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Wednesday, 02 September 2009

Comments

I hope it is good, I like the idea for the same reasons you do. I am worried about the AF speed though and I wish I could focus in real time, rather than an EVF. Hopefully it will be ok.

What I really want though, and I say this for about the thousandth time, is what would amount to a digital Canonet. This camera would have been perfect for me, even though a little larger, had it been a rangefinder, or maybe hybrid focus design.

Holy cow! This could be it. For the first time ever I'll be handing over some cash to Panasonic. I'm almost tempted to donate money just to compliment their braveness! Dear Photographic God, please let this be the one, amen!

Well . Bokeh is a rather nice name..

And this one (GF1) is a gem! Looks like a great street shooter :>

I've been using the E-P1 for a week now - it's not bad, but the 17/2.8 pancake is frustrating to use. It has to go all the way out, then back in to lock focus every time. Performance is the same when you use the lens on a G1 body (I have both for the moment) Oddly enough, the 14-45 G1 kit lens offers snappier performance than the 17/2.8 pancake on the E-P1.

But the GF1 looks like it could fulfill all the untapped potential of the E-P1, that fast lens looks sweet.

When I read about this on dpreview.com, I thought it would please Mike. This does look enticing. In another thread we were asked to choose between the newest Sony and Canon dslrs. For a number of reasons my response would be "I'll still take the D700," but I think I would go for this new Panasonic as well. Innovation can be sweet to behold (and to use!).

Alex

I'd buy it in a heartbeat if the lens were 17mm f/1.4. That would have made a great 35mm-e kit.

This should have been the first micro 4/3 camera from Panasonic, instead of the G1, which was IMO only a halfhearted attempt to please everybody.

But I'm with Juze: an EP-2 with fast autofocus and the pancake would be even more tempting (as I'm afraid the Leica version of GF1 will be way too expensive for no realistic reason).

Already (pre)ordered, via the TOP Amazon link...

is the accesory EVF compatible with the EP-1?

I hope I will not sound too much like a luddist, I haven't tried the camera and just saw it on internet. But looking at the specifications, it really sounds like m4/3 goes the opposite way I would like to. They bring stupid stuff from point and shoots (who on earth needs face recognition? if you can't recognize a face by yourself you should worry about more serious stuff than making photos in any case) while useful, basic things are missing (optical viewfinder, sealed body,...). And you pay for that pieces of badly designed, anti-ergonomic software, don't forget it! I hope it makes great pictures, but I think it will still get on your way like any other point and shoot, or other Gs. Some minimalism would improve our lives, not only cameras.
And, I may be biased by the use of sturdy leica R lenses on Pentax K10D, but that flash is going to break after 5 minutes in my pocket ;-)

...and they are designing an 14/2.8 pancake as well at the moment - for release next year (along with an 8 mm fish-eye and a 100-300 tele-zoom, neither of which appeal to me). But the 14/2.8, 20/1.7, and 45/2.8 combo perfectly fits my Minolta CLE kit of yesteryear :-) I want it too, I think :-)

Soeren


Santa are you taking orders already? Please pencil me down for one! Honestly, this is the first time I'm honsetly considering spending part of my camera/lens budget on something other than yet another Nikon product.

I knew this would please you Mike! It does look very interesting and it is one I can not wait to get my hands on to try. I like the styling from this more than the EP-1 as it doesn't coming from trying too hard to be cool, like the EP-1 did.

Is it a sign of the times that what looks to be the better of the micro 4/3s cameras, one that offers more to photographers is coming from a (relative) newcomer to the camera industry.

No, there will be no Leica rebranded GF1. There will be Leica X1. :-) Looks like their version of DP1/2.

erlik,
Those look like fakes to me. Maybe not. We'll see.

Mike

Well, I think that has made my day! This fulfills most of my needs of a camera of this type to around 95%, add DNG as the Raw file and it would be getting on to perfect; although as long as the files match the files of the G1 - which I have, then I will be very pleased!
Anyone have a price - UK price that is!

Whoa mateys, this thing is so far only a couple of photos and some specs. Remember how desperate you wanted the EP1 only to be disappointed once it was field tested? Give it some time.

