The Panasonic DMC-LF1 is a more portable version of its flagship LX7. They both use a 1/1.7-inch CMOS image sensor, so image quality is comparable.
But the LF1 has a lens with a longer zoom range from 28mm to 200mm, compared with the LX7's 24mm to 90mm. The longer zoom range is more versatile, allowing you to zoom in closer to the action.
However, LF1 has a maximum aperture of only f2.0, while LX7 has a bigger maximum aperture of f1.4. So the LX7 has an edge when shooting in low lighting.
On the plus side, LF1 is about 100g lighter and 17mm thinner. Slightly bigger than your average business card, this camera can be easily slotted into your pocket.
It also sports an automatic lens cover that closes when the lens is retracted after shutdown. So, you never have to worry about losing the lens cap.
While LF1 does not have a hot shoe like LX7, it does have a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF). Although the 0.2-inch EVF offers a 100 per cent field of view, it is really small. The 200,000-dot resolution is also not high enough to give a clear image.
But what is more irritating is the lack of a proximity sensor, which should automatically switch to the EVF when your eye is near the viewfinder. Instead, you need to press a small button situated beside the EVF to activate it.
That said, the EVF still comes in handy when shooting photographs in very strong sunlight.
Despite the lack of a curved grip, the LF1 does not feel uncomfortable when you hold it. This is probably due to its rounded corners and smooth metallic finish.
All the buttons and dials are within easy reach of your thumb and fingers. There is a Mode Dial on top, which is beside the shutter release, for you to change shooting modes quickly.