Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Review

January 3, 2012 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Lumix DMC-GX1 is Panasonic's new premium compact system camera. Marking a return to the prosumer-friendly ethos of the 2 year old GF1 model, the Panasonic GX1 features a FourThirds sized 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor, built-in pop-up flash and a 3 inch touch-sensitive LCD screen with a resolution of 460,000 dots. The DMC-GX1 also offers full HD movies at 1920 x 1080 at 60i (NTSC) / 50i (PAL) in AVCHD format with stereo sound and full-time auto-focus, 4.2fps continuous shooting, fast contrast-detect auto-focus system that can lock onto a subject in approximately 0.09 second, Venus Engine processor, RAW support and an ISO range of 160-12800. The Panasonic GX1 is available in Gunmetal Grey and Raven Black for £499.99 / $699.99 body only, £599.99 / $799.99 with the standard 14-42mm kit lens, and £729.99 / $899.99 with the new 14-42mm power-zoom lens.

Ease of Use

The new Panasonic GX1 carries on where the popular GF1 camera left off, taking on the mantle of being a small, compact interchangeable-lens camera with all the functionality, controls and degree of customisation that an enthusiast could want. It's therefore quite a departure from the GF2 and GF3 models, which were in turn designed to be the smallest and lightest compact system cameras on the market, and which were also aimed predominantly at people upgrading from a compact camera. The GX1 does inherit some key features from those models, though, most notably a touch-screen interface, but the plethora of buttons means that you could completely ignore this feature if you wished.

The aluminium-bodied Panasonic GX1 is still a small camera despite its added complexity, measuring 116.3 x 67.8 x 39.4 mm and weighing 318g without a lens attached or battery inserted. With a small lens like Panasonic’s new 14-42mm power-zoom fitted, the GX1 is just about pocketable, although in a cost rather than your trousers. With the new power-zoom lens the GX1 is not much bigger than some high-end compacts, like the Canon PowerShot G12. In terms of body-only, the GX1 is very similar in size to the Sony NEX-7, although that main rival also manages to squeeze in an electronic viewfinder, articulating screen and a larger APS-C sensor.

Comparing the GF1 and GX1 side-by-side, there are actually few difference between the two in terms of their external design, perhaps a real testament to just how much the GF1 got right when it was released over 2 years ago. Starting with the front of the GX1, there's a new, very chunky hand-grip on the right that really helps with the camera's handling, although we'd have liked to see it extended to the full height of the camera to accommodate more than two fingers. This works in tandem with the useful rubberized thumb-rest on the rear. The GX1 sports a more traditional design than the GF3, characterised by more angular lines and a matt exterior. It's not as overtly retro as the Olympus PEN series nor as futuristic as the Sony NEX-7, occupying a position mid-way between the two in terms of its design ethos.

The lenses are still where Panasonic have really shrunk the overall system, and the 14-42mm power-zoom lens is no exception, weighing a mere 95g and measuring 26.8mm in length when turned off and retracted. Providing an equivalent wide-angle focal length of 28-82mm, this lens is a good partner for the GX1, keeping the size of the overall system to a bare minimum and really looking the part. You can just about squeeze this combination into a coat pocket or handbag, impressive for a camera with DSLR aspirations.

To achieve such a small lens with such a wide focal range, Panasonic have completely removed the traditional zoom and manual focus rings, instead replacing them with forefinger-operated switches, hence the power zoom moniker. In practice this immediately makes the GX1 operate more like a compact camera with a zoom lever, and is inevitably slower and less precise than a conventional zoom lens. We found ourselves longing for Panasonic's standard 14-42mm kit lens on more than one occasion, although that comes at the cost of making the GX1 a physically bigger proposition. Interestingly the new 45-175mm power-zoom telephoto lens only has a switch for zooming whilst retaining both zoom and focus rings, making it much more adaptable whilst still significantly reducing the overall size of the lens.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
Front Rear

Just like the GF1, GF2 and GF3 before it, the GX1 doesn't have a built-in viewfinder, with just the LCD screen on the rear providing an out-of-the-box solution for composing your images. It does have an external hotshoe which allows the use of the optical viewfinder accessory, although you have to additionally purchase this optional accessory and it does prevent the use of an external flashgun at the same time. Reviewing the GX1 at the same time as the Sony NEX-7, we really missed the latter's built-in viewfinder.

