I have been on the search for a small portable camera that I can have when I am not carrying a full size Canon EOS 1D or 5D body.I like point and shoot camera and believe the most important thing is to have a camera with you.Any camera.The problem I have had with point and shoot cameras, were the slow focus acquisition along with slow shutter speeds.Bottom line is I found a great, compact, fast camera that takes great photos.
I picked up a Lumix GF1 with the 20mm 1.7 pancake lens.This camera has been great and has been the perfect blend between my 1D and a small portable system.The camera has a very solid build and looks like it will take a beating. I added a GGS glass screen protector and a 46mm UV filter to make sure it could handle bouncing around my backpack, truck, etc.
Focus Speed:Living and traveling to remote areas often has me taking quick shots from a car.So far no point and shoot could focus and fire the shutter in time for my style of quick from the hip shooting.The GF1 is the exception.The focus and shutter lag has been great.It is not as great as the 1D system, but I did not expect it to be.The GF1 is a great addition to make sure you have a camera with you at all times.
Workflow:The GF1 integrated perfectly into my OSX Lightroom workflow. The only odd thing so far is the orientation sensor does not appear to register in Adobe Lightroom 2. I import the HD Video in iMovie 09 without problem.Will be working on test using 1D, 5D and GF1 video in the same shoot with Premier CS4.
Video:The video is nice addition to the small rangefinder form factor.It has a relatively fast autofocus, but as expected it is no comparison to the Mark IV or the 5D MII video quality.The microphone is satisfactory but not for use in any pro audio requirements.No external microphone can be added.
So far I have been very pleased with the GF1 quality and form factor.I also like the fact I can add Leica M lenses with a 35 dollar adaptor if I want to expand the system without having to purchase a overpriced Leica M9.