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Panasonic LF1 - Image Quality and Verdict

By Paul Nuttall

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Lumix LF1

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Panasonic LF1 - Image Quality

The generally solid level of performance continues with regards to image quality.

Panasonic LF1

Click the photo above for the full gallery of sample images

Metering is reliable, offering even exposures in most conditions. In bright conditions there is a slight tendency towards overexposure with a view towards saving shadow detail, and as a result an exposure compensation setting of -0.7 is sometimes necessary.

The reliable narrative is continued when reviewing the colours of images produced with the LF1. Although images can appear a touch muted out of the camera, the general palette is pleasingly natural and ready for any post-production tweaks if and when they’re required.

Despite packing more megapixels into the same sensor as the LX1, the LF1 handles noise well.

ISO 800

Click the photo above for the full gallery of sample images

Images are pleasingly clean at lower ISO settings, with noise only really becoming apparent at ISO 800. Above this noise does begin to impinge on image quality, with image detail at ISO 6400 really suffering.

This is only truly an issue if you’re shooting JPEGs though, as Raw files retain a lot more detail and thus are more receptive to imparting your own noise control in post production.

Panasonic LF1 6

Should I buy the Panasonic Lumix LF1?

The enthusiast compact market is increasingly competitive, with most manufacturers having at least one model at a similar price point to the LF1. The good news is that the LF1’s compact size, good image quality and general level of performance all mark it out as a contender, and its EVF gives it a unique feature that rivals lack.

Whether you should buy the LF1 comes down to how much you value its built-in EVF. If you’ve bemoaned the lack of viewfinders in compacts recently, it’s a no brainer. It takes very good photos and, unlike the Canon Powershot G12 and its kin, it actually fits in your pocket.

If not, well it’s still a very good camera you should seriously consider. Some will prefer the Panasonic Lumix LX7 due to its faster lens, but the LF1 is slightly cheaper and has a longer zoom. The Sony RX100 is fantastic, too, but a lot more expensive.

Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix LF1 delivers a good level of performance and impressive image quality at a very good price. Some may be better off with the LX7, but the LF1 still comes recommended.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Image Quality 8
  • Value 8

Israel Magalit

April 25, 2013, 9:45 pm

"paucity of hardware controls"
Huh? The only things it loses out on versus the LX7 are the aperture ring, aspect ratio lever and focus mode lever, which most other compacts don't have either.

"You also miss out on manual zoom control"
Did you guys actually hold/use the camera??? That first photo within the article clearly shows a zoom toggle around the shutter release! Good grief!

Kym Crowley

May 12, 2013, 1:13 am

It says "manual". Not electronic. Good grief!

eug debleek

June 5, 2013, 8:04 pm

where is the GPS ,the handgrip and the touchscreen from the TZ40 ? what a mistake mister panny ! next time better ?

Jeremy

June 18, 2013, 11:02 pm

Wait, everyone, to see the lens resolution tests. All the official predistribution samples, and the single sample here, show subjects that only require critical sharpness at the centre. This alone suggested to me that there might be serious problems at the field corners, as there are with the Sony RX100 at full aperture. The standard test images on the Imaging Resource site www.imaging-resource.com appear to confirm this -- and they are not even taken at full aperture. Regardless of ISO levels, the centre sharpness is as good as that of competitors with similar sensors but the edges are really soft -- their comparometer allows direct comparisonswith other cameras. Look particularly at the circular slide-rule on the right with its gradually narrowing calibrations. Trusted Reviews, if you want to be trusted in future, please give us some field edge and corner test results for this model, to see whether it is a design problem, a quality control problem, or what.

Mangap

June 19, 2013, 3:38 am

Panasonic need to fix this: Slightly muted colours straight out of the camera. by Firmware update.

I wish they start from 24mm, maybe will be more people buy this camera

Tom Turek

July 25, 2013, 2:27 am

The Sony RX100 is fantastic, too..yes, but..
An expert put it's 'color' at 2nd-3rd tier.

MikeX

January 19, 2014, 8:15 pm

Given the very compact size of this camera, especially by comparison to the TZ40, a handgrip is not really required. Also a touchscreen on such a small camera can be a pain rather than a boon since it is too easy to touch the screen while holding and carrying it. As for GPS I suspect the additional drain on such a small battery was too great to allow its inclusion. Maybe also the space for the GPS aerial was used by the rather more useful viewfinder.

All cameras require some compromises to be made and Panasonic have got the balance about right with the LF1.

MikeX

January 19, 2014, 8:22 pm

To be honest the colours are quite natural and balanced straight out of the camera. I would rather have some room for tweaking than an over processed image you can do nothing with.

The difference between 24 and 28 mm is not much in real life unless you often take images in tight spaces. Better to have more magnification available when a compromise needs to be made. The 7.1x range Panasonic have managed to squeeze into this tiny body is ideal for most users who want a carry anywhere anytime camera.

BillSB

July 14, 2016, 7:50 am

The reviewer does not seem to understand that a lens offering f5.9 at 200mm is better and brighter than one offering only f 8 at 90mm !! To quote a small range of max aperture as a demerit shows total ignorance. The game is to maintain wide aperture over as much of the range as possible.

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