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If you’ve been following the development of the compact system cameras (CSCs), you’ll remember that right at the beginning there was a fair amount of confusion about exactly who was the target audience. The basic idea seemed to be that the potential buyers were mostly fixed-lens compact camera users who thought a D-SLR would be a step too far. In other words, they wanted interchangeable lenses, but without the D-SLR complications, perceived or otherwise.

That was the theory. The practice saw the arrival of what were, essentially, D-SLRs except without a mirror box and optical viewfinder. Enthusiasts loved ’em, but everybody else was less convinced so both Olympus and Panasonic – the first kids on the CSC block – quickly brought out more consumerorientated models. In the case of Panasonic this involved a rethink of the camera it had originally thought would appeal to snap-shooters, but which ended up being the darling of many enthusiasts, the Lumix GF1.

The latter were horrified when the ‘dumbed-down’ GF2 arrived and were even less impressed with the GF3... so Panasonic has gone back to the drawing board and come up with the GX1. It’s very much the spiritual successor to the GF1 and, in many ways, is the compact-style equivalent to the SLR-style G3. The metal-alloy bodyshell gets back some bulk with, shall we say, more traditional styling and the mandatory black finish. A main mode dial is reinstated as is a proper handgrip and the flash hotshoe is returned.

This equipment review is currently available only as a low-resolution pdf version of the original magazine pages originally printed in the Jan Feb 2012 issue
You can download it here: Panasonic GX1 Review.pdf