The Micro Four Thirds system is now well-established, with a lot of lenses on offer from Panasonic and Olympus that cover most of the popular focal lengths. You can also use regular Four Thirds lenses or even Leica D lenses via optional adapters from either Panasonic or third-parties, but lenses that are not compatible with the GX1's Contrast AF function can only be used with manual focusing and cannot use the Tracking AF, AFc (Auto Focus Continuous) or Continuous AF functions. Optical image stabilisation is supplied via the lens, rather than being built-in to the camera body, a key difference between the Panasonic and Olympus systems. Note that the supplied 14-42mm power-zoom lens does offer image stabilisation, although there's no switch on the lens barrel to turn it manually on and off, just three different modes accessible through the DMC-GX1's menu system.

When enabled, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 automatically compensates for camera shake, which is a slight blurring of the image that typically occurs at slow shutter speeds when the camera is hand held. There are three different modes, Mode 1 is on all the time including image composition, Mode 2 is only on when you press the shutter button, and Mode 3 compensates for up and down movements only (which in turn allows you to pan the camera). In practice we found that it does make a noticeable difference, especially with the 45-175mm telephoto lens. You don't notice that the camera is actually doing anything different when anti-shake is turned on, just that you can use slower shutter speeds than normal and still take sharp photos.

On the front of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 is a small focus-assist and self-timer indicator lamp, lens release button, metal lens mount and the already mentioned hand-grip. On the bottom is a metal tripod socket, importantly in-line with the middle of the lens barrel, and the shared battery compartment and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot. The GX1 manages just over 300 shots using the supplied DMW-BLE10E 7.2V 1010mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery. On the right-hand side are ports for the remote socket, HDMI and AV Out/Digital connections, with small metal eyelets on either side of the body for the supplied camera strap. Unfortunately, Panasonic don't include a HDMI cable as standard in the box, which means that you'll have to purchase one separately to take advantage of this camera's HD connectivity. On the left-hand side is s small microphone.

The top of the GX1 houses a cleverly designed built-in pop-up flash, stereo speakers, flash hotshoe, shooting mode dial with integrated on/off switch, dedicated button for the Intelligent Auto mode which lights blue when turned on, tactile shutter button, and a one-touch movie button. The Panasonic GX1 has a dedicated button on the rear for opening the pop-up flash. Given the small size of the GX1, fitting a built-in flash was no mean feat, as proven by the double-hinged design which is quite a technical achievement. Although not particularly powerful with a guide number of just 7.6, the GX1's flash is perfectly adequate for fill-in effects at close-quarters.

The shooting mode dial offers the usual selection of Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual for the more experienced photographer. An optional exposure meter can be displayed in the P/A/S/M shooting modes which graphically shows the relationship between shutter speed and aperture, with a color-coded warning that alerts users when the settings are not in the proper range. The more beginner-friendly Scene modes are also available. One scene mode particularly worthy of mention is the Peripheral Defocus option, which makes it easy for beginners to achieve a blurred background / sharp subject effect without having to understand what apertures are. Additionally there are 4 custom modes which allow you to configure your favourite camera settings and quickly access them, with the first accessible via C1 and the other 3 via C2.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
Pop-up Flash


Completing the various shooting modes is the new range of Creative Controls, denoted by an artist's palette, with 8 options - Expressive, Retro, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Toy and Miniature - on offer. Some are more useful than others, and I'm not quite sure why these modes deserve their own special place on the shooting mode menu, rather than being grouped together with the Photo Styles in the Main Menu. It's presumably because you lose control of the exposure and other key settings when using the Creative Controls, whereas the 6 available Photo Styles still allow full control of the camera's settings.

Accessed via the dedicated red iA button on top of the camera, Intelligent Auto mode tries to make things as easy as possible for the complete beginner. It allows you to point and shoot the camera without having to worry about choosing the right scene mode or settings. Intelligent Auto Mode automatically determines a number of key criteria when taking a picture, including selecting the most appropriate scene mode (from 5 commonly used presets) and ISO speed, and turning face detection (up to 15 faces), image stabilization and quick auto-focus on. The Intelligent Auto Plus Mode also includes Intelligent Exposure, which increases exposure only in the under-exposed areas of the image, Digital Red-eye, which automatically detects and removes red-eye, and AF Tracking, which continually tracks a moving subject and keeps it in focus, without you having to hold the shutter button halfway down as on most other cameras.

