Everything there is to Know about the New Lumix GF1

The GF1 has arrived!

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Panasonic has announced the introduction of the DMC-GF1, the latest addition to its LUMIX G Micro System lineup of new-generation digital interchangeable lens system cameras.

The new LUMIX DMC-GF1 debuts as the world’s smallest and lightest system camera with a built-in flash and has a classically styled body that is both elegant and compact. It provides the versatility of capturing vivid still images, and shooting outstanding High Definition (HD) video with AVCHD Lite recording.

Tanya Mudge, Product Manager, LUMIX Digital Still Cameras, Panasonic, said:

The DMC-GF1 is designed in line with the G Series philosophy of delivering SLR image quality with the ease of use of a compact camera. The camera has appeal to users at all levels of photographic expertise – giving you the power to be as creative as you wish in still and video capture, while offering Intelligent Auto (iA) modes that make it simple to aim, compose and shoot.

This camera is amazingly versatile. Experienced photographers will find the DMC-GF1 an ideal everyday camera, while those new to system cameras will find that it gives them the potential to explore realms of photography far beyond the limits of compact cameras.

When shooting either still photos or video, users can select from several preset filters in My Colour mode or apply a range of unique textures available in Film mode. In addition to the point-and shoot iA mode, the DMC-GF1 also has unique functions including exposure meter, aperture preview and shutter speed preview through the LCD or optional Live View Finder. The camera also features a convenient built-in flash.

The new GF1 joins the lineup as the third model in the revolutionary G series of digital interchangeable lens system cameras based on the Micro Four Thirds system standard. Panasonic led the market with the series’ first model – the compact, lightweight DMC-G1, with its convenient size and brilliant image quality. The company broke more new ground when it launched the award-winning DMC-GH1, which added AVCHD Full-HD movie recording.

The newest family member, the DMC-GF1 thoroughly optimises the advantages of a system camera to assure outstanding image quality. It features AVCHD Lite, which is ideal for recording extended HD video and connectivity with other AV devices. For example, simply insert an SD Card into a VIERA TV or Blu-ray Disc Recorder/Player for immediate viewing of AVCHD content. The camera can also record video in the Motion JPEG format.

Pricing and availability
The black LUMIX DMC-GF1 will be available in Australia in October, priced at $1649rrp with a kit lens included.

Lens kits
DMC-GF1-K with LUMIX G VARIO 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. lens $1649rrp
(Lens model H-FS014045)
DMC-GF1-K/PC with LUMIX G 20mm/F1.7 ASPH lens $1649rrp
(Lens model H-H020)

Panasonic has also announced two new G Micro System lenses – the LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm/F2.8 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S macro lens (35mm camera equivalent: 90mm); and a pancake interchangeable lens, the LUMIX G 20mm/F1.7 ASPH. (35mm camera equivalent: 40mm). The lenses will be available in Australia in October, priced at $1549rrp for the macro lens and $799rrp for the pancake lens.

The Micro Four Thirds System products are joining today’s Four Thirds System products to provide customers with even higher levels of performance in a digital interchangeable lens camera. In addition to LUMIX G lenses, the LUMIX DMC-GF1 and LUMIX G Micro System can use any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds standard via an optional mount adaptor DMW-MA1E and with the prestigious Leica M/R Lenses via the DMW-MA2ME or MA3RE adaptors.

Key Features

World’s smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera with built-in flash
The DMC-GF1 does away with the pentaprism found on conventional SLRs. This mirror-less structure helped Panasonic achieve a neo-classic body design that dramatically reduces both size and weight. Designed for maximum thinness, the DMC-GF1 is reduced by 35% in volume and 26% in weight compared to the DMC-G1, making it the most compact G Series model.

While the DMC-GF1 is small in size, it does not compromise on functions. It boasts a large, 3.0-inch Intelligent LCD with a wide viewing angle and full 460,000-dot resolution, so users enjoy vivid, exceptionally detailed images both when shooting and when viewing the results. The Intelligent LCD also offers extremely fine, automatic backlight control, which combines with the high resolution to assure outstanding viewing from sunny outdoor conditions to dim indoor situations. In addition to the LCD, the DMC-GF1 is also compatible with an optional Live View Finder (DMW-LVF1E), which provides a full-time live view function boasting 100% field of view regardless of the lens used. When operating the camera with the LVF, a 0-90 degree tilting angle makes the LVF easy to use when shooting at low angles.

