Panasonic GH1 Reviews and Samples

First published on: Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Last update (Sep 17, 2009): Indoor candid photo with the Panasonic GH1 plus Leica D Summilux 25mm F1.4 Four Thirds lens by M Driscoll.

This post is a compilation of links to the following Panasonic DMC-GH1 12MP Four Thirds interchangeable lens camera resources:


  1. Professional and user reviews, owner opinions and experiences, tests, ratings, conclusions and feedback.

  2. Sample photos and examples, image galleries and user pictures, movie / video clips and footage.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to conclude whether the GH1 image quality, and the camera itself as a whole, meets your standards.

Full attribution is given by linking to the source and where available, the author’s homepage or photo gallery.

Indoor candid photo

Indoor candid photo with the Panasonic GH1 plus Leica D Summilux 25mm F1.4 Four Thirds lens by M Driscoll

M Driscoll used the Panasonic GH1 plus Leica D Summilux 25mm F1.4 Four Thirds lens to snap this photo. Apparently, the flower lady wasn’t too pleased, but it’s a great image for checking out the bokeh on this Leica lens.

Focus Speed: Panasonic GH1 with Lumix 14-140mm lens attached, indoors

Watch in HD on YouTube.

Full review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 at DPReview

The GH1 gets the “HIGHLY RECOMMENDED” rating, and the review concludes:

The GH1 offers the same ease-of-use and solid image quality as its sister model G1. On top top of that you get the best implementation of a HD video mode that we have yet seen on a large sensor camera. You pay a fairly hefty premium for this feature, but for anyone who is planning to make good use of the camera’s motion picture capabilities, the GH1 has to be highly recommended.

There’s also a comprehensive gallery of full-sized GH1 photo samples.

Gallery of full-sized GH1 photo samples

All the images were snapped with the Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. Micro Four Thirds lens.

Some of the more interesting images are bee on a flower, picnic, London cityscape, performer (ISO 3200), performance (ISO 1600) , performance (ISO 3200), bagpiper, half-body portrait, building / architecture.

Full-resolution Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Photo Gallery at LetsGoDigital

Full-resolution Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 photo gallery at LetsGoDigital

Extensive coverage of the DMC-GH1

DPNow has an extensive coverage of the Panasonic GH1, touching on both the launch as well as the features and functionality of the camera.

The article also describes in detail how the autofocus and aperture mechanisms in the new G Vario 14-140 lens have been fine-tuned for video capture:

Because snappy autofocus, so desirable in still cameras, would ruin video recording, the 14-140 uses a linear autofocus motor that is both quiet and steplessly smooth in operation. The aperture diaphragm actuation is also noise-reduced and steplessly adjustable. In movie mode with auto exposure, the aperture changes smoothly and steplessly, as well as continuously, as does the autofocus. This ensures smooth exposure and focus transitions, critical for professional-looking video.

The addition of a fully-articulated LCD screen on the GH1 makes shooting much more versatile compared to the DMC-G1.

Panasonic DMC-GH1 brief hands-on

DPReview.com has posted a brief Panasonic DMC-GH1 hands-on report.

The main differentiating aspect about the GH1’s HD (high definition) video mode, as opposed to the movie mode on the Nikon D90 and Canon 5D Mark II, is that continuous AF (autofocus) is possible via its contrast-detect AF system.

The continuous AF capability is enhanced with an all-new, specially-optimized-for-video Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4-5.8 lens, which features stepless and near-silent focusing and aperture mechanisms.

Video codec used is AVCHD, which Panasonic claims is more advanced than the Motion JPEG used in the Nikon D90 in that almost twice as much footage can be recorded on the same SD card.

Video can be recorded up to 1080 (1920x1080) @ 24 fps or 720p (1280 x 720) @ 60 fps. The actual press release says:

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) video is output and recorded by the image sensor at 60p (NTSC)/50p (PAL)

The confusion over whether the GH1 records at 1080p or 1080i is cleared up by Imaging Resource’s GH1 page:

Movies can be recorded at either 1080i (1920 x 1080 pixels, interlaced) or 720p (1280 x 720 pixels, progressive scan) modes. In the latter mode, the GH1 can also offer an impressive 60 frames-per-second (NTSC; 50 frames per second for PAL). Note though that 1080i videos are actually captured at 24 fps progressive-scan (NTSC; 25fps PAL), and then converted in-camera to be written as 60fps interlaced (NTSC; 50fps PAL).

Sound is recorded in stereo via the built-in stereo mic on the top of the camera, just in front of the accessory / flash hotshoe. This is trumps the mono-only audio recording capability on the D90 and 5D Mark 2.

The built-in stereo microphone on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1

The GH1 also provides a socket for a good quality, Dolby-compatible external microphone to be connected.

There is also a dedicated video recording button near the top-right hand corner on the back of the camera. This is a far better implementation than the slightly clumsy approach on the D90 and 5D2 where you’d need to activate Live View first.

Panasonic GH1 Hands-On

PhotographyBlog has posted their Panasonic GH1 Hands-On report which has numerous photos of the camera taken at various angles.

I note from one of the photos that the GH1 has a Wind Cut function that is meant to reduce wind noise during the movie capture process. This is excellent, as the D90 and 5D2 has no similar feature.

There are also side-by-side photos of the GH1 next to the G1 and the new 14-140mm and 7-14mm lenses. I wish lenses with equivalent zoom ranges on the Nikon system were as small. The GH1 and new lenses is a compelling purchase for those who wish to travel light and want a system which is smaller and lighter than the typical package of DSLR camera and lenses.

Official Sample Images at Panasonic Global

Two full-sized images are provided, one taken with the Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4-5.8 lens, and the other with the Lumix Vario G 7-14 f/4 lens.

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