GF1.... a very cool little machine

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Holmes375, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2010
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    I'm a Nikon DSLR guy, recently tried the GH2 and picked up a nice clean second hand GF2 for portability.

    The GH2 is a very nice camera in many ways but its not going to replace my DSLR. I sold it and will sell my 14-45 and 100-300 soon.

    I have a 14mm & 20mm I planned on using with the GF2 but I just didn't warm up to that camera.

    I had run across a nice GF1 that was advertised as in like-new condition. I splurged and ordered it since many have elevated the oldie goldie to near cult status. The seller got tied up with business and shipping was delayed. Just received it today after having decided to leave m43 and stay with the DSLR kit.

    Unboxed the GF1 and wow - it did look like a brand new camera. After fiddling around with it a bit I knew I was going to have a hard time parting with this machine. Similar to the GF2 yet very different. Fit my hand better and, by the gods, a real mode dial up topside! Good stuff for an old school fellow. I was surprised at its heft, quite the little chunk that GF1 is. Feels sturdy, reliable.

    The GF2 is a nice camera in its own right and probably superior to its older sibling in most technical respects but I'm going to sell it. The GF1 feels right and I've never had a small camera feel that way in my hand. Hard to explain really what it is about it.

    Think I'll hold back the two pancakes to keep the GF1 company and see how these go for landscape/cityscape stuff where the DSLR really has no dramatic advantage.

    So much for my escape from m43 :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 3
  2. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    I absolutely agree with you: I have my GF1 since a year ago and now I have just completed the "triad" (14, 20 and 45). I'm really pleased.
  3. magicianhisoka

    magicianhisoka Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 8, 2011
    the 45mm i just got today just breathed fresh air into my GF1. learning to love it again
  4. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    You descibed wery well what GF1 is all about. Some magic.
  5. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    It could maybe be improved by adding another dial, letting you use the function button for stuff that's actually useful, and having a better sensor (it is left in the dust in this regard by newer cameras, particularly the NEX ones). It has some pretty serious limitations in video mode too. I love it though, pound for pound the best camera you can buy imo. Hope they make a proper successor eventually.
  6. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    As I said in the G2 photo thread: unless you have a GH1, GH2, or G3, all of the Panasonic cameras have identical image quality. If the GF1 feels right to you, then by all means don't worry that it's "last generation." Panasonic is just trying to feel out the market, to determine the best ergonomics/features for healthy profits. It's not like with our Nikons, where every new generation camera is a leap forward in every respect. Whether you're using a GF1 or a brand-new GF3, you have exactly the same sensor to work with, with effectively the same image processing. The GF2's advantages are mostly video-related, along with the touchscreen, so from a purely photographer's standpoint, you aren't really losing anything by sticking with the GF1.

    I can see why you like the camera. It's the reason for me that the scaled-down G3 isn't a complete upgrade to my G2, after playing with it here in Austin. I didn't agree with the cost-cutting measures taken, despite the advanced sensor.
  7. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    Only because it seems that today you can no longer take pictures if you do not have a camera that can be used for at least at 6400iso.
  8. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    There are two things overrated in todays photographers advertising and they are really mostly due to marketing: MP and ISO.
    It seems like if a camera doesn't have 123,456 MP and 34567,789 Iso it's a crap camera.

    High iso is good many MP are good, but in a healthyt way and not only for selling new bodies that no one really needs.IMHO

    Other question is if you're a prof.
  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    While the ISO performance of our cameras do heavily suffer, realistically there is also a bit low latitude with regards to dynamic range. It would be welcome to have a little more shoulder for those shadows/highlights.

    I do agree with you though, too much importance is placed on high ISO shooting. It's become the megapixel race of the camera market.
  10. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I agree with you: there are areas where the companies should put their efforts for real improvements. DR is one of them and even (if possible I don't know) on improving noise at moderate to high iso. I mean a cleaner 1600 iso is better then a noisy 3200 iso. And really I'm one who thought that high iso were necessary for me beacuse I often shoot in churches that are not places where the is a bright sunny light. Well I had to admitt I was wrong. Yes a FF would be better, but with the 20mm I do all I need. And with a bright zoom that I argue will be released in sometime in the future for m4/3 I think most of our needs will be fitted.

    Obviously I'm not a prof.
  11. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    hrm, I actually like the GF2 in my hands vs the GF1. That is purely in it's off state.. I didn't get a chance to actually use the GF2 in the store, so who knows otherwise =) But I certainly don't like where the GF3 went. I really hope panasonic is listening and really push something based on the GF1 in the future.
  12. kahren

    kahren Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 21, 2010
    I felt completely opposite with the gf1 vs gf2. I never liked how the gf1 fit in the hand while carrying it with the palm against the back LCD. I thought the gf1 was too big for no reason, where gf2 was a more compact camera that trimmed some fat off. The touch screen being very nice feature to pick the focus point instead of focus and recompose and overall was a faster camera to use. i guess to each his own.
  13. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Well said. I feel the same way about the GF1, it's the camera that made up my mind on µ43. it just feels solid to me, in every way, like it'll last a good while.

    I'm glad you like yours, and equally happy that your sticking with µ43.

