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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1

Panasonic Digital Cameras


Panasonic GH1 Review

Review Date: June 22, 2009

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1
Mouseover image for back view

Photoxels Editor's Choice Award - Compact DSLR 2009

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 adds HD movie capture at 1080/24p to the award winning G1, the first of a new breed of digital cameras that features a large image sensor, accepts interchangeable lenses, and does away completely with the mirror.

The result is a compact, elegant and well-built DSLR with smaller and lighter lenses to go with it. The new Lumix G Vario 14-140mm (28-280mm equiv.) 10x optical zoom lens is surprisingly compact and not much bigger than the one on an ultra zoom.

The Panasonic GH1 features a high resolution Live View Finder (LVF) that rivals the traditional optical viewfinder on a DSLR. Being electronic, the LVF gives a 100% field of view and displays all the information that usually appears only on the LCD. This SVGA EVF is bright, clear and sharp (technically, it has 800 x 600 = 480,000 dots but each dot reflects a red, green and blue signal very quickly in succession, so Panasonic claims it as having 1,440,000 dots equivalent) and has a fast 60fps refresh rate for a smooth display.

The extra large 3.0-in. LCD is free-angle (i.e you can rotate it 180° side to side and tilt it 270° up and down) and has a high 460,000 dots resolution for a bright and sharp display. An Intelligent LCD function automatically increases the backlight brightness in bright sunlight according to the ambient light intensity and automatically adjusts the frame rate ("gains up") in dimly lit conditions according to the ambient darkness to help provide a better view in those challenging situations. The LCD is sharp enough to allow accurate manual focus. Its refresh rate is fast enough to allow tracking a moving subject.

An eye sensor besides the LVF automatically switches on the LVF (and switches off the LCD) when you look into it and switches it off (and switches the LCD on) when you remove your eye from it.

The Lumix GH1 caters to both the point-and-shoot crowd with its Intelligent AUTO (iA) function, and PASM for full exposure flexibility and creative shooting freedom. Scene modes also help beginners ease into using the GH1.

Other features include Dust Reduction and many of the features that Panasonic has popularized in its popular digicams.

As with the G1, The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 is a Digital Interchangeable Lens camera that re-invents the DSLR and provides entry-level DSLR image quality and performance in a super compact and light body. It heralds a break from traditional DSLR development and is one of the most exciting digital camera introduced so far. Now with HD Movie!

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Panasonic GH1
QuickFact™ Sheet
  Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 US | CAN | UK | Lumix  
  Type Digital interchangeable lens system camera  
  Recording Media SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card  
  Image Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm  
  Mount Micro Four Thirds mount  
  Type Live MOS Sensor  
  Total Pixels 14.0 Megapixels  
  Camera Effective Pixels 12.1 Megapixels  
  Color Filter Primary color filter  
  Dust Reduction System Supersonic wave filter  
  Recording File Format Still Image: JPEG (DCF, Exif 2.21), RAW, DPOF compatible
Still Image with Audio: JPEG (DCF, Exif 2.21) + QuickTime
Motion Image: AVCHD / QuickTime Motion JPEG
  Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1 (Multi-aspect recording except 1:1)  
  File Size (Still Image) [4:3] 4,000 x 3,000 (L), 2,816 x 2,112 (M), 2,048 x 1,536 (S)
[3:2] 4,128 x 2,752 (L), 2,928 x 1,952 (M), 2,064 x 1,376 (S)
[16:9] 4,352 x 2,448 (L), 3,072 x 1,728 (M), 1,920 x 1,080 (S)
[1:1] 2,992 x 2,992 (L), 2,112 x 2,112 (M), 1,504 x 1,504 (S)
  Movie File Size (Motion JPEG) [4:3] QVGA: 320 x 240, 30 fps / VGA: 640 x 480, 30 fps
[16:9] WVGA: 848 x 480, 30 fps
[HD] 1,280 x 720, 30 fps
  Movie File Size (AVCHD)

NTSC: [Full HD] 1,920 x 1,080, 60i (sensor output is 24 fps) (FHD: 17 Mbps)
[HD] 1,280 x 720, 60p (SH: 17 Mbps, H: 13 Mbps, L: 9 Mbps)

PAL: [Full HD] 1,920 x 1,080, 50i (sensor output is 25 fps) (FHD: 17 Mbps)
[HD] 1,280 x 720, 50p (SH: 17 Mbps, H: 13 Mbps, L: 9 Mbps)

  Image Quality RAW, RAW+Fine, RAW+Standard, Fine, Standard  
  Color Space sRGB, Adobe RGB  
  Type Live View Finder (1,440,000 dots equivalent)  
  Field of View Approx. 100%  
  Magnification Approx. 1.4x / 0.7x (35 mm camera equivalent) with 50 mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1  
  Eye Point Approx. 17.5 mm from eyepiece lens  
  Diopter Adjustment -4.0 - +4.0 m-1  
  Type Contrast AF system  
  Focusing Mode AFs / AFc / MF  
  AF Mode Face detection / AF Tracking / 23-area-focusing / 1-area-focusing  
  AF Detective Range EV 0 - 18 (ISO100)  
  AF Assist Lamp YES  
  AF Lock AF / AE LOCK button or Shutter button halfway pressed in AFs mode  
  Others Pre AF (Quick AF / Continuous AF), AF+MF, MF Assist (5x, 10x)  
  Light Metering System 144-zone multi-pattern sensing system  
  Light Metering Mode Intelligent Multiple / Center Weighted / Spot  
  Metering Range EV 0-18 (F2.0 lens, ISO 100)  
  Exposure Mode Program AE / Aperture Priority AE / Shutter Priority AE / Manual  
  ISO Sensitivity Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / Intelligent ISO  
  Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV Step ±3 EV  
  AE Lock AF / AE LOCK button or Shutter button halfway pressed  
  AE Bracket 3, 5, 7 frames, in 1/3 or 2/3 EV Step, ±2 EV  
  White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / Flash / White Set 1, 2 / Color temperature setting  
  White Balance Adjustment Blue / amber bias, Magenta / green bias  
  Color Temperature Setting 2,500 K-10,000 K in 100 K  
  White Balance Bracket 3 exposures in blue/amber axis or in magenta/green axis  
  Type Focal-plane shutter  
  Shutter Speed Still Images: 1/4000-60 and Bulb (up to approx. 4 minutes)  
  Self Timer 2 sec / 10 sec / 10 sec, 3 images  
  Remote Control Remote control with bulb function by DMW-RSL1 (Optional)  
  Still Image SCN Mode

