the software). At any rate it's not terrible, but it does limit one's options. (However the G1 isnt the only camera I have.) I was able to set it to bracket shots which is what I typically do with all my cameras, so I have been very satisfied with the camera's performance so far.
  14. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    I believe you can use the PTool (which GF1/GH1 owners use to hack the firmware) to change your Japanese language G1 to an English language G1.
  15. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Mine is a JDM and I use the PTool hacker to accept the 3rd party battery and open up the language menu options.

    I'm 99% sure you can do it in the service menu too, but I don't know how to get in there.
    (the reason I think that is because the shop I bought it from managed to hand it to me showing English menus)
  16. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 9, 2010
    Mine was a Japan-only special edition (pink GF1) and the seller hacked it to have English menus.
  17. joele

    joele Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 12, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
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