With a good range of buying options available; comprising a starting price of £499 or US$699 (body-only), £599 (with 14-42mm manually-operated kit lens), £729.99 (with 14-42mm powered kit lens) and £757.99 (Panasonic Online Shop price), the feature-packed Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 is fairly-priced in comparison to its major rivals.
You do have to factor in the cost of the optional LVF2 viewfinder, however, if you feel that it's a feature that you can't do without. This accessory will set you back an additional £229 (RRP).
In terms of features, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 matches up well to the competition, packing all of the current technology it needs to present a convincing challenge to the other impressive CSCs you have to choose from.
Its fast AF system and dual physical/ touchscreen control interface, coupled with a pleasing number of customisable buttons and shortcuts to frequently-used functions makes the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 a joy to shoot with.
There are handy hints and beginner-friendly explanations of functions available when you're first getting to grips with the camera, although newcomers, previous Lumix owners and more advanced users will find everything similarly simple to navigate.
Image quality is an area where the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 particularly impresses. Like the acclaimed Panasonic G3, the GX1 delivers a reliable, high-quality performance in most situations, while HD movies are also clean, smooth and detailed.
The level of customisation the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 offers will please enthusiasts who like to stick to their own way of working. Dual physical and touchscreen operation adds to the camera's versatility, while top-notch image and movie quality further enhance the CSC's appeal.
The lack of built-in viewfinder/bundled option may be a point of contention for some, particularly as the screen is fixed. The touchscreen could do with being a bit more responsive to perfect its implementation, and the menu system would benefit from being a little more streamlined.
The GX1 leaves a favourable overall impression: we'd certainly recommend adding it to your list of models to try before you buy if you're shopping for a high-quality CSC that delivers results where it matters.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 presents an exciting new direction for Panasonic, breaking away from the mass-market GF-series and providing a premium option that advanced enthusiasts should definitely consider.