The rear of the Panasonic DMC-GX1 is dominated by the large 3 inch LCD screen. The 460K pixel, high-resolution screen coped admirably with the majority of lighting conditions, aided by an anti-reflective coating. This screen is a great improvement on cameras with the usual 230K dot resolution, even being nice to use in low-light. The LCD operates at 60fps, twice the usual speed, which helps make it relatively flicker-free. The Auto Power LCD function automatically detects the current lighting conditions and boosts the LCD backlighting by up to 40% when shooting outdoors in bright sunshine, helping to keep the screen visible, although the lack of a built-in optical viewfinder is a hindrance on the rare occasions that the rear LCD is difficult to see.

One of the GX1's main innovations is its touchscreen interface, with a revamped GUI that's easy on the eye. Panasonic have wisely restricted the amount of things that you can do by interacting with the screen, and indeed you can still operate everything on the camera without having to push and prod the LCD at all. You would be missing out on a lot of genuinely useful functionality that really improves the shooting experience, though, so we suggest that you experiment before dismissing it out-of-hand. There's also a brand new Level Gauge which automatically detects the horizontal and vertical angle of view, useful for keeping your horizons straight or creatively wonky.

The most immediately noticeable function is the ability to use the 1-area AF mode to focus on your main subject simply by touching it on the LCD. If the subject then moves, the GX1 cleverly follows it around the screen using the the AF tracking function. If the subject exits the frame entirely, simply recompose and tap it again to start focusing. Impressive stuff that makes focusing on off-center subjects fast and intuitive. It is a little too easy to accidentally press the screen and set the focus point to the wrong area for the current subject, but a simple tap of the new Reset button will center the AF point (or you can turn this feature off altogether).

The size of the AF point itself can also be changed via an interactive onscreen slider or the rear scroll wheel. If Face Detection is enabled, the 1-area AF point can be manually set to a person's eye to help ensure that the most important part of a portrait is in focus. If Multi-area AF rather than 1-area AF is enabled, then you can select a group of 4, 5 or 6 AF points from 9 different areas, again providing some manual control over what is traditionally a rather hit and miss affair. The Pinpoint AF auto-focus area mode allows you to touch the area of the frame where your subject is, whereupon said area gets magnified in order to allow you to set the focus point with pinpoint accuracy using a second touch. While this method is obviously slower than the others, it can be very useful when shooting, say, a portrait with shallow depth of field where you will want to make sure focus is on the subject’s eyes rather than her nose, ears or eyebrows.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
Front Top

When Intelligent Auto is switched on, the GX1 changes the scene mode used when you touch the subject, for example selecting portrait mode if you touch a face and macro mode if you touch a close-up flower. If you prefer to manually focus rather than use the snappy AF, you can magnify any part of the subject by 1x, 5x or 10x by simply dragging the image around the screen. The final touchscreen ability from an image composition point of view is the ability to release the shutter, with a small icon on the right hand screen enabling this functionality, and then a single on-screen tap all that's required to take the picture.

Most of the menu options can be changed via the touchscreen interface, notably the Quick Menu and the Info Display menu - the main exception to this rule is the Main Menu, which is still mostly controlled via the navigation buttons. You can also control image playback by touching the screen, with the ability to tap a thumbnail to see the full-size version, scroll through your images by dragging them from side to side, and magnifying them up to 16x. The GX1 also offers a clever Touch Tab on the right-hand-side of the LCD which provides access to five icons - by default touch-zoom, touch-shutter, Function 3 and Function 4 - with the latter two allowing even more customisation of the camera.

Above the LCD screen is the aforementioned Flash button for popping-up the built-in flash, the port for the optional DMW-LVF2 electronic viewfinder, and two buttons for Playback and AF/AE Lock. The latter also doubles up as the second customisable Function button, although we'd suggest leaving it as the AF/AE control given its handy position. To the right of the LCD screen is a thumb-operated control dial for setting the aperture and/or shutter speed and also selecting menu options. Cleverly this dial can be pushed in to toggle between the aperture/shutter speed and exposure compensation. Below this is the Function 1 button, again customisable to suit you way of working, alongside a Display button which toggles detailed settings information about each picture on and off, such as the ISO rating and aperture / shutter speed.

Underneath is a traditional 4-way navigation D-Pad system with Menu/Set button in the centre. Pressing left, up, right and down on the D-Pad buttons selects AF Mode, ISO Speed, White Balance and Burst / Self-timer options respectively. The main menu system on the DMC-GX1 is straight-forward to use and is accessed by pressing the Menu/Set button in the middle of the navigation D-Pad. There are five main menus represented by large icons, Record, Motion Picture, Custom, Setup and Playback. As an indication of how configurable the GX1 is, the Custom menu has 32 different options, allowing you to fine-tune this camera to suit your way of working. If you have never used a digital camera before, or you're upgrading from a more basic model, reading the easy-to-follow manual before you start is a good idea. Unfortunately Panasonic have only chosen to supply a basic guide in printed format, with the full manual only available as a PDF on the product CD.

