The date was 20 Sep 2011. I was one of the few in Singapore invited to a Panasonic media meet-up. The purpose: to preview a new Panasonic mirrorless camera. They called it the LUMIX GX1.

The information embargo ended on 7 Nov 2011 1pm (+8 GMT), which obviously indicates the exact date and time of the impending public announcement and launch.

Specs worth mentioning:

  • 16 megapixel Live MOS sensor
  • 0.09 sec Light Speed AF
  • AF Flexible mode: camera re-focuses even after AF is locked, if camera detects that subject has moved.
  • ISO 160 – 12800
  • 4.2fps continuous shooting
  • 3-inch 460K touch screen
  • Full HD 1080/60i
  • Electronic Level Gauge
  • Bundled with the new X lens 14-42mm with power zoom for smooth jerk-free zoom during video recording

At one look, the GX1 is indistinguishable from the GF1. Call it “retro” design if you want, or a “reboot”, but Panasonic understands that a semi-pro cameras are not all about size. One of the most common comment heard during the secret meeting was: “This should have been the GF3!” Well guys, Panasonic has saved it for their debut GX-series!

Side by side: LUMIX GX1 and GF1

With the GX1, Panasonic sends a clear signal that the GF-series will continue to get smaller and cheaper, and not catering for the “step-down” users, a term they use to describe DSLR users looking for an alternative camera system that offers good image quality and manual handling. The GX1 has a non-detachable rubber grip, built-in flash, and a hotshoe, which will delight most of these step-down users.

As I only had a short time to try the camera, I shall provide further detailed comments about the operations of the camera once I get a review unit from Panasonic. Till then, feast yourself with press photos from Engadget, comparison table from CNET, and a preview write-up from DPReview.

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