Rear of camera controls
The GH1's rear controls are, with the exception of the bright red video button in the top right corner, identical to the G1. They are also similar to the L10, with a bit of the FZ series thrown in for good measure. Top left is the EVF/LCD button to toggle between framing with the viewfinder and the LCD screen. To the right of the viewfinder we have the AE/AF lock and play mode buttons, and in the far right the video button. Below the thumb grip you can find DISPLAY (for changing the amount and type of information overlaid on the live view and playback displays). Below this is the standard four-way controller. Each of the directional keys has a dedicated function in record mode, giving direct access to ISO speed, focus pattern and white balance, plus a customizable function button (Fn). Bottom right of the back is the depth-of-field preview button (which doubles up as a Delete button in playback mode).
On screen settings adjustment
Buttons such as white balance and ISO display a dedicated mini menu on the LCD monitor/EVF which allow you to see all the options available, use the command dial or arrow keys to change. Of course there are plenty of other ways to change settings using the various display options (see here for more detail).
It's worth reiterating that Micro Four Thirds cameras do live view 'right' in a way we've not seen before. In the majority of DSLRs it's appeared a little bit bolted-on, with relatively limited functionality (e.g. autofocus) and no clear idea of what it is there for. Even the more integrated systems have come at the expense of traditional DSLR capabilities, such as the viewfinder. By contrast, the GH1 behaves exactly like a DSLR despite being built around Live view.
|Setting AF mode example||Setting ISO example|
Status panel display
Instead of having a live view image on your rear LCD you can opt for displaying the status panel which acts much like it does on most modern DSLRs - all the most important settings are displayed using icons. Press the Q.Menu button and use the front dial (or arrow keys) to select the setting you want to change, then press the dial to change the setting (this brings up a dedicated sub-menu). It's a fast and efficient way to use the camera (note that the EVF continues to show the live view when you're using the Status Panel display mode on the main screen, so you can use the camera much as you would a conventional SLR.
|Pressing the front dial toggles between the main setting (in this case aperture, since we're in Aperture Priority mode) and AE compensation. Turning the dial changes the setting.|
|Press the Q.Menu button to switch focus to the bank of settings on the left. Use the dial or arrow keys to select the parameter you want to change.||Press the dial again (or the SET button) to bring up a screen of options, select the setting you want (again using the dial or arrow keys) and simply press the dial or SET button to set it. It's fast, fluid and simple - and if you raise the camera to your eye the display switches to the viewfinder, back in normal live view mode.|
|There's a total of three different color options for the status panel display.|
Quick Menu (Q.Menu)
The GH1 offers direct access to most of the most common settings using the Quick Menu (found on most modern Lumix compacts). Pressing the Q.Menu button lets you select a setting from the icons arranged around the live view screen and change it. The exact appearance of the quick menu settings depends on which display mode you are in.
|Changing image size in the three different display modes (the operation is identical in each case; it's just the display that's different).|
Buttons / controls
|Motion Picture button
Starts and stops video recording. The button can be deactivated in the menu.
EVF/LCD toggle button
Auto Focus / Auto Exposure Lock
In shooting mode the four arrow keys each have a dedicated function (listed below). The directional keys are also used to navigate menus and change settings. In playback mode the left and right keys are used to scroll through saved images.
|WB||White Balance (right arrow)
• Custom 1
• Custom 2
• Kelvin temp (2500 - 10000 K, 100K steps)
ISO Sensitivity (up arrow)
• Single area (press SET to use cursor keys to set AF point)
• 23 area (auto select)
• Subject Tracking AF
• Face Detect AF
Fn (down arrow)
In play mode cycles through the various information display modes.
Erase / Depth of field preview
In Play mode displays a 'Yes / No' confirmation dialog to delete the current image, press the Erase button again to switch to All/Multi mode; Multi allowing you to select images on a 6 image thumbnail index, All erasing all images on the storage card (except for Protected images).
Menu / Set