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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 photos

The design and features of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1.

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LoriGruninNewHeadshot.jpg
Lori Grunin
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1 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

20mm lens kit

With the 20mm f1.7 pancake lens, the GF1 has a relatively compact design that's just a tad bigger than most enthusiast compacts.
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2 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

14-45mm lens kit

The zoom kit lens is fine, and autofocuses quietly and moderately quickly when recording video. I wish it could focus closer than 1 foot, however.
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3 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Flash

Unlike the Olympus E-P1, the GF1 includes a flash--a very nice pop-up version that's pretty powerful without being overly harsh.
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4 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Easy to understand

The GF1 offers a lot of features, but as long as you're not a newbie you should find all the controls pretty easy to understand and find, without too much menu diving. For instance, the switch for burst shooting, bracketing and self-timer is more easily accessed than on most models.
The camera also has a lot of flexibility. The two custom settings slots on the mode dial hold two sets each. With the Motion Picture program mode, you can adjust exposure compensation and aperture. And a (poorly named) Peripheral Defocus scene mode functions as a kind of wide-aperture-priority mode for obtaining shallow-depth-of-field photos. My only gripe with the design is the rather small, hard-to-feel record button.
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5 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Direct-access controls

Panasonic is pretty good about giving you direct access to the most frequently used shooting controls. The navigation buttons bring up white balance (including two manual slots and color temperature), ISO sensitivity, AF mode (face detection, tracking, 23 area, or single area), and a function button to which you can assign film mode, aspect ratio, quality, metering, intelligent exposure, and a few display options. The Q.Menu button pulls up the rest of the important settings: flash options, color/film modes, stabilizer options, still- and video-recording quality, LCD brightness options, and duplications of some of the direct-access control options.

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