If you go to the features of the camera on Panasonic's site it says:

Optical Image Stabilizer: MEGA O.I.S.

Are we sure this thing doesn't have in-body IS? It may be that the 90mm-e has additional IS in the lens because it is a macro. I can't see Panasonic stripping IS from it's bodies now.

I'm sorry to raise this perrenial gripe, but surely they've missed a trick by not incorporating a Contax G style viewfinder, which is not rangefinder but has cross hairs for focus point and switches through 28-90mm. I'm positive they are missing out on sales (me included) to the rangefinder users who would otherwise swoop on this.(I know this would be a hybrid but at least you get your eye to the camera which for many is an experience that someone must have explained in a thesis as being a satisfying way of taking pictures. Now that experience is increasingly seen as unnecesary, (does this kind of sit uneasily ?), even as a TLR and 5x4 user the viewing experience is more compelling than a squillion pixel screen). Yet again we are offered pretty much a choice of the same stuff: design departments need a breath of fresh air. Fed up, and the weathers awful here in Wales

Well, after some more research online it looks like the GF1 doesn't have in-body IS and that means the 40mm f/1.7 won't have IS which is a deal-breaker for me.

Everywhere states that OIS is dependent upon the lens (just like Canon's IS and Nikon's VR systems).

Hello Mike,

Looks like 8mm and 14mm lenses will be available for the m4/3 cameras in 2010.

http://www.photographyblog.com/news/panasonic_2010_micro_four_thirds_lenses/

If this thing is as good as the LX-3 but with the 4/3 sensor, then that would be just grand IMHO.

This has been a well-known secret for a long time. Like the E-P1 it plots a much-needed new product path for cameras.

I've no idea how someone got pics of the new Leicas but...

Wow, that camera is almost as beautiful as Panasonic's sample picture is ugly.

Mike, it looks like the trick with the Voigtlander viewfinder will not work, or at least not as you probably imagine. The reason being that the LCD can only be used as full-fledge viewfinder and not just to display settings / data. If you plug in the EVF, you have to look through it to make changes. If you use a regular VF, I would imagine you have an LCD shining into the holes of your nose (see Imaging Resource, they have a nice preview / shooter's report).

Aha! The image projects through your nose to the visual nerve, which... no. It looks like the EVF might be the better option here.

Judging by the samples, that 20/1.7 is going to be a nice lens. I will be happy for it to take the place of the rather soundly mediocre Olympus 17/2.8 on my E-P1, and happy to keep my sensor-shift IS.

An example for me of looks mattering. I like the appearance enough to want one and I can see myself shooting that black Panny/20mm combo in a way I never did with the white/silver E-P1 combo. When the E-P1 arrived in the window of my local camera store it looked so underwhelming I didn't even bother going in, this I will want to play with.

The site is pretty reliable, as far as I know. And M9 does look like what was leaked in the promo video.

I'm thinking it might be smart to hold out for one more generation. For example, I'm sure the Panasonickers will figure out how to fit in in-body anti-shake pretty soon. These are very early days in the µ4/3 game.

Anyhow, Leica is gonna slash the price of the M9 to $599 and make all this talk irrelevant. Some guy told me.

Few thoughts:
EP1 looks cool...a head turner...a serious effort in terms of design, if that matters to you...from a design perspective, i would say its very very good.
GF1 looks like a bigger digicam...an electronic item...a tried, tested, boring design...more of the same...NEW, BIGGER, EXTRA...
Who is likely be excited with a GN6 flash? Those who do, will buy it over an EP1 which doesn't have a flash...
I would like to prefer EP1, the new lenses from Panny can be mounted on EP1 also...
Why is EP1 heavier than GF1...almost double?

No 'scenes' on the Mode dial, just a single 'SCN' option. It even has custom settings ('C1' and 'C2')! Further, all important setting are accessible via dials or buttons. You'd think there might have even been a photographer involved in designing the camera, huh? :-)

The GF1 looks promising, although it's afflicted by one of the same problems the E-P1 was: a fat price tag. Amazon is asking $900 for it, which would only be worth it IMO if IQ were excellent, AF fast, and shutter delay non-existent...and if the EVF came bundled with it.

