Panasonic GX1: Enthusiast Micro Four Thirds camera previewed


posted Monday, November 7, 2011 at 12:01 AM EDT

Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX1 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co.Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. has today unveiled a new compact system camera that slots into its Micro Four Thirds lineup between the existing GF3 and G3 models: the Panasonic GX1.

Offering an option that's more compact than the G3, yet offers more enthusiast features than are to be found in the GF3, the Panasonic Lumix GX1 takes onboard the feedback of users in markets outside Japan, where compact system cameras haven't yet gained quite the same popularity as they have in Panasonic's home market. The GX1 is based around the same 16 megapixel Live MOS image sensor as found in the G3, and will also accept a new accessory electronic viewfinder that's based upon that built into that earlier model. This is coupled with an image processor that's closely related to that found in the GF3, albeit with tweaks to the noise processing algorithms, likely to take account of the different image sensor.

In some areas, though, the Panasonix GX1 bests both of its siblings. There's a new dual-axis level gauge function, and sensitivity now tops out at a maximum of ISO 12,800 equivalent. In addition, the lens control cycle rate has been updated to match the AF sensor cycle rate of 120 frames per second, which was introduced in the previous-generation cameras. This can lead to an improvement in AF speed on the order of 10%. There are also a couple of new Creative Color modes, and the Motion JPEG video modes have been dropped in favor of MP4, while also retaining the AVCHD modes.

The Panasonic GX1 ships in the US market from mid-December 2011, in either black or silver-bodied variants. As well as a body-only version priced at around US$700, there will be two with-lens kits. One will include the standard 14-42mm MEGA O.I.S. zoom for a total of about US$800, and the other will include the updated version with both power zoom and POWER O.I.S. functionality, for a final pricetag in the region of US$950.

More details can be found in our hands-on Panasonic GX1 preview.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX1 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera Type Compact System Camera
Manufacturer Panasonic
Model Number North America: GX1
Dimensions 4.6 x 2.7 x 1.6 in.
(116 x 68 x 39 mm)
Weight 11.2 oz (318 g)
Planned Price $950
Planned Availability December 2011
Image Capture
Sensor Type Panasonic Live MOS
Micro Four Thirds (approx. 0.85 in. diagonal)
16.68 megapixels (total)
16.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Focal Length Multiplier 2.00
Aspect Ratio 16:9, 4:3
Image Dimensions 4592 x 3448 (15.8 megapixels)
4576 x 3056 (14.0 megapixels)
4576 x 2576 (11.8 megapixels)
3424 x 3424 (11.7 megapixels)
3232 x 2424 (7.8 megapixels)
3232 x 2160 (7.0 megapixels)
3232 x 1824 (5.9 megapixels)
2416 x 2416 (5.8 megapixels)
2272 x 1704 (3.9 megapixels)
2272 x 1520 (3.5 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1712 x 1712 (2.9 megapixels)
2.5 megapixels
2.2 megapixels
1.9 megapixels
Capture Speed Continuous: 4.2 frames per second
Image Quality 2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD 3.0 in. diagonal
460,000 dots (approx. 153,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom 16.0x max
Lens Type Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH/POWER O.I.S.
3x optical zoom
37mm lens thread
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds mount
Image Stabilization Yes
Focal Length 14.0 - 42.0mm (actual)
28 - 84mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/3.5 - 22 (wide) / f.5.6 - 22 (tele)
Focusing System Contrast Detection: Face detection, AF Tracking, 23-area-focusing, 1-area-focusing, Pinpoint Touch (1- area-focusing in Face detection, AF Tracking, Multi-area-focusing, 1-area-focusing, Pinpoint)
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
Focusing Range Normal: 8" - infinity (20 cm - infinity)
ISO Sensitivity Auto, Intelligent ISO, 160 to 12800 in 1 or 1/3 EV steps
Shutter Speed 60 - 1/4000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes 144-zone Intelligent Multiple, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 5.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Flash, White Set 1/2, Color Temperature Setting (2,500-10,000K in 100K steps)
Internal Flash Guide Number: 6
Modes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Range: Lens dependent; GN 7.6m (ISO 160)
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Scene Modes Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Architecture, Sports, Peripheral Defocus, Flower, Food, Objects, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Illiminatioms, Baby 1/2, Pet, Party, Sunset
Digital Zoom 2x or 4x
Self Timer Yes, 2, 10, 10 (3 images) seconds
Movie Format AVCHD, MP4 with audio
Recording Medium SD/MMC including SDHC, SDXC
File System FAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format RAW, RAW + JPEG, JPEG
Video High definition: Yes (HDMI)
Standard definition: Yes
Computer USB 2.0 High Speed
Other Mini HDMI (Type-C), 2.5mm remote socket, combined AV/USB connector
Battery Type Lithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary DMW-BLD10 (7.2V, 1010mAh)
Product Bundle
Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO HD Edition 7.0, SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.1 SE, Super LoiloScope (trial), USB Driver
Battery / Charger 1 x Proprietary DMW-BLD10 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control Yes, Optional DMW-RSL1 cable remote
Notes 3-inch 460K Touchscreen LCD, Full HD movies, Accessory Port, Hot-shoe, Built-in Flash, Level Gauge, iA and iA Plus modes, UHS-I compatible. Available in black or silver.
More Photos
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX1 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX1 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX1 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX1 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX1 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX1 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX1 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GX1 compact system camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!


