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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Panasonic GH1

Panasonic Digital Cameras


Panasonic GH1 Review

Review Date: June 22, 2009

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

Panasonic GH1

Photoxels Editor's Choice Award - Compact DSLR 2009


This Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.

Le Marché
Le Marché

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 adds the one missing ingredient to the award-winning G1: HD movie. While other DSLRs may also feature HD movie, the GH1 trumps them all with the one movie capability missing in all those DSLRs: continuous focusing. In practical terms, it means that the camera will refocus as you point it to a subject at a different distance (whether as a result of your moving the camera, the subject moving, or even of using the zoom). No other DSLRs with movie capability can do this currently. More, you can also select exposure settings during Movie recording, allowing you to affect depth-of-field even as you are recording.

Of course, the other feature that sets the GH1 (and the G1 before it) apart from other DSLRs is its Full-Time Live View. Live View on other DSLRs is impractical except when the camera is mounted on a tripod and your subject is perfectly still. The Live View on the GH1 works like you expect it to. Its Contrast-Detect AF is fast and precise even in low light situations. The Live View implemented on other DSLRs just does not even come close. The GH1 has no practical shutter lag and performance rivals that of an entry-level DSLR.

The GH1 is compact, elegant, well-built and captures great images. And it does that by turning the traditional DSLR world on its head. It keeps the best features of a DSLR -- features serious and advanced photographers have come to expect from a serious camera -- and, in addition, throws in practical features from the point-and-shoot world that DSLRs are now starting to incorporate. As a result, the Lumix GH1 is a pleasure to use.

The G1 and GH1 will go down into camera history as the first system digital cameras to redefine how a DSLR should work. By using a smaller micro FourThirds (mFT) lens mount and getting rid of both the prism and mirror (whose main purpose is to reflect the light coming from the lens to the prism in the viewfinder, but is not necessary anymore with the use of a high resolution LVF and LCD), the GH1 allows the use of lenses that are much smaller and lighter than those used on traditional DSLRs, further reducing the weight of a system camera.

Image quality is excellent up to ISO 400, with low noise and detail preserved. Other features include full exposure flexibility; an articulated extra large high resolution 3.0-in. LCD; a high resolution LVF that displays all the exposure information you desire, including a Live Histogram.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 will appeal to beginner and serious amateur photographers desiring a DSLR-level digital camera but without the size, bulkiness and weight usually associated with traditional DSLRs. Panasonic has done a superb job with its second micro FourThirds Digital Interchangeable Lens system camera and we award it our Editor's Choice Award 2009.

See if you fit the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 User Profile below:

Panasonic GH1
User Profile
Desire a quality 12.1 MP resolution Digital Interchangeable Lens camera.
Want DSLR-like handling and controls: zoom ring, manual focus ring.
Want Live View that works well as on a compact digicam.
Want HD Movie with continuous focus.
Want a LCD that flips out and rotates for comfortable high and low-angle shooting.
Want fast response times with no practical shutter lag.
Want fast and precise auto and manual focus.
Want a full-featured digital camera with many pro features.
Want ability to add on optional accessories, including lenses and a choice of powerful external speedlights.
Want all this in a smaller and lighter form factor than typical DSLRs.

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