Underneath again is a combined Q. Menu/Delete/Reset button. The Q.Menu button provides quick access to most of the principal controls via an onscreen menu, which displays by default the aspect ratio, size, quality, metering and focus mode, and you can also configure it to include up to 10 out of 19 available settings simply by dragging and dropping the onscreen icons. You can still access all of these options from the main menu system too if you wish. The AF/MF button completes the rear of the GX1, allowing you to quickly choose from AF Single, AF Flexible, AF Continuous and Manual Focus modes. AF Flexible is a new mode which conventionally locks the focus when the shutter button is half-pressed, but then automatically resets it if the subject moves.

The GX1's Intelligent Resolution mode makes a standard image look like a higher resolution one by processing the contour areas, texture areas and smooth areas individually. There are three available strengths - low, standard and high - and an Extended option which increase the zoom range. Despite all the clever behind-the-scenes processing, it's fairly easy to tell which image was taken with Intelligent Resolution turned on and which one with it turned off due to unwanted artifacts appearing, particularly if viewing onscreen at 100% magnification. While the difference isn't quite so apparent on a print up to A3 in size, we're not convinced enough to recommend regularly using it.

Intelligent Dynamic adjusts the exposure setting to record more detail in the highlights and shadows, with three strengths available - low, standard and high. It's actually very effective for high-contrast scenes when the camera tends to blow-out the highlights and block-up the shadows. You can see some examples for both Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Dynamic on the Image Quality page.

The GX1 offers Full 1080i HD 1920 x 1080 movies and 720p HD 1280 x 720 movies at 60fps, both in the AVCHD (MPEG-4/H.264) format. In addition it can also record MP4 movies at 1920x1080, 1280x720 and 640x480 pixels, all at 30fps, useful as this format can currently be shared more easily. AVCHD offers almost double the recording time in HD quality, but software support is still a little thin on the ground. Panasonic describe it as the best mode for playing back on a HD TV direct from the camera, with the newly-supported MP4 format is best for email and playing on a computer.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

There's also a useful wind cut function which blocks out most of the noise from background wind and you can also display and adjust the built-in microphone level. The thumb-operated dedicated movie button on the top makes it simple to start record video footage at whatever quality level is currently selected. The HDMI port allows you to connect the GX1 to a high-def TV set, but only if you purchase the optional HDMI mini-cable. You can extract a frame from a movie during playback and save it as a small still image.

The Panasonic GX1's Intelligent Auto mode works for movies as well as for still photos. Simply press the iA button on top of the camera, then the Movie Record button. The Intelligent Scene Selector automatically determines the most suitable Scene mode from five options - Portrait, Scenery, Low Light and Close-up or Normal modes. Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts the focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion. Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. The Optical Image Stabilizer helps prevent blurring from hand-shake when using a compatible lens. Note that the GX1 doesn't offer any control over aperture or shutter speed during video recording, a rather glaring omission for a 2012 interchangeable-lens camera.

You can use any zoom lens during recording with focusing set as for still images. On the negative side, you'll find that if you choose continuous auto-focus, areas of the video will be blurred before becoming sharp again as the camera tries to refocus. On a more positive note, the the GX1 is quite fast at re-focusing (although not as fast as for still images), and having this system is much better than not being able to auto-focus at all, as with most current DSLR cameras that offer video recording. Hand-holding the GX1 during movie recording inevitably leads to obvious shake, despite the optical image stabilizer on compatible lenses, so for best results you'll need a dedicated video tripod. One great benefit of the touch-screen control system is that Touch Auto Focusing is available in movie recording, enabling pro-level rack-like focusing simply by pointing at the subject on the LCD screen. You can also use features like Photo Styles, metering modes, Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Dynamic Range for video as well as stills.

Unlike a conventional DSLR camera which uses a phase detection auto-focus system, the DMC-GX1 employs the same Contrast AF that is commonly used by compact cameras. Panasonic have published marketing data which suggests that the GX1's AF is as fast, if not faster, than a typical DSLR camera's, with a claimed speed of just 0.09 second when used with certain lenses, including the 14-42mm power-zoom that we tested the GX1 with. In practice we noticed very little difference in speed between the GX1 and a DSLR, and there were also very few occasions when the GX1 failed to lock onto the subject, especially when using the centre AF point. There are a wide range of AF modes on offer, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, AF Tracking and Pinpoint. The GX1 also has a useful Quick AF function that begins focusing as soon as you point the camera.