Portrait (Normal / Soft Skin / Outdoor / Indoor / Creative) / Scenery (Normal / Nature / Architecture / Creative) / Sports (Normal / Outdoor / Indoor / Creative) / Close-up (Flower / Food / Objects / Creative) / Night Portrait (Night Portrait / Night Scenery / Illuminations / Creative) / SCN (Sunset / Party / Baby 1, 2 / Pet)

  Movie SCN Mode

Portrait / Scenery / Sports / Low Light / Close-up (Flower / Food / Objects / Macro) / SCN (Sunset / Party / Portrait)
(Activated by selecting Still Image SCN mode then pressing Movie Button. Still Image SCN modes without corresponding Movie SCN mode is recorded in Normal mode.)

  Burst Speed 3 frames / sec (High speed) or 2 frames / sec (Low speed)  
  Number of Recordable 7 images (when there are RAW files with the particular speed)
Unlimited consecutive shooting (when there are no RAW files)
(depending on memory card size, battery power, picture size, and compression)
  Type TTL Built-in-Flash, GN11 equivalent (ISO100 · m), Built-in Pop-up  
  Flash Mode Auto, Auto / Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On / Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync. / Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off  
  X-Sync Speed Less than 1/160 second  
  Flash Output Adjustment 1/3 EV Step ± 2 EV  
  Flash Synchronization

1st Curtain Sync. and 2nd Curtain Sync.

  Hot Shoe

TTL Auto with FL220 / FL360 / FL500 (Optional)

  Type Low temperature Polycrystalline TFT LCD  
  Monitor Size Free-angle 3.0 inch / 3:2 Aspect / Wide viewing angle  
  Pixels 460,000 dots  
  Filed of View Approx. 100%  
  Brightness Adjustment Auto, Power LCD, Manual (7 levels)  
  Digital Zoom 2x, 4x  
  Extra Optical Zoom Max. 2x
(Not effective with L size recording.
Magnification ratio depends on the recording pixels and aspect ratio.)
  Other Functions Guide Lines (3 patterns)
Real-time Histogram
  Color Standard / Dynamic / Nature / Smooth / Nostalgic / Vibrant  
  Black and White Standard / Dynamic / Smooth  
  Others My Film 1 / My Film 2 / Multi Film  
  Playback Mode Normal playback, 30-thumbnail display, 12-thumbnail display, Calendar display, Zoomed playback (16x Max.), Slideshow (duration & effect is selectable), Playback Mode (Normal / Picture / AVCHD / Motion JPEG / Face Recognition / Favorite), Title Edit, Text Stamp, Resize, Trimming, Aspect Conversion, Rotate, Rotate Display, Print Set, Protect, Audio Dubbing  
  Protection Single / Multi or Cancel  
  Erase Single / Multi / All / Except Favorite  
  Direct Print PictBridge compatible (Print size, Layout, Date setting is selectable)  
  Digital USB 2.0 High Speed  
  HDMI mini HDMI TypeC (1.3b corresponding)
Video: Auto / 1080i / 720p / 480p (576p in PAL system)
Audio: Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator
  Audio Video Output Stereo Type, NTSC / PAL, NTSC only for North America
*Check the website of the Panasonic sales company in your country or region for details on the products that are available in your market.
  Remote / External Microphone Input φ2.5 mm stereo mini jack  
  Microphone Stereo, Wind-cut: Off / Low / Standard / High  
  Speaker YES  
  OSD Language English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Dutch, Thai, Korean, Turkish, Portuguese, Arabic, Persian, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, Finnish
*Check the website of the Panasonic sales company in your country or region for details on the OSD languages on the products that are available in your market.

ID-Security Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 1,250mAh) (Included)
Battery Charger / AC Adapter (Input: 110-240V AC, DC Cable is required)

  Battery Life Still Images**:
CIPA Standard: Approx. 300 images (LCD)
LVF: Approx. 320 images
with LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140 mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.
Motion Images***:
Approx. 120 minutes (LCD)
Recording time capacity in AVCHD SH mode
  Included Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 3.1 HD Edition
SILKYPIX® Developer Studio 3.0 SE
USB Driver
  Standard Accessories Battery Charger/AC Adapter, Battery Pack, Body Cap, AV Cable, USB Connection Cable, AC Cable, DC Cable, Shoulder Strap, CD-ROM  
  Dimensions (W x H x D) 124 x 89.6 x 45.2 mm /
4.88 x 3.53 x 1.78 inch

Approx. 385 g / 13.6 oz (Body only)
Approx. 903 g / 31.9 oz (with 14-140mm lens)

  MSRP (body only) US $ / CAN $ / UK  
  with 14-140mm (28-280mm equiv.) kit lens US $1,499.95 / CAN $1,899.99 / UK £1,299.99  

- Press Release [US]

- Main Parts and Controls

- Image Samples

- 360° View

- Included Software

- Optional Accessories

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

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Panasonic GH1

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