Thoughts on GF1 Shipping and GPS

People state-side are starting to take delivery of their GF1s if they ordered them from Panasonic’s online store, which I find pretty amazing, really. Other than Apple, I can’t think of too many electronics companies who actually ship orders to customers directly faster than Amazon can–certainly no camera company I’ve ever dealt with has. This has the effect of Amazon customers chomping at the bit to get their cameras. My pre-order hasn’t even been updated with a shipping date, which doesn’t fill me with confidence that I’ll get mine soon, although I can always hope. In fact, Amazon has a shipping date of tomorrow for the GF1 kit with the zoom lens and no date for the 20mm f/1.7 I ordered, whereas the people who ordered the 20mm are the ones getting theirs now and the zoom lens customers there haven’t heard anything. Weird.

I’ve been spending some time reading the boards about peoples’ impressions with the camera, and they’ve all been really good so far. The low-light capabilities seem good up to 800 and the 1600 results haven’t been half-bad either. The 20mm lens really looks to be stellar for a kit lens, which is refreshing; it’s half the reason I’m attracted to this camera.

Speaking of what attracts me to the GF1, the main draw was its size. That’s still the main “feature” of the camera (in fact, it’s really a little bigger than I’d prefer, but I realize that it’s the best physical size-to-sensor size ratio I’m likely to get in a package that handles well (the Sigma cameras have been dinged in reviews for being fairly slow to work with). I realize that means that other features have to be cut out. But there’s one feature I really wish the GF1 had: GPS.

As I mentioned earlier, my primary interest in this camera is as a take-everywhere camera. And by “everywhere”, I’m including mountain bike riding. That’s why size and handling are important–I need it to not weigh me down and I need to be able to draw it and have it ready to shoot quickly. But since it’ll be used all over the place, and bike rides can cover quite some distance, it would be wonderful to have the camera recording GPS locations for the shots.

That said, I already carry a GPS on my bike and the GF1 doesn’t include GPS, so I’ll probably look into syncing up their clocks and using software to add location info to the EXIF data to the pictures.