OK, so lets reign the gushing in a bit. Let's start at the beginning. First off this thing is a serious piece of polycarbonate. It's not small. It is in fact bigger than the Sony RX10 in every direction. It is however very light but larger than any of the Panasonic m4/3 cameras. The lens is particularly chunky. However, I love the feel and the handling this produces. And yes I love the fact that it looks like a 'serious' camera. Because that's just what it is. Anyone who has used a Panasonic G1 - G6 or GH3 /4 will feel comfortable with it however and the layout will be pretty familiar to those used to the Panasonic house style. The grip is particularly nice and I can get all of my fingers round it.
The screen and viewfinder are also excellent. The EVF is especially good. It's sharp and clear and worked for me wearing polarised sunglasses in less than ideal conditions. AF is blistering, even on low contrast dimly lit targets and the zoom, controlled by a rocker switch around the shutter button is very smooth and fast if you need that. I didn't miss a manual zoom ring one little bit.
Now even though it looks like it, it is important to remember that this isn't a m4/3 camera. The sensor is a 1'' Sony unit, the same as the RX10 and the default image size is 3:2 not 4:3. Though the sensor size is smaller than that in m4/3 cameras, you'd be hard pressed to notice any difference up to ISO 640, which is the limit of the ISO's I've tested so far. And that's another great thing, the image quality isn't compromised one little bit by the smaller sensor at low ISO's. Sony have to take much of the credit for this, as they manufacture it, but the Panasonic fine tuning is also extremely good, producing sharp, clean images at those low ISO's. Jpg's are much improved too from Panasonic's usual standard.
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