First, I want to thank DPR and Jeff Keller for posting this review, despite the fact that "my camera" didn't quite get a Gold.
We all weigh pros and cons differently. For example, no Panasonic before (or Nikon or Canon or Fuji) has missed a Gold because it _has_ IBIS (in addition to most of its lenses having OIS) - but just not in preview or video mode(?!)
I do see most of the listed cons as minor - the pros may have been slightly under-appreciated.
Now specifically regarding the tilting EVF - it's a bit frustrating to read reviewers who can't fathom this feature. I find it to be a great help. Here is a thread where several of us addressed the topic:
Whys and Wherefores of a Tilting Viewfinderhttp://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52233239
Also, I find the EVF to be very relaxing to use at the height of a sunny day here in AZ, clearly more so than using the screen. I have family in Seattle though; from my travels I understand that the screen may typically be more usable there.
M0P03: First impressions preview didn't make clear this line: Image stabilization "Unknown".
Stabilization is in-lens OIS as with other Lumix models (excepting the GX7 which brings in-body stabilization for non-OIS lenses). You can see that the GM1 kit lens has OIS; most of the non-zoom lenses do not.
Joseph Mama: I wish they could expand some of their bizarre statements, such as "The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 offers more bells and whistles, but you're limited to its fixed zoom lens and much smaller sensor. "
What does that actually mean? How is a 1 sq inch sensor "much smaller" than a 1.66 sq inch sensor?What exactly "bells and whistles" are on the RX100 that this thing lacks?
The sensor area ratio is closer to 2:1, not 1.66:1, and neither is close to 1 square inch: GM1 is ~0.35 sq inch, RX100 is ~0.18 sq inch. Whether you believe that qualifies as "much smaller" is of course a matter of opinion.
RX100 Mark II offers a tilting screen and a hotshoe/EVF mount, but plain RX100 has neither of those. I agree that the statements are not completely clear.
Marty4650: Hasselblad could learn a LOT from Leica.
Hasselblad takes a nice camera, puts a clown suit on it, and sells it for a 600% premium. Then everyone has a good laugh.
Leica takes a nice camera, makes it even nicer without changing anything on the inside. They just improve the styling, create a bunch of nice cases and straps, and include some better software. Then they slap a more reasonable 80% premium on it. At least relatively speaking it is a lot more reasonable.
Then some people actually buy it.
You have to give Leica credit for this.
Agreed. By the way, the only $399 price I see is a used or refurbished one from Panacam. I am not aware that Amazon has lowered the LF1 price more than about 5% here and there - yet. Of course, lower prices always come to those who wait.
Again, the price delta seems surprisingly low for this one. We are talking about an evening or two out for many of the people here, or a good trip to the supermarket plus a gas tank fill-up. Or one extra night in a hotel on vacation. I'm not saying $200 is nothing, but in my book it doesn't paint someone as a filthy vile bourgeois fool idiot.
I think I'm talking myself into it just to raise some hackles around here. I like the burgundy one (I bought a red GF1 because I liked it, plus people here ridiculed it for not being "pro" black. But I do want a black GX7 since they don't make red).
Marty4650: This has to be great for Panasonic.
Sure, a few people with more money than sense will rush out and buy a few of these new LeicaSonic cameras, and they will pay $750 or so for the privilege of getting a red dot on their Panasonic LF1.
However... a whole lot more people will buy a Panasonic LF1 for $399, thinking "this is the same camera as the Leica, for half the price!"
In the entire history of marketing the partnership between Leica and Panasonic has to be one of the most successful ones. Both companies have benefited enormously due to this partnership.
Leica gets to slap a red dot on a Panasonic camera and double the price of it. Instant and easy profits. Panasonic gets the credibility of a "Leica Seal of Approval" which helps them sell a lot of cameras under their own brand name. So everyone wins.
Of course, none of this would work if Panasonic didn't make great cameras.
You just won't see Leica slapping a red dot on a Kodak Easyshare camera.
Well, I wouldn't say that the P7800 is really a direct competitor to the LF1 / Leica C. The Nikon seems to be a good camera, and it does have the EVF, but it is much, much larger - much larger than an LX7 which in turn is much larger than an LF1.
The Nikon would compete with Canon G, or with advanced compacts + add-on EVF, or with Fuji X20, or with Nikon 1 or MFT cameras that have interchangeable lenses.
Size-wise, the most realistic competitor to LF1 is the Sony RX100 series, but then you have to choose a (much bulkier) add-on EVF or go without one. Next up for Panasonic should be an LF2 with further improvements to EVF and lens - Leica could have driven that and justified a really significant premium.
Marty, the premium in this case is surprisingly small, $699 vs. $499 (not $399 as mentioned by some). So this is only a 40% premium, or a $200 premium in absolute terms - hopefully the start of a trend with such pricing going forward.
And it does include LR5 and a significantly better warranty. I do wish the LF1 or the Leica C had a higher-res EVF, but the 202K was and is very common, quite usable though not special.
I've been planning to buy an LF1, now I will consider this one (I do happen to need LR5 as well). As I said elsewhere, "I haven't bought or really considered previous Leica-branded versions of Lumix cameras, but I'd consider this. I'd also brace myself for potential hostility from "in-the-know" critics while using the camera in tourist spots."Such as the hostility in most responses right here.
nathantw: I must not be as old as I thought because I have no idea what #11 is.
Very smelly as I remember.
Sergey Kostrov: Impressed by 60x optical zoom and it is clear that the 'Zoom War' continues.
>>...Viewfinder resolution: 202,000
It is really too low.
>>...Sensor size: 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
A pixel size is ~1.34 microns and I look forward to seeing real images taken with the camera.
If you check, you'll find that 202k for the EVF has been pretty standard for a few years. Only recently have a few bridge cameras (like the Panasonic FZ200 for example) gone to >1Mp EVFs. I had the same concern about the new little LF1 EVF, but I realized that I have a couple of older FZ cameras with 202k viewfinders, and they are quite serviceable though not high tech. Kind of like watching VHS tape.
Derek Bach: If you investigate you will find that Panasonic manufactures Olympus flash units.
Yes, and most of Nikon, Canon and others. It is interesting that Panasonic has been slow to introduce top-level features into their own-brand flashes, but that (and the high pricing) has been going on for some time. It may have to do with supplier agreements, and/or protection of their contract design & manufacturing business. If they start to lead the market with own-brand features, the return (some increased sales of Lumix flashes) would be modest compared to the risk of having Canon & Nikon taking their business elsewhere.