Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 at a glance:

  • 12.1-million-pixel Live MOS sensor
  • ISO 80-12,800
  • 28-200mm (equivalent) f/2-5.9, 7.1x zoom lens
  • 3in 920,000-dot screen
  • 200, 000-dot EVF
  • Wi-Fi with NFC
  • Street price around £370

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 review – Introduction

There have been a number of premium compact cameras appearing on the ‘high street’ recently. The latest is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1, which was unveiled at the launch of the Lumix DMC-G6 and GF6 micro four thirds cameras in March this year. The LF1 follows Panasonic’s successful LX-series cameras in using a slightly larger 1/1.7in sensor. However, where the LX7 has a 3.8x zoom lens, the new LF1 sports a 7.1x model.

This is a moderate zoom compared to those found on most other travel compact cameras, such as the 30x zoom of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50. The LF1 lens does have an f/2 aperture setting at its widest focal length but clearly, for Panasonic, what defines the camera is the combination of the zoom with the larger-than-normal sensor.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 review – Features

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 is built around a 12.1-million-pixel, 1/1.7in (7.6×5.7mm) Live MOS sensor, with ISO 80-12,800 sensitivity settings. This sensor is the same size as those in cameras such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, Canon PowerShot G15 and the Nikon Coolpix P7700. However, while it may be a bit bigger than standard compact camera sensors, it is still small compared to those in compact system cameras or DSLRs, and like its competitors, Panasonic has the kept resolution comparatively low. This move should hold noise at bay, allowing the LF1 to appeal to those who care more about the finesse of image quality than the numbers on the spec sheet.

Images measure 4000×3000 pixels and can be saved as either raw or JPEG images, at a rate of up to 10fps when shooting full-resolution JPEG files. Like other recent Panasonic cameras, the LF1 features Wi-Fi connectivity – it can be connected to wireless devices either manually, or via Near Field Communication (NFC).

Although the 28-200mm (equivalent) 7.1x zoom lens does not cover the focal range of some other recent travel compacts, stabilisation is still needed at the longest setting. I found the stabilisation works well and it was possible to shoot sharp images at around 1/30sec. Zooming from wide to the maximum 7.1x setting takes around 2.5secs, which is reasonable.

Images: The 28-200mm zoom lens offers a nice working range that is ideal for travel photography

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