Hoo boy are we stoked on this one. Panasonic has really shown what micro four thirds is all about, with the retro good looks and strong performance of the new Lumix DMC-GF1. The camera is certainly a bit larger and heavier than it looks from a distance, but housed within the slightly oversized shell are some pretty good optics and some snappy performance. You can't replicate the satisfying "kerklunk" of a real DSLR shutter, but the GF1 is responsive and clicky enough to give off a much better vibe than the standard camera in this size range. The few shots we took on auto looked quite vibrant in a variety of lighting conditions, though the close-ups showed a disturbingly shallow depth of field -- though that could obviously be tweaked. Being the filthy non-purists that we are, we're most excited by the camera's 720p video mode, which offers decently fast autofocus with a half press of the shutter button, and zero jelly vision to worry about. The downsides of no line-in and a higher pricetag than the comparable E-P1 aren't insignificant, but the GF1 will certainly put up a fight. Stick around for some in-camera test footage later on, test stills are below and there's a hands-on video after the break.
Update: Sample footage is now posted after the break! It was ripped from an AVCHD file to H.264, so there's been some generational quality loss, but you'll get an idea of the colors and the motion. We also just got word that the camera is up for pre-order at Amazon. [Thanks, Ron] %Gallery-71644%%Gallery-71647%