Ease of operation was a priority for Panasonic when designing the DMC-GF1. The drive mode lever and rotary/click dial are ergonomically placed for operation with minimal finger movement. The precise button placement and simple, logical menu interface work together to make operation easy and intuitive. The DMC-GF1 is available in classic black, with other parts of the chassis crafted in finely textured aluminium.

Outstanding image quality
Outstanding image quality is a hallmark of the LUMIX G Micro System along with advanced functions and compact design. The 4/3-type 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor featured in the DMC-GF1 offers the best of both worlds – the superior image quality of a CCD sensor, and the lower power consumption of a CMOS sensor. Advanced technology that makes it possible to read 4 channels of data simultaneously also helps the DMC-GF1 deliver 60 frames-per-second images via the LCD or optional Live View Finder, while faithfully reproducing high-resolution images with fine detail and rich gradation.

The new Venus Engine HD features exceptionally advanced signal processing capabilities. The sophisticated image processing LSI separates chromatic noise from luminance noise and applies the optimal noise reduction to each, so you capture clear and beautiful images even when shooting at high ISO sensitivity levels.

LUMIX G Micro System cameras are equipped with a highly efficient Dust Reduction system, If specks of dust or other foreign matter gets inside a camera when you’re changing lenses, it could cling to the image sensor and show up as a spot in your photos. The Dust Reduction System in the DMC-GF1 helps eliminate this possibility by placing a supersonic wave filter in front of the Live MOS sensor. Vibrating vertically around 50,000 times per second, the filter effectively repels dust and other particles.

A range of features and effects to stimulate a photographer’s creativity
The DMC-GF1 provides an array of features that let users either capture precisely true-to-life images or create their own beautifully expressive images. The DMC-GF1 debuts an improved My Colour mode with a total of seven preset effects – Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, and Silhouette while inheriting the previous Custom mode, which lets users manually set the colour, brightness and saturation levels. With the LCD or optional Live View function, users can see how these settings will affect the photo before they shoot, making it easier to capture the exact mood or atmosphere desired. For even more elaborate effects, users can choose from a total of nine Film modes, and set the contrast, sharpness and saturation levels for each. A custom function lets users store their favorite settings in memory. The DMC-GF1 also provides a total of 16 Scene modes, including a new Peripheral Defocus mode that keeps the subject in sharp focus while gently softening the focus around it. These modes can be used when shooting video, letting users create dramatic effects without having to edit after they shoot.

The exposure meter can be displayed in the Program/Aperture Priority/Shutter Priority/Manual shooting modes. The correlation between shutter speed and aperture is shown, with a colour-coded warning that alerts users when the settings are not within the suitable range. For newcomers to system camera photography, this makes it easy to learn correct settings both visually and logically, enhancing their photography skills.

Create professional-looking videos using AVCHD Lite2, iA and creative functions
The DMC-GF1 can record 1280 x 720p high-definition videos in AVCHD Lite – with around double the recording time of Motion JPEG – while offering the benefit of using interchangeable lenses and compatibility with audio-visual equipment. Up to 120 minutes of AVCHD Lite recording can be captured on a 16GB SDHC Memory Card.

The action starts at a single press of a dedicated button on the top where most of the settings for photo recording are also located, making it easier to switch between photo and video shooting. HD Motion JPEG in 1280 x 720p can also be selected as an alternative movie recording format in addition to QVGA, VGA and WVGA.3

Everyone can record excellent video with the DMC-GF1 because Panasonic’s popular iA (Intelligent Auto) is also available in motion image recording. Optical Image Stabiliser (O.I.S.) helps prevent handshake when using high-powered zoom4. Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion so it always turns out beautifully. Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. And Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation to optimise the image.

The DMC-GF1 also provides a Colour mode, a Film mode and carries over 11 different scene modes from still image capture to video recording. Motion Picture mode lets the user change the aperture for more creative video recording.

In AVCHD Lite recording, it is possible to select from three levels of video quality: SH (17 Mbps), H (13 Mbps) and L (9 Mbps). A Wind Cut function is also available to block out most of the noise from background wind.

Contrast AF5 system supports advanced shooting
The contrast AF system adopted in the DMC-GF1 features not only accuracy but also industry-leading speed (e.g. approx. 0.3 sec with a LUMIX G standard zoom lens H-FS014045).

