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Showing posts with label lumix. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lumix. Show all posts

3/24/2015

Panasonic Lumix GF7 review

Panasonic's tiny GF7 interchangeable lens compact squeezes in a surprising number of features

Amateur Photography - The Lumix GF camera range was once the starting point for interchangeable lens compacts, but now that Panasonic has the tiny Lumix GM1 there were few reasons to step up to the almost two-year-old Lumix GF6. That changed in January when the company introduced the GF7, a successor with a smaller body and selfie-friendly flip-up touchscreen display.

The GF7 is available to buy now, but seeing as we hadn't actually put one through its paces yet, we made sure to take a look when visiting the Panasonic stand at this year's Photography Show in Birmingham, in order to get some first impressions.

Looking at the GF7 side-by-side with the GF6 shows just how far the range has come in a single generation. The GF7 borrows more styling from the GM1 and enthusiast-level Lumix GX7 than it does from GF models gone by, with retro-inspired looks, silver metal trim and a choice of colours. It's also a lot smaller; you'll still struggle to squeeze it into a pocket, even with the 12-32mm kit lens locked in its travel position, but it doesn't weigh very much and won't weigh down your camera bag.

The mixture of metals and plastics are a clear indicator that Panasonic has built this camera to meet a specific price, but it doesn't feel cheap. You still get a built-in flash, and the lack of buttons on the back of the body aren't really an issue on account of the wonderful 3in touchscreen display. It is clear, responsive and, of course, able to flip up 180-degrees for those all important selfies. You can't flip it down or to the side, however, which may limit your creativity when it comes to more extreme angles. Naturally there's no EVF, given the size of the camera.

Panasonic hasn't skimped in terms of connectivity, with both Wi-Fi and NFC for quickly pairing a smartphone. We've used Panasonic's Image Ap frequently in the past and it works just as well here, letting you download photos wirelessly to your phone or control the camera remotely. There's no GPS built into the camera, but you can geotag your photos using your phone instead.

A pop-out flash is a welcome addition for low light shooting, but there's no hot shoe for adding a more powerful flash at a later date.

Underneath all the connectivity and features, the GF7 is still a very competent CSC. A 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, Venus image processor, 200-25600 ISO range and 23-AF points are essentially a match for the rest of Panasonic's Four Thirds cameras, so image quality should be on par with the likes of the GF6 and GM1 (depending on which lens you opt for).

Unsurprisingly there's a fully automatic mode on the mode dial, as Panasonic is aiming the GF7 at photographers making the leap from a fixed lens compact. There are several fun modes and effects too, but more advanced users will appreciate ASM modes and full control over ISO, shutter, aperture and other settings.

The Lumix GF7 is available to buy now for around £429, putting it in direct competition with the Samsung NX Mini, Olympus Pen E-PL7 and Sony's A5100. We'll have to wait until we give it the full review treatment to see how well it stacks up to its rivals, but based on a short play with it at the Photography Show it certainly has potential, particularly if you're after a very compact CSC that's designed with amateurs as well as enthusiasts in mind.

8/08/2014

PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 Reviews Updates

Enthusiast compact that features a built-in electronic viewfinder and 7.1x optical zoom

Rather than employing the same 10.1MP 1/1.7in Live Mos sensor found in the LX7. The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 features a 12.1MP 1/1.7in Live MOS sensor with an ISO range from 80 to 6400 that can be expanded to 12.800 if needed. The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 manages to pack in one of the longest reaching zoom lenses for an enthusiast compact, with a 7.1x 28-200mm optical coverage. It's not quite as wide as some rivals or as fast, with a variable maximum aperture range f/2-5.9. but you get that extra reach at the long end.

The feature that's going to cause the most interest on The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 is the inclusion of an electronic viewfinder (EVF). with the 0.2in EVF sporting a 200k-dot resolution and a 100% field of view that shares a similar if not identical specification to EFVs found on some Panasonic bridge cameras such as the FZ62. Complementing the EVF is a 3in. 920k-dot display.

