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lorin niculae | profile | all galleries >> misc >> cameras&lenses tests >> panasonic gf1 vs canon 5d tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

panasonic gf1 vs canon 5d

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panasonic gf1 + lumix 20mm f1.7
canon 5D +35mm f1.4 L

5D is the digital camera I love and extensively use and the gf1 is the best quality portable digital I own.
This comparison is not a scientific one; it's just what I wanted to know about the compromise in image quality I make when having the joy of using the gf1.

My first findings after 2 days of using the Panasonic gf1 are:

The goods
-superb built, fast, good handling, good battery life (unexpectedly good);
-great design;
-fast lens with good bokeh;
-good out of camera jpegs (after modifying the standard output of the camera which is bad);
-no need to raw (the raw converter is slow and the output does not justify the hassle);
-very fast and reliable AF with the 20mm;
-excellent auto white ballance (far better than the 5D);
-lightweight, light, light, less than 500g with lens, stays into the pocket of my winter jacket;did I mention light?
-fast controls and reasonable buttons;
-not too small for my hands;
-good iso capability, it goes side by side with the 5D up to iso 800, iso 1600 is worse on the gf1 and iso 3200 is unusuable;
-the camera+lens combination allow a safe shuter speed of 1/20s;
-the image is corrected for distortion in camera, which translates into less pp. Excellent for architecture!
-no direct print button; 5D users know why!

The not so goods

-the program mode is using f1.7 only. You get strange combinations like f1.7 and 1/2000 s; not usable for that matter;
-at f1.7, the shutter lag is minimum; at different f settings, the shutter lag is bigger. Strange but true. I hope this to be addressed with a new firmware;
-the af is quite noisy (like the non usm ef lenses)
-hysterical menu: both words and icons. The 5D menu suddenly seems the clearest thing on Earth;
-even more hysterical information dysplayed on the lcd; you can rennounce to it, but then, if you do so, there is too little info displayed; maybe the next firmware will solve it; there are few icons displayed I donít even know what they are;
-crazy manual: 195 pages of little font full pages. Badly organised. In German, Dutch, Italian and French. I picked the French one. But, you know:logiciel, ordinateur etc. I set the camera in English, as usual;
-the gf1 is probably the camera loaded with the biggest ammount of not necessary things for a photographer. The amount is huge and I will never count how many useless feature the camera has. Just an example: enregistrement de líimage díun visage díune nouvelle personne. This takes 2 full pages.
Anyway, the good is that all this useless info is burried somewhere inside the menus and to use the camera as photographic tool you need just the buttons. Good thinking!
-camera defaults settings for jpeg bad;
-the excellent batery life comes to the expense of around 150 minutes of charging time. 2 hours and half is just too much, making difficult to survey the operation.

The conclusion: the gf1 exceeds so far my expectations. A good, reliable photographic tool for fast work and very little postprocessing. A joy to use.
Of course, GF1 cannot replace a 5D kit. The 5D beats the GF1 in almost every aspect, except convenience of use and auto white ballance. Here follow some things the 5D does better:
-better per pixel resolution;
-slightly better dynamic range;
-better OOF;
-bigger pixels, so larger margins to play with the output;
-faster;
-almost no shutter lag;
-smaller Af areas, much more precise Af;
-much more high quality AF lenses, including the four TS-E lenses;
-some other aspects I will probably discover.
panasonic gf1+lumix 20mm f1.7 vs canon 5D+ef 35mm f 1.4 L
panasonic gf1+lumix 20mm f1.7 vs canon 5D+ef 35mm f 1.4 L
gf1 vs 5D: high contrast scene
:: gf1 vs 5D: high contrast scene ::
gf1 vs 5D: dof and bokeh
:: gf1 vs 5D: dof and bokeh ::
gf1 vs 5D: high iso
:: gf1 vs 5D: high iso ::
pany gf1 colors,  sharpness, distortion and overall image quality
:: pany gf1 colors, sharpness, distortion and overall image quality ::
bonus: panasonic gf1 vs linhof master technika
:: bonus: panasonic gf1 vs linhof master technika ::