Features & Controls
By Josh Fate
Above you can see the GF1's Micro 4/3 lens mount. This is the same lens mount that is also found on the GH1 and Olympus E-P2. Panasonic and Olympus have worked side by side on this mirror-less mount system, reducing the distance between the mount and the image sensor by 50%; from 40mm with the standard 4/3 system to approx. 20mm with the newer Micro 4/3 specification. This has allowed them to reduce the size of these cameras considerably compared to a typical 4/3 dSLR.One concern many have posted is the fact that dust can now fall directly on to the image sensor. To combat this, Panasonic has included a Supersonic Wave Filter Dust Reduction System. This system is designed to prevent dust from adhering to the image sensor by vibrating it at 50,000 times per second, helping the filter repel dust and other particles.
Included with our GF1 is a 20mm (35mm equivalent of 40mm) f/1.7 fixed focus lens. It has the ability to focus on objects as close as 8-inches. While this lens if fantastic for shooting in low light situations, the fixed focus does limit the versatility of the camera. Thankfully, the there are several lenses available for the micro 4/3 system, as well as all of the 4/3 and Leica M/R lenses as well with the help of Panasonic's adapters.
Shown here is the DMW-MA1 adapter, which allows for the use of any regular 4/3 lens. Panasonic also sells adapters for use with Leica M (DMW-MA2M) and Leica R (DMW-MA3R) lenses (not shown).
The GF1's flash pops up out of the body on the camera's left side. When closed it is completely hidden. With the 20mm lens mounted and ISO auto, the flash range is up to 23-feet, but shrinks considerably (11.2-feet) if using the 14-45mm lens. The flash modes include Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow-Sync. and Slow-Sync./Red-Eye Reduction.
To the far left you can see the camera's hot shoe and built-in speaker. The hot shoe allows you to attach an external flash unit or the camera's optional EVF (electronic view finder). In the middle is the mode dial and shutter mode options. Next you see the shutter release and power switch and finally to the far right is the camera's dedicated video button, allowing you to start recording no matter what shooting mode you are in.
Controls on the back: Top left you can see the Open button that brings up the camera's flash unit. On the right side you can see the Play and AF/AE Lock buttons. Next is the scroll dial, which is used to make selections. Under the AF/AE lock is a button that allows you to switch the camera from auto to manual focus. Next is the quick menu, which allows you to choose a color setting for your images. The 4-way controller is used to navigate the menu system, scroll through stored files, and access various shortcut options. Press it 'Up' to adjusts the ISO, 'Right' for white balance, 'Down' for Fn (default is metering mode) , and "Left" to choose the AF area mode. Lastly we have the Preview/image delete button. To the bottom right of the LCD you can see the Display button, which controls the amount of information that is overlaid on the LCD or LVF. Finally you see the Shutter/Delete button. In playback mode this allows you to delete your images, but in REC mode it allows you turn on shutter speed mode. This allows you to see what your image will look like with the current shutter speed before you take the shot.
Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.