With The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 designed for both those looking for a quality point and shoot compact and for more experienced users, The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 features a broad range of shooting modes including iA+ (Intelligent Auto) for assisted shooting, Creative Control, Panorama as well as manual, aperture and shutter priority modes.

The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 features both WI-FI and NFC connectivity options, while if you;re looking to shoot video, there's the choice of Full HD 1920 x 1080 at 50i in AVCHD or 25p with MP4 output, while sound can be recorded in stereo provided that you're shooting in AVCHD.

Design

The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 eschews the design of the LX7 and instead opts for a more sleek and unfussy look that's a little reminiscent of Sony's RX100. its proportions are a little closer to Canon's PowerShot S110 or Nikon's Coolpix P330 though, with dimensions of 102,5 x 62.1 x 27.9mm meaning that it'll easily slip into most pockets and the weight won;t be too troublesome either, coming in at 192g. It has a quality feel and while the curved edges mean there's no space for a hand-grip as such, it still feels comfy in the hand.

Unlike the LX7 which has a dedicated aperture control ring, The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 has a multifunctional control ring that can be set up to control aperture, shutter speed, ISO and Creative Control, meaning exterior body controls are kept to a minimum.

Performance

Whether using 1-Area, 23-Area or Face Detection AF modes, focus was snappy and only struggled slightly in low contrast scenes which is to be expected, though we'd be hesitant to use the AF Tracking mode on fast moving subjects. It;ll happily track a subject across the frame, but rapid or erratic movements from you subject will see tracking lost - but this is not unique to The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1.

The EVF is a welcome and useful addition to The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1, and something many people have been calling out for in a compact camera of this size. But there;s no getting away from the fact that the display is quite small, while colours appears rather muted compared to the ear 3in display and the level of detail offered is limited it;s perhaps unreasonable to expect anything more when you consider the size of the camera and the fact that it's unique feature for a camera of this class. Keep your expectations in check and the EVF is more than adequate for general composition, particularly in bright sunlight when it can be nearly impossible to frame shots on rear screen, making it a real benefit.

The rear 3in display is good, delivering a decent amount of clarity and crispness, though it doesn't quite deliver the same punch as WhiteMagic display used on the Sony RX100 or AMOLED based screens.

The Control Ring round the lens allows you to make quick exposure adjustment, while the flexibility to program it to a desired setting is welcome, with adjustment clearly displayed in the rear screen or EVF, Combined with the additional function button and the four preset controls, and you've got pretty much everything at your fingertips, though if needed there's a quick menu to access other key settings of The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1.

Image Quality

In most instances The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 will expose nicely for the scene, though we did find in bright conditions there's a bias towards retaining shadow detail at the expense of blown highlight, requiring exposure compensation to be applied.

Noise only faintly becomes present at ISO 800. Above this and noise reduction comes into play, with result losing definition in an effort to combat noise - at ISO 6400 results look distinctly patchy and waxing, though Raw Files are much better.

Verdict

While the LX7 may suit enthusiasts better, those looking for a quality pocket compact camera will find there;s lots to like about The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1, its compact size, straight forward handling, decent zoom range, great images, Wi-fi connectivity and the inclusion of a build in EVF all combine to make The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 a great premium compacts.

Pros

  • Build in EVF
  • Wi-fi connectivity
  • Zoom range
  • Resolution
  • Handling

Cons

  • EVG is quite small
  • Slow maximum aperture
  • MUted colours

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While the LX7 may suit enthusiasts better, those looking for a quality pocket compact camera will find there;s lots to like about The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1, its compact size, straight forward handling, decent zoom range, great images, Wi-fi connectivity and the inclusion of a build in EVF all combine to make The PANASONIC LUMIX LF1 a great premium compacts. PANASONIC LUMIX LF1
5 / 5