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Panasonic DMC-GH1

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
Not sure if any of you have seen the release info for this, but it is causing a huge stir over at dpreview. In short, this is a DSLR based on the micro 4/3rds spec that was designed with HD video as the chief selling point.

http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/syste...gh1/movie.html

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 72
Thread Starter 
March 3, 2009: Panasonic today introduced the LUMIX DMC-GH1 as a new member of the LUMIX G Micro System of interchangeable lens cameras. Fully compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, the LUMIX G Micro System combines a downsized body with advanced functions that achieve both easy operation and high quality.

The new DMC-GH1 is called a CREATIVE HD HYBRID because it records not only high-quality photos but also high definition 1080/24p or smooth 720/60p HD (High Definition) movies in AVCHD* format. Continuous AF can be used while recording movies, to further boost operating ease.

Taking advantage of its system camera design, the DMC-GH1 features the potential for unlimited photo expression by allowing the use of different lenses for specific shooting situations and subjects. High-quality sound recording with Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator and a host of other creative options, including manual settings, giving the DMC-GH1 even greater versatility.

Supporting the DMC-GH1's powerful full-HD movie recording function is a newly developed 12.1-megapixel high-speed Live MOS sensor and the Venus Engine HD image processor, which features two CPUs for outstanding processing capability. The new LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S., which is a versatile 10x zoom interchangeable lens, was designed for movie recording by including a silent and continuous auto focusing function and seamless aperture adjustment.

The DMC-GH1 also features D-SLR photo quality. Its newly developed Live MOS sensor renders images with minimal noise even when using high ISO sensitivity. The multi-aspect ratio function of the sensor allows photos to be taken using a 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratio, all with the same angle of view.

In addition to its high levels of performance for both photos and movies, the DMC-GH1 incorporates the iA (Intelligent Auto) mode,** a hallmark of LUMIX cameras that now includes Face Recognition,*** a function that "remembers" faces once the faces are registered.

When a familiar face appears in the frame, the camera will prioritize the focus and exposure to capture it beautifully. This clever function makes it easy to get sharp and clear photos of special subjects in a group of people. iA mode is also available in movie recording. It automatically selects the most suitable scene mode and helps to correct hand-shake, focus and brightness problems -- making it a one-stop solution for capturing beautiful photos and movies.*

Operating ease is an important element of the LUMIX G Micro System identity, and it is highly evident in the DMC-GH1. For example, the clever design of the DMC-GH1 helps to prevent missed shooting opportunities for both photo and movie recording. To start recording a movie during shooting photos, the user simply presses a special, one-touch movie recording button. Most of the settings used for photo shooting carry over to movie recording without requiring any additional setting.

A choice of body colours also makes the DMC-GH1 highly attractive. Users can select authentic black or active red (which was very popular in the DMC-G1).

Panasonic hopes to bring the fun of both photos and movies to as many people as possible with the LUMIX DMC-GH1, an unprecedented system camera that satisfies even the needs of professionals and advanced amateurs while offering easy operation for entry-level users.

Technological advantages for 1080/24p full-HD movie recording in the AVCHD format
The LUMIX DMC-GH1 is an advanced photographic tool for recording not only great photos but also beautiful full-HD movies. In addition to Motion JPEG images, the DMC-GH1 can record high-resolution full-HD 1920 x 1080 movies at 24 fps (frames per second) or smooth HD 1280 x 720 movies at 60 fps in AVCHD (MPEG-4/H.264)* format.

The AVCHD format can record almost twice the footage in HD quality than the conventional Motion JPEG, using the same SD card. A special, separate button on the back lets the user instantly start recording movies while shooting photos without any having to make any extra settings. There are always two options to record spur-of-the-moment scenes -- high-quality photos or movies. The user can simply choose the one that saves precious memories most beautifully.

The LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. kit lens boasts a focal length of 28-280mm (35mm camera equivalent) and supports the continuous AF function of the contrast AF system for both photos and movies. Panasonic considers this function to be indispensable for movie recording from a practical point of view. This lens is also designed for movie recording use by minimizing the mechanical sound generated by the continuous AF/AE action.

The newly developed 12.1-megapixel 4/3-type Live MOS sensor is capable of high-speed 4-channel readout to support full-HD movie recording. This sensor is also advantageous for photo recording with a high signal to noise ratio thanks to a new circuit structure that is totally unaffected by the noise generated in each of the circuits. It results in clear pictures even when taken at high ISO sensitivity. The sensor also allows images to be taken at three aspect ratios – 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 – with same angle of view.

The LUMIX DMC-GH1 also features the Venus Engine HD image processor. The two CPUs in this imaging engine dramatically speed up processing while achieving exceptional noise reduction performance. The Venus Engine HD's excellent energy efficiency supports long-time AVCHD movie recording, and allows the output of both images and sounds via HDMI.

In addition to recording HD movies– a host of options enhance creativity
The LUMIX DMC-GH1 concept goes much further than simply recording HD movies. Apart from the movie recording capability of conventional digital cameras, the DMC-GH1 also features a Creative Movie mode, which lets the user set the shutter speed and aperture manually to make even more impressive movies.

Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to movies, which is especially suitable for shooting fast-moving subject. The ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances and it is desired to have each of them stand out. Creative Movie mode gives the user a wider range of expressive possibilities to explore.

The movies also come with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator, the global standard for superior audio recording. For more creative sound recording, an optional stereo microphone (DMW-MS1) is available. A Wind Cut function blocks out most of the noise from background wind even on breezy days.

iA (Intelligent Auto) mode operates for both photos and movies
While featuring a host of creative options to enhance both photo and movie recording, the LUMIX DMC-GH1 also includes the iA (Intelligent Auto) mode that Panasonic developed to give LUMIX cameras the ultimate in operating ease and to reduce shooting mistakes. In iA mode the camera does all the work, leaving the user free to compose shots and capture the moment. All the user has to do is aim and shoot even in situations that normally require complicated settings.

For photo shooting, the DMC-GH1 further advances this mode with the inclusion of Face Recognition, an advanced Face Detection function that recognises faces that the user has registered prior to shooting. Once a face is registered, this function will recognize it whenever it appears in the frame. The camera will then display the name that was specified for the person and prioritize the focus and exposure so that the registered face is bright and in sharp focus.

In addition to the advanced functions mentioned above, the iA mode inherits the fundamental functions that users need in a good digital still camera. These include MEGA O.I.S., which helps prevent blurring from hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken. AF Tracking is also available, which lets the DMC-GH1 lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves - making it easy to get beautiful, clear shots when a great photo opportunity suddenly arises.

Intelligent Exposure optimizes the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully. Intelligent Scene Selector automatically detects the five most common shooting situations -- Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery and Close-up and switches to the appropriate Scene mode.

The LUMIX DMC-GH1 now makes the popular iA mode available for movie recording. The Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) helps prevent blurring from hand-shake when using the high-powered zoom. Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts the focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion to record it beautifully.

Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change, to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Close-up, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation to optimize visual quality.

The LUMIX G Micro System identity
With the LUMIX DMC-GH1, Panasonic has developed an entirely new concept in digital cameras that comply with the Micro Four Thirds System standard by taking even greater advantage of the compactness and light weight that are made possible by eliminating the mirror box. By increasing the number of electrical contacts between the camera body and the lens, the camera's expandability is also dramatically increased to maximize future potential.

The LUMIX G Micro System’s 1,440,000-dot equivalent Live View Finder retains the outstanding viewability of an optical viewfinder and can also display information about camera settings that the user can see without taking his or her eye from the subject. A clever built-in eye sensor automatically switches on the viewfinder when the user looks into it, then switches it off and turns on the free-angle 3.0-inch large 460,000-dot high-resolution LCD (which boasts a wide viewing angle) when the user looks away from the viewfinder.