The start-up time from turning the Lumix DMC-GX1 on to being ready to take a photo is very impressive at less than 0.5 seconds. It takes about 1 second to store a JPEG image, allowing you to keep shooting as they are being recorded onto the memory card - there is a barely perceptible LCD blackout between each image. Storing a single RAW image takes around 4 seconds, but thankfully it doesn't lock up the camera in any way - you can use the menu system or shoot another image while the first file is being written to memory. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 has a pretty good Burst mode which enables you to take 4.2 frames per second for an unlimited number of JPEG images at the highest image quality, or 7 RAW images. There's also a faster 20fps mode, but the images are only recorded at 4 megapixels.

Once you have captured a photo, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 has an average range of options when it comes to playing, reviewing and managing your images. You can instantly scroll through the images that you have taken, view thumbnails (up to 30 onscreen at the same time and in a Calendar view), zoom in and out up to 16x magnification, view slideshows, delete, protect, trim, resize, copy and rotate an image. You can also select favourite images, change an image's aspect ratio, divide a video and set the print order. The Display icon toggles detailed settings information about each picture on and off, such as the ISO rating and aperture / shutter speed, and there is a small brightness histogram available during shooting and RGBY histogram during playback if enabled in the menu. You can also turn on guide-lines to help with composition and flashing highlights which indicate any over-exposed areas of the image.

In summary, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 combines the more traditional handling of the original GF1 model with more up-to-date features from the GF3 and G3 cameras and some brand new options like MP4 video support, Touch Tab, AF Flexible mode and the level gauge. Now let's take a look at its image quality on the next page...

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 produced images of excellent quality during the review period. It produces noise-free images at ISO 100 to 800, with limited noise starting to appear at ISO 1600. ISO 3200 exhibits quite visible noise and loss of fine detail, and the fastest settings of ISO 6400 and 12800 are even noisier but still usable for small prints and web use.

The images were a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpening level and ideally require further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting if you don't like the default results. The various Creative Controls and Photo Styles allow you to quickly and easily customise the look of the camera's JPEG images. The pop-up flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure.

The night photograph was excellent, with the maximum shutter speed of 60 seconds allowing you to capture plenty of light. There are some subtle differences between the Intelligent Resolution settings, and Intelligent D-range is an effective feature for capturing more detail in the shadows and highlights.


There are 8 ISO settings available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and RAW on the right:



ISO 160 (100% Crop)

ISO 160 (100% Crop)


ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)


ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)


ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)


ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)


ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)


ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 has 2 different JPEG image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

Fine (6.97Mb) (100% Crop)

Normal (3.04Mb) (100% Crop)


RAW (18.6Mb) (100% Crop)



Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting, and benefit from further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level by tweaking the Film Mode, with five different settings available.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)



The flash settings on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 are Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced Flash On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction and Forced Flash Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off (28mm)

Flash On (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off (84mm)

Flash On (84mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting or the Red-Eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds and there's also a Bulb option for exposures up to 4 minutes long, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 160. The camera takes the same amount of time again to apply noise reduction, so for example at the 15 second setting the actual exposure takes 30 seconds.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Image Stabilisation

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1's 14-42mm kit lens has a built-in shake reduction mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length Image Stabilisation Off (100% Crop) Image Stabilisation On (100% Crop)
1/3 sec / 28mm
1/2 sec / 84mm

Intelligent Resolution

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1's Intelligent Resolution feature identifies outlines, texture areas and soft gradation areas of the image and then automatically optimizes the edges and detailed texture areas while using noise reduction to make the soft gradation areas smoother. There are three available strengths - low, standard and high.







Intelligent D-Range

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1's Intelligent D-range feature adjusts the exposure setting to record more detail in the highlights and shadows, with three strengths available - low, standard and high.






Photo Styles

Panasonic's Photo Styles, similar to Nikon's Picture Styles, Canon's Picture Controls and Olympus' Picture Modes, are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and noise reduction settings. The six available Photo Styles are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. There is also a Custom option so that you can create your own look.









Creative Controls

The Panasonic GX1 has a range of Creative Controls, denoted by an artist's palette in the shooting mode menu, with 8 different options on offer.




