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01-30-2010, 01:05 PM   #1
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going from K20D to GF1--crazy?

I have a K20D kit and a few lenses and accessories, and really like it. With my A50/1.7 lens, low light performance is great, and the DA 18-55 kit lens is great for bright light work. I also have a DA 55-200 that I don't really use. The issue is that I find even a 2 lens kit a bit large is for travelling on business, with photos taken on the side. I have gotten spoiled on the IQ of the K20D though, and now I really don't like the slow speed, low IQ, and poor low light performance of my old pocket-sized Canon SD550. So, I have been thinking of getting a Panasonic GF1 with the 20/1.7 for travel. I played with it at B&H (what a store!) and like its feel. I'm not crazy about the lack of optical view finder for manual focusing, but I guess that's the tradeoff when you lose the mirror box. (Plus, I probably won't be manually focusing as much since I won't be using my A50 lens.) The manual focus enlarged screen does seem to work well, though. It also looks like it has performance up to ISO 800 that is comparable to the K20D (and that's the max I ever use on my K20D due to the noise). If it's good enough, I may--gasp--sell off the K20D to offset the price, since I don't really NEED the weather sealing or the battery grip, or the remote, or a lot of the other gizmos I picked up for it. Is this a big mistake? Have any of you had a chance to use the GF1? Any experience with its IQ or any problems with it? Your opinions are appreciated.

Kevin

01-30-2010, 01:25 PM   #2
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The panasonic "G" line are very nice cameras. The downside is that anything past ISO 1600 is totally (totally) unusable. I had a GH1 but sold it for my Pentax kit.

Have you perhaps considered a K-x + DA 40mm f/2.8? That would run you the same cost as the GF1 kit, and the IQ would be better, about 2 full ISO stops.

To each his own though. I wouldn't be satisfied with a GF1 full time (perhaps as a travel/backup though). But it looks as you might be.

The manual focus magnification is definitely a cool feature, though. I must say..
01-30-2010, 03:33 PM   #3
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If you ultimately decide to go for the switch, make sure you buy an adapter and hold onto your 50mm, as it will work quite well on the GF1. I decided to buy a GF1 at the start of the year, and havent really been disapointed yet. The 20mm is a very nice lens, and the adage 'the best camera is the one with you' rings pretty well with the setup. I've been carrying it around in my jacket pocket and been using it quite alot more than I did my Pentax gear. Not to sway your decision, but here is a picture I took with the adapter I (finally) received today using the GF1 and SMC-F 50mm macro (Pentax AF360 flash was used in slave mode 2, covered the GF1 flash with an IR filter so the flash still communicated - fun stuff to try out!):
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01-30-2010, 04:23 PM   #4
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Original Poster
That's a cool picture. The IQ of the four thirds format seems really good, with just a little less dynamic range due to the smaller sensor. (Not that I could see any loss in that shot.) Too bad the compact P&S size cameras don't have that kind of IQ, except the new $2k Leica which is way out of my league.

01-31-2010, 09:39 AM   #5
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Thanks! I agree on the dynamic range, it can be noticeable in higher contrast photos, but the aside from that point, and a slightly (very slightly, not really noticeable) diminished ability to achieve extreme out of focus shots, it is certainly a viable choice for achieving great photos.
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