The 60-frames-per-second Live View is made possible by the Live MOS sensor, which takes signals directly from the image sensor and sends them continuously to the LCD, in real time. Both the Live View Finder and LCD provide a 100% field of view. This allows the user, when composing a shot, to check the framing accurately from corner to corner.

The contrast AF system adopted by the LUMIX DMC-GH1 is not only accurate and easy to use, but also very fast. Users can choose from a wide range of AF modes, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, and AF Tracking.

To deal with dust and other foreign matter entering the body when changing lenses, a Supersonic Wave Filter is built in as part of a Dust Reduction System designed to prevent matter from adhering to the image sensor.

Other options to enhance the fun of photography
The wide range of options available for the LUMIX DMC-GH1 let users customise and personalise their camera. An option for photo shooting lets the DMC-GH1 reproduce a square image with a 1:1 aspect ratio in addition to the 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 multi-aspect ratios.

My Colour mode, which was popular in the DMC-G1, is a special option that gives free reign to the user's creativity. In My Colour mode, the colour, brightness and saturation parameters can be freely adjusted while checking the Full-time Live View image to see how the adjustments affect the picture.

This makes it easier and more fun to create interesting, expressive images. The user can adjust the settings that best suit the shooting conditions and his or her expressive intent, for greater photographic control.

The DMC-GH1 also offers a Playback mode that allows the user to play 'only still images,' 'only motion images,' or 'both'. When choosing to play 'only motion images,' it is even possible to play AVCHD and Motion JPEG videos separately.

Photos and movies can also be played back together with an attractive seamless effect and background music in the LUMIX DMC-GH1's new Slideshow mode that takes advantage of its large, high-resolution LCD. Using an optional mini HDMI cable, slideshows can be shared in stunning HD video and audio quality on an HDTV with family and friends.

HD photos and HD movies with VIERA Link networking
Both still images and AVCHD-format motion images recorded on SD Memory Cards are easy to view on a Panasonic VIERA TV with dynamic full-HD resolution. The user simply inserts the card into the VIERA Image Viewer (SDHC/SD card slot) on a VIERA TV or DIGA Blu-ray Disc Player to play the content.

Alternatively, an optional mini HDMI cable can be used to output still and motion images recorded with the LUMIX DMC-GH1 directly to the TV for easy VIERA Link operation. This makes it possible to take maximum advantage of the camera's playback functions, including slideshows in which both still and motion images are played sequentially, or calendar displays and so on. Operation using only TV’s remote controller is super-easy.

Rich options for expandability
In addition to LUMIX G lenses, the LUMIX DMC-GH1 and LUMIX G Micro System can use any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds standard via an optional mount adapter.* This gives the user access to the entire range of Four Thirds lenses. And a stream of new Micro Four Thirds lenses will be announced in the future, providing a large, diverse line of high-performance lenses for the user's photographic toolbox. With the LUMIX G Micro System and the growing assortment of lenses becoming available, the expressive possibilities are unlimited.

The LUMIX DMC-GH1 system camera offers a wide variety of options to choose from to match every shooting situation and shooting style.

