Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 Review

June 13, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 randomuser

supposed to be first rival to nikon p7xxx series in terms of lens range & sensor size

but nikons are *so much* sharper…

11:45 am - Thursday, June 13, 2013

#2 Roy

For that price, I would have thought they could have included the 1,440,000 dot EVF.  The 200,000 dot unit is at least 5 years out of date.  Ship and ha’p'orth of tar come to mind.

12:24 pm - Thursday, June 13, 2013

#3 Nicholas Dunning

What is the quality of the evf? does it turn into a jelly mess when you pan or flickr like a broken vhs?

This is such a cool idea though with the evf in a compact. Would def buy one if everything else stacks up against the competition

9:58 pm - Thursday, June 13, 2013

#4 f.j.stols

so far mostly negative comments, though i’m sure the camera is not for sale yet? pity.

5:34 am - Friday, June 14, 2013

#5 randomuser

not negative =) you have got it wrong
just a few people “wanted a bit something else”

it is priced right and has a lot of features on paper, the real life reveals some compromises though =) (as usual)

9:36 am - Friday, June 14, 2013

#6 Frank

It’s mildly overpriced if you look at it in a vacuum or don’t care a whole lot about compact cameras that will fit in your trouser’s pockets… However it’s perfectly priced if you look at it in terms of it’s two biggest rivals.

The Canon S110 has a shorter zoom, an interior Wifi implantation, no panorama mode etc and it debuted at $400 (currently $350-ish as it’s nearly a year old). Meanwhile the RX100 has amuch larger and unparalleled sensor along with a much shorter (albeit slightly brighter) lens; it’s also $150 more and lacks Wifi (some of the usability quirks are irksome too, like that delay before zooming in playback).

Viewed in those terms it’s actually kind of perfectly positioned price-wise, unless the S110 follow up turns out to be much more revolutionary than the step from the S100 to the S110 was… I pre-ordered the LF1 from B&H, looking forward to putting it thru it’s paces.

10:04 pm - Friday, June 14, 2013

#7 Frank

Blah, that should’ve read Wifi implementation on my previous post, dumb auto correct. Super zooms and other cameras were still sporting 200k EVF 3 years ago btw, I’m not sure it’s to expect a mid range mirrorless’ EVF here for the size and price, even a low res one will be more than suitable for the purpose described in the review tho.

10:09 pm - Friday, June 14, 2013

#8 Steve Biro

Can the reviewer PUH-LEEZE give us information about the apperture steps of the LF1’s lens?  Everyone keeps referring to the “disappointingly slow” f/5.9 at 200mm.  I can deal with that.  But I - and many others who are interested in the LF-1 - would like to know what the maximum lens aperture is between 28 and 200mm.  If it’s still pretty fast up to, say, 90mm, the slower aperture in the second half of the zoom range might be perfeclty adequate for outdoor work.

3:29 am - Saturday, June 15, 2013

#9 Reflex760

Some pretty silly comments here. The camera has a lot going for it: Small size-Pocketable. Leica lens (better than Nikon) great range, Small EVF yes, but at least it’s usable. Same sensor as the LX-7. For me, it’s a very interesting camera indeed.

3:57 pm - Saturday, June 15, 2013

#10 brandBest camera

First thing camera is small an easy to put it into the pocket .I hear that its range is great but I think the price is high .

5:47 am - Sunday, June 16, 2013

#11 Moin khan

This is a great photograph social market. I like this site.

5:31 am - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

#12 Jeff

LF1 image quality score = 4.5
TZ40 image quality score = 4.5

Shouldn’t the LF1 have a better score as a result of the larger sensor and less compromised spec?
Is this genuinely on a par with the TZ40 for IQ, or are they measured against a different scale?

6:44 pm - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

#13 Tom

Does anyone know if focus or exposure information is provided in the EVF? My web searches have so far turned up no information.

12:53 am - Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#14 wsm191

Is there even an LX7 with 12 megapixel?  I thought all LX7’s were 10.1

Am I wrong or is the article?

7:30 pm - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

#15 Matt

I took delivery of my LF1 yesterday so I’ve only had chance for some early familiarisation, but so far I’m liking it a lot.

To the questions above…

Max Apertures through the zoom range:

I’ve used the step zoom feature with aperture priority to compile the following:
28mm = f2.0
35mm = f2.4
50mm = f3.3
70mm = f4.2
90mm = f4.7
135mm = f5.5
160mm = f5.6
200mm = f5.9
Min aperture is f8.0 throughout the range.

