Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 review
After using my Japanese GH1 for over a month, 20,000+ photos, and a few hours of video, I've found it to be a very solid camera / HD camcorder.
Very briefly, some major points I would emphasize about the camera:
- Very easy to use (especially with the auto mode, face detection and continuous auto-focus in video mode). Would be a great camera for someone transitioning into DSLRs from a point and shoot, except its current price is much too high.
- Very good EVF / Live View LCD, though those used to optical viewfinders will not be impressed. They compare very well to camcorder EVF/LCDs, though.
- Would be good for amateur videographers who want interchangeable lenses on a budget (especially if they are also interested in getting into photography).
- HD quality is very good, though there may be a bit of the jelly effect around the edges when panning very quickly, and sensor noise is noticeable in still, low-light shots (less obvious when panning or the subject is moving). I've only noticed the rolling shutter effect in videos I shot in full manual mode (with non-optimal settings), but am not sure it is totally absent in auto mode.
- Sound quality is very good (pcm_s16le, 48000 Hz, stereo, 1536 kb/s), though an external mic with a real wind guard will be much better than the built-ins with the software wind-cut.
- The articulating LCD makes composing and shooting shots at different angles much easier and less tiring (e.g. holding the camera at waist-height or putting it on the ground instead of kneeling or lying down).
- Build quality is very good, though the body appears to be sturdy plastic instead of metal, and not everyone will like the texture of the camera (skin oils show well on the black version).
Hundreds of photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/retroleum/tags/gh1/ (if the link does not show, search for user "retroleum" on Flickr)
My much more in-depth review: http://blog.lucylou.info/post/115667610/panasonic-gh1-review (if the link doesn't show, visit blog [dot] lucylou [dot] info and search for "GH1 review")
- Weak in low-light, with visible sensor noise streaks appearing at ISO 1600.
- Japanese version is Japanese language ONLY.
- As of now, there are few lenses for the Micro Four-Thirds system.
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