The Panasonic Lumix LF1 is a new high-end compact camera that sits just a peg below the established Lumix LX7 model. But the LF1 has one special trick up its sleeve: it comes with a built-in electronic viewfinder despite its small size.
The slender compact packs in the same 12-megapixel, 1/1.7-inch sensor as found in the LX7 alongside a new 7.1x - or 28-200mm equivalent - optical zoom lens. The bright f/2.0 aperture at the wider end means creative photography is possible, while at the 200mm equivalent this dips down to a f/5.9 maximum - still not bad when considering the model's dinky scale.
Although there's no official information about the viewfinder's resolution, we do know that its 0.2-inch size is also rather small - as is to be expected at this scale. On the rear there's a fixed 3-inch LCD panel but no touchscreen control on this occasion.
Manual control is also high up the model's list: the inclusion of a manual lens ring means various controls are just a flick of the wrist away. Whether step zoom, aperture control, shutter speed and so forth, the lens ring is able to handle them all.
Just like the also-announced Lumix G6, the LF1 - despite its far smaller sensor size - makes benefit of the latest Venus processing engine which is also said to produce quality images from ISO 100 - 12,800, helped along by edge smoothing and noise reduction systems.
Beyond standard stills this mini marvel can also add in-camera creative effects, while movie clips can be recorded at 1080p in both AVCHD and MP4 formats.
As per the latest Lumix cameras the LF1 also comes complete with Wi-Fi connectivity and NFC (near field communication) one-touch, paired-device sharing. Use the Panasonic Image app and it's even possible to use your smart device as a remote control.
Finishing off the package is quick start-up, speedy burst shooting of up to 10 frames per second and Power OIS optical image stabilisation in the lens.
Pocket-lint's already tested out an early version of the LF1 ahead of its announcement - click the link below for our in-depth hands-on initial thoughts.
Those eager to get hold of an LF1 will have to wait a short while: it's not due in the UK until the beginning of July but with an anticipated price tag of around the £379 mark there's a lot of tech on offer for a very reasonable price. Could this be the new king of compact cameras? We'll just have to wait and see - but we have high hopes.
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