EVF focus and exposure information:

Yes. The EVF gives the same info that you could have on the LCD screen. So you can have aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, a live histgram etc, as well as other reminders about various settings. There’s a choice of optional composition grids, and a very handy (for me anyway) dynamic horizontal indicator (so hopefully fewer sloping horizons in future!)

Focus-wise, in autofocus modes you get green rectangular focus confirmation indicators. in manual focus there’s a curved distance indicator in the lower portion of the EVF/LCD which appears to indicate depth of field, and a magnified focussing zone until you half-press the shutter. Manual focus is via the control ring around the lens. Or at least it is if you leave the control ring setting at its default. If you change the control ring function in the setup menu then I haven’t (yet) found any way to adjust manual focus. (It might be there somewhere - it’s early days).

I hope that helps a bit.

7:43 pm - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

#16 Matt

I took delivery of my LF1 yesterday so I’ve only had chance for some early familiarisation, but so far I’m liking it a lot.

To the questions above…

Max Apertures through the zoom range:

I’ve used the step zoom feature with aperture priority to compile the following:
28mm = f2.0
35mm = f2.4
50mm = f3.3
70mm = f4.2
90mm = f4.7
135mm = f5.5
160mm = f5.6
200mm = f5.9
Min aperture is f8.0 throughout the range.


7:48 pm - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

#17 Panasonic LF1

Another review mentioned that the Panasonic LF1’s EVF does not produce good results, and the camera is inclined to over-expose in bright light. Is this true?

6:16 pm - Wednesday, June 26, 2013

#18 Claude B.

@Matt, you said the 25th of June “I took delivery of my LF1 yesterday…”

But it will be on the market starting…  “The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 will start shipping on July 5, 2013.”

!!! ???

3:20 pm - Thursday, July 4, 2013

#19 Matt

I know, I was quite surprised! I’d been checking lots of websites which were only offering “pre-order”, and I even phoned Clifton Cameras when it looked like they might have it, but they said early July. And then I saw it in stock, at John Lewis of all places, so I ordered and collected in store the next day.
I don’t know how thay came to have it, or how many they had… “more than 10” when I first saw it, 8 left when I ordered mine, and out of stock a couple of days later.

10:54 pm - Sunday, July 7, 2013

#20 Andrew

I think many people have been waiting for this camera for some time now - although for that reason there’s now a premium on it, despite the fact that they should have put a VF on a compact far sooner.

I managed to have a play about with it in a shop at the weekend. It really is tiny, but feels very solid nonetheless. The viewfinder is small of course, but so useful in my opinion. Not only for bright light conditions, but also getting you in the composing ‘zone’ state of mind. AF seemed very quick too. Just hope the menu system isn’t a total labyrinth, as I think it’s the older photographers that this will appeal to most!

Wait for it to get to a more reasonable price though…

11:12 am - Monday, July 22, 2013

#21 Andrew

My other main query was the aperture through the range, which I now see is helpfully answered above.

Obviously stacks up very poorly next to Olympus XZ-1 (which is selling cheap atm and has capacity for VF) which is f2.5 @ 112 vs f5-ish for LF1. But XZ-1 is MUCH larger.

And I do wonder how important the aperture issue is in the real world. You just don’t use a compact for depth of field play.

11:27 am - Monday, July 22, 2013

#22 xavier

I cannot manage to connect my DMC-LF1 to my computer, can somebody help me or direct me to a webpage with detailed instructions ?

12:57 pm - Friday, August 9, 2013

#23 Claude B.

If you prefer the “red dot” Leica just put out a photocopy of LF1 but $200. more then LF1 with the same quality (??!!) of the extremely tiny viewfinder.
Leica C (Type 112) Compact Camera

3:59 pm - Tuesday, September 10, 2013

#24 Carbon111

The Leica version is $200 more but you get the full version of Adobe Lightroom, a longer warranty and the styling is marginally better.

Considering what’s included, it’s not as bad of a markup as some Leica rebadge jobs. ;)

4:07 pm - Thursday, September 12, 2013

#25 Ian Drury

Hi everyone,
head on over to the Inspired Eye website for a very detailed review of the LF1.
Have a look at the photos it can produce then judge for yourself if it will suit your style of photography &if; you can live with the compromises that it has, as do most cameras, then it might just be right for you.

8:35 pm - Tuesday, October 8, 2013

#26 Yanek

There is no pop up flash on LF1 but the camera is a beauty anyway. And one good news: Lumix charger does the job with its battery.