  14. Brettsoul

    Brettsoul New to Mu-43

    Oct 22, 2011
    I love the GF1, having been a SLR/ DSLR user and a plethora of other cameras for many years, this little baby just works for me, i enjoy it's size, perfect in my hands, with either the superb Panasonic 14mm, or with my old but mint Canon FD 28mm/50mm legacy lenses. I haven't yet got, but will buy the LVF1 viewfinder, i hope this will bring the true rangefinder feel of the camera to the fore. I've never been comfortable with the arms length style of photo shooting, i have a Helios optical viewfinder, more as a focusing aid when in auto focus mode, a bit hit and miss but i like the true camera style of hand held, viewing and the final shutter release ethic..Hell i'm a purist at heart. All in all i love the GF1 as much as i did my old Canon A-1 and my Contax T2.
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I had a GF1 for a while and really liked it a lot. It was a little thicker than felt ideal to me (the EP2 and EP3 feel just perfect to me in this regard), but its very reassuringly solid, the IQ in reasonable light was very good (although the sensor isn't as up to date as the GH2, I tended to get better results out of the raw files on the gf1 than I did the GH2), and it was very laid out in terms of having an incredible number of easily available external controls for such a small camera. And its AF and operating speeds were reasonably fast at a time when no other m43 bodies were. I ended up selling it for cameras with features I liked more personally, but the GF1 was the one Panasonic m43 camera I really bonded with. The others I've tried and owned I respect as incredibly competent tools but didn't enjoy to the same level - just never quite felt right to me. But the gf1 was always fun to carry around and shoot with.

    I really dug the LX5 too, btw, like a mini GF1 - amazing little camera. Sooooo well thought out.

    • Like Like x 1
  16. mav

    mav Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 2, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Real Name:
    I love my GF1, I bought it after 2 years of shooting with a 400D and the GF1 beat the 400D even in ISO performance. Sure its aging a little now with all these whiz bang APS-C cameras hitting clean ISO 3200 without a sweat. But the GF1 can still shoot ISO 800 without much noise so thats enough for me.

    Heres hoping the GX1 brings back the boxy look and mode dials and external controls I bought my GF1 for. All I want is that tasty G3 sensor so I can shoot a relatively clean ISO 1600.
  17. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2010
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    Cannot argue that. Better yet, surprise us Panasonic, and drop in the GH2 sensor with its lovely multi-aspect attribute. Tune the jpg engine a' la G3 for those whom shoot that format. And kit the whole thing with that new little fast focussing 18mm f2 pancake. :cool:
  18. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    GF1 Stalwart

    I was looking for a small "compact style" backup camera for my DSLR & digital rangefinder and when the GF1 was launched it looked like the ideal solution.

    After many weeks of researching and reading reviews and handling one, I took the plunge and got the GF1+20mm (later added 14-45mm metal mount) I can honestly say I have never regretted that decision!

    I can use my Leica lenses on it with my adaptor as and when I choose and the quality of image is superb.

    I have found myself shooting with the GF1+20mm more than either of my other cameras due to it's size, weight and quality of image and it is my first choice for "Street" even taking preference over my leica due to it being smaller and less conspicuous so many assume it is a compact and I am just another tourist.

    Mine will be staying with me until Panasonic do deliver a genuine GF1 replacement rather than what I consider to be (no offence meant) dumbed down versions such as the GF2/3 that are aimed more at the consumer than the enthusiast.

    For interested parties, you can see a whole series of my GF1 images on my site - link below.
  19. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    I came from Nikon, and the GF1 has really worked for me.

    The 20mm lens makes a perfect lens, if you are willing to get close, and the GF1 still works like a charm. Scott Kelby, in his book, “The Digital Photography Book” says that when you have to be ready for the shot, shoot in program mode. It goes against the grain, but it work. We like to set up our shots and fool with the camera, but at an event like a Renaissance Festival the subjects don’t have a lot of time for you to set up you camera, so set it to program mode. It worked for me at this years Renaissance. The 20mm lens is so good, and it cost so much less than when I shot Nikon, I can hardly believe it. This combination of lens and camera was all that I was going to use.

    The people that I am taking a photo of know that I am taking their picture. I ask, and then they posed for me. What I was hearing from a few was that they were flattered that someone would ask them to pose. Now there are over 500 actors at our Renaissance Festival, and hundreds more who come dressed to play the part, so it is a photographers field day. Subjects everywhere and all willing to let you take a picture.

    I only had one real failure with this set up. It happened really fast, when a young man and a young woman, kissed a third woman that was between them. Action lasted just a second, and as the shutter speed was only 80th of a sec. it isn’t as sharp as I would have liked. Every other shot came out with nearly perfect exposure. All of the shots were taken on auto exposure, and P.P. was in LR3 using Color Efex Pro 3.0 plug-in using either the polarization or skylight filters.

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    Images for books, magazines and calendars | photosbypike
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Nice set of images Chuck but I personally prefer to stick with my Aperture Priority preference as it allows me to maintain control of depth of field........old habits die hard.

    No matter which way you use it, the GF1+20mm combination is superb and if used with thought it delivers stunning results that please on a regular basis.

    Lets see if the rumours have bones and Panasonic does deliver a genuine replacement rather than yet another dumbed down mass market machine.