High Key

Low Key



High Dynamic




Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Panasonic RAW (RW2) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 can record 1080i HD video at 1920x1080 pixels and 25fps in the AVCHD Lite format. This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting. Please note that this 16 second movie is 33.4Mb in size.

Product Images

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Front of the Camera / Lens Removed

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Front of the Camera / Pop-up Flash

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Isometric View

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Isometric View

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Isometric View

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Isometric View

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Rear of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed


Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Rear of the Camera / Main Menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Rear of the Camera / Touchscreen

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Rear of the Camera / Touchscreen

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Rear of the Camera / Touchscreen

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Top of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Bottom of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Side of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Side of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Memory Card Slot

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Battery Compartment


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 is the natural successor to the popular GF1, taking many of its design cues from that two-year-old camera whilst incorporating virtually all of the recent advances that Panasonic have made in their other G/GF-series cameras. Breaking the compact enthusiast design out into its own range makes perfect sense, with the GF-series now aimed predominantly at new compact system camera users, the G-series at DSLR-wannabees, and the GF at those looking for a combination of the two. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 does have some serious competition though, most notably from the Sony NEX-7 which squeezes an integrated EVF, flip-out screen and larger APS-C sensor into an almost identically sized body. That shouldn't detract from the GX1, though, which successfully takes on the mantle of the GF1 to create a great camera in its own right.

We're a little less sure about the new 14-42mm power-zoom lens, though, which is one of the two kit lens options for the GX1. While it undoubtedly makes the overall package smaller, impressively being similar in size to Panasonic's 20mm pancake lens, we really missed having zoom and focus rings, instead replaced by slower and less precise push-pull switches. Thankfully you can also buy the GX1 with the more conventional 14-42mm lens or body-only, so its definitely best to try before you buy and see which lens best suits you. Even with the standard 14-42mm lens, the GX1 is smaller than the Sony NEX-7 and its comparable 18-55mm lens, lens size being one of the key advantages that Micro Four Thirds overs over the APS-C compact system cameras.

Sharing the same sensor as the DMC-G3, the GX1 achieves the same very neat trick of increasing the resolution from the GF3 and improving the image quality at the same time, in particular moving things on in the ISO stakes, with noise not rearing its ugly head until ISO 1600. Recent DSLR users probably won't be impressed by this feat, but in the world of Micro Four Thirds it's a big advancement, although again the likes of Sony's NEX system and Samsung's NX series have the edge thanks to their larger sensors.

The GX1's improved touch-sensitive screen helps to deliver all the convenience and more of a compact camera shooting experience, while the plethora of external buttons and controls means that you could completely ignore the touchscreen if you want to, although you'd be mad not to at least experiment with using it. The GX1 is also one of the most customisable cameras that we've reviewed, with no less than four configurable Function buttons and four custom shooting modes on offer. Completing the GX1's impressive bag of tricks are the super-fast auto-focusing system, with times of under 0.1 second with the standard power-zoom kit lens, 4.2fps burst shooting, and the improved Full 1080i HD video mode complete with stereo sound, continuous auto-focusing, and both AVCHD and MP4 support.

The new GX-series unfortunately doesn't quite slot into place between the GF and G ranges, costing as much as the G3 with the same 14-42mm lens, so it's more of a direct alternative rather to our favourite compact system camera of 2011. We'd still just give the edge to the G3 thanks to its built-in EVF and rotating LCD screen, and the Sony NEX-7 that we're also reviewing soon is definitely a very big rival, but if you want virtually all of Panasonic's compact system camera technologies in a small, customisable and intuitive package, the new Lumix DMC-GX1 fits the bill almost perfectly.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 from around the web. »

Back when the Lumix DMC-GF3 came out, I bemoaned the fact that Panasonic was moving further and further away from the GF1 that I personally own (and enjoy using). While the GF1 (and the GF2 that followed it) were flat-bodied, rangefinder-style cameras, the GF3 was a compact model aimed more toward the point-and-shoot crowd. Many of us GF1 lovers have been waiting for a true successor to that camera, and it's finally arrived in the form of the Lumix DMC-GX1 (priced from $699).
Read the full review »



Type Digital interchangeable lens system camera
Recording media SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card (Compatible with UHS-I standard SDHC/SDXC memory cards)
Image sensor size 17.3 x 13.0 mm (in 4:3 aspect ratio)
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds mount


Type Live MOS Sensor
Total pixels 16.68 Megapixels
Camera effective pixels 16.0 Megapixels
Colour filter Primary colour filter
Dust reduction system Supersonic wave filter


