Handling And Controls
Holding the GF1, it can be hard to remember that it's not a regular compact. But dig into the controls and you'll know you're holding a powerful instrument.
The Quick Menu, which you access via a dedicated button on the back, lets you scroll through most major settings as they're displayed across the top of the same 3-inch 460,000-dot LCD you use to frame your images.
About the only major setting you can't change through the Quick Menu is the drive mode, controlled by a four-way switch next to the shutter button.
As with Panasonic's G1 and GH1 cameras, the command wheel on the back can be pressed to swap between aperture and shutter speed in manual mode, or exposure compensation and aperture or shutter speed in the aperture- or shutterpriority shooting modes.
If you don't like framing your shots in the LCD, Panasonic offers the optional DMW-LVF1 electronic viewfinder ($200, street) that mounts in the hot-shoe. It's a better solution than the accessory finder for the Olympus E-P1. Without a data port near its hot-shoe, the E-P1 offers only a static optical finder for use with the 17mm lens, while this EVF gives you an accurately framed view with any lens you put on the camera.