Cameras I own: Lumix GF1


Part 6 in a series.

I think I’ve taken more photos with this camera than with any other I’ve ever owned. Why? A few reasons. Let’s see… it’s digital, it’s small, it has interchangeable lenses, it looks cool…


Otway State Forest


Magnolias at the Alhambra, Spain

But maybe, just maybe, the real reason is that it takes great photos. The GF1 is from the first generation of ‘micro four thirds’ cameras: a mirrorless, interchangeable lens system that allowed for very high quality fixed lenses on smallish digital camera bodies.  I bought the Lumix in an attempt to find a digital equivalent to the Hexar, and it ticked a lot of the boxes, most of all Panasonic’s excellent 1.7 20mm lens (which translates to about a 40mm full frame equivalent). Small, light, fast, and a slightly wide angle, just like the Hexar, though not quite as sharp. It was marketed as a kind of small camera for DLSR users, which meant that it had a bunch of semi or fully manual modes, and physical external controls (which I liked).


Popcorn at the Eiffel Tower


A stray dog in Madrid

The fast lens made the Lumix very versatile as a travel camera, as it meant that I could take good a photo in just about any lighting conditions. It’s a bit of a noisy camera (the shutter makes a very audible ‘clunk’), which makes it a little conspicuous for street photos, but not too conspicuous.


Paris, France


Zaragoza, Spain

These days, the Lumix tends to stay in the house and be used for documenting, be it food, gardening, tinkering, or the occasional family event. The Lumix has been to Spain, France, the UK and the USA with me, but the iPhone has really taken over in the travel photography department, just because it is always in my pocket.


Seagulls off Geelong Pier


Ronda, Spain

I’m actually pretty certain that this will be the last dedicated digital camera that I’ll buy. The way that camera technology is going, it’s getting harder and harder to distinguish between the photos from the Lumix and those from my iPhone: just like Craig Mod wrote in his excellent article about this camera/phone convergence, I looked very closely at the Sony RX 1, and even convinced my sister to buy one, but just couldn’t justify another camera that was so close to both the Lumix and my phone. 1

I’m not going to get rid of this camera though. I’ll keep using it, whenever I’m sure my phone just won’t do the job.

  1. I should not have looked back at that article while writing this post… that is what good writing on digital photography looks like.