Recording file format Still Image: JPEG(DCF, Exif 2.3), RAW, / MPO (When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds standard) / Motion Image: AVCHD (Audio format: Dolby Digital 2 ch) / MP4 (Audio format AAC 2ch)
Aspect ratio 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
Image quality RAW, RAW+Fine, RAW+Standard, Fine, Standard, / MPO+Fine, MPO+Standard (with 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds System standard)
Color Space sRGB, Adobe RGB
File size(Pixels)
Still Image [4:3] 4592x3448(L) / 3232x2424(M) / 2272x1704(S) / 1824x1368(When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Third System standard) / [3:2] 4576x3056(L) / 3232x2160(M) / 2272x1520(S) / 1824x1216(When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Third System standard) / [16:9] 4576x2576(L) / 3232x1824(M) / 1920x1080(S) / 1824x1024(When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Third System standard) / [1:1] 3424 x 3423 (L) / 2416 x 2416 (M) / 1712 x 1712 (S) / 1712x1712(When attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Third System standard)
Continuous recordable time (Motion images) AVCHD with picture quality set to [FSH]: Approx. 140 min with H-PS14042 / Approx. 130 min with H-FS014042 / Approx. 150 min with H-H014?
Actual recordable time (Motion images) AVCHD with picture quality set to [FSH]: Approx. 70 min with H-PS14042 / Approx. 65 min with H-FS014042 / Approx. 75 min with H-H014


Type Contrast AF system
Focus mode AFS (Single) / AFF (Flexible) / AFC (Continuous) / MF
AF mode Face detection / AF Tracking / 23-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing/Pinpoint / Touch (1- area-focusing in Face detection / AF Tracking / Multi-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing / Pinpoint)
AF detective range EV 0 - 18 (ISO100 equivalent)
AF assist lamp YES
AF lock Set the Fn button in custom menu to AF/AE lock or Shutter button halfway pressed in AFS mode
Others Quick AF, Continuous AF (during motion image recording), AF+MF, Touch shutter, Touch MF Assist


Light metering system 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system
Light metering mode Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot
Metering range EV 0 - 18 (F2.0 lens, ISO100 equivalent)
Exposure mode Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual, Auto
ISO sensitivity (Standard Output Sensitivity) Auto / Intelligent ISO / 160 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400 / 12800 (Changeable to 1/3 EV step)
Exposure compensation 1/3EV Step ±5EV
AE lock Set the Fn button in custom menu to AE lock
AE bracket 3,5,7 frame, in 1/3, 2/3 or 1 EV Step, ±3 EV


White balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Incandescent / Flash / White Set 1, 2 / Color temperature setting
White balance adjustment Blue/amber bias, Magenta/green bias
Color temperature setting 2500-10000K in 100K
White balance bracket 3 exposures in blue/ amber axis or in magenta/ green axis


Type Focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed Still Images: 1/4000 ~ 60 and Bulb (up to approx. 2 minutes) / Motion image: 1/16000 ~ 1/30 (NTSC), 1/16000 ~ 1/25 (PAL)
Self timer 10sec, 3 images/ 2sec / 10sec
Remote control Remote control with bulb function by DMW-RSL1 (Optional)


Still Image SCN mode Portrait / Soft Skin / Scenery / Architecture / Sports / Peripheral Defocus / Flower / Food / Objects / Night Portrait / Night Scenery / Illiminatioms / Baby 1, 2 / Pet / Party / Sunset
Movie SCN mode Portrait / Soft Skin / Scenery / Architecture / Sports / Flower / Food / Objects / Low-light / Party / Sunset / (Activated by selecting Still Image SCN mode then pressing Movie Button. Still Image SCN modes without corresponding Movie SCN mode is recorded in mode suitable for the recording situation.)


Creative control (Still image & Motion image) Expressive / Retro / High key / Low key / Sepia / High Dyamic / Toy effect / Miniature effect


Burst speed SH: 20 frames/sec, H: 4.2 frames/sec (When AFS mode), M: 3 frames/sec (with Live View), L: 2 frames/sec (with Live View)
Number of recordable images 9 images (when there are RAW files with the particular speed) / Unlimited consecutive shooting (when there are no RAW files) / (depending on memory card size, battery power, picture size, and compression)


Type TTL Built-in-Flash, GN7.6 equivalent (ISO 160 ?m), Built-in Pop-up
Flash Mode Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, / Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Synchronization speed Less than 1/160 second
Flash output adjustment 1/3EV Step ±2EV
Flash synchronization 1st Curtain Sync / 2nd Curtain Sync
Hot shoe TTL Auto with FL220 / FL360 / FL500 (Optional)


