Mar 01

Best Unsung Feature of the Panasonic GX1

Panasonic GX1 - Pop-up flash locked in bounce position

As some of you may have read in my review of the Panasonic GX1, it has a small pop-up flash that can be held back to provide bounce flash for more flattering light.  When I wrote the review, I hadn’t yet really explored all the abilities of this little feature, as I tend to use my external flashgun for bounce when I need it.  Originally, I somewhat dismissed it after trying it with a few slower lenses and such However, recently I’ve found this little guy to come in quite handy.

One thing that you may not know is that the pop up flash can actually be locked into the bounce position.  Just pull it straght back and gently press the rear of the housing into the back depression of the pop-up well, and the flash will lock into place.  Now you have a flash that will bounce to the ceiling for horizontal shots, or bounce left or right for vertical shots.  It’s not as versatile as a dedicated flash gun, of course, but it provides much softer light.  I have also found that at ISO 320, the pop-up flash is quite usable in most rooms for lenses f/2 and faster.  Slower lenses can be used, but ISO levels would have to be raised as well.

Once you learn how to work around its limitations, soft light can be yours even in your pocket! The shot below was taken with the GX1 and the pop-up flash bounced to the right, with the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 wide open at f/1.8.

Panasonic GX1 with bounced pop up flash and Olympus 45mm f/1.8 @ f/1.8

About the author

Jordan Steele

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Admiring Light; Photographer; Electrical Engineer and Dad


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  1. Wolfgang Lonien

    Very nice result Jordan, and she’s cute and adorable! Don’t know if our E-PL1 cameras can lock like that as well, but the fact alone that you can bounce separates them from the smaller P&S cameras – as you can see, the results are worlds apart.

  2. Paul Richards

    Just tried this. I thought it was a function that was meant to happen, but after playing with the flash for a while I realised that you actually have to force the flash into the upright position – it’s not a position that Panasonic designed for the flash. So yes, it does work, but you do have to be careful

  3. pineau

    Merci excellent
    bonne continuation
    bien cordialement

  4. pineau

    Merci de ce conseil
    bonne continuation
    bien cordialement


    Merci de ce conseil
    bonne continuation
    bien cordialement

  6. Don

    Noticing that your portrait was made in Portrait mode and the key light is illuminating the left side of the face I don’t see how the flash could have been oriented in the straight up mode. Unless of course the camera was rotated with the shutter pointing down bouncing the flash off a reflector.

    1. Jordan Steele

      The camera was rotated with shutter button down, with the flash held up and bounced off a wall to my right.

  7. Otto

    And now we wait to see if this can be done with the GX7 …

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    […] Best Unsung Feature of the Panasonic GX1 […]

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