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Panasonic DMC-GH1K 12.1MP Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 1080p HD Video

Panasonic DMC-GH1K 12.1MP Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 1080p HD Video
Panasonic DMC-GH1K 12.1MP Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 1080p HD Video


Product Added : January 12th, 2013
Category : Digital SLR Cameras

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Panasonic DMC-GH1K 12.1MP Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 1080p HD Video


Panasonic DMC-GH1K 12.1MP Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 1080p HD Video

The advanced technology of the LUMIX GH1 has enabled a level of image expression that never before existed. It brings a gentle, soft focus to both photos and movies and enhances every single shot with the beauty of HD. Its new kit lens also provides continuous auto focusing for both photos and movies, creating a next-generation interchangeable lens system camera. The GH1 realizes creative images that exceed even your loftiest expectations. All in the new GH1.

  • 12.1-megapixel 4/3-type MOS sensor; interchangeable lens system digital camera
  • Capture 1080/24p or smooth 720/60p HD (High Definition) movies in AVCHD format
  • Live View Finder and bright 460,000-dot resolution, 3.0-inch LCD
  • New Contrast AF (Auto Focus) function; Face Detection and Intelligent Auto (iA) mode
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

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What customers say about Panasonic DMC-GH1K 12.1MP Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 1080p HD Video?

  1. 225 of 225 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Revolutionary Camera, August 18, 2009
    By 
    B. Fuller (United States) –
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Panasonic DMC-GH1K 12.1MP Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 1080p HD Video (Electronics)

    Bottom line up front: this is a great stills and video camera. It is a freshly designed stills camera that gives DSLR performance with P+S ease and DSLR abilities. As a video camera it is the best implemented video system on a “stills” camera today.

    This is an amazing camera but before I tell you why I would like to make a comment on the current situation of this camera. First it is disappointing that Panasonic has region coded the camera and that they are starving the US market. Check out the price difference between the US and Japan at Amazon JP. However, you cannot change the language from Japanese to English due to the region coding. Also, punish the companies that are overcharging (Big VALUE Inc. is/was charging a 1.67 price premium). I for one will never ever do business with a company that does that. If everyone boycotted these predator type companies, they would go out of business.

    When people first look at the GH1 there is an initial sticker shock. Why would I pay so much more than the G1? The major reason the difference is warranted is because it has a far more expensive lens. The price difference of the 14-140mm lens and the 14-45mm that comes with the G1 accounts for 5/7 of the price difference of the cameras. On top of that the 14-140mm lens is specially designed for video as it has utterly silent focusing and aperture changes. Also, the aperture changes are step-less. This allows for very smooth lighting transitions. The remainder of the price difference can be attributed to the inclusion of the best seen-to-date video implementation in a “stills” camera and an upgraded sensor from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12.1MP Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Lens (Blue). If you are not planning on working with movies then the GH1 is probably overkill and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12.1MP Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Lens (Red) would be your best bet. Also, the GH1 functions very much like the G1 for stills so any of those reviews will apply to the GH1.

    STILLS

    Panasonic markets this camera as like a DSLR only SMLR. I think that is a cool bit of marketing and is right on the mark. This camera has the best contrast detection autofocus on the market. It is as fast if not faster than my Nikon D40 and is almost as fast as my D700. This is a great technological breakthrough and is what allows the camera to be smaller than a DSLR while giving nearly identical performance. With this camera you will not miss photos of your children or other fast moving subjects while you wait for your camera to focus. Bravo.

    What is also nice about a great contrast detection autofocus is that Panasonic was able to start with a fresh design from the ground up. The live view is the best implementation that I have seen to date. I never use live view on my D700, but I will always be using it with the GH1. It flips out and rotates 270 degrees. This means you can see it from the back, the front (for self portraits), the top, the bottom, and on one side. In addition, to the great screen articulation, the speedy contrast focus is the last piece that makes this live view great rather than painfully slow like it is on other DSLRs.

    On top of the great live view, this fresh design allows this camera to handle exceedingly well. In many ways it takes the best of the point-and-shoot (P+S) world and mixes it with the best of the DSLR world. It doesn’t have as many dedicated buttons as my D700 but the Q Menu system works very well and allows for quick changes of most shooting parameters. There is a detailed menu system but I don’t find myself using it very much while shooting. I feel that this setup allows photographers moving up from the P+S world to feel immediately comfortable on this camera while also giving experienced photographers the control they need to work their craft.

