|Upon arrival of a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH1 test sample, it is tested in our DIWA Lab. The technical data of the rigorous tests are processed and translated into understandable data. Inside the lab, testing takes place in standardized circumstances. An environment in which cameras, both compact and system concepts can be compared without a problem. Besides that, the Panasonic Lumix GH1 camera is extensively used in practice and evaluated as for operation and shooting in practice. This combination of lab tests and the testing in practice, results in a final conclusion that is carefully reviewed.|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 field test
One of the things tested in the DIWA Labs, is the color reproduction in relation to the calibrated colors of the Gretag Macbeth Color Checker. In addition, we compared the reproduction to that of the G1, and measured small differences. Not even visible to the eye. The line is fairly consistent and the Panasonic Lumix GH1 knows to put down a fairly accurate reproduction over the entire ISO range. The differences between the G1 and GH1 are minimal and not worth mentioning. Also in terms of color depth, both cameras are almost identical. A more obvious difference is measured when it comes to the white balance metering. We found that the Panasonic DMC-GH1 is less effective in filtering color cast in incandescent light circumstances at high ISO of 1600 and higher. All in all, a more than decent accuracy, although the G1 is able to deal with this in a more effective way.
Panasonic image sensor & ISO sensitivity
The image sensor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 has changed compared to the G1. Although the resolution of 12.1 million effective pixels has remained the same, the total number of pixels on the sensor has increased to 14.0 million pixels (G1: 13.06 million pixels). The sensor supports multiple formats. It is possible to take pictures in 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratios. The multi-aspect ratio will provide the same viewing angle for all variants. The measurements in the DIWA lab include the actual senor sensitivity. The difference in image sensor is obvious immediately. As for ISO 800-3200 sensitivities, the sensor deviates less from the specifications than the test results of the G1 show. In fact, the actual ISO sensitivity ranges from 150 - 4675 ISO compared to the specifications on paper; 100 - 3200 ISO.
|Signal / noise ratio and dynamic range
The Panasonic DMC-GH1 keeps neatly pace when it comes to its ISO range up to 3200. It is important to realize that with an effectively working MEGA OIS stabilization system, high ISO needs to be used less often. The signal / noise ratio is similar to that of the G1. The low ISO values up to and including 800 are fine and, again, the Panasonic GH1 keeps in pace with the competition. The higher ISO values are causing the Lumix GH1 some difficulties, although it is remarkable that priority is given to retaining details. Compared to the Panasonic G1, Panasonic has managed to apply some improvements from 800 ISO, retaining details being the main improved feature. When it comes to the dynamic range, the Panasonic GH1 has to tolerate the G1 as number one, however, from ISO 800, the GH1 obtains significantly better results. This makes the GH1's dynamic range more consistent over the entire ISO range.
Chromatic aberration and distortion of the lens
The 14-140 mm Lumix lens' sharpness is fine and only shows visible blur at the edges in telephoto mode. In f/5.6-f/8 the zoom lens performs optimally, after that, we find edge blur in wide angle and tele. In terms of distortion, only in wide-angle does the lens encounter some hurdles, the remaining focal lengths perform excellently. Without any visible distortion, not even any measurable distortion in the Lab, of the remaining focal lengths, the Panasonic Lumix HD 14-140 mm f/4.0-5.6 lens is a jewel in this respect. Chromatic aberration is effectively corrected and hardly plays a role, with the exception of the telephoto. From minimum aperture of f/5.6 to f/22 a constant sensitivity for chromatic aberration is noticeable. Vignetting does not actually play a part. Panasonic uses software correction, thus delivering convincing results when measuring the GH1's JPEG tests samples.