Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1: Video and Image Quality

by Jim Keenan Reads (224)
Editor's Rating
7.80

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 8
    • Features
    • 7
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 9
    • Expandability
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 7.80
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Video Quality
HD video quality is quite good in the GX1. Zoom and stabilization are available during video recording but the camera may record those sounds and the stereo microphone is also wind sensitive. There is an automatic wind cut feature enabled by default that may be disabled should the user so choose.

Because the camera has a CMOS sensor rolling shutter effect is in play when the camera is panned, and the GX1 showed just a slight hint of rolling shutter at relatively modest panning speeds. The effect is still quite well managed and probably would not draw attention unless someone was specifically looking for it, but not quite up to par with other cameras I’ve tested recently, notably the Sony NEX-7 and Canon S100. The one touch video capture process with the dedicated button is quick and seamless.

Maximum clip length is 29 minutes and 59 seconds or 4GB.

Image Quality
Default images out of the GX1 were pleasant as to sharpness and color fidelity. Here’s four captures at Disneyland shot in iA at default settings.

Panasonic GX1 Sample Image Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image Panasonic GX1 Sample Image

The GX1 outputs images at 180 dots per inch – not optimal for best quality printing and not the most efficient size for e-mail transmissions. The shots above were all resized to 300 dots per inch but no additional sharpening was added, so they are representative of the image quality novice users can expect if they choose to shoot their GX1 in iA modes only. Sharpness, contrast, saturation and noise reduction image adjustments cannot be manipulated by the user in the iA or scene modes but are available in the other shooting configurations.

“Photo style” is Panasonic’s basic color palette options for the GX1 and includes standard, natural, vivid, monochrome, scenery, portrait and custom color options. Here’s a look at all but the custom option.

Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
Standard
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
Natural
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
Monochrome
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
Scenery
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
Vivid

Auto white balance was used capture all the images used to illustrate this review and did a good job overall across a variety of lighting conditions including cloudy/overcast, direct sun, open shade and flash.

Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
Auto White Balance, 5500k fluorescent light

The camera shot a bit warm with incandescent light and auto white balance – here’s a flash shot of Kiwi with good color rendition on the foreground illuminated by the flash, while the background wall lit by the incandescent lamp is reproduced with a too-warm tint.

Panasonic GX1 Sample Image

In addition to auto WB the GX1 provides sunlight, cloud, open shade, incandescent and flash presets along with two custom settings and a Kelvin temperature setting.

Multiple metering is the default setting and was used for all the captures the review. Multiple did a good job overall and while it would clip highlights on occasion in some high contrast scenes the number of these incidences were relatively low. There are center weighted and spot metering options available as well.

The GX1’s Micro Four Thirds sensor falls in the middle of the pack with regard to sensor size for noise considerations: smaller than the APS-C sensor in Sonys and Samsungs, larger than the Nikon 1 models and much larger than the Pentax with its 1/2.3 inch offering. Low-end ISO settings in the GX1 are 160 and 200 and with virtually no noise penalty to be paid by selecting the larger of these two I opted for 200 ISO most of the time when shooting manually.

Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 160
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 160, 100% crop
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 200
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 200, 100% crop
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 400
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 400, 100% crop
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 800
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 800, 100% crop
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 1600
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 1600, 100% crop
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 3200
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 3200, 100% crop
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 6400
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 6400, 100% crop
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 12800
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
ISO 12800, 100% crop

In point of fact 400 is relatively difficult to distinguish from the lower settings in a quick sweeping glance; 800 is clearly the first setting where an increase in noise in the background is fairly easily noted, but even it and 1600 display a slow but steady deterioration over the lower numbers.Things change at 3200 and up however as each succeeding ISO level shows fairly distinct deterioration over its predecessor.

My eyes say you can shoot the GX1 from 160 to 400 ISO for large print work without too much worry; 800 and 1600 would probably provide an acceptable large print but would definitely be better for smaller images while 3200 on up to the 12800 ISO ceiling is best reserved for Internet work unless all else fails.

Additional Sample Images

Panasonic GX1 Sample Image Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image Panasonic GX1 Sample Image
Panasonic GX1 Sample Image Panasonic GX1 Sample Image


Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

LEAVE A COMMENT

0 Comments

|
All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.