    I don’t know what kind of plastic Panasonic uses on this camera but I love the way it looks and feels. Also, I think having a red or gold camera is cool and makes it look more like a toy rather than a “professional” camera. With the photographer unfriendly laws proliferating the world, it is nice to have an incredibly capable camera that doesn’t look like a professional camera.

    This is a micro-4/3s camera system. That has some pros and cons. The chip is smaller than most DSLR chips. A full frame (FX in Nikon speak) sensor is ~860 sq mm, a Nikon DX sensor is ~370 sq mm, the 4/3 sensor is ~225 sq mm, and the typical sensor used in a point and shoot range between ~25-50 sq mm…

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  2. 180 of 182 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Panasonic GH1 Review (revisited), September 24, 2009
    By 
    Glenn Przyborski (Pittsburgh, PA USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Panasonic DMC-GH1K 12.1MP Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 1080p HD Video (Electronics)

    With the GH1, Panasonic has succeeded in creating a digital “SLR” for people with tiny hands. The camera looks and feels in perfect proportion if you’re a third grader or a very, very tiny adult. As a 6′ 2″ male, with average sized hands, it’s very hard to pick-up or handle the GH1 without inadvertently pressing a button.

    As a director/cinematographer who primarily works in TV, I purchased the GH1 to shoot inconspicuous “B-Roll”. We use larger cameras and multi-person crews to shoot in controlled situations, such as studios or planned locations. However, it’s not unusual to need quick, available-light cutaways. For example, actors crossing a busy street with lots of out-of-focus pedestrians walking by. On a recent shoot in Washington DC, I needed to grab a 1080P cutaway of our actors walking near the steps of the US Capitol building. A quick and easy shot with the GH1, a very paperwork intensive and costly cutaway though normal channels.

    My comments that follow relate to my personal GH1 camera, serial # WE9HB0014xx

    The camera takes very good quality stills, but my comments relate to the camera’s ability to shoot 24P 1080 HD video.

    Here’s what I like about the GH1′s video capabilities…

    The Panasonic’s Micro 4-3 is an excellent sized imager. It yields a depth-of-field that’s almost like academy aperture 35mm motion picture film (with the top & bottom cut off to yield a 16 x 9 image.) It’s a good, practical size compromise and more than twice as big as 2/3″.

    The 14mm-140mm lens that’s included with the camera is very sharp, but it’s only an F4 (wide) to F5.6 (telephoto.) If you’re shooting quality indoor or low-light cinematography, you’ll want “bigger glass.”

    NOTE: I have noticed that the GH1′s 1080P AVCHD encoded picture seems to look better with fixed (non-Panasonic) lenses. The GH1 has sophisticated digital signal processing to help correct optical short falls in Panasonic lenses. Based on focus and zoom settings, the camera modifies the image to minimize pincushioning and barrel distortion. Several people on the web theorized that all these complicated, processor intensive corrections use up much of the camera’s processor capability and the video encoding suffers. At first I thought the argument was impossible, but now I think there maybe something to this.

    What’s great about the physical size of the sensor & mount is that almost any lens can be easily adapted to the GH1. Without the space normally occupied by a mirror box, the flange distance between the lens mount and imager is shorter than any other 35mm SLR or 35mm movie camera. Ebay has many vendors who sell inexpensive adapters to allow Nikon, Canon, Arriflex, Minolta, Olympus… virtually any lens, including some C-mount models, to be adapted to the GH1 without any loss in image quality or F-stop. Remember that adapted lenses need to have manual iris and manual focus control.

    As far as I know, this camera is the only one of its kind to incorporate a very high quality electronic viewfinder in addition to a good quality, articulating LCD screen. On all the Nikon and Canon D-SLR models, once you switch to the “liveview” or movie mode, the mirror flips up and only the LCD on the rear of the camera is usable. LCD’s are hard to see in bright daylight, especially for critical focusing. No matter what you’ve read in other reviews, the electronic viewfinder in the GH1 is very good and very sharp.

    Battery life on the GH1 is amazing. I’ve walked all over Pittsburgh shooting scenes and never had to change the battery. The manual indicates less than 3 watts of power usage with the LCD active.

    The GH1 does a pretty decent job of down-scaling the 12 MP imager to the 2.2 MP required for the 1080 HD format. There’s a tiny problem with aliasing on vertical or diagonal lines, but it’s not bad or very noticeable. Overall the color quality and ability to handle contrast and lighting extremes is very good. The GH1 does an excellent job of rolling over exposed areas smoothly into clipped white with minimal color contamination.

