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Panasonic Lumix GF-1

<p>The middle ground between a DSLR and a point-and-shoot</p>
by Gelo Gonzales | Jul 29, 2010
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For photography enthusiasts who think that the traditional point-and-shoot is underwhelming and DSLRs to be a bit too cumbersome at times, Panasonic now offers a formidable choice: the Panasonic Lumix GF1.[firstpara] The GF1, in a nutshell, is a DSLR in a point-and-shoot’s body—or at least that’s what it aims to be.

So how does it do this? The GF1 uses a Micro Four Thirds system (developed by Olympus and Panasonic) which employs a DSLR-sized image sensor minus the traditional SLR mirror and optical viewfinder. In layman’s terms, the system is designed to cram the imaging capabilities of most entry to mid-level DSLRs in a relatively compact body. And it works.

This Spartan-looking 12.1-megapixel shooter can be taken to places where it’s impractical to bring DSLRs, without compromising image quality. Compared to even the best point-and-shoot cameras, the GF1 produces images with much lower noise, allows for a higher dynamic range and produces satisfying depth-of-field characteristics. Likewise, the camera’s quick autofocus system, and face detection abilities very much blur the line between what DSLRs and semi-compact cameras are supposed to offer.

Like many modern DSLRs, the GF1 is also able to take high-definition 720p videos. Video images look to be as detailed as the still images it takes, as it also allows full control over depth-of-field. has a video uploaded on their site captured using the GF1, so see for yourself.

The camera also offers two encoding formats for videos: Motion JPEG mode and AVCHD Lite mode. The former features high compatibility rates with editing programs but caps out recording size at 2 GB while the latter lets you record until you’ve exhausted the camera’s memory. These 2 modes definitely add versatility to the solid feature set of this camera, which also includes built-in flash, an interchangeable lens system and a beautiful 3-inch LCD screen.

It doesn’t look flashy like, say, most of Sony’s point-and-shoots are, but the proof is in the photographs. This one is for serious photographers too, and its rugged DSLR-like aesthetics, topnotch imaging qualities, and solid feature set should clue you in on that.

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