Press Release

Panasonic Announces Newest Compact System Camera, Lumix GX1 Excels In Speed, Image Quality And Size

The LUMIX GX1 Finds the Perfect Balance of Size and Performance – Making it the Ideal ‘Everyday’ Digital Camera for Professionals and Photo Enthusiasts Alike

SECAUCUS, NJ (November 7, 2011) – Panasonic today announces its latest Compact System Camera (CSC), the LUMIX DMC-GX1, which joins Panasonic’s award-winning LUMIX G Series of digital cameras, which are acclaimed for their high image quality with small and compact body and lenses.  The new LUMIX GX1 features a 16.01-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine, helping to ensure real-to-life images through excellent resolution, image rendering and color reproduction.  Even in low-light situations and at maximum 12800 high ISO sensitivity, the LUMIX GX1 can produce stunning photos and videos, and because of its compact size it can be easily carried for daily use.    

“Panasonic expects the LUMIX GX1 to please a lot of photo enthusiasts who have been eager for a technology upgrade comparable to the LUMIX DMC-GF1, which continues to be a very popular digital camera with dedicated followers who appreciate the compact size, yet high quality of photos and video,” said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “The LUMIX GX1 is an extremely flexible and capable digital camera with fast AF speeds and outstanding image quality.  Plus with a built-in flash and a hot shoe allowing for accessories like an external view finder, the GX1 is a powerful compact system camera that is small enough to be a photographer’s everyday camera choice.”

The LUMIX GX1, like all the models in Panasonic’s LUMIX G Series of CSC, adopts Contrast AF for its focus system, so focusing is controlled by the image sensor.  When compared with the Phase difference system AF, Contrast AF achieves higher accuracy especially when shooting with a bright lens with small F value. For instance, the accuracy of Contrast AF is approximately 90% while Phase difference AF is approximately 60% at F1.4. Additionally, with the precise Contrast AF system, the LUMIX GX1 achieves high resolution through an optimal balance of resolution and noise reduction, thus producing lifelike image rendering and highly precise Auto Exposure and white balance. To further advance the Contrast AF, the LUMIX GX1 incorporates full-area focusing, making it possible to set focus on any point in the field of view. With the LUMIX GX1’s 3.0-inch touch LCD screen, frame composition is intuitive and easy.

The LUMIX GX1 features an ultra high-speed Light Speed AF*, which means it can Auto Focus in approximately 0.09 second. This is achieved by reducing the detection time for focusing by the synchronizing the lens and sensor at 120 fps.  Plus, the newly-added focus mode AFF (AF Flexible) locks on the focus when the shutter button is half-pressed, however, if the subject moves, the focusing is reset to get the best results. Combined with the Touch AF control, setting and focusing on the subject is incredibly easy and quick. 

The touch-control system of the LUMIX GX1 lets users set the focus on the subject by simply touching it on the large, 460,000-dot wide-viewing angle LCD.  Users can even release the shutter by touching the screen.  Once locked on the subject with a touch, the LUMIX GX1 tracks the subject, even when it moves, using the AF tracking function. With a touch on the screen, users can select the part and the size of the AF area, choosing from 1-area AF, Multi-area AF with 23 AF areas and Pinpoint AF, which allows extremely precise focus setting.