    Three things I hate about the GH1′s HD video capabilities:

    1. The camera has a very, very poor implementation of the AVCHD codec. Panasonic in one of the owners of AVCHD, so there’s no excuse for this. The camera inserts an “I” frame or key frame into the encoded video stream every 15 frames. If you have a locked down shot, you will see a slight change in the video twice every second. Static things like grass or other fine detail areas will appear to slightly twitch. It’s visible but not as apparent in hand-held or scenes with action or camera motion.

    2. The VBR (variable bit rate) encoding simply cannot deal with rapid motion. A quick pan such as following a passing car will yield very digitized looking motion with tons of artifacts. To overcome items #1 & #2, you literally have to…

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  3. 113 of 118 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Amazing camera, but probably not for everyone, June 19, 2009
    By 
    L. Lou
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Panasonic DMC-GH1K 12.1MP Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 1080p HD Video (Electronics)

    I really think Panasonic has hit upon something quite amazing with this “hybrid” camera, though whether or not the video/still capabilities will be worth it to you will depend on how you want to shoot.

    This is my first DSLR-like camera, but the transition has been nearly seamless after owning several point and shoots, consumer-grade camcorders, and a film SLR over the years. I’ve had the Japanese version for almost two months now, taken 2000 photos and several hours of video, and have only found more reasons to love it, despite a few notable flaws.

    Image quality is surprisingly good, rivaling the APS-C sensor DSLRs from Nikon and Canon (Imaging Resource has some nice comparisons against the Nikon D5000 and Canon T1i). Images keep detail well in higher ISOs, though sensor noise is a problem at low-light shots taken at ISO 1600 and above, with sometimes severe sensor noise visible in bands across flat, dark areas of an image. Luckily, sensor noise is much less of an issue shooting HD video in low light, even at ISO 1600.

    Video capture is stunning… in the right hands. Having only owned mid-range, consumer-grade camcorders in the past, my knowledge of shooting video is extremely minimal, so I’ve mostly shot in Intelligent Auto mode, which has worked wonderfully for my home videos. The image stabilization (though unfortunately lens-based), continuous autofocus, face and AF tracking are lifesavers for the untalented videographer, and will greatly help the skilled veteran. However, the GH1 is NOT a pro camcorder, and so will not perform as fast (though will match up admirably to a consumer-grade camcorder). Unless you really need 1080/24p, 720/60p is a much better option for video, as it takes up less room, has a higher frame rate, and is of higher quality with fewer compression artifacts. The “low data rate” issue that H. Massey mentioned is based on an incomplete/inaccurate understanding of HD video capture and in-camera compression; the oft-quoted 17 mb/s data rate will not affect the quality of the video ([...]). Sound capture is very impressive using the built-in stereo mic, but you’ve got the option to plug a much better mic into the stereo line-in jack.

    I absolutely love the handling of the camera. The size and weight allow me to run around and shoot for an entire day without feeling its weight or bulk around my neck (and I am an admittedly weak and petite woman). The articulating LCD is amazing for framing the perfect shot without fatigue, and both it and the EVF have amazingly high pixel densities and frame rates that will soon ease (though not completely eliminate) worries about the lack of an optical viewfinder. Speaking of which, though peeking into the EVF will leave you disoriented in a bad way at first, it is VERY good after more use. It gains nicely in low-light, though it will be very useless if you don’t have enough light to read a watch (the non-glowing kind). It’s wonderful for eyestrain-free shooting at a dark musical performance, but shooting moving subjects outside in the daytime makes me long for an optical viewfinder.

    The controls on the camera work as expected, though the menu system is a bit of a mess. The main menu changes based on what mode is set via the mode dial, which is disorienting at first, but makes sense upon further thought. Unfortunately, Panasonic is nowhere near Canon in the sophistication of menu designs, and you will be forced to dig through a rather unattractive 6-page menu for certain options. There is a special menu that displays the last 5 options you accessed, which should ease the pain just a bit.

    All in all, I’ve found the GH1 to be a wonderful camera. As someone who likes to just walk and shoot, it has been great for framing shots quickly and capturing half a dozen pictures without falling out of pace. The video capturing capabilities have also gotten me interested in video more than any of my camcorders ever has. Videographers considering getting into still photography may thus want to consider this camera as well. Together with the versatile zoom lens, it’s a great kit that will last me a looonnng time without upgrades (very nice on my budget, despite the initial kick in the wallet). I’m giving it 4 stars because, despite my love for it, it can DEFINITELY use some improvements before I start shouting its praises off rooftops.

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