Panasonic GH1 Review

Panasonic GH1

The Panasonic GH1 is a 12.1-megapixel camera built on the Micro Four Thirds platform.  The GH1 is Panasonic’s follow-up to the G1, which was the first Micro Four Thirds camera offered by the company.

What makes this platform unique is the camera body’s mirror-less design, which allow manufacturers to make smaller cameras while still using larger, DSLR-sized sensors.  Additionally, the GH1, like other Micro Four Thirds cameras, has a detachable lens and will accept other lenses with the same lens mount – or even different lens mounts if you use an appropriate adapter.

Another powerful feature for Micro Four Thirds cameras is the use of full time live view.  That is, the image that the lens sees passes directly to the image sensor rather than using a mirror to redirect it to the optical viewfinder.

The Panasonic GH1 adds 1080p video capture at 24fps to its predecessor’s spec list.  Additionally, the GH1 includes a new superzoom lens, specially designed for this camera – the 14-140mm f/4-5.8 HD MEGA O.I.S. lens.  The GH1 was met with a lot of fanfare due to its impressive spec list and overall potential.   While there is no doubt that the GH1 offers a lot of versatility and is fun to shoot with, it’s not without a few chinks in its armor. [Read more…]


Panasonic GH1 Sample Images

Panasonic GH1

The Panasonic LUMIX GH1 is a Micro Four Thirds camera that captures still images and 1080p HD video.  It is packaged as kit with a special lens designed for enhanced video capabilities.

While you can expect an ISO evaluation and a full review of the GH1 soon, below you will find some images that I’ve taken in my testing of the camera.  These images are from a production model.

The lens used was the 14-140mm kit lens, which offers optical image stabilization.  Unless otherwise noted, image stabilization was turned on, file format is JPEG large/fine, handheld, and using auto white balance. [Read more…]

Panasonic GH1 and G1 Firmware Updates

Panasonic GH1

Panasonic has released firmware updates for the GH1 and G1 cameras.

GH1 Release Notes

1. Improved Auto Focus performance for the subject in low contrast.

2. Decreased the operation noise of Auto Focus in Motion Picture recording for H-H020 lens.

(In order to minimize the operation noise of Auto Focus, the Auto Focus operation speed is reduced in Motion Picture recording.)

3. Improved the stability of AE(Auto Exposure) control for H-ES045 lens(to be introduced in Oct., 2009).

G1 Release Notes

1. Improved Auto Focus performance for the subject in low contrast.

2. Improved the stability of AE(Auto Exposure) control for H-ES045 lens(to be introduced in Oct., 2009).

You can download the updates via the following links:

GH1 firmware version 1.2

G1 firmware version 1.4

Panasonic Lumix GH1 Hands-On Review

One of the most exciting new cameras at PMA 2009 was the Panasonic Lumix GH1, which was a follow-up to the Lumix G1 introduced at Photokina 2008.  The GH1 shares most of the same features and specs of the G1; however, it includes one significant improvement – the ability to shoot video in true 1080p HD at 24 fps or shoot 720p HD video at 60 fps.  Panasonic uses an AVCHD format for video capture and records audio via Dolby Digital Stereo Creator.

Panasonic has not announced the price of the new GH1, which will initially only be offered in kit form with the 14-140mm HD lens.  Panasonic’s reasoning for selling it as a kit initially is due to the specialized silent autofocus functionality of the HD lens.  It was designed from the ground up with video in mind, which required Panasonic to overcome some significant hurdles so that AF noise did not interfere with audio capture when recording 1080p video.  According to reps at PMA, the kit should be available in May or June 2009.

Panasonic had a couple pre-production models on display at PMA.  I was able to get some hands-on time with one and even grab some images and a quick video on my SD card. [Read more…]