updated 12:40 am EST, Mon November 7, 2011
Panasonic Lumix GX1 made official
Panasonic as anticipated switched its focus back to more experienced photographers with a new compact Lumix Micro Four Thirds camera. The GX1 is the first in the small-body series to get an upgraded 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and has better low-light performance along with an ISO 12,800 sensitivity ceiling. Customization is also once again more important: it now has C1 and C2 modes that support a total of four user presets, two programmable buttons, and a thumb wheel.
Autofocus speed continues to be one of the highlights. The camera's contrast AF system can get a fix in 0.09 seconds, and an AF Flexible mode can lock on to a subject while unlocking if the subject moves. Although there are 23 autofocus points, the three-inch, 460,000-pixel touchscreen can be used to focus on a specific point.
Video is more important. It captures at 1080i at 60FPS internally, outputting at 1080p at 30FPS, and now supports touchscreen autofocusing during the shoot. Stereo microphones sit just above the lens.
Other new additions bring a level gauge, an independent autoexposure button, dust removal, 11 percent longer battery life than the G3, and zoom control from the touchscreen with a motorized Lumix G X lens.
Panasonic delivers the GX1 in mid-December in three versions. A plain body-only kit will cost $700, while a version with the conventional-zoom 14-42mm, f3.5-5.6 lens will cost $800. Opting for the power zoom 14-42mm, f3.5-5.6 kit intended for videographers raises the price to $950. Both black and silver colors will be available. An optional DMW-LVF2 electronic viewfinder gives a 1.44-megapixel eyepiece with complete coverage and a 1.4X zoom factor.