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Panasonic Lumix DMC GH1 | Digital Camera Review | Camera
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 camera is almost identical to the G1 when it comes to design. The exception is the slightly larger size caused by the built-in stereo microphone on top of the camera. The somewhat odd yet pleasant feeling provided by the material used for the housing, has also remained. It feels a bit like a rubber 'skin'. Rough, yet at the same time offering a good hand-fit. The size of the GH1 is still considered to be compact in relation to the smallest digital SLR cameras. However, Panasonic is currently facing a new rival; the Olympus E-P1, a Micro Four Thirds camera that was recently introduced and of which we will also publish a camera review soon.
Panasonic Lumix DMC GH1 | Digital Camera Panasonic Lumix DMC GH1 | Digital Camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 camera body
Just like the G1, the Panasonic DMC-GH1 is also available in multiple colors (red, white and black, depending on the region). The camera is equipped with a Micro Four Thirds mount with support for Micro Four Thirds lenses. In addition, the GH1 supports existing Four Thirds lenses via an optional adapter (DMW-MA1APP). The GH1 we tested, is equipped with a lens that is specifically developed for recording HD video, the Lumix HD 14-140 mm f/4.0-5.6. This lens features a specially built engine that makes it extremely silent. Moreover, the camera is able to work quickly with contrast AF. The latter works annoyingly slowly in the standard DSLR cameras, but the Panasonic GH1 manages to turn this around. Incidentally, this is partly due to the integration of a specially developed Venus Engine HD, which consists of two image processors. The large range of 14-140 mm (28-280 mm equivalent of a 35mm camera) immediately generates a nice feeling of freedom during photographing and video capturing.

Folded LCD monitor on the Panasonic DMC-GH1
The large format 3-inch monitor can be folded out and tilted, very luxuriously, allowing you to shoot from almost any angle. In practice, this works very nicely indeed, and you'll soon find that you change the position of the display frequently. This screen functionality offers yet another advantage: you can fold it against the camera, which protects the screen from scratches and fingerprints. It was at times difficult to fold out the display of the G1, caused by the fact you had to fold it open on the bottom or topside with your finger, whereas you’d expect to have to open it from the side of the monitor. Panasonic has not changed this; nor would it have been possible without disrupting the production process.




DMC-GH1 review
Panasonic Lumix GH1 camera operation
Other than that, the Panasonic Lumix GH1 camera is similar to the G1. The lens can be dissembled in the same way as for a standard DSLR. These basic actions have all remained unchanged. The sizeable command dial on top of the camera contains various programs, can be rotated 360 degrees, and provides each setting with a loud click and tactile feedback. Below the dial, two switches are positioned, including the on / off switch. The shutter release is placed on top of the handgrip, which is ideal in size. Although the handgrip is rather small, the camera still fits your hand like a glove.

SDXC memory card support
This handgrip features a card slot with, as expected, support for the SD format. This format consists of Secure Digital with a maximum storage capacity of 2GB and SDHC (SD High Capacity) with a maximum capacity of 32GB. For those who think that 32GB is as far as the party goes; here's some more information. Among others, Panasonic has announced that the roadmap SDXC is included. An SD memory card format with a minimum capacity of 64GB, eventually growing to a maximum storage capacity of 2TB! Equipment is not yet available, but it is expected we will hear more of it in 2010. The bottom of the handgrip accommodates the Li-Ion battery, which is kept safely in place by a safety catch.

Micro Four Thirds digital system camera
In the Panasonic G1 review, we already told you that Panasonic has not yet fully demonstrated what the Micro Four Thirds is capable of. With the introduction of the Olympus Pen camera, we're offered a quick glance of what could be possible. In recent months, we have come across different ideas and concepts, and it would come as no surprise if we are to see a compact Micro Four Thirds system camera by Panasonic soon. Perhaps a different spin on the Panasonic Lumix LX3?

Panasonic Lumix review
Panasonic Lumix DMC GH1 Panasonic Lumix DMC GH1
   
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