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Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Panny GF1—A trekker's take on 12/16/2009 17:34:40 MST Print View

I though others might enjoy this part review, part travelogue using the LX3's "big brother" as much as I did. The author clearly embraces the value of traveling light and is a darn good shooter.

http://craigmod.com/journal/gf1-fieldtest/

Cheers,

Rick

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Panny GF1—A trekker's take on 12/16/2009 20:06:02 MST Print View

Great photos! And nice commentary.

With valuable insight: He says -

"There are very few things I don’t like about the GF1, but here they are: ...[cut]...

"The LCD — The LCD is big and sexy but almost totally worthless in broad daylight."

And he doesn't think much of the $200 electronic viewfinder.

To me a Canon G11 makes a lot more sense. A little bigger, 2 ounces heavier, and $450 less. Oh, and it has a built-in viewfinder.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Re: Panny GF1—A trekker's take on 12/16/2009 20:17:17 MST Print View

"To me a Canon G11 makes a lot more sense. A little bigger, 2 ounces heavier, and $450 less. "

The gf1 has a sensor 5x larger than the canon g11. The gf1 is a lower end dslr camera and the g11 is a higher end point shoot. As such they really aren't in the same class.

Of course what camera is best for you depends are your needs and what your looking for.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Panny GF1—A trekker's take on 12/16/2009 22:30:14 MST Print View

> The gf1 has a sensor 5x larger than the canon g11.
However, there is less difference when you go pixel-peeping. The G11 seems to have bee a step in the right direction - lower noise etc.

The problem with a low-end dslr is that I might get 4 -6 shots in a day, while with something the size of the G11 I might take 40+ shots. The photos you take (because the camera is easy to use and carry) are much better than the photos you don't take (because the camera has to be packed away most of the time).

So yes - first define your needs.

Cheers

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Panny GF1—A trekker's take on 12/16/2009 22:42:02 MST Print View

"The gf1 is a lower end dslr camera"

I'll give you 'single' lens, but not reflex. And blind.

Canon's G Series fares pretty well in real world side-by-side tests, regardless of tech specs and "bigger is better."

At up to 13x19 prints, the G10 was virtually identical to a Hasselblad H2 with Phase One P45+ back. The details are here.

I suspect the G11 is a little better.

Edited by greg23 on 12/16/2009 22:50:34 MST.

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
G11 v GF1 on 12/16/2009 23:00:55 MST Print View

Roger Gaffin said
"The problem with a low-end dslr is that I might get 4 -6 shots in a day, while with something the size of the G11 I might take 40+ shots. The photos you take (because the camera is easy to use and carry) are much better than the photos you don't take (because the camera has to be packed away most of the time).

I don't think you have seen the GF-1 in comparison to the G11, so here is a photograph from the review at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canong11camera comparison

The m4/3 cameras are a lot smaller than dslrs. The GF1 is smaller than the G11 and the weight is just less than 100 grams more with the 20 mm f1.7 lens on the GF1. I wear my GF1 with the 20 mm f1.7 lens in a shoulder slung money/document pouch under my jacket and it hardly shows. With a larger lens ( old school, OM 28 mm) I use a small fanny pack as a shoulder sling.

This photograph was taken with the OM 28 mm lens on a bushwhacking trip.
Middle Point and Admiralty Island


The Lumix LX3 is a better camera and weighs less than the G11 if you want a decent point and shoot.

Edited by Umnak on 12/16/2009 23:35:35 MST.

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: Central Florida
Lightest DSLR? on 12/29/2009 10:51:35 MST Print View

I didn't realize the GF1 was a DSLR until now.

I just looked it up on dpreview and they say it weighs only 11.1 oz (including batteries). I'm new to photography but is the GF1 pretty much the lightest DSLR on the market?

-Sid

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Lightest DSLR? on 12/29/2009 13:12:41 MST Print View

Hi Sid,

While not technically a dslr because it lacks a mirror and pentaprism finder, the GF1 and its micro four-thirds cousins are effectively slrs because they're interchangable lens cameras which offer through-the-lens viewing, but via an electronic display. They all use an slr imaging chip.

The GF1 and Olympus EP1 and EP2 are very close in size and weight. Paired with one of the small system lenses they can provide a relatively tiny package compared to the typical dslr. I believe the Oly E-420 is the smallest true dslr right now.

Cheers,

Rick

Edited by halfturbo on 12/29/2009 13:14:33 MST.

Neil Johnstone
(nsjohnstone) - MLife
GF1 and E-P1 weights on 12/29/2009 14:44:54 MST Print View

E-P1 c/w 4-42mm lens 584g/20.6oz

GF1 body 348g/12.3oz
20/1.7 lens 137g/4.8oz
45/2.8 lens 270g/9.50z
14-45 lens 250g/8.8oz

The add-on EVF is 53g/1.9oz (in its case). It's not brilliant, but it does the job.

I replaced a G10 with the E-P1, then replaced that with the GF1.
(The zoom is only there until the wide prime comes out).

Hopefully a GF2 will arrive with a real viewfinder before much longer.

GF1 with 20 + 45mm lenses is rather similar to a Leica CL with 40 + 90mm lenses.........

(Edited as GF1 body weight was wrong - all are 'actual' weights).

Edited by nsjohnstone on 12/30/2009 00:47:22 MST.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: GF1 and E-P1 weights on 12/29/2009 15:42:34 MST Print View

The GF1 camera body is listed as 10.1 oz and the total weight including battery, card and 20mm lens is 15.8 oz.

Neil, are your numbers actual measured weights of your camera? An extra 6 oz makes the gf1 much less interesting to me.

