Panasonic Announces New DMC-GX1

Panasonic DMC-GX1
The new Panasonic DMC-GX1 to upgrade the GF series - by Panasonic

Panasonic launched a replacement for the highly regarded Lumix DMC-GF1 labeled the DMC-GX1. In the GX series Panasonic seems to be taking aim at more advanced users.

Many consider the Lumix GF line, with their interchangeable lenses, small form factor, RAW output, and rangefinder styling to be one the original entries in the mirrorless market that has grown in popularity. Unfortunately, the GF1 successors, the GF2 and GF3, never achieved the market acceptance of their predecessor. With the new DMC-GX1, Panasonic seems determined to push farther into the higher end of the camera market and reclaim the glory days of the GF1.

In the DMC-GX1 Panasonic returned the better build quality and ergonomics of the GF1 with an updated feature set and improved specs.

Packing a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, with an impressive ISO range of 160-12,800. At reduced resolution the DMC-GX1 can snap off an impressive 20 frames per second.

Panasonic bumped up the video specs as well with the DMC-GX1 delivering full 1080 HD video at 60 interlaced frames per second, along with a stereo microphone.

The LCD screen is also a touchscreen interface with features such as tap to focus on a subject.

New electronic leveler
The GX1 has a built-in electronic leveler

Panasonic seems to be aiming for the niche currently occupied by the Samsung NX200 and Sony Alpha NEX-5 series.

Available in mid-December with an expected price tag of $700 for the body only, or $800 for the kit with the standard 14-42mm zoom lens. The mount is compatible with both the Panasonic and Olympus line of Micro Four Thirds lenses.

From the beginning I’ve questioned the commitment of Panasonic and Olympus to the Micro Four Thirds concept. With APS-C size sensors available at similar price points, I question the utility of the smaller and oddly sized Micro Four Thirds chip.

All the same the DMC-GX1 seems to be a capable performer with very good build quality and attention to detail. If Panasonic and Olympus would ever start pushing the Micro Four Thirds line as a price competitor, they might have something.