Users can choose from a wide range of AF modes, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, and AF Tracking. In the 1-area AF mode, the AF frame size can be changed by simply turning a dial. The GF1 also has a Quick AF function that begins focusing as soon as the user aims the camera – no waiting to press the shutter button halfway. This provides fast focusing to capture the subject before the crucial moment passes. Continuous AF keeps the subject in focus at all times.

Still image capture with a suite of iA (Intelligent Auto) shooting-assist features

Panasonic has achieved superb ease of use by continuing to improve iA mode – with its shooting assist functions that have proven extremely popular in LUMIX compact cameras – and adding it to the LUMIX G Micro System’s advanced imaging technologies.

With the Face Recognition6 function, up to six faces can be registered, and up to three can be simultaneously recognised to show their names once registered. Three face images can be registered for each person, to dramatically raise the detection accuracy. Once completed, if the familiar face appears into your frame again, the camera will display the name you specified for the person and prioritise focus and exposure so that the registered face is bright and in sharp focus. You can also specify the age of the registered subject and have both the name and the age of the subject stamped onto your photos. In playback, you can choose to display only photos that contain a specific registered face using Category Playback. You can also view image slideshows of only a selected person. Face Recognition makes sorting and archiving incredibly easy. This advanced system also digitally corrects unwanted red-eye during recording.

With AF Tracking, the DMC-GF1 can lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves – making it easy to get beautiful, clear shots when a great photo opportunity suddenly arises. Simply aim, lock, and shoot.

In addition to the advanced functions mentioned above, the iA mode inherits fundamental functions users need in their camera. These include MEGA O.I.S.7, which helps prevent blurring from hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken.

Intelligent Exposure optimises the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully. It now features an automatic backlight compensation function that activates whenever the camera detects the subject is in backlight. Intelligent Scene Selector automatically detects the four most common shooting situations – Portrait, Scenery, Close-up and Low-light – and switches to the appropriate Scene mode.

The user can activate all of these useful, convenient shooting-assist functions simply by selecting iA mode.

Rich options for expandability
With the LUMIX G Micro System and the growing range of lenses becoming available, the expressive possibilities are unlimited. The LUMIX DMC-GF1 system camera offers a wide variety of options to choose from to match every shooting situation and shooting style. Notably, the hot shoe on top of the camera allows the user to attach the optional tilt-shift Live View Finder (DMW-LVF1E) with a 1.04x (0.52x), 202,000-dot, 100% field of view.

Optional Accessories

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Live View Finder: DMW-LVF1E NEW $399rrp
External Flash: DMW-FL220(GN22) $399rrp
DMW-FL360(GN36) $549rrp
DMW-FL500(GN50) $1099rrp
PL Filter: DMW-LPL46E $209rrp
ND Filter: DMW-LND46E $59rrrp
MC Protector: DMW-LMC46E $59rrp
Mount Adapter: DMW-MA1E $349rrp
DMW-MA2ME $399rrp
DMW-MA3RE $399rrp
Battery Pack: DMW-BLB13E $199rrp
DC Cable: DMW-DCC3E $99rrp
Remote Shutter: DMW-RSL1E $149rrp

HD photos and HD video with VIERA Link connectivity
Both still images and AVCHD Lite HD video recorded on SD Memory Cards are easy to view on a Panasonic VIERA HD TV. The user simply inserts the card into the VIERA Image Viewer (SDHC card slot) on a VIERA TV or Blu-ray Disc Recorder/Player8 for immediate playback. Alternatively, an optional mini HDMI cable can be used to connect the DMC-GF1 directly to the HD TV for easy VIERA Link operation using just the TV’s remote control. This makes it possible to take maximum advantage of the camera’s playback functions, including slideshows in which both still and motion images are played sequentially, or calendar displays and so on.

Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0 HD Edition
The latest version of the bundled software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0 HD Edition makes it easy and enjoyable to view, edit and archive.

Still and motion images can be transferred via a USB cable for viewing and archiving on your PC. Using PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0 HD Edition, you can edit and remove unwanted portions of your video clips recorded in AVCHD Lite. AVCHD Lite recordings9 can be burned directly onto a DVD for HD viewing on a Blu-ray Disc player, or converted to MPEG2 format before burning.

You can also enjoy slideshows with a variety of effects and use your iTunes music library as background music. Motion pictures can be uploaded directly to YouTube using the built-in YouTube uploader.

The LUMIX DMC-GF1 will be available from consumer electronics and photographic retailers. For more information call Panasonic on 132 600 or visit the Panasonic website.