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: Central Florida
Re: Re: Lightest DSLR? on 12/29/2009 16:50:02 MST Print View

I'm surprised the Olympus E-420 is not ever mentioned here on BPL, being that it is the lightest DSLR. Is it because it lacks image stabilization that it's not so popular?

If a camera does not have image stabilization, does that mean you pretty much have to have a tripod?

Also, it seems the Olympus E-620 is the lightest camera with image stabilization. This is also a camera I've never seen mentioned on BPL. Does anyone have any experience with it?

I don't know how the quality of cameras from Olympus is compared to Canon or Nikon, are they comparable?

-Sid

Edited by Red_Fox on 12/29/2009 17:00:24 MST.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Lightest DSLR on 12/29/2009 17:04:53 MST Print View

Red Fox, you must have missed Alan Dixon's review of the E620!

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/olympus_e620.html

Image stabilisation isn't essential for handheld photography. We never had it with film SLRs and it wasn't available on DSLRs until recently. I've only had image stabilisation since Canon started adding it to lenses.

Edited by Christownsend on 12/29/2009 17:06:46 MST.

Jang-Tian Shieh
(syoten) - MLife

Locale: Taiwan
E420 on 12/29/2009 17:06:56 MST Print View

Sid,
I'm a newbie of DSLR. I just start to use my E420 this year. I found I do need tripod indoor, but it works ok in daytime outdoor when I want to take pictures. I choose this only because it's the lightest DSLR.

Syoten

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Lightest DSLR? on 12/29/2009 17:22:23 MST Print View

I was going to suggest Alan Dixon's article, but Chris beat me to it. Inspired by it, I recently made the jump to a DSLR. In my case, it's the Canon XS, which weighs 24.3 oz., including the 18-55 image stabilized lens. I'm still working on the best way to carry it.

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: Central Florida
Re: Lightest DSLR on 12/29/2009 17:24:04 MST Print View

Ugh, I wish I had a BPL membership. I always get cited articles from here and I can't ever read them. When I have some money to spare I need to get a membership. I'm still currently recovering from the giant hunk of cash I spent on gear this past month. From the free article summary, it seems that the review of it was favorable.

-Sid

Neil Johnstone
(nsjohnstone) - MLife
GF1 weights on 12/30/2009 01:46:17 MST Print View

Yes, the body weight was wrong - it is now corrected!

GF1 + 20mm, c/w battery, card, UV filter and a cord wrist loop all-up weight is 476g/16.8oz - the filter and wrist loop are just over an ounce, so the listed weight is correct.

Edited by nsjohnstone on 12/30/2009 01:47:48 MST.

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
Olympus 420 on 12/30/2009 02:40:58 MST Print View

When i bought it there was no micro4/3 so the choice was easier
but i Didnt regret it my Scotland Iceland and Greenland hikes photos are very nice in A3
camera bag 14 42 and 2 batteries for only 700ish grammes

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Olympus 420 on 12/30/2009 13:00:24 MST Print View

The 4## series offers very solid performance and has remained the smallest, lightest dslr since its introduction. I opted for the 510 for the IS and larger battery, but otherwise it's identical in function and performance to the 410. One can always get a panny/leica lens with IS to gain that functionality on a 4## series.

I'll also note the very small, light and inexpensive 14-42 kit lens is considered to be the best standard kit zoom in the business. Yes it's slow, has no distance scale and (gulp) a plastic mount flange but it produces very nice images.

Cheers,

Rick

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: G11 v GF1 on 12/30/2009 15:25:01 MST Print View

Oh, I assure you (including Joseph) that I have done a lot of reading of reviews of the G11, GF1, LX3, e620 and others. A LOT.

What all the comparisons show is that YOUR bottom line is going to depend on what YOUR criteria are. Change the criteria, and you change the conclusion. There still is no perfect camera.

As I implied, my criteria do include being able to carry the camera in a pouch on the shoulder strap for ease of access, having a zoom capability, along with an integral viewfinder and a swivel LCD screen. Why these?

* I think the ease of access is self-explanatory. I have tried pouches on belts and slung around my neck, but they just don't work as well (for me) as a padded pouch mounted on a shoulder strap.

* The zoom facility is a pretty standard requirement, but it has to be included while the shoulder pouch requirement is met. The gorgeous zoom lenses of the DSLRs fall at this fence. (I have a box of lovely Zuiko lenses from the film days - sigh.)

* An integral viewfinder allows me to take photos without having to put on close-up reading glasses to be able to see the screen. There have been times when I have either not had the time to fumble for glasses before losing the scene, or even when I have not had a spare hand to get the glasses out. (A diopter adjustment on the viewfinder is nice too.)

* The swivel LCD screen is invaluable when I am using the camera in the studio to take tricky close-up photos of gear, and in the field when I am lying on the ground taking a photo of some very small orchid.

BUT, if YOUR criteria are different, then your chosen camera will doubtless differ as well.

Cheers
YAPN
(Yet Another Photography Nutter)

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: G11 v GF1 on 12/30/2009 19:16:26 MST Print View

More fodder -

I tried to do an honest job of scaling these images. The take-away for me was the difference in "package size" between the G11 and the GF1 with the 14-45 lens. If you're OK with the non-stabilized 20mm prime and just the LCD screen the GF1, it walks away from the G11, even though it weighs a very slight bit more.

G11GF1

G11: 4.4x3.0x1.9 and 14 ounces
GF1: 4.7x2.8x1.4 and 15.8 ounces (with the 20mm pancake)

If you want a zoom (5x on the G11 or 3x on the GF1), and a viewfinder, the decision becomes more difficult.

If you're not into pixel-peeping and are printing at 13"x19", or less, Image Quality is pretty darn close, sensor size aside.

It's not an easy decision, and as Roger said - choose your criteria, then pick your camera.

Edited by greg23 on 12/31/2009 13:37:25 MST.