Superb build quality; customisable controls
Screen could be better; no in-body image stabilisation
$1199 (14-42mm lens); $1599 (12-35mm lens)
There’s something reassuringly solid about the GX1. With a metal body, the Panasonic is easily one of the heaviest on test although, unlike the Pentax K-01, it doesn’t feel overly bulky.
It’s evident from the sheer number of buttons and dials that the GX1 is targeted at more proficient photographers. In addition to the Mode dial, the Panasonic includes dedicated buttons for everything from autofocus lock, white balance and ISO to a dedicated ‘Intelligent Auto’ mode to take the challenge out of getting good shots.
Programmable function buttons offer a level of customisation that most cameras in this class lack. There’s even an in-built gyroscope which shows a level on the camera’s touchscreen to ensure your photos are all shot straight.
The touchscreen itself is intelligently designed, offering the ability to customise your display and decide what information you want to see on the LCD. But despite the convenience, it’s hardly the most elegant of interfaces. The screen itself also pales in comparison to the stunning displays from Sony and Samsung.
Like the Samsung, Panasonic builds its image stabilisation into the lenses. This means two things: First, getting a crystal-clear shot in lower light conditions is significantly more challenging. Secondly, the best lenses are heavier and, given the weight of the body, can potentially be a turn-off for prospective buyers.
That said, the in-body flash and stereo microphones for 1080p video recording are nice inclusions and, when coupled with the robust body and feature set, make the GX1 an attractive camera for passionate photographers.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
A beautiful camera that delivers on many of the promises the Compact System Camera category offers. With a better screen and improved UI design, it would be tough to beat.