There is one thing I'm wondering about: With optical stabilisation gyros, circuit boards and AF mechanisms, how is there any space left for glass inside that lens?

Close, still no cigar. Need an OPTICAL viewfinder (camera companies, are you listening?) and an adult-size sensor. Not that little child's sensor that Panasonic and Olympus still believe is going to sweep the world.
A large-sensor, digital, Konica Hexar. Now let's see... who has those old Konica Hexar patents and blueprints? Hmmm.

jim wrote: is the accesory EVF compatible with the EP-1?

Highly unlikely. The reason there was so much buzz on the GF1 leaked photos was the little port below the flash shoe on the back of the camera--that's probably how the EVF gets the image from the sensor. The EP-1 doesn't have the port.

"Why is EP1 heavier than GF1...almost double?"

It's not. According to dpreview, the body weight of the E-P1 is 11.8 ox. (335 g), the GF1 10.05 oz. (285 g).

Mike

imaging-resource.com has tested the camera and compared it to the Oly and they confirm our hopes of usable AF and decent EVF.

Another VF alternative is the Ikodot:

http://www.ikodot.com/takealook.html

It's a wire sports finder.

Perhaps the designer could be persuaded into fabricating a 4:3 ratio model. And make it fold down too; street shooters can be little rough sometimes.

Valentín Sama, one of the main European experts on photographic gear, has tested a preproduction unit and reports that AF is indeed very fast

http://www.dslrmagazine.com/digital/camaras-evf/panasonic-gf1-toma-de-contacto.html
(Spanish only, sorry)

What I don't like is the aspect of the hurried samples he shows; even at 100ISO I see that watercolour textures I hate so much in Lumixes...

Since I already own a G1, what I'm really excited about with this camera is the lens. I see that Amazon is offering it for pre-order at $399.

I think the Nikon D60 and the Canon G11 just peed their pants! This camera is going to take huge bites out of the prosumer/entry-level dSLR market if Panasonic puts some marketing behind it.

As an E-P1 owner, some comments:

Love that 20/1.7, shame that the price that was thrown around last year was $525.00, IIRR. Would be nice on the Oly Pen.

The 45 Macro also looks great.....it will also probably cost $6-800! Grrrrrr

The GF1 has the EVF option, but don't expect the GH1's finder.....DPReview says it should be acceptable, but not superior. I doubt whether the E-P1's extra hot shoe contacts can deliver video to an EVF, so the E-P1 is likely a dead end there. The GF1 also has more video options, likely better AF, a flash, and a higher-res LCD, all pluses.

But without in-body IS, I'm sticking with my E-P1 and it's superior support for legacy lenses. I can use the Panny lenses if I want with the Pen. I also really like the fact that the Pen's menu and button philosophy is in the same family as my E-3 and E-520, which means I don't have to completely re-learn a new system. Shooters shouldn't under-estimate the frustration with trying to learn how to work too many digital cameras' controls.

Skip

Uh oh, guys, don't get your boxers in too much of a twist just yet.....it looks like Panasonic is marketing the GF1 to us CHICKS!

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&tl=en&zn=en&u=http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20090902_312633.html

Excuse me....I mean, us "spirited women."
Yay for us! Go, female team!

Oh no! Along comes the DMD at last, and it's meant to be a CHICK-CAM?! Better keep looking at those manly-beast cameras that Canon and Nikon keep pumping out, for now, just to be on the safe side.

You have to love marketing. I wanted one before I even knew I was supposed to!


Holy cow.

If it produces nice 8x12 BW prints at ISO1600 and f2 then I think that will do me just fine. I expect it will.

If it does then the M9 can wait for a few more years until I have enough saved up.

If not then I guess it's time to sell all my Canon gear and dust off the credit card.

The copywriters could have done better than "Art begins with a good fit". No, it doesn't. Still, it is a nice sounding camera.

