Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Panasonic DMC-GH1

A few weeks ago, Panasonic announced a new micro four thirds camera, the DMC-GH1. It's the successor to the DMC-G1, one of the first micro four thirds format cameras around. All in all, this is a very nicely specced camera, with its 14Mpixel sensor which lets you take 12Mpixel photos in different ratios (so your 3:2 shots will have the same pixel count as the 4:3 shots).

The micro four thirds standard combines the strengths of SLR cameras and compacts:
  • interchangeable lenses
  • larger sensor format (still only about 1/4 of a full frame sensor, but about 6 times the size of a typical 1/1.8" sensor found in a compact camera), which allows better performance at high ISO values
  • relatively small, comparable to a large compact (like the FZ50)
  • full manual controls
  • continuous live view (with the downside that you don't have an optical viewfinder)
Another thing the micro four thirds standard allows for is continuous autofocus while recording movies... The DMC-GH1 is capable of recording 1080p/24fps video and is fitted with a dedicated movie button, so you don't even have to select movie mode on the function dial.

At a rumoured price of a little over $1500, this isn't really cheap, but for that price Panasonic includes a 14-140mm lens (28-280mm equivalent) , which has been optimized for HD movies and offers 1/6 step aperture control (up to a certain value).

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