Panasonic LVF1

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by dixeyk, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I just picked up a Panasonic LVF1 form a board member (despite having heard all the bad things about it). I figured it was an EVF where my GF2 didn't have one and it would enable me to shoot in bright light a bit more easily. Well...it arrived today it arrived today and much to my surprise it does NOT suck. In fact I quite like it. Yes, it has it's flaws but overall I am quite pleased. I say this as the owner of a Panasonic G2 and former owner of an E-PL1+VF2 combo.

    First off, the LVF1 is freaking tiny. It suits the small size of the GF2 quite well. A comlaint I always had about the VF2 is that is uuuuugly and attaching one to an Olympus Pen body was a bit like putting a sidecar on a Bugatti. The VF2s size was also an issue as it made the E-PL1 quite ungainly (even compared to the G2). Next is the fabled crappy image quality of the LVF1...you know, it really isn't THAT bad. Yes it's nowhere near as sharp as the VF2 or built-in EVF on the G2 but so far I am finding quite easy to use and focus with. Now, it is a bit small but given it's very small physical size it's not all that surprising. I have even found it easy to manually focus with (and I wear glasses and have a vision issue with my dominant eye).

    It it perfect...oh my gosh no...the diopter adjust is way too easy to hit and the color looks a bit washed out (I'd love it if I could set the LVF1 to BW) but for a bit more than $100 (used) it's a heck of a deal.
     
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I just picked up a Panasonic LVF1 form a board member (despite having heard all the bad things about it). I figured it was an EVF where my GF2 didn't have one and it would enable me to shoot in bright light a bit more easily. Well...it arrived today it arrived today and much to my surprise it does NOT suck. In fact I quite like it. Yes, it has it's flaws but overall I am quite pleased. I say this as the owner of a Panasonic G2 and former owner of an E-PL1+VF2 combo.

    First off, the LVF1 is freaking tiny. It suits the small size of the GF2 quite well. A complaint I always had about the VF2 is that is uuuuugly and attaching one to an Olympus Pen body was a bit like putting a sidecar on a Bugatti. The VF2s size was also an issue as it made the E-PL1 quite ungainly (even compared to the G2). Next is the fabled crappy image quality of the LVF1...you know, it really isn't THAT bad. Yes it's nowhere near as sharp as the VF2 or built-in EVF on the G2 but so far I am finding quite easy to use and focus with. Now, it is a bit small but given it's very small physical size it's not all that surprising. I have even found it easy to manually focus with (and I wear glasses and have a vision issue with my dominant eye).

    It it perfect...oh my gosh no...the diopter adjust is way too easy to hit and the color looks a bit washed out (I'd love it if I could set the LVF1 to BW) but for a bit more than $100 (used) it's a heck of a deal.
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Sorry about the double thread (my bad).
     
  4. wattseee

    wattseee Mu-43 Regular

    85
    Jun 14, 2011
    Very interesting. thanks for the impressions.
    I'd been thinking about an LVF1 for my GF2 but got convinced by various opinions on the internets that its a dog. The knock on effect is that my VF-2 arrived in the post today and an EPL2 is on the way. It's not the only reason I'm giving Olympus a go, but it did add to the decision. I think I've got a bad bout of GAS!
     
  5. kahren

    kahren Mu-43 Regular

    145
    Mar 21, 2010
    that pretty much echos my take on it, except i never tried manual focusing on it, as i thought that would be too difficult. i see the lvf1 as an option to shoot at eye level with added stability vs having to use the LCD. this changes the angle of the photos you will be taking and can help in those times when the LCD might be difficult to use, like during a bright day (thought i haven't had too much trouble with my gf2)


    P.S.
    i really wish more cameras would come with tilt LCD for waist level, as the nex and e-pl3.
    i think i find them even more useful then the EVF, and having both would be
    really great, which will in turn give you options as to which you want to use
    for the situation at hand.
     
  6. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Hi,

    As I posted in other threads I just bought a new GF1 with 20mm, more for the 20 attached to it than the body. But I'm ending up loving it also because it is white:wink:

    Now I'm looking for a used LVF1 and here in Italy it seems impossibile ti find one, new i costs a fortune.
    I also was hesitating because I heard that it would be dismissed for a better one and for reading about all the issues against it.
    Not reading your expeience comforts me. I also have sight problems and a big issue with my dominant eye so I use my left one.

    The biiger question I ask is: is it really comfortable manual focusing with legacy lens? I read that this is nearlly impossible, but youy say otherwise and I trust user experince.