I must say, I'm even more excited about this one than I was about the E-P1 - even though in this case I think we can know more or less what to expect, since the GF1 looks to be quite simply a G1 shoehorned into a smaller body. It has the same sensor (and not the multi-aspect one of the GH1) and the same processing engine, so the IQ should be what we've seen with the G1 (i.e., unfortunately not as good high ISO as the E-P1's, and the first samples seem to bear that), and the AF is as fast as the G1's too (i.e., faster than the E-P1's).

The only difference, really, seem to be the body size, so any speculation is moot, just look at the G1's output and in all probability you'll know what the GF1 will offer, image-wise.

Since Oly's 17mm seems to disappoint re: IQ, let's hope the Pana 20mm won't.

Still, it's an easy prediction that we'll hear the more or less same laments we heard about the E-P1, from the more sensible to the sillier ones ("Integrated OVF!" being a pet favorite of mine).

Ah well. Despite my own reservations about the G1's image quality (I own one), I'll probably get a GF1 anyway. I really, really want the E-P1's superior IQ and high ISO performance, but the sluggish AF, inferior LCD and limited OVF option may prove too much a hurdle.

Now, do you have sponsored links to Adorama, because Amazon doesn't want me to order one to send to my country? :)

I was just thinking about plonking some cash down and then I saw the price...

Seriously is it that much more expensive than the G1. So disappointing - would have loved to try it.

"What I'm not so certain about is how either the E-P1 or GF1 would serve as somebody's only camera"

If the GF1 has the speed and image quality of the G1 (which I use), I would say for many people yes. Unless you have special needs like sports photography or... not much else.
(Sadly it does not have the hinged screen which I really like on the G1.)

I posted a G1 image comparison with three other cameras here. (With extra data about Canon 5D in low light.)

You said the 90mm is stabilized. Good. But not the 20mm?
That's the downside of lens stabilization: they don't seem to be able or willing to put it in all the lenses. The dream combo of sharp, fast lenses *and* IS is nigh unfulfilled.

Ludovic,
Yes, it is:

http://www.adorama.com/?kbid=62193

Thanks!

Note that Adorama doesn't have the GF1 listed yet (as of 5:30 CT 10/2/09).

Mike

"Are we sure this thing doesn't have in-body IS? It may be that the 90mm-e has additional IS in the lens because it is a macro. I can't see Panasonic stripping IS from it's bodies now."

Jeremy, none of the existing large-ish sensor Panasonic had ever a shifting sensor for Sensor Shift stabilization. And that was, mainly, the biggest problem Olympus bodies had to adapt and use Panasonic lenses on Olympus bodies.

And now, my question.
Seeing how awesome Oly lenses are, who the hell wants any other lens on a 4/3s system? This is the very moment when a red dot does sell more than a blue collar, literally*.

And then, another thing on that leica rumours:

* 12 mp APSC CEMOS sensor
* Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 ASPH l;ens (equivalent to 35mm)
* Manual exposure operations (shutter dial/aperture dial
* Autofocus
* Built-in flash (this is the circle cover on top right)
* Bundled with Adobe Lightroom
* Made in Germany

Well, the lens on that body is a mock-up [unless the serial number and the oh-so-clear optics meant other things], but most notably:

The lens is not a 35mm equivalent [a 12mm UWA lens will be a very notable feature, specially when seeing that, even if the Pentax DA 15 L being so tiny, and the DA 14 2.8 so huge, both are still way bigger than that thing]. It is a 24mm lens, full stop.

I am starting to really doubt that any camera is nowadays built in Germany. Germans are just way to expensive. Most probably, this camera will be assemblied in Germany.


*Yep, Zuiko lenses are, literally, blue collar lenses. They do have a blue collar ring, now, don´t they? Pentax lenses are green.

"Panasonic somewhat goofily calls it an "Artistic Flat Design" at the Lumix website."

Only somewhat?

What about "A pallet of options". Must be a lot to need a forklift.

Mike,

OMG! The DMD! Hell just froze over. But wait for 9/9/09 before you place your order. After that, anything goes.

