Although far from the once-rumored "pro mirrorless" (which might actually be a contradiction in terms, I don't know), the new Panasonic GX1 just out today is actually a thoughtful refresh/update of the original GF1, one that includes the 16-MP sensor from the G3 and a new detachable EVF. Panasonic had taken the GF[x] line downmarket, targeting that line a little more toward the consumer snappers who buy mirrorless cameras in large numbers in Japan. That left fans of the original GF1 feeling just a touch abandoned. No more. The GX1 is the GF1's direct descendant.
I have just two main comments: First, being a refresh/update of the GF1 is no bad thing. I took to the GF1 like a duck to water, and it's really become my fallback utility digital, the first camera I grab for most things. I love the 20mm lens I mostly use on it, and the results are visually pleasing, with a clean, rich look, a little more rewarding than the "anonymous digital look" many other digicams provide. I also have a Panasonic G3 here at the TOP gulag, but I haven't taken to that one quite as readily for whatever reason. (Carl uses one of those, and as far as I know, loves it.)
The GX1 does inherit the touchscreen from the G3, which I'm suspicious about. I do not like touchscreens on cameras, and find the one on the G3 to be almost exlcusively a frustration, without redeeming virtue. I'll be hoping the feature is largely ignorable on the GX1, but it might be something that falls under the header of one the prices we have to pay for "progress"—we die a thousand little deaths for the sins of marketers (I'm almost more sick and tired of cameras that are excessively crudded up with marketing features than I can tell you, but that's a rant to reiterate on a different day.)
My other comment is that you should definitely not consider the new DMW-LVF2 to be an "accessory." The GF1 in some kinds of outdoor light becomes virtually like an early 1900s box camera—literally a "point and shoot," in that you just can barely see the viewfinder, and framing is simply guesswork. The LVF2 is articulated (I liked that much more than I thought I would on the Ricoh GXR) and detachable (like that too). Do consider it a must-buy if you're thinking about getting a GX1.
If you'd like to read more, Shawn Barnett has a nice "Shooter's Report" below the technical info at The Imaging-Resource.
The GF1 is an unusually successful camera, in my humble opinion—one that rises above the usual. If the GX1 builds on it usefully and doesn't sully its alchemical mix, then bravo.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Kevin Schoenmakers: "I feel you on the marketers thing. One thing I like about my Pentax K-5 is that its body is entirely devoid of marketing speak. No '16MP,' 'FullHD,' 'Steadyshot Inside' and that kind of nonsense."
Mike replies: Pentax has always been known for that kind of utilitarian purity, going back to the legendary Spotmatic and even before.