SHOWING ITS PEDIGREE
The compact mirrorless camera is pretty much a Panasonic creation. So the Panasonic Lumix DSC-GX1 gives you the comfort of the most mature compact system camera. This means easeof-use and a versatility very few cameras of this kind can offer.
The GX1 has a very compact body, not much larger than a regular point-and-shoot. We tested the camera with two lenses, a 14mm and a 14-44mm lens. With the pancake-like 14mm, which is ideal for portraiture and street photography, the camera is compact enough to be kept inside a coat pocket. This successor to Panasonics GF range of compact system cameras is peppered with dials and buttons. The operative part, however, is the 3-inch capacitive screen which can be used for some basic tweaks as well to select the area of the frame you want to focus on. The screen comes with a level gauge and a tab to open some of the options. Then touch-based focus from the screen, similar to the EOS M, is a great feature to have a in a camera and saves time while you are composing complicated frames. But more touch actions could have been incorporated into the screen.
The Lumix G series comes with an amazing range of lens options and that is one of the strong points of this camera. The micro four-thirds sensor of the GX1, with the right lens, can do anything you would on a DSLR. In fact, it can do creative controls even before you click a picture. But then you wouldn’t need to be that creative with the pictures as the results from the camera seem to have much more character than those shot with DSLR. We felt the colours were much more vibrant.
Like the Olympus OM-D EM-5, which we thought was among the best cameras we tested last years, the GX1 one too performs excellently in low light. Even with a maximum ISO of 12800, the results were stunning, though we did notice some noise. This is also an extremely fast camera, not just because the auto-focus is sprightly. The burst mode is superfast. So fast that it is tough to hear one click from the other. The burst mode is also available with different picture qualities, which is unique. You wouldn’t miss a butterfly with this feature.
The one thing we were not all that impressed by was the fact that it is tough to make out anything on the screen under the harsh Indian sun. There is an electronic viewfinder that can be paired with this camera and we suggest you invest on that too. There is a pop-up flash as well as a hot shoe for speedlights, all making this a complete camera.