Chris

Reading Catherine's comment, I have to agree, maybe go even further - the world would be a better place if women designed cameras.
I'm sure we'd be spared the monstrosity that is the Canon 1-series user interface, or the unsightly lump of metal that is the E-3, compared to the lovely E-1.
Cameras tend to be too butch nowadays, and I blame it all on Luigi bloody Colani, who started it all with the unholy blob of plastic at Canon. It seems that since then, cameras have just grown and grown and grown, turning into huge, warty things, you know, like humpback whales, but without the personality.

Unfortunately, women do not have their priorities straight. She Who Must Be Obeyed is convinced that buying a washing machine is more important than buying a new lens ... Too bad she takes better pictures than I do, so I can't really her with "Well, but I *need* that lens, dear."

So does this camera has a focus distance scale anywhere? Because I honestly dont know how Mike was able to pre-focus the ep-1 nicely without one.

Mike,

You say this wouldn't be someone's only camera, why not? I'm not sure that it couldn't do what a Rebel or something like that would be able to.

Thanks for this!
Paul

It's not the first time a camera was targeted to women... Nikon did it first!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikon_EM

To quote:

"The camera was originally designed and marketed to the growing market of new women photographers then entering the SLR buyer's market.

"The expected female beginner photography market also failed to appear, as tyro photographers (including women) rejected the implicit condescension of an aperture-priority only EM, and voted with their wallets in favor of higher-priced Nikons or the extra features of less-expensive Canon and Minolta cameras.

I think this is your Panasonic DMC LX4.
any idea what material is body made of?
i would love a 24, since lot of my pictures are shot at that focal length :)

The GF1 is too expensive as a second camera for many, but perhaps the G1 + 20mm pancake (if you sell the zoom) isn't. With the pancake lens it's not that much bigger than the GF1. The grip protrudes but so does the pancake, plus you get a better EVF for free (but it doesn't come off.)

I think the G1 + pancake would be a great compact walkaround camera. I agree with others that the samples from that lens look great. G1 isn't as good at high ISO and lacks IS, but now you're starting at f/1.7...

Mike,

Just to make sure and that I don't **** up when I will order it (for I shall), I should copy the http://www.adorama.com/?kbid=62193 URL and order from there (when they finally list it)? Is that it? If yes, you can count on me on that one.

@Ludovic

Is there anything that I can help you with?

Sincerely

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador

[email protected]

Ludovic,
Yes, and thank you.

Mike

"The dream combo of sharp, fast lenses *and* IS is nigh unfulfilled."

*cough* Sony, Pentax, Olympus *cough*

But remember, Minolta did it first.

Nikon did it first!

coughPencough

in the very early Sixties.

BTW, prefocusing on E-P1 and, I guess, GF1.

I've just spent a couple of months with a Pen. There was a period when I used OM 28 ond OM 50 exclusively on it. You can use zone and hyperfocal focusing to your heart's content. Check here. The third and fourth, all the shots were taken with those two lenses. And there are some action shots in it, too.

@Mike:

A-OK. I just wanted to make sure (the URL changed immediately and I wondered if I had erred.)

@Helen:

Just get the GF-1 + 20mm/f1.7 lens combo listed on Adorama's site as fast as possible and that will be all - thanks :)

Well, and to top it off, after the EP-1, the GF1 and the announcements from Samsung, we have (apparently) another contender: Ricoh making compact cameras based on the Pentax K mount:

http://photorumors.com/2009/09/02/rumor-ricoh-is-working-on-a-compact-camera-based-on-pentaxs-k-mount/

If this gets actually released, then we Pentax users might be much happier in the coming years, using the same lenses (and the pancakes in particular would be adorable on a small camera) in both reflex and compacts (even with adapter).

How wonderful! All these "Large Sensor" small ones are making me more and more excited! I am going to make a big party when Olympus, Sigma, Leica (Panaso did it already) would KILL-Off ALL their DSLRs!! Please, Olly!
(Sorry for being so agressive - I just hate *Digital SLRs*)

Too expensive! Yes the idea of a relatively small camera with a prime fast 40mm FOV lens is attractive. Buy, my Oly e620 isn't a whole lot bigger than this thing, cost hundreds less, and allows the flexibility of an SLR system. Now if Oly would just make a few more primes for the thing......