External Flash: DMW-FL220(GN22) / DMW-FL360(GN36) / DMW- FL500(GN50)
PL Filter: DMW-LPL62
ND Filter: DMW-LND62 NEW
MC Protector: DMW-LMCH62
Mount Adapter: DMW-MA1
Stereo Microphone: DMW-MS1 NEW
Battery Pack: DMW-BLB13
Soft Case: DMW-CG2 NEW
Soft Bag: DMW-BAG1
Shoulder Strap (Stylish) DMW-SSTG1-A/C/R/K* *NEW
Shoulder Strap (Woven) DMW-SSTG2-W
Shoulder Strap (Leather) DMW-SSTG3-T
Remote Shutter: DMW-RSL1
*Full-HD (1920 × 1080) movies are output by the image sensor at 24p (NTSC)/25p (PAL), and recorded at 60i (NTSC)/50i (PAL). HD (1280 × 720) movies are output and recorded by the image sensor at 60p (NTSC)/50p (PAL).
** Some functions in iA mode will not be available depending on the lens that is mounted.
***Turn the Face Recognition item ON from the shooting menu and register the person with a full-face portrait in advance. Recognition performance varies greatly depending on shooting conditions, i.e., according to factors such as angles, facial expression and lighting, so operation under all conditions cannot be guaranteed. Because the camera searches for faces that are similar to registered faces, there are cases where the faces are not correctly recognized when the registered image and the shooting image vary greatly. When facial characteristics are similar, particularly between parents and their children, or between brothers and sisters, the camera may not distinguish the faces.
post #3 of 72
Thread Starter 
Brief video with a Panasonic rep discussing the features:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/EVEN...rl=beHVnyvF0fI
post #4 of 72
AVS doesn't have a dslr forum, does it?
post #5 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elifino View Post

AVS doesn't have a dslr forum, does it?

They don't. I've tried to sway a few of the mods here to include one (throughout the past few years), but it never happened.
post #6 of 72
BH says it's due out in June.
post #7 of 72
BTW this isn't a DSLR, well at least not technically.
post #8 of 72
delete
post #9 of 72
I'm very interested in this unit. I was just on a cruise and brought my Panasonic FZ30 and Sony SR11 to shoot both video and stills. Since I hate carrying both around all the time, I kept switching back and forth between the two. Unfortunately each time I had the camera, I wanted to shoot video and each time I had the camcorder I wanted to shoot some stills. While the SR11 can take still images, it's a big step down from the FZ30. And likewise the FZ30 can shoot video, but not HD and not nearly as well as the SR11. This GH1 looks like it might be the right compromise. I look forward to the reviews.
post #10 of 72
The GH1 is truly a marvel of a camera. I've had one now for about 3 weeks.

On the plus side, it takes truly outstanding still pictures. The sharpness, detail and color are beyond reproach.

On the video end, comparing it to my XR500, it's much better even at the 720p mode! There is more detail and the dynamic range of the GH1 simply blows the XR500 out of the water. This is yet another example of why it's important to not get too hung up in the #s game. Afterall, shouldn't a 1920X1080 camcorder be sharper and have more detail than a 1280X720p camera? Nope, not necessarily. The color of the GH1 is also superior. To be honest, the dynamic range of this camera also beats out my Sony Z5!

On the negative side, there is no power zoom, so zooming smoothly can be a challenge. The autofocus, while good, is not as good as the XR500.

But overall, I'd pick the GH1 as definitely having the superior picture to the XR500 and it's worth working around some of the GH1 obstacles to achieve that.
post #11 of 72
Thanks for the mini-review, Ken! I'm surprised this particular camera isn't getting more attention on AVS, as reviews have been very positive, and it's been praised as having one the best video implementations to date in a DSLR-like camera, surpassing even the popular Canon 5D MK II in some ways. Another review pointed out the size, weight and live view advantages of the GH1 over true DSLRs that are encumbered by having "one foot in the past" with traditional mirror and prism assemblies.

The GH1 has been on my shortlist for a while as an upgrade from a Sony DSC-F707 (an earlier DSLR-like camera). If you could PM me and let me know where you found the GH1 in stock, I'd appreciate it.
post #12 of 72
I received a GH1 two days ago and you'll find native MJPEG HD clips here:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/panasonic...eos-vimeo.html
post #13 of 72
DPreview.com has GH1 review up for a few days now. I'd say I'm not too impressed after reading the review. The biggest draw for me to pick a DSLR based camera over HD camcorder is the ability to control DOF. But according to the review, the tiny micro four-third sensor is too small to have noticeable DOF control.
post #14 of 72
Foxbat, if you saw the dynamic range and detail in the GH1 video, you'd be impressed in short order. It blows away my xr500 and is better than my z5 in some ways.

