I supposed I have to thank (blame?) Danny for influencing me on this giant purchase ^^;. For some odd reason, I can’t seem to find any store (Best Buy, Sears, etc) that carries this camera so I never got to play around with it to make up my mind on whether to buy it or not. During the DC meetup at AX, I asked Danny if I could check out his GF1 for a bit and after shooting a few shots, I immediately fell in love with it… and my XSi felt lacking ever since. After coming back to Portland, I started my hunt for the best deal on this…
Intro: Think of this camera as a “hybrid” between a compact and SLR camera. While having the same (and in some instances, better) performance as entry-level SLR cameras and lens-swapping (Micro 4/3) capabilities, I also have the portability and light weight of a compact camera. WIN-WIN! The best deal I found was on Amazon which included a free viewfinder ($129 value). I am planning on selling it to recuperate some of the loss from the camera purchase though ^^;. I like how the box has no pictures of the actual camera whatsoever.
Since I know little to nothing about real photography and all their jargons, I’m just gonna briefly go over its actual usage and practicality for me compared to my Canon XSi. I won’t be going stuff like megapixels, dpi, metering, and all that stuff. The first question I always get about my camera is “how many megapixels does it have?”… I usually tell them I have no idea and that holds some truth to it (I don’t even know how many MP my XSi has). Frankly speaking, I really don’t care about MP in today’s cameras and there are way more important specs to worry about… like the lens. Back to the camera… It is certainly has a gorgeous looking body due to its all-black understated “serious business” look. Very solid and feels very rigid… think Thinkpad.
The overall design of the body seems to take a lot of consideration for its user;On the top- it has a hot shoe cover (which the XSi lacks), a dedicated video record button, and a dedicated switch for single shot, burst shot, timer shot options (as opposed to changing it on screen).
I like how the SD card and battery goes in the same compartment (the XSi has them separate). I like how the door for the ports is solid plastic and spring loaded as opposed to the XSi’s “rubber seal” that would eventually be pulled out of shape.
It’s like… the most sophistical spring arm design for a built-in flash ever.
While slightly different dimensions, the battery is almost as big as the XSi’s battery! The battery charger has an unnecessary cord… Canon got it right by just building the plug into the charger but the cord has its merits too; the lumix charger doesn’t obstruct up any adjacent outlets.
If you care about how it looks like while charging…
Oh yea… gotta make sure to pick up the right memory card too!
Relative to the camera body, the 14-45 mm (I don’t even know what this means) kit lens are a bit big but still smaller than the XSi’s.
The camera felt a bit awkward to shoot with at first due to a lack of an actual viewfinder and giant lens, it soon became a breeze to shoot once getting the hang of it.
I also picked up the “Pancake” lens too since I heard oh so many praises about it even though it doesn’t have Image Stabilization… and after taking it for a spin inside and out, I don’t think it needs it.
Almost half the length of the kit lens!
Now the camera looks more appropriate for on-the-run duties ^^
Makes my older SX100 looks like a joke… haha
GF1 compared to the XSi. Lugging the XSi around for two hours is probably the longest I would like to hold onto it. During AX, I had the XSi around my neck/shoulder for 8+ hours everyday and it was really tiresome dealing with the weight and bulkiness of it. My neck felt like it was going to snap off! This is when the idea of having the GF1 became extremely appealing.
Something I can’t do on my XSi – choosing aspect ratios! I use 3:2 for figures and 16:9 for outside/landscape stuff. 1:1 maybe for package shots. One strange thing though is that you can’t set ISO on auto unless you’re in fully automatic (ew…).
The greatest thing about setting the shutter speed and aperture is that this camera tells you the most effective range in relation to each other and according to the current lighting condition. So handy! No more spending time playing around figuring out which speed to use!
The colors are certainly nice and easy to my eyes, yea?
With the pancake lens
With the Kit lens… I really don’t see difference between the two in terms of “stuff to see”. Maybe I need to do more… >_>
A better shot with the pancake lens. I love how clear and clean the shots come out even without IS!
From the SHF Kamen Rider Kabuto review. All the shots of the last post were taken with this camera.
Random shot of the lens cap on a computer seat.
This night shot (taken with the pancake lens) is better than any of the night shots I’ve tried with my XSi…
Do you like Milkis?
How about some Curry flavor Ramune?
No sign is going to stop me…
Here’s where the real testing comes to play. I am standing the whole time with only one hand free while the other hand is holding a plate of food. Let’s see how well the GF1 does…
(Note: All the photos from here on are taken with the pancake lens on full manual)
The white balance (on auto) is surprisingly accurate to the real world… including the bluish overcast. I probably should’ve changed it to another setting to remove it though. Grilled chicken wings and masami sausages.
I love the pancake lens! It is so snappy! I usually take photos with the aperture set between 1.7 and 4.0 and shutter speed between 1/20 – 1/500, at ISO 100-200. I get maybe just 1 blurry photo in probably like every 30 shots. When using my Canon macro lens (which also doesn’t have IS) on my XSi, I get maybe just 1 CLEAR shot for every 30 shots (I blame myself for that though).
BBQ was at my sensei‘s house. Just about everyone at the BBQ speaks some level of Japanese since it was mostly Japanese people, Japanese students, Japanese Major students, and the likes ^^.
Grilled beef skewers (yakiniku) <3. My sensei is such an awesome cook… I could never replicate the taste and tenderness of his grilled steaks TToTT
Traditional Japanese summer activity during such gatherings, Suikawari. Pretty cute watching the kids trying to hit the watermelon with the bat ^^.
They did it!
The flower vase on the table. This is where the camera shines! though I wish I had changed the white balance first…
Nice soft bokeh yea?
Zoom in enough and I can actually see the center of the flower very clearly ^^;
I don’t think I’ve taken this clean of a shot at flowers before with my XSi… so I was pretty impressed ^^;.
That’s it for now. Definitely more to come later as I become more accustomed to my new toy. I’m having a lot of fun carrying it around with me and just taking pictures ^^. It’s so quick and easy to use outside! The smaller size and weight make using my XSi feels like a handful now but I won’t be abandoning it though. I’ll probably continue using my XSi for “studio” work (reviews) and the GF1 for everything else. Ugh… I forgot what else I wanted to say… oh guess I forgot to cover the ever-so-speedy auto-focus on this camera. Maybe next time ^^;