Well, I finally gave in on the micro-4/3 (m4/3) concept originated by Olympus and Panasonic. I debated for weeks between the GF-1 or the EP-2, in the end, the GF-1 was chosen not because of feature or IQ, but rather price. Yes, price. I got a deal through an employee discount program that I couldn’t resist for the GF-1 + 20 kit. It made choosing the EP-2 + 17 + EVF option look insane. I couldn’t believe the discount (I won’t mention it specifically, other than to say it was almost like getting the body for well under $300). Check to see if you employer offers such programs 🙂
The GF-1 is slightly smaller than the Canon G11, which is a near perfect size for an everyday camera in my opinion. The ergonomics are wonderful, the speed of operation (menus, image review, shutter lag, AF, etc.) are all light years ahead of the G11 (or any other point and shoot). The best part is the sensor. It’s the same size as in my Olympus E-3 and E-1 DSLRS…which are now really lonely and feeling neglected! (size comparison images are below). I have a feeling the big old DSLRs are on their way out!
The LCD is big and bright, the lens super sharp wide open and incredible stepped down to f/2.5-4.0 range. The AF is quick and accurate. The video (I don’t use the AVCHD format) in 720p HD is wonderful, even with only mono sound. At this point, I can seriously see selling at least one of the DSLR’s to fund another nice lens (the Pan-Leica 45mm f/2.8 macro) and can see the day coming when m4/3 may be the primary set up – and only set up in the stable…leaving the DSLR’s behind. The Canon G11 is now my wife’s camera (her G9 died last month) and I’ll use it for macro work until I have a proper lens for the GF-1.
I’ll write more about the GF-1 in real use in the near future, until then, here are some images of the GF-1 and from the GF-1. I’m really liking the 1:1 format (like the old 6×6 medium format film). These are just some test shots I made – they are not intended to be of any real artistic value, rather I was just playing around seeing what this little thing is capable of…all shot with the 20m f/1.7 lens. CLICK ON THE IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW (all images exported from Apple Aperture 3 at max size of 1024 x 1024).