Despite its compact size, the LUMIX GX1 is extremely intuitive to operate, with an optimized layout of control buttons, a mode dial and dedicated function buttons. Users can customize the two external buttons and two menus tabs to settings they most frequently use so they are easily accessible.  In addition, a total of four custom setting patterns can be stored to the camera’s model dial – one on ‘C1’ and three on ‘C2.’  Furthermore, the LUMIX GX1 was designed to enhance its ergonomics, with a grip that fits naturally and comfortably in the hand, despite its flat profile and compact design.  Plus, the LUMIX GX1 has a more tactile texture and the mode dial is easy to turn and features print that is easy to read and won’t easily wear. 

The LUMIX GX1 can record 1920 x 1080 at 60i, with sensor output of 30p, full-High Definition videos in the AVCHD format which excels in both compression efficiency and compatibility with AV equipment for playback.  In addition to the practical full-time AF, the Touch AF in video recording also lets users enjoy professional-like rack focusing. Just by pointing at the subject, the focus is shifted so it stands out. With a dedicated video record button on the top, users can instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without any having to make any extra setting adjustments. Along with the full-HD video capabilities, the LUMIX GX1 also features high-quality sound, recorded with Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator. Videos can also be recorded in MP4 format for playback on a PC or other portable electronic devices without having to convert the files. 

Other features of the new Panasonic LUMIX GX1 compact system camera include:

  • A new Level Gauge, which lets the camera detect the horizontal/vertical angle of view with its internal level working with the sensor. In addition, photos shot in portrait aspect will be automatically displayed vertically, regardless of which lens is used.

  • One Push AE adjusts exposure with a single press of the “Fn” (Function) button when it is over/under exposed, which is especially useful when shooting outdoors with open aperture or indoors with fast shutter speed. 

  • Dust Reduction System helps to eliminate dust or foreign matter getting inside the LUMIX GX1 when lenses are being changed.  By placing a supersonic wave filter in front of the Live MOS sensor that vibrates vertically around 50,000 times per second, the filter repels dust and other particles effectively.

  • Zoom operation can be controlled with touch control when either of Panasonic’s new LUMIX X Power Zoom lenses are attached.  And the zoom speed can also be adjusted in two steps for more precise control.

  • Popular iA and iA Plus modes for beginners looking for automatic shooting in both still and video modes.

  • Decreased energy consumption and an approximately 11%** longer battery life when compared to the LUMIX DMC-G3, which also uses the same battery pack DMW-BLD10.

The LUMIX G Series is a robust system of bodies and lenses, featuring a total of 14 Micro Four Thirds lenses including the new power zoom X lens – standard zoom lens, telephoto zoom lens, single focal length lens, wide-angle lens, fish-eye lens, macro lens, and even a 3D lens – to fit a variety of shooting scenarios and occasions.

The Micro Four Thirds System products are joining today's Four Thirds System products to provide customers with even higher levels of performance in a digital interchangeable lens camera. In addition to LUMIX G lenses, the LUMIX DMC-GX1 can use any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds System standard via an optional mount adapter for the unlimited number of lens properties.  The LUMIX GX1 system camera offers a wide variety of options to choose from to match every shooting situation and shooting style, including: external flashes, PL filters, ND filters, MC protectors, remote shutter, zoom level, battery packs, AC adaptor, DC coupler, straps, cases, bags and more.   Plus, with the LUMIX GX1’s hot shoe on the top, users can attach the optional tilt-shift Live View Finder (DMW-LVF2), with approximately 1.4x and 1,440,000-dot equivalent, 100% field of view.

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GX1 will be available in black and silver bodies in mid-December and in the following kit options: DMC-GX1-X with the LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S (H-PS14042) lens will have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $949.99; the DMC-GX1-K with the 14-42 standard zoom for an SRP of $799.99; and the DMC-GX1, body only for an SRP of $699.99. 

* The time for focusing on the subject is measured with LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S (H-PS14042) to move the lens position to "2m" from the "infinity" position. The zoom is positioned at its widest end. Panasonic measurement method
**Based on a CIPA Standard.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations.  Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and protect our environment through the company’s Eco Ideas programs. Panasonic was the only Consumer Electronics company to be listed in the top ten brands on the Interbrand Best Global Green Brands 2011 ranking. Company information for journalists is available at

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