Friday, April 10, 2009

Panasonic DMC-GH1 - an exciting new camera

This is really cutting edge for a still/video hybrid camera. This camera is announced in March 2009. I find this to be an exciting camera that is worth serious consideration (provided the image and video quality stands up to scrutiny). Based on published specs, it is as good as it gets for now. The DMC-GH1 is the HD version of the G1 announced in Sept 2008.

Here's the exciting bit on the HD video recording of this camera:
"In addition to Motion JPEG images, the DMC-GH1 can record high-resolution full-HD 1920 x 1080 movies at 24 fps (frames per second) or smooth HD 1280 x 720 movies at 60 fps in AVCHD (MPEG-4/H.264)* format.

"A special, separate button on the back lets the user instantly start recording movies while shooting photos without any having to make any extra settings.

"The LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. kit lens boasts a focal length of 28-280mm (35mm camera equivalent) and supports the continuous AF function of the contrast AF system for both photos and movies...... This lens is also designed for movie recording use by minimizing the mechanical sound generated by the continuous AF/AE action.

"For more creative sound recording, an optional stereo microphone (DMW-MS1) is available. A Wind Cut function blocks out most of the noise from background wind even on breezy days."

In addition to all the standard features you'd get in a self-respecting DSLR, it has a 3-inch, articulated LCD (albeit 460k pixels only, but it is good enough).

My only disappointment is with the lens aperture of f4.0 on the wide end of the lens. Fortunately, one can always buy Olympus lens or other third-party lenses for the open-standard Four-Thirds system.

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