Additional zoom operation Touch Zoom (when use power zoom lenses*) *H-PS14042 lens and H-PS45175 lens
Digital zoom 2x, 4x


LIVE VIEW functions Guide Lines (3 patterns)
LIVE VIEW functions Real-time Histogram
Type TFT LCD with Touch panel
Monitor size 3.0inch / 3:2 Aspect / Wide-viewing angle
Pixels 460K dots
Filed of view Approx. 100%
Monitor adjustment Brightness (7 levels), Contrast and Saturation (7 levels), Red tint (7 levels), Blue tint (7 levels)


Extra Tele Conversion Still image: Max.2x (Not effective with L size recording. Magnification ratio depends on the recording pixels and aspect ratio.)
Extra Tele Conversion Motion image: Max.4.8x (Magnification ratio depends on the recording quality and aspect ratio.)


Level Gauge Yes (Built-in 3 shaft accelerometer sensor)


Direction Detection Function Yes




C1, C2-1/2/3 Yes (Registering Personal Menu Settings)


Playback mode Normal playback, 30-thumbnail display, 12-thumbnail display, Calendar display, Zoomed playback (16x Max.), Slideshow (duration & effect is selectable), Playback Mode (Normal/Picture/Video/3D Play/Category/Favorite), / Title Edit, Text Stamp, Video Divide, Resize, Cropping, Aspect Conversion, Rotate, Rotate Display, Favorite, Print set, Protect, Face Recognition Edit


Protection Single / Multi, Single in Burst Group / Multi in Burst Group, Cancel
Erase Single / Multi / All / Except Favorite


Direct Print PictBridge compatible?Print size, Layout, Date setting are selectable ?


USB USB 2.0 High Speed
HDMI miniHDMI TypeC / Video: Auto / 1080i / 720p / 480p (576p in PAL system) / Audio: Linear PCM
Audio video output Monaural Type, NTSC/PAL, NTSC only for North America / *Check the website of the Panasonic sales company in your country or region for details on the products that are available in your market.
Remote Remote socket
Microphone Stereo, Wind-cut: Off / Auto / Microphone level adjustable: Lv1 / Lv2 / Lv3 / Lv4
Speaker Monaural


Battery Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1010mAh) (Included) / Battery Charger
Battery life (CIPA standard) Approx. 310 images with H-PS14042
Dimensions (W x H x D) 116.3 x 67.8 x 39.4 mm / 4.58 x 2.67 x 1.55 inch?(excluding protrusions)
Weight Approx. 318g / 11.22 oz ?SD card, Battery, Body) / Approx. 272g / 9.59 oz ?Body only) / Approx. 413g / 14.59 oz (SD card, Battery, H-PS14042 lens included)
Operating Environment
Operating temperature 0? to 40? (32°F to 104°F)
Operating humidity 10% RH to 80? RH
Standard Accessories
Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 7.0 HD Edition / SILKYPIX® Developer Studio 3.1 SE / LoiLoScope (trial version) / USB Driver
Standard accessories Battery Charger, Body Cap, Lens Cap, Lens Rear Cap / USB Connection Cable, Shoulder Strap, CD-ROM


Nano Surface Coating Yes
Aperture range F3.5(Wide) - F5.6(TELE)
Lens Name LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 14-42mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH/POWER O.I.S
Lens Construction 9 elements in 8 groups (4 aspherical lenses , 2 ED lens)
Mount Micro Four Thirds mount
Optical Image Stabilizer YES (POWER OIS)
Focal Length f=14-42mm (35mm camera equivalent 28-84mm)
Aperture Type 7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm
Minimum Aperture F22
Closest Focusing Distance 0.2m / 0.66ft (14-20mm), 0.3m / 0.98ft (21-42mm)
Maximum magnification Approx. 0.17x / 0.34x (35mm camera equivalent)
Diagonal Angle of View 75°(Wide) to 29°(TELE)
Others Electric zoom lever, Manual focus lever
Filter Size φ37mm / 1.5in
Max. Diameter φ61mm / 2.4in
Overall Length Approx. 26.8mm / 1.1in (When the lens is retracted.)
Weight [g] Approx. 95g (excluding lens cap and lens rear cap)
Weight [oz] Approx. 3.4oz (excluding lens cap and lens rear cap)
Standard Accessories Lens cap, Lens rear cap, Lens storage bag

Further Specifications

NOTE * Use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class4" or higher

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