Micro 4/3 Lumix LF1 Review

lcsolla

Regular
Sep 5, 2011
Lisbon, Portugal
Luis Castro e Solla
A good review of the Panasonic LF1, in technical terms and market positioning, was already published by Valentin Sama [http://www.dslrmagazine.com/pruebas/pruebas-de-campo/panasonic-lf1-prueba-y-reflexiones.html]. I can speak spanish, those who cannot may try the automatic translation. Sama praises the LF1 design, yet thinks that the EVF, one of the strong arguments of this camera, is simply not up to the task (although he admits it is better than having none when the sun is shining on you). Other commentators already said the same. All in all, he seems to like the camera, despite some shortcomings - he ends by saying it will have trouble fighting the Sony RX100, and that he would like to see an LF2, with a better EVF.
Mick says he mainly takes pictures indoors. It is outdoors that we need the EVF. An LF1 is much smaller and cheaper than the RX100 + EVF. I would go with Sama: a Panasonic LF2, with a better EVF, would be a very nice pocket/travel camera.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
at least half the time, if not more, i shoot manual focus lenses on my gxr. thats when you need a good vf. the rest of the time i shoot autofocus with my x100 or xz-2. unless i'm out for discreet street shooting with the xz-2 touch screen, i pretty much require a vf because i dont like shooting from a screen as most necessitate holding the camera out in front of me like a baby with a dirty diaper. however, the vf in that scenario is really just for framing and exposure purposes, and obtaining necessary info as one shoots. so roundabout, i'm not sure why the vf on an AF cam needs be state of the art, thus not sure why thats such a 'big' negative of the lf1.

personally, im much more interested in IQ, detail, clarity throughout the frame, and lowlight performance up to 16-3200. nail those in this form factor with that zoom and IS, and i can be a pretty happy camper.
 

mick / Lumix

Regular
Jan 17, 2011
UK
Icsolla, I did not say that I mainly take indoor photos, the vast majority of my photos are outdoors ! I was simply making the point that indoors is more difficult with the lower light levels and the LF1 did very well. Sorry if I was not very clear. The EVF is grainy, poor definition and weird colours. That said its wonderful to have it simply for framing the photo, beats struggling with the rear screen. I am sure that a later LF2, if they produce one, may have a better quality EVF but a larger body would be a backward step.
 

lcsolla

Regular
Sep 5, 2011
Lisbon, Portugal
Luis Castro e Solla
@ rbelyell
"...i'm not sure why the vf on an AF cam needs be state of the art, thus not sure why thats such a 'big' negative of the LF1"

IMHO, photography is very much about seeing, and seeing through the viewfinder of a camera - whatever the viewfinder type. The pleasure of looking through a bright, detailed, big viewfinder has nothing to do with looking through a dark, low-resolution and small one. And that is as much a pleasure as later seeing a print, if not more. I remember most of the photos I take, and how they made me notice things that otherwise might have passed unnoticed; only a small percentage, definitely less than 10%, ever gets printed. To me, the quality of a viewfinder is fundamental - and the only reason that in the reflex realm I may one day trade my Nikon D7000 for a so-called full-frame camera such as the D600.
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
NY Mtns
of course you make a good general point. but context is everything. this is a shirt pocketable camera, with a 28-200 lens, with in body IS, and with an integrated vf that seems to produce some pretty compelling results. imho that is amazing, and i know of no other gear that comes close to combining those elements. so to complain about a feature that isnt even offered by any competitor is, imo, missing the point a llittle in this specific instance.
 

lcsolla

Regular
Sep 5, 2011
Lisbon, Portugal
Luis Castro e Solla
of course you make a good general point. but context is everything. this is a shirt pocketable camera, with a 28-200 lens, with in body IS, and with an integrated vf that seems to produce some pretty compelling results. imho that is amazing, and i know of no other gear that comes close to combining those elements. so to complain about a feature that isnt even offered by any competitor is, imo, missing the point a llittle in this specific instance.
In a previous post I said that the combination of features of the LF1 was, on paper, remarkable. I agree with you, but think that a better viewfinder, if not increasing the size of the camera too much, would get it from very good to excellent. In Portugal it is very often hard to see the back screen under the sunlight, and so the quality of the EVF, which you use all the time, is important.
 

ReD

Hall of Famer
Mar 27, 2013
Mick I think you have done a fine job showing the merits of this camera

Its now on my selection list alongside the X10 and Nikon V1 - it will be sometime before I take the plunge though & who knows what will turn up in the interim.

I am now not too concerned with having a viewfinder for internal shots - (other than additional steadiness) - but for external its a high priority for me. Let's hope it pushes other manuf's to include the VF in their next models.

edit PS please give me the adresses of these interior designers so I can shoot them ( A Glock seems popular)
 

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