Last week I went into Photo & Video and picked myself up a Lumix GF1 for travelling, general photos and shooting video. The GF1 uses a Micro 4/3 sized sensor – which is very close to Super 35mm film. The body design has a very cool retro feel to it. My friend Tim Chesney has had one for awhile now and I have been impressed with the portrait photos he has been taking.
The kit I got came with a 20mm 1.7f “pancake” lens (equivalent to a 40mm) – which is an awesome lens. It hardly sticks off the body so it’s perfect to carry the whole thing around in your jacket pocket like a point’n'shoot. One cool thing is you can get an adapter for older professional mounts (e.g Canon FD) so you’re not just stuck to the micro 4/3 range. There are adapters coming out soon for the digital lenses like Canon EOS apparently.
I also have added Tester13′s firmware hack to allow the camera to shoot fully manual video with a highly increased bit rate. And the video results are surprisingly good. Handheld it suffers from rolling shutter or ‘jello’ but on a tripod the video is more than useable for professional purposes. Hopefully will upload some sample ‘hacked’ footage soon.
I also picked up the Lumix 7-14mm wide lens – which is super cool. Check out the shot below taken on it:
And finally I got myself 2 Nikon SB-20 Speedlites to try some off camera flash photography. Was a lot of fun to play around with them for the first time yesterday. Check out some of the results below. Had one flash on the hot shoe of the camera and the other flash to the right of frame firing via infra-red.
3,200 shutter speed:
The camera is compact and easy to carry around in a jacket pocket, the manual controls are fast to use and straight forward to pick up and the photo quality is excellent.
The price is one of the only issues. At around $1,300 – $1,400 NZD (Photo & Video have kits on sale at the moment for $1,149 NZD!) it competes with the likes of the Canon 550D – which is a better photo and video camera. But the 550D is bulky even without a lens on it. The GF1 also doesn’t have built in time-lapse but this can be done via a cable sold separately.
So it works for my purposes of being a compact point’n'shoot like camera with an awesome lens, full manual controls and great quality. It’s a very sexy looking camera as well :)