Panasonic Lumix DMC GF1 micro four thirds camera.

I bought a new camera a few weeks ago. This is my or the households third digital, the last two being small compacts which The Wife loves because they can be tucked into a pocket or purse and grabbed at any occasion and snap away. And that's cool but I'm not really keen on "framed" smiling party pics and I was keen for a little more.

The trouble is that I also need a better camera to take pictures of stuff that we trial for work, that can make me extend a bit as a photographer, that can document the progress of Lantanaland in way that I can archive seriously but I don't want to lug around a DSLR all the time, too bulky, too expensive, too much.

The answer is a new format that Panasonic, Lecia and Olympus came up with to differentiate themselves from the big boys. It's called micro four thirds. Without geeking out too much a small compact camera has a small sensor and a cheap lens in a small body. A DSLR has a large body to accomodate the mirror that let's you look through the lens to frame the photo and a large sensor and interchangeable lenses. A micro 4/3rd camera has no mirror and a slightly smaller sensor which allows a much smaller and lighter body. You still have interchangeable lenses, but they are also better engineered to be more compact as well. The result is a camera you can quite easily hang round your neck and carry around. It's too big to fit in a jeans pocket and if you are used to looking through a veiwfinder you'll hate the LCD only way of taking pictures but I'm so used to digital now I can't remember the last time I framed a picture that way.

I love this camera. After two weeks of playing round with it, only using the small 20mm lens with no zoom I've taken a few great pics.




I took this one at Brunswick going for a walk to test the camera out the morning after I got it. I'd grabbed a coffee and was just playing round with depth of feild when this bloke rode past, adding interest to the out of focus background.



This was out of the window of the car going at 100km/h on the way to brunswick.




A bit of fishing at Ocean Shores. Took this with the burst mode on and got that great rod bend.




The Wife and her bro at their dads 60th. This was taken, no flash, in a dimly lit resteraunt.





A mate of ours neice. I was demonstrating apperature to her and her brother and took this great pic of her. She likes acting up for the camera so was surprised at the softer expression on her face. In fact this is an awesome camera for taking pics of people. The big LCD let's you hold the camera low and not get in peoples faces. I then gve her the camera and she took this one of me.





The less said the better.




This one I took of The Wifes dad while we were having coffee. I was just snapping away from the hip and got this great unguarded picture. My favourite with the new camera so far.





My mad mate Andy.

This camera retails in Oz at $1300-$1500 au at all good camera stores. Those good camera stores or Panasonic Australia need to have a good hard look at themselves though, because I bought a grey market one for under a grand, same one year warrentee, shipped in three days instead of two weeks.

Lantanaland from the iPhone