Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1

Released March, 2009
  • 12 MP
  • Four Thirds 17.3 x 13 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
In combination with the newly developed 14-140mm F4.0-5.8 kit lens that has, in terms of aperture control and focusing, been optimized for shooting video, it transforms the GH1 into a true stills/video hybrid that can record HD video while at the same time producing high quality stills images.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
8.7 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Lumix DMC-GH1
8.5
D5300
9.9
D5100
9.6
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Lumix DMC-GH1
6.7
D5300
7.9
D5100
7.1
Focus lag and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Lumix DMC-GH1
8.3
D5300
9.4
D5100
9.0
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

Lumix DMC-GH1
9.2
D5300
9.1
D5100
9.1
Reviews from 43rumors.com, trustedreviews.com, photographyblog.com and dpreview.com

8.7

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Lumix DMC-GH1
8.7
D5300
9.2
D5100
9.0

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

Lumix DMC-GH1
772 ISO
D5300
1,338 ISO
D5100
1,183 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

Lumix DMC-GH1
2,100 LPH
Lumix DMC-GH3
2,900 LPH
Lumix DMC-GH2
2,800 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Lumix DMC-GH1
336 ms
PEN E-P2
956 ms
Lumix DMC-G5
194 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Lumix DMC-GH1
84 ms
D5100
114 ms
Lumix DMC-G5
63 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Lumix DMC-GH1
1,800 ms
D5300
500 ms
D5100
500 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Lumix DMC-GH1
3 fps
Lumix DMC-G5
20 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1


7.2
This can vary depending on whether you use the electronic viewfinder or the slightly more power-hungry LCD screen - this is similar to most digital SLRs used in live view mode (though of course here you don't have the option of an optical finder to extend battery life).

9.0
In summary, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 offers a fantastically well-implemented Live View experience in a small and portable DSLR-like format with the addition of an intuitive video mode that mere mortals, and not just experienced videographers, can produce great results with.

9.0
The new 14 - 140mm zoom lens is very good, producing very little barrel distortion at wide angle.

Overall

8.4 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Video

If you don't need the video capabilities, though, the much cheaper DMC-G1 camera is by far the more logical choice.
by Photography Blog (Jun, 2009)
There seems to be a notion that's rapidly taken hold of the digital camera market that what everyone really needs is a digital SLR that can also shoot high-definition video.
by TrustedReviews (May, 2011)
Forward-wind to June 2009, and we’re now reviewing the new DMC-GH1 camera, which as expected can record both stills and HD video.
by Photography Blog (Jun, 2009)

Lens

This reveals that the 14-140mm has extremely high barrel distortion at 14mm, which becomes more modest at 18mm, and this can be seen clearly below (the grids are scaled to give an accurate representation of the transformation that is actually occurring).
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
The new 14-140mm lens performs extremely well, producing very little optical distortion at any focal length, and showing outstanding corner sharpness with no trace of chromatic aberration.
by TrustedReviews (May, 2011)
Limited lens support is still a bit of a problem for the entire Four Thirds system as there is currently only a very limited number of lenses available for the system, none of which offer really fast apertures; and when using standard four thirds lenses with the adaptor, most don't autofocus and are somehow out of proportion to the GH1's small body.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)

Sensor

If even the highest ISO setting is not enough for the light conditions and shutter speed/aperture combination the video will, just like a still image, simply be underexposed.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
It also means you make the most of the sensor area, getting similar pixel counts in all modes.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
Like the GH1 the Nikon image improves visibly compared to the out-of-camera JPEGs but it can't quite keep up with the Panasonic which, in RAW format as well, is up with the very best crop DSLRs in terms of image detail.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)

Image quality

Overall picture quality is, as you would expect, identical to the G1 as well.
by TrustedReviews (May, 2011)
Colours are accurate when using the default Standard setting, with lots of scope to adjust the JPEG output to suit your own tastes, and the auto white balance is spot-on in most lighting conditions.
by Photography Blog (Jun, 2009)
Despite being built around Live view the GH1 will pretty much behave like a DSLR (with the low light limitations of the electronic viewfinder).
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)

Screen

From a speed of operation point of view the GH1 cannot quite keep up with current DSLRs, but considering the camera operates in almost the same way as most compact cameras (with the inherent delay of having to supply a video feed to an LCD or EVF to provide a 'through the lens' view) and has to use contrast detect AF (as opposed to phase detect systems on DSLRs), it is surprisingly snappy in use.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
LCD monitor" mode looks most like a compact camera display, with icons overlaid on the image.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
This means you can't see the individual pixels - there's no gap between them (there's no mesh surrounding the color filters such as in conventional LCD displays).
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type CMOS
Megapixels 12 MP
Resolution 4000 x 3000
Size Four Thirds
Area 17.3 x 13 mm
Crop factor 2.1x
Pixel size 18.7 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 1,600 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 1,600 ISO to 3,200 ISO
Codecs
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor No
Tested vertical resolution 2,100 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,100 LPH

focus system

Type Contrast detection
Focus points 23
Cross type focus points 0
Supports continuous No

shutter

Min 60 s
Max 1/4000 s

performance

Max continuous shooting 3 fps
Battery life 320 photos
Continuous shooting 3 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 336 ms
Shutter lag 84 ms
Startup delay 1,800 ms

video

Video 1920 x 1080 @ 24 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection

display

Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 460 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen Yes
Supports live view Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror None
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Electronic

form factor

Size 124 x 90 x 76 mm
Thickness 76 mm
Weight 430 g
Is weather sealed No

features

Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization None
Report a correction

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