Panasonic Lumix GX1

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The Lumix DMC-GX1 joins Panasonic’s G series of digital interchangeable lens cameras and features a 16.01-megapixel Live MOS sensor, Venus Engine, built-in flash, hot shoe and maximum ISO 12800 sensitivity.

The GX1, like all the G series cameras, uses Contrast AF for its focus system, so focusing is controlled by the image sensor. Panasonic says when compared with the phase difference system AF, Contrast AF achieves higher accuracy especially when shooting with a bright lens with small f/ value. The company notes the accuracy of Contrast AF is approximately 90 per cent, while phase difference AF is approximately 60 per cent at f/1.4.

The GX1, says Panasonic, achieves high resolution through an optimal balance of resolution and noise reduction, thus producing life-like image rendering and precise auto exposure and white balance.

To further advance the Contrast AF, the GX1 incorporates full-area focusing, making it possible to set focus on any point in the field of view.

Touch screen? Indeed – 3.0-inch touch LCD screen.

The GX1 features an ultra-high-speed Light Speed AF1, which means it can auto focus in approximately 0.09 of a second. This is achieved by reducing the detection time for focusing by synchronizing the lens and sensor at 120 fps. Plus, the newly-added focus mode AFF (AF Flexible) locks on the focus when the shutter button is half-pressed; however, if the subject moves, the focusing is reset to get the best results.

The touch-control system lets users set the focus on the subject by simply touching it on the wide-viewing angle LCD. Users can even release the shutter by touching the screen. Once locked on the subject with a touch, the GX1 tracks the subject, even when it moves, using the AF tracking function. With a touch on the screen, users can select the part and the size of the AF area, choosing from 1-area AF, Multi-area AF with 23 AF areas and Pinpoint AF, which allows extremely precise focus setting.

Panasonic notes that, despite its compact size, the GX1 is extremely intuitive to operate, with an optimized layout of control buttons, a mode dial and dedicated function buttons. Users can customize the two external buttons and two menus tabs to settings they most frequently use so they are easily accessible. In addition, a total of four custom setting patterns can be stored to the camera’s model dial – one on ‘C1’ and three on ‘C2.’

For those who notice a camera’s “feel,” the GX1 has a grip for better hand-holding, a more tactile texture and the mode dial is easy to turn and features print that is easy to read and won’t easily wear.

The GX1 can record video at 1920 x 1080 at 60i, with sensor output of 30p. This is full-High Definition video in the AVCHD format.

In addition to full-time AF, the Touch AF in video recording also lets users enjoy professional-like rack focusing. Just by pointing at the subject, the focus is shifted so it stands out.

There’s a dedicated video record button on the camera top; users can instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without any having to make any extra setting adjustments.

There’s high-quality sound, recorded with Dolby Digital Stereo Creator. Videos can also be recorded in MP4 format for playback on a PC or other portable electronic devices without having to convert the files.

Other features:

• A new level gauge, which lets the camera detect the horizontal/vertical angle of view with its internal level working with the sensor. In addition, photos shot in portrait aspect will be automatically displayed vertically, regardless of which lens is used.

• One Push AE adjusts exposure with a single press of the “Fn” (Function) button when it is over/under exposed, which is especially useful when shooting outdoors with open aperture or indoors with fast shutter speed.

• Dust Reduction System.

• Zoom operation can be controlled with touch control when either of Panasonic’s new Lumix X Power Zoom lenses are attached. And the zoom speed can also be adjusted in two steps for more precise control.

• For beginners looking for automatic shooting in both still and video modes, there are iA and iA Plus modes.

• An approximately 11 per cent longer battery life when compared to the G3, which also uses the same battery pack.

This Micro Four Thirds camera will use any of the system lenses from Panasonic or other manufacturers – including a 3D lens – as well as a wide variety of accessories. Among those is the new optional tilt-shift Live View Finder (DMW-LVF2), with approximately 1.4x and 1,440,000-dot equivalent, 100 per cent field of view. This finder plugs into the camera’s hot shoe and connection just below the shoe.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1-KK with a 14-42 mm standard zoom lens will be available in black in mid-December for an MSRP of $849.99. Body only: MSRP of $749.99. The DMC-GX1-XK with the Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. / Power O.I.S lens will have an MSRP of $999.99 and will be available at a later date.

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