My New Girlfriend

Well, that is what “GF” means. Not that Japanese product marketers would know that, which is why Panasonic names their flagship micro four-thirds camera the “GF1”. So my new girlfriend is not a girlfriend, but a camera:

And oh my, is it ever amazing.

First, credit where credit is due: David Honl, who joined me to teach two workshops last week in Las Vegas, turned up with a small Leica X1 camera. Dave carried just his Leica, and he got very cool shots. I was inspired.

Not inspired enough to mortgage the house and buy a Leica as well. But more than inspired enough to buy its equivalent: the Panasonic GF1.

  1. Micro four thirds sensor – meaning a quarter the size of 35mm film, i.e. a 2:1 ratio
  2. 20mm f/1.7 prime lens (interchangeable)
  3. Great controls, very intuitive
  4. Great feel, almost like a Leica
  5. Flash shoe, so I can use a Pocketwizard
  6. Great image quality, low noise

I have now owned it for about three hours, so not much photography yet – I was teaching. But a few snaps here just to give you a taste of this camera and its excellent prime lens:

Michael Willems, self-portrait with the Panasonic Lumix GF1

Michael Willems, self-portrait at 120 km/h

I love f/1.7:

Panasonic Lumix GF1 shot by Michael Willems

Panasonic Lumix GF1 shot

panasonic Lumix GF1 shot by Michael Willems

Petter, shot by Michael Willems

Panasonic Lumix GF1 shot by Michael Willems

Batteries at f/1.7

Panasonic Lumix GF1 shot by Michael Willems

Brake! (Panasonic Lumix GF1 shot)

So why a little point-and-shoot, from an SLR shooter:

  • A spare.
  • An un-intimidating street photography camera.
  • A camera to carry when  you want to be unrecognized as a pro.
  • A camera to put in a coat pocket when an SLR is not allowed.

I can see me take many pictures in situations where previously, I did not. As in that last shot above.

This camera offers excellent quality: at first sight, amazingly, it looks as good as the SLRs I shoot with, even at high ISOs.

Those were tryout snaps; soon, real photos.

0 thoughts on “My New Girlfriend

  1. Re: Your new girl friend.

    Never a complaint either no matter what you say or do …

    Looking forward to the snapshots. BTW, as a CANON afficiando … no CANON equivalent to GF?

  2. How close can it focus? Looks like you can get pretty close up with the camera, judging by your pics in the car…

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