1:55 am - Friday, December 6, 2013

#27 Mike B

Purchased the LF1 for Christmas as my wife will only use a camera with a viewfinder. I have to say the results are very good, in fact my wife preferred some of the images from this camera over my Panasonic G3!

Now the price has dropped down to a more reasonable level it really has no other competition if you want a pocket (or handbag) sized camera with viewfinder and a reasonable zoom.

12:10 pm - Friday, December 27, 2013

#28 Chas H

We are retired. Although technically minded, my wife’s priority was a small camera with a viewfinder. When using her old compact we were both fed up with not knowing what was going to be in the picture when shooting in bright sunlight. So we happened to be in John Lewis and I asked for the smallest camera with a viewfinder, and we walked away with the LF1. We don’t care about the quality of the image in the VF, it is good enough to see what we are going to take a picture of. If I want to see the true colours then I can always raise my eye a tad and look over the camera! The quality appeared to be very high, it can store RAW, its’ panarama is impressive, a friend of my son is a photographer and reckons that Panasonic with Nikon lenses are excellent value for money, I am extremely impressed with the interior photos that I have taken. At £279 I thought that it was a good buy.

9:29 pm - Saturday, January 11, 2014

#29 HarryRolfe

they warn you not to use a tripod socket above a certin size. what tripod do you suggest above the desktop height?

3:48 pm - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#30 John

Y’all missed the point about the viewfinder entirely ... It has a dioptre adjuster for them old folks what use reading glasses….
Y’see, there could be a nine inch AMOLED display on the back of a camera, but some people would STILL have to get their reading glasses out to take EVERY picture.
All those people who hold a compact camera out at arms length are begging for a return to viewfinder provision. The only reason they get any photos at all is because the automatic features work so well as they point vaguely at scenes.
This is a really great camera - worth every penny for the wheel round the lens alone - and the viewfinder - feels like a “proper” camera again.

8:31 pm - Thursday, August 28, 2014

#31 mike

I have been using this LF1 since 1 year and taken thousands of photos in automatic mode mainly
works superbly even in tough conditions
good buy for the price

3:59 pm - Sunday, August 31, 2014

#32 Michiel

Excellent review! I bought the camera and I am very very happy with it. The on/off button and the shutterbutton are a little bit close so I missed some shots by turning off the cam! Otherwise very very good value for money.

7:55 pm - Saturday, September 13, 2014

#33 redbird

Seeing the going price for December 2014 now at $220 (instead of $499) It’s looking more and more like a no-brainer.

4:15 pm - Monday, December 15, 2014

#34 Daniel

My mom came to me asking for advice on a new camera to replace her broken Fuji FinePix S3100. She wanted a camera with an EVF that was not enormous. That really narrowed it down.

So she bought this one and was ultimately very unhappy with it.

1) With a small camera comes a small viewfinder. Tiny even. She doesn’t see all that well anyway, so this was no help.

Camera manufacturers: can we please start putting EVFs back on cameras with less ridiculous zoom ranges? Her old Fuji had a 6X optical zoom and an EVF. EVFs are useful in bright sunlight and to encourage you to hold the camera steady in any light. They could have made this one A LITTLE bigger and still kept it as a pocket camera.

2) Given the placement of the power button relative to the shutter button, she kept accidentally turning off the camera when she was actually trying to take a photo.

3) The WiFi setup was positively maddening. She was trying to connect it to her Windows laptop, where she logs in with her full name. Well, on this camera, spaces are not valid characters.

4) Even though the sensor is larger than with a standard P&S camera and the lens is fast at the wide end (f2.0), I was disappointed in how it performed in low light.

7:22 pm - Friday, May 15, 2015

#35 O scar

So glad you mentioned unusual positioning of power button. Manufacturers condition you for years then make a change urggghhhh. Apart from that the LF1 is a fantastic camera unless your a sad pixel peeper. In the real world, you know, the one where we actually go out and shoot some stuff- its a really good performer. The macro capability is excellent, then again Panny hve always been good at that!

6:22 am - Thursday, July 23, 2015

#36 Brian

Why spoil a good review with all these jumping jiggling videos trying to load slowing up the page refreshment? I couldn’t cancel the stupid one that arrives over the image samples and had to peer around it. I haven’t a clue what it was trying to sell but wouldn’t get one as I am so mad with it. Getting money s one thing but driving surfers to other sites is another. Regards, Brian.

11:19 pm - Saturday, March 12, 2016

Entry Tags

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