If I could get a traditional camcorder with this kind of picture, I'd buy it in a second. But no such cam exists.

I got mine from a Canadian dealer, Henrys, but I doubt they have stock now
post #15 of 72
Ken,

I know the PQ will be better than consumer camcorders. But I'm still torn between this and the bigger DSLRs like Canon, Nikon and Pentax that also offer HD video AND much better DOF control but no AF in video. So far the clips from those DSLRs impress me.
post #16 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Foxbat, if you saw the dynamic range and detail in the GH1 video, you'd be impressed in short order. It blows away my xr500 and is better than my z5 in some ways.

If I could get a traditional camcorder with this kind of picture, I'd buy it in a second. But no such cam exists.

I got mine from a Canadian dealer, Henrys, but I doubt they have stock now

It should, at 60% or so more (excluding? lens).
post #17 of 72
Don, you could pay 60% more for a traditional camcorder and still not get this kind of picture quality.

Foxbat, the problem with the other DSLRs is that you won't get the range of manual controls in video or the recording time or the frame rates or autofocus.
post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by P Seastrand View Post

I'm very interested in this unit. I was just on a cruise and brought my Panasonic FZ30 and Sony SR11 to shoot both video and stills. Since I hate carrying both around all the time, I kept switching back and forth between the two. Unfortunately each time I had the camera, I wanted to shoot video and each time I had the camcorder I wanted to shoot some stills. While the SR11 can take still images, it's a big step down from the FZ30. And likewise the FZ30 can shoot video, but not HD and not nearly as well as the SR11. This GH1 looks like it might be the right compromise. I look forward to the reviews.

In my recent visit to NY, I realized exactly the same that carrying two cameras is very unpractical and I'm looking for a good combo camera as well. That not only does HD video but also take great photos. From the initial reviews, it seems like GH1 might be the answer to my (our) problems.
post #19 of 72
Like I said in Dvinfo, some of you should ask a local dealer especially one that caries the older G1. You may be lucky just like I was.
post #20 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post

Like I said in Dvinfo, some of you should ask a local dealer especially one that caries the older G1. You may be lucky just like I was.

if you don't mind, could you tell us how much you paid for it ?
post #21 of 72
It was an authorized dealer so I paid the retail price of $1,500, plus an extra battery, plus an extended warranty, plus Massachusetts taxes for around $1870 altogether. Then again, I didn’t pay anything yet since it was on the store’s credit card.
http://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com/
post #22 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post

It was an authorized dealer so I paid the retail price of $1,500, plus an extra battery, plus an extended warranty, plus Massachusetts taxes for around $1870 altogether. Then again, I didn't pay anything yet since it was on the store's credit card.
http://www.huntsphotoandvideo.com/

damn, that's a lot of money. Too bad, out of my range
post #23 of 72
It might have been a little bit less since I don't have the receipt in front of me but still, If I wanted to, I could have just gotten the camera and pay the $75 state tax for a total of $1,575.
post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Foxbat, if you saw the dynamic range and detail in the GH1 video, you'd be impressed in short order. It blows away my xr500 and is better than my z5 in some ways.

If I could get a traditional camcorder with this kind of picture, I'd buy it in a second. But no such cam exists.

I got mine from a Canadian dealer, Henrys, but I doubt they have stock now

Ken,

It would be great if you could upload a comparision video of XR500 and GH1.
post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Don, you could pay 60% more for a traditional camcorder and still not get this kind of picture quality.

Foxbat, the problem with the other DSLRs is that you won't get the range of manual controls in video or the recording time or the frame rates or autofocus.

Now if they could get wide aperature, large high pixel count sensor AND large depth of field in one camera... Together with with higher framerates.
post #26 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by donaldk View Post

Now if they could get wide aperature, large high pixel count sensor AND large depth of field in one camera... Together with with higher framerates.

