Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Review
Operation and Controls
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 offers a unique handling and operational experience, not out of sheer innovation, but in large part due to its combination of internal specs and external design found in the G3 and GF1 models respectively. The AF system is fast and reliable; among the best we've seen from any G-series model. The abundance of external control points along with a responsive and intuitive touchscreen interface make the GX1 a very pleasant camera to use, whether you are changing exposure settings between shots or tweaking menu options to tailor the camera's behavior to your liking. Users of any current G-series camera will feel right at home navigating the camera's menu structure which is laid out in a sensible, if not particularly efficient tab-based multiple page interface. Yet, with so may options that can be accessed either through the Q.Menu or one of four Fn buttons, trips to the menu system can be relatively infrequent.
Top of camera controls
Along the GX1's top plate lay the mode dial and power switch, in an arrangement identical to that found on the G3. Both controls offer resistance stiff enough to minimize inadvertent actuation when handling the camera. The shutter button provides positive feedback upon a half-press and the movie record button, while positioned very near to the shutter release is recessed into the camera plate to avoid accidental operation. The i(intelligent)Auto button toggles between the shooting mode currently set on the camera dial and either standard iAuto or iAuto Plus, depending on how its menu option has been configured.
Rear of camera controls
The rear of the camera offers a multitude of control points surrounding a familiar 3.0 inch 460,000 dot LCD, with the thumb wheel, AF/AE lock and playback controls most easily accessible with your hand in the shooting position. The thumb wheel copies the smaller diameter design found on the G3, and thus requires slightly more rotations when navigating through page-heavy menu screens. This is by no means a huge issue, but around the dpreview office, those used to larger thumb dials felt a noticeable difference.
The 4-way controller continues with recent Panasonic tradition (with the notable exception of the GF3 and its integrated dial) with ISO, WB, drive mode and AF mode controls surrounding the menu button. The AF/MF focus mode button makes a return, having been shelved after the GF1 was replaced.
The metal buttons and 4-way controller mimic those in Panasonic's premium compact models, like the Lumix DMC-LX5, right down to the silver-on-silver button labelling which is impossible to read in low light. We are thankful the GX1's buttons have not also been subjected to the same degree of miniaturization. Nevertheless, users migrating from the GF1 will find noticeably smaller control points on the GX1. In addition, its Fn1, Disp., Q.Menu and AF/MF buttons all sit flush with the camera plate. While this obviously helps to minimize accidental operation, some may find it that much more difficult to purposely engage them, particularly when wearing even the thinnest of gloves.
The Q.Menu button resides near the bottom of the rear plate, perhaps not the most convenient location for what we've long found to be a frequently used control point. All but the most dextrous of users will have to shift their hand from the shooting position to comfortably reach it. It would seem reasonable enough to switch its position with the Disp. button, as we'd guess that most users will access that button less frequently.
Minor quibbles aside, it's hard to find much fault with such an extensive set of external controls. What is perhaps most interesting is that the evolution of Panasonic's touchscreen interface, including a new Touch Tab feature, has made nearly all of the functionality of external controls available via the LCD screen. The GX1 provides an equivalent operational experience for those who prefer a touchscreen as well as those who would rather press external buttons.
|Dirt Hose by poppyjk|
|European bee-eaters by drvanger|
from A Big Year - birds
|Fat Is Beautiful Guinea 2008 DP by MarioSS|
from - Fat is Beautiful - (Woman's Portrait n Black and White+ A Border)
If you had to choose one camera to bring along for the ultimate West coast road trip, what would it be? DPR's Sam Spencer choose the X100F. Read more
The a9 boasts impressive capability. As more examples of it in practice pour in, Sony's claims hold up. Watch the a9 track and maintain focus on a rapidly approaching basketball.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more