Info

largel

Compression

Two-stage JPEG

Colour space

Adobe RGB.sRGE

Shutter type

Electronically controlled focal-plane

Shutter speeds

iOT/iOOOsec in 1/3 steps plus B to 4mins

Max flash sync

1/ttoll

Lens IrtErchargeablE witii Micro Four

Thirds mount

ISO IS0 100-3200 in'/3EV nrlEV steps

Expcsure modes PASM. plus three custom inches. IntsHigent Auto, z&scerie modes

Data file

P2itasoniE. Panasonic House. Willouqhby Road. Bracknell, Berkshire RGllSFP.Tät: 08« BW385I Website: www.panascoic.co.iik

creating a custom film mode (see 'Focal points'on left),

One thing I do find frustrating is the lack of a magenta/green shift option when manually selecting a colour temperature. This led to a slighty green cast in some Images I took of a church, which had an assortment of differently coloured lights in the scene. Normally in this situation I would take a custom white balance reading, but I was standing too far away from the church for this to be possible. Instead, I corrected the cast by shooting In raw mode and tweaking the colour balance post-capture.

Setting a custom white balance using a grey card is straightforward, and like most cameras it is simply a case of pointinq the lens at the card and taking a reference shot. The result is a neutral white balance.

Metering

The 144-zone multi-patterned me:erlng system of the GHI is identical to that of the Gl. I found that the Intelligent Multiple metering mode does a good job in most situations, though It tends to overexpose overcast skies.

L ke Panasonic's range of compact cameras, the Ghi' features intelligent Auto (iA) mode. This fully automated mode can recognise certain scenes and environments, and then alter the camera's various exposure and focusing systems to achieve the best results It works very well, recognising when a face has entered a scene and switching instantly to portrait mode.

Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and video

Although the GHI has an electronic Viewfinder (EVO. it is the best ol its kind we have seen so far It is bright and has a very high 144-milBor-dot equivalent resolution. It is an 'equivalent' becat.se the EVP" uses a bade-projection LCD display. However, the rear projection of red, green and blue colours occasionally causes visible red, green or blue flickering edces, particularly when the camera is panned from side to side.

Tie EVF may not be to everybody's taste, but the 3in, 460,000-dot screen is perfectly usable, if not outstanding Likethe Gl, the GHI has an articulated screen that can fold out to the side and be rotated up or down.

Tie major charge between the G1 and the GH1 is the addition of High Definition video technology. The GHI is capable of shooting video at an impressive 1920>:1080 pixels at 25 frames per second.

When played back, the video quality

Panasonic Lumix DMC-Gi Camera Test

Panasonic GH1 Laminante ■ Red chame! ■ Green channel ■ Blue channel Pa nason i r Gl Ln mi nanre Rerirharnei Gfeenchannel ■ Bliipchannel

Resolution, noise and sensitivity

Although the resolving power of this new sensor is fess than that of the Gl in JPEG mode, possibiy as a result of the improved noise retailor), i I is slill very good In raw mode, in JPEG filesnoise is much reducedat sensitivities above ISO 400 and is more comparable to a camera with an APS-C-size sensor. Witfi noise reduction turned off, noise is visible at higher ISO sensitivities and also when shooting i n raw mode. Banding is also slightly visible irt shadow areas al ISO 3200. Both noise and banding can be reduced using the included Siifcypix Developer software.

28/30

These images show 12ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, stiil-life scene and a grey card. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera's detail resolution is at the specified senskivity setting. Tie section of the still-lite image contains the emblem on a standard*sized matchbox. The full scene can be viewed at http://tinyuri.com/67sj96. Images are taken using the Panasonic Lima G Vario HD14-140mm f/4-5.8Asph Hega OiSlens, set to around 105mm is as Impressive as we have seen from any digital camera. However, It suffers from Image 'wobble' in a similar way to other DSLRs with a video facility Panning quickly causes vertical lines to look like they are leaning as you move, and then they snap back into an upright position when the movement stops.

Focusing and exposure metering are fluid and the changesare smooth, so it is ideal for family videos and special occasions. Although it goes some way between bridging the gap between a DSLR and a video camera, for the professional videographer it may not be quite up to the job.

7/10

Dynamic range

Like the Gl, the GUI has an impressive dynamic range of around 11EV. As with the resolving power of the GH1, Its dynamic range is equal to most DSLRs with an APS-C-sized sensor

Autofocus

The autofocus system of the GH1 is unchanged from that of its predecessor. With no mirror or prism, the camera uses a contrast-detection AF system similar to those used incompact cameras Although the AF system is slower than a comparable phase-detection system, it is fast enough Tor most situations. However, don't expect to use It for fast-moving subjects.

One new feature is face recognition, which is also found on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 compact camera. Having evolved from face-detection systems, face recognition allows you to take an image of a person's face and save it to the camera's memory. If the camera then recognises this face in future scenes it will adjust its focus and exposure specifically for it. For example, if you register your child's face it will be recognised among a crowd of other children at a school play and prioritised.

Although the face 'ecognition system does make the odd mistake, it works surprisi ng I y we 11 Better still, images tagged with face recognition can be sorted and searched using Panasonic's supplied software, making it simple to find images of friends and family.

Hold ng your eye to the viewfinder automatically switches off the Live View display on the rear screen and turns on the EVF. When using the GHl's manual-focus mode, a turn of the focusing barrel of the lens shows a digitally enlarged scoot of the scene in the viewfinder, allowing you to fine-tune the focusing. Although not the quickest system to use, it is very accurate and perfectfor portraits and still-life images.

8/10

Our verdict

I LIKE the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 as much as I like the Gl, and the GH 1 is all the better for the new sensor as it has improved image quality. For the amateur photographer, the introduction of HD video recording in merely a bonus.

The Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4-5.Smm Asph Mega OIS optic could possibly be the only lens you will need for this camera, in much the same way as an 13-200mm lens Is adequate for most occasions on a camera with an APS-C-size sensor. The lens is larger than the previous Micro Four Thirds lenses we have seen, which in turn makes the overall size of the camera and lens larger. However, it is still around the same size as most other digital kit lenses.

This kit does come at a price, though, as the recommended retail price for the kit is £1,299.99. Although we expect the street price to come down gradually, as it stands, the RRP of the G HI is around £600 more than that of the GT complete with 14-45mm and 45-200mm kit lenses.

Although the GH1 is an improvement over the Gl, any potential purchasers must consider whether a £GOO premium is worth the improved noise reduction, face recognition and video capabilities.

Hie Panasonic Lumix GH1 is all the better for the new sensor as it has improved image quality

Lab results

Noise/resolution 28/30

>00 200 400 800 5600

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