|Pros:||Great build quality, intuitive layout, super-fast autofocus, hotshoe, good balance of system size to image quality|
|Cons:||Expensive, power zoom lens zooms too slowly, movie mode outclassed by competition, battery life could be better|
Panasonic's division of its Compact System Camera range is spearheaded by the launch of its premium Lumix GX1 model. This aluminium-built, high-quality yet compact model marries together aspects of the consumer-friendly and small-bodied GF series with the hands-on, more advanced controls that are a G-series mainstay. The addition of a new power zoom lens takes the first ‘X' model into new territory - but this does also add to the rather bulging price tag. Is the GX1 a sensible choice for more demanding photographers or is it just a little too pricey and indifferent to its fellow G-series models to be worthy of purchase? The What Digital Camera Panasonic Lumix GX1 review...
Panasonic Lumix GX1 review - Features
The GX1 keeps Panasonic's super-fast ‘lightspeed' autofocus system but tweaks it a stage further for a fastest-ever 0.09sec focus acquisition time (as quoted by Panasonic using the 14mm setting on the latest power zoom lens). That makes it the quickest G-series model to date. A 4.2 frames per second burst mode also sees the GX1 as speedier than the G3, though not quite as fast as the top-spec GH2's 5fps burst shooting abilities.
Although there's no viewfinder the GX1 introduces a new accessory port that's compatible with the 1.44m-dot DMW-LVF2 electronic viewfinder (EVF). Good news for those new to the fold if the £200 supplementary price tag isn't an off-put, though it's worth taking note that the older LVF1 EVF isn't compatible with the GX1, nor is the LVF2 backwards compatible with older G-series models.
With the screen the main focus for composition the GX1 introduces a new level gauge for horizontal and vertical alignment assessment to complement the other array of display grid options.
|Panasonic Lumix GX1 review sample image|
Add to this a new 14-42mm power zoom lens and the overall system size is kept all the smaller. The lens only extends outwards when the camera is powered up and rather than use a traditional rotational barrel there are two toggles on the lens barrel to control focus and zoom. According to Panasonic's measurements this new, smaller lens is of no detriment to image quality.