And Samsung, too! So all we're missing now is Canon and Nikon releasing a "D10000D"?

Nikon did it first!

coughPencough

in the very early Sixties.


???

Urm... I thought the Pen was an Olympus camera, also I was not aware that anybody, except perhaps the military, had image stabilized prime lenses in the 60s.

Peter, I was talking about cameras for women as mentioned in Derek R's post.

The original Pen was the first camera targeted towards women. I know I've got an Olympus print (what else then? :-)) ad for Pen from 1961 somewhere here on the computer. It shows two pretty Japanese girls with a Pen...

I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned the Ricoh GR1 as a film DMA (decisive moment analog?). This was a compact camera that was smaller than a T2 (or even T3), yet was better featured and still had a great little lens on it. And instead of putting all the useful information on the top LCD (I'm glaring at you, Contax), its viewfinder gave you most all the information you needed: shutter speed, focus distance, and approx. focus point. And if you didn't have time to focus properly, it was always pre-focused at 2m so that you could get the shot off quickly at that decisive moment. No locked shutters during a misfocus (I'm glaring at you again, Contax). All of this "full-frame" on a camera smaller than the Sigma DP1, its digital knock-off.

Its only flaw would be that some people may have found its 28mm lens too wide.

If the EVF is as sluggish as on the G1 or other cameras of this type it will certainly not be the "decisive moment digital" we all hoped for. In that case it will be more like a P&S with a bigger sensor and lens mount.

Let's hope Panasonic has properly implemented pre-focusing at specific distances, so we can use scale focusing (see Ricoh GRD) for street photography etc. Add an optical bright-line finder and we may have something.

Steve:

I've been toying with the thought of removing the flash unit and the portrusion under it with the lumix logo, thus achieving a less minidslr-ish camera. The front portrusion above the lens makes up a lot of its percieved bulk i believe, and also makes it significantly less "pocketable".
What you'd get is essentially a gf1 with added swiveling screen, grip and fixed EVF (of much higher quality).

I put this off when seeing the gf1-rumors, but now with the price that high, and with the poor (and ugly) add-on EVF, and the G1 (instead of gf1) sensor it starts making sense again.

What do you guys think, would it be possible to remove the flash and just cut off the cabling and have the camera still working? I mean they wouldn't design a camera that stops functioning completely if the flash dies right?

Also: the gf1 might actually have exactly the same iso-performance as the g1, which further supports my project.

I must say, Mike, your thoughts about a 'DMD' are spot on. My 5D is rather burdensome to carry with me on the way to work, for instance. This particular camera is very interesting. I think I'll try to convince my wife to believe that 'she needs this camera.' :)

Matias, we are thinking along similar lines and that sounds very interesting indeed. But don't you think it is probably more trouble than its worth (re-sale value)? I haven't bought a G1 yet but am considering, so not sure just how much more inconvenient the 'SLR protrusion' is (assuming let's say you kept the pancake lens always mounted on it.) I imagine if the flash was disconnected the camera would still work.

What seems to make it more bulky is the EVF sticking out in the back. Had they pushed the EVF into the body a bit, then the hump at the top wouldn't be so bad IMO.

Can you explain why you think the T2 is not so good ? I read everywhere its a very high quality lens and camera !

I allready bought the T3 and starting to shoot with it :)

please

Mike,

I was curious about one line in the review:

"Of course, these cameras are going to be best suited to complement full-sized 4/3rds systems of one sort or another."

I didn't think that the m4/3 lenses worked on the full-sized 4/3 bodies.

If I pull the trigger on this (weekend will involve a trip to the camera shop to compare G1 to EP1 and see which size I want), it will end up being a complement to my Canon 1D MKIII.

Hey when you are 6'7" and weigh 270, the 1D series seems like a pretty small camera. :-)

I've also been waiting for what feels like forever for the perfect pocket size camera that can replace my SLRs/DSLRs whren travelling. I was originally drooling over the EP1 but I think now I am going to invest in a GF1. Much better options and lens choices, especially for the kind of work I do. Can't wait.

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