Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 takes on the Olympus PEN E-P1

The Olympus PEN EP-1 better watch its back – Panasonic's new Lumix DMC-GF1 has just made the micro four-thirds race a whole lot more spicy. The

The Olympus PEN EP-1 better watch its back – Panasonic's new Lumix DMC-GF1 has just made the micro four-thirds race a whole lot more spicy.

The DMC-GF1, which was leaked earlier this month, packs a similarly svelte body, in which you’ll find a 12.1MP Live MOS sensor, ISO 3200. Hi-def video capture comes courtesy of 720p 30fps AVCHD Lite or Motion JPEG video, while a 3-inch LCD monitor and HDMI out cover your viewing options, although like the PEN E-P1 there’s no optical viewfinder, although there is an optional add-on.

But by adding an integral flash and shaving off one-tenths of a mm from the depth, canny Panny can boast “the world’s smallest and lightest system camera with a built-in flash”.

For those who want to simply point and shoot, there’s Panny’s Intelligent Auto system to automatically set ISO, Exposure and Scene selection, while Face Recognition will snap of up to three of your mates’ mugs simultaneously.

All these functions squeezed in a tiny body comes at a price though – at $900 (no word on UK pricing as yet) it’s set to be even pricier than the £600 Olympus.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 will come in two kit flavours: one with an optically stabilized 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 lens, and one with a brand-new 20mm/f1.7 pancake lens. Better start saving those pennies right now…

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