That's called camcorder

Large depth of field is not useful. You want shalow depth of field.
post #27 of 72
No I don't! Perhaps great depth of field witth control to make it more shallow at will, but I definitely do want a large depth of field as well.

Definitely preferred the Sony HD (Broadcast) camera's with nice big Box lenses that had a narrower aperature and therefore greater depth of field, over the SD (and HD?) models that had a wider aperature and shallower depth of field, except for them being noticably darker than the SD models, in the same line up, when I perused the line of camera's at IBC some time ago. As long as the latitude suffices to get a good contrastrich image, to seperate the various planes of sharp content...

Camcorder with both large sensor and wide aperature (light) and great depth of field, I haven't seen or heard of anny, so suggestions, please?
post #28 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by donaldk View Post

No I don't! Perhaps great depth of field witth control to make it more shallow at will, but I definitely do want a large depth of field as well.

Definitely preferred the Sony HD (Broadcast) camera's with nice big Box lenses that had a narrower aperature and therefore greater depth of field, over the SD (and HD?) models that had a wider aperature and shallower depth of field, except for them being noticably darker than the SD models, in the same line up, when I perused the line of camera's at IBC some time ago. As long as the latitude suffices to get a good contrastrich image, to seperate the various planes of sharp content...

Camcorder with both large sensor and wide aperature (light) and great depth of field, I haven't seen or heard of anny, so suggestions, please?

You can get all bells and whistles but it all comes down to how much are you willing to spend. Not everybody can afford, $5K camera just to get better DOF.

Most people here aren't looking for broadcast quality camera, majority of people only use their cams for home vidoes and aren't willing to pay for features that they might never even use.
post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by donaldk View Post

No I don't! Perhaps great depth of field witth control to make it more shallow at will, but I definitely do want a large depth of field as well.

All the consumer camcorders have great DOF due to their small sensors. That's not hard to achive.

If you carefully look at all the professional video programming (with the exception of some sports), no one really uses great DOF. Shallow DOF makes main subject stand out and more artistic. On the other hand, ameture videos are easy to spot because everthing is in focus.
post #30 of 72
Every broadcast camcorder has great depth of field as well, great for news and so on. News and sports some of the most prominent professional content, indeed. Greater depth of field than current dslr's would be welcome, retaining the large sensor. BTW, what is the sensor size on this Panasonic?

A great comparison that shows the difference clearly is when they switch between behind the scenes videofootage and the drama's production footage, shot at 35mm, greater realisme in the video footage, that works both ways, in drama, fiction, one doesn't wan't to great a visual realism.

Fieldproduction camera's with their nice box lenses can have good/great depth of field, but like I noticed earlier at the expense of sensitivity due to closed down iris.

Camcorders with large sensors (not 1/2, or 2/3 inch format, but even larger, though broadcast size is a nice size in its own right) and great depth of field, as suggested to exist, are something I have yet to encounter, was all I rebutted.

DOF control is good thing to have if you want to do more artistic stuff. Those Letus adapters seem very popular, among the more artistic videographers. Notice that the ultima produces nice shots featuring both shallow and larger depth of field.

A.J. I wholeheartedly agree, hence our compromise in buying the Canon HF11, price better than new models, resolution bettered in new model(s), but indoor recording and image noise is still better in last year's model. The last point is important in shooting home video's, the object of getting the camera.

The Panasonic discussed here seems to be well above the level of these little camcorders. Both in price and performance, bettering even the Canon HF-S series and the Sony 520/500, also topping those top consumer camcorders price. Here in Holland, when they finally start shipping the GH1, it will retail at more than twice what we paid for the Canon camcorder, around 1500 euro vs approximately 700 for the Canon. At some point one just has to say enough is enough I am not willing to spend more, and just live with all the good and the bad of what one's got.
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