    Can you give me more feedback?

    Thanks
     
  7. garfield_cz

    garfield_cz Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Jul 9, 2011
    Czech Republic
    Pavel
    While focusing you can magnify selected focus area in two steps so you can focus precisely. Of course it is not as comfortable as on old cameras with focusing aids ;)
     
  8. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    I totally agree :2thumbs:
     
  9. dapipoy

    dapipoy Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Mar 31, 2011
    midlands, uk
    i received mine for my gf1 and tested yesterday shooting the streets. im really happy with it. the low resolution might be a problem with manual focusing, but i use G1 for legacy lenses.
     
  10. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Joe
    I like many here wasn't so sure about buying the LVF1 simply off the back of some less than complimentary reviews, but after a horrible session of trying to shoot in bright daylight I decided to bite the bullet and get one. Glad I did !!!!

    No its not perfect....the image is as many say, lacking a little sharpness and colours seem a little washed out. BUT, after using it for a few weeks I couldn't possibly imagine not having one. Apart from the huge benefit of having the extra contact point for stabilization, it can save the day in bright conditions. Mine is almost always attached during day times.

    Perfect ? ...no.
    Essential ? ...YES.

    PS. Having now had my GF1 for a couple of months and having an LVF1 for a few weeks, I can say with absolute certainty that my next mu43 camera MUST have a built in viewfinder :wink:
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I don't find it that bad focusing legacy lenses with it. No, it's not nearly as big and bright as the EVF on the G2 or the Olympus VF2 but I find that if you have the diopter adjusted correctly it is quite useable for focus. Clicking on the thumbwheel magnifies the image also helps. Oddly the hardest thing to get used to is that the image in the LVF1 is smaller but rather than hate it for what it is not I prefer to appreciate it for what it is...a very useful addition to a terrific line of cameras.
     
  12. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    The image is smaller but covers 100% view, right?
     
  13. c5karl

    c5karl Mu-43 Regular

    144
    May 31, 2011
    Fairfax, Va., USA
    Judging from the specs, it looks like it's the same as the EVF in the G10, which is nothing to rave about but perfectly usable in most situations. If it really is the same viewfinder, I'd agree that it's a great value for $100 or so.
     
  14. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I tried liking the LVF-1, but it literally gave me a headache when using it. The small screen didn't bother me much either, but after looking through the VF it made my head hurt.
     
  15. aw614

    aw614 Mu-43 Regular

    122
    Mar 19, 2011
    Im probably going to try to get one eventually, Im used to LCD focusing, but if it makes focusing manually with legacy lenses I might give it a shot.
     
  16. garfield_cz

    garfield_cz Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Jul 9, 2011
    Czech Republic
    Pavel
    I absolutely agree, but there is tilt possibility which I will definitively miss on any built in viewfinder. Frequently I am finding myself using it tilted when mounted on monopod or tripod. Overall I am very pleased with image quality produced by LVF1 and 100% coverage definitely beats most built in optical viewfinders on point and shoot (e.g. Canon G11) :wink:
     
  17. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    ...and even most entry-level DSLr's
     
  18. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I don't know but it sure seems like it.
     
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Well it's certainly not going to be everyone's cup of tea but try as I might I cannot get comfortable with using just the LCD. Maybe it's a crutch but I really like using a VF of some sort. That said I can see the small image being an issue for some.
     
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I really do think the LVF1 has gotten a bad reputation and I am not at all sure it is deserved. It's not perfect but for what it is I think it is a very nice product. When I had an Olympus PEN and VF2 all I ever heard was how much better than the crappy LVF1 the VF2 was...well having had both now I believe that is incorrect. The VF2 is higher resolution, has more saturated color and has a much bigger image to look at. That said, it is also almost twice as much (even used) is quite large and IMHO looks very much out of place on the Olympus bodies (although I admit that last one is purely subjective). They both have the same sorts of controls, adjustments and both flip up to 90 degrees. Also...I may be mistaken about this but I think the LVF1 does a bit better in low light than the VF2 did (perhaps the lower resolution helps with that).

    My point is that the LVF1 is a terrific value. It has made my GF2 a lot more useable in a larger variety of situations and it didn't cost me an arm and a leg. I consider it money well spent and would happily recommend it to anyone with a GF1 or GF2 (or even an LX5). Sometimes it isn't about the specifications. On paper the VF2 is far and away a better EVF but in practice they are closer than you might think.