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Panasonic DMC-GH1K 12.1MP Four Thirds Mirrorless Digital Camera with 1080p HD Video

3.0 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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  • 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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This item: Panasonic DMC-GH1K 12.1MP Four Thirds Mirrorless Digital Camera with 1080p HD Video
Customer Rating 3 out of 5 stars (56) 4 out of 5 stars (105) 4 out of 5 stars (645) 4 out of 5 stars (866)
Price $1,099.97 $897.99 $909.95 $879.99
Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping FREE Shipping
Sold By Roberts LP RitzCamera Photo4Less PIXIBYTES
Sensor Size 1.5 Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) APS-C APS-C
Max Resolution 12.1 16.05 18 12.3
Iso Range Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, (3200 with boost) Auto, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800 Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, (12800 with boost) Auto, 200 - 3200 (plus 6400 with boost)
Display Size 3 inches 3 inches 3 inches 3 inches
Continuous Shooting Speed 3 20 8 4.5
Wireless Communication Technology None BuiltIn; IEEE 802.11b/g/n, 2412MHz - 2462MHz (11ch), Wi-Fi / WPA / WPA2, Infrastructure mode yes EyeFi
Image Stabilization Optical Optical None None
Item Weight 0.85 pounds 1.21 pounds 1.9 pounds 1.55 pounds
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Product Description

Product Description

The advanced technology of the Panasonic 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. Full-time Live View and Live View Finder - See How the Image Will Turn Out Before You Shoot Newly Developed 12.1-Megapixel Live MOS Sensor - The GH1's 4/3-type Live MOS sensor with 12.1 megapixels gives you the best of both worlds - the superior image quality and the lower power consumption. Easily View Photos and Movies on an HDTV Image Sensor - 14.0 Total MegaPixels, Live MOS Sensor, Primary Color Filter Camera Effective Pixels - 12.1 MegaPixels Recording Format - Still Image - JPEG, RAW, DPOF compatible; Still Image with Audio - JPEG + Quicktime; Motion Image - AVCHD / QuickTime Motion JPEG Recording Media - SD memory card, SDHC memory card, MultiMediaCard LCD Monitor - Free-angle 3.0 Wide-angle Polycrystalline TFT LCD ISO Sensitivity - Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / Intelligent ISO Exposure - Program AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual Lens Mount - Micro Four Thirds mount Built-in Flash Type/Mode - TTL Built-in-Flash, GN11; External Flash - TTL Auto with FL220/FL360/FL500 (Optional) Power - Li-ion Rechargeable battery Dimensions (H x W x D) - 3.29'' x 4.88'' x 1.78''; Weight - 0.85 lbs.

From the Manufacturer

The new Panasonic DMC-GH1 is called a Creative HD Hybrid because it records not only high-quality photos but also high definition 1080/24p or smooth 720/60p HD (High Definition) movies in AVCHD format. Continuous AF can be used while recording movies, to further boost operating ease.

Taking advantage of its system camera design, the DMC-GH1 features the potential for unlimited photo expression by allowing the use of different lenses for specific shooting situations and subjects. High-quality sound recording with Dolby Digital Stereo Creator and a host of other creative options, including manual settings, giving the DMC-GH1 even greater versatility.

Supporting the DMC-GH1's powerful full-HD movie recording function is a newly developed 12.1-megapixel high-speed Live MOS sensor and the Venus Engine HD image processor, which features two CPUs for outstanding processing capability. The new LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S., which is a versatile 10x zoom interchangeable lens, was designed for movie recording by including a silent and continuous auto focusing function and seamless aperture adjustment.

Panasonic Lumix GH1 Highlights

The DMC-GH1 also features D-SLR photo quality. Its newly developed Live MOS sensor renders images with minimal noise even when using high ISO sensitivity. The multi-aspect ratio function of the sensor allows photos to be taken using a 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratio, all with the same angle of view.

In addition to its high levels of performance for both photos and movies, the DMC-GH1 incorporates the iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, a hallmark of LUMIX cameras that now includes Face Recognition, a function that "remembers" faces once the faces are registered.

Panasonic Lumix GH1 Highlights
When a familiar face appears in the frame, the camera will prioritize the focus and exposure to capture it beautifully. This clever function makes it easy to get sharp and clear photos of special subjects in a group of people. iA mode is also available in movie recording. It automatically selects the most suitable scene mode and helps to correct hand-shake, focus and brightness problems -- making it a one-stop solution for capturing beautiful photos and movies.

Operating ease is an important element of the LUMIX G Micro System identity, and it is highly evident in the DMC-GH1. For example, the clever design of the DMC-GH1 helps to prevent missed shooting opportunities for both photo and movie recording. To start recording a movie during shooting photos, the user simply presses a special, one-touch movie recording button. Most of the settings used for photo shooting carry over to movie recording without requiring any additional setting.

Panasonic Lumix GH1 Highlights

Technological advantages for 1080/24p full-HD movie recording in the AVCHD format
The LUMIX DMC-GH1 is an advanced photographic tool for recording not only great photos but also beautiful full-HD movies. 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.

The AVCHD format can record almost twice the footage in HD quality than the conventional Motion JPEG, using the same SD card. 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. There are always two options to record spur-of-the-moment scenes -- high-quality photos or movies. The user can simply choose the one that saves precious memories most beautifully.

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. Panasonic considers this function to be indispensable for movie recording from a practical point of view. This lens is also designed for movie recording use by minimizing the mechanical sound generated by the continuous AF/AE action.

The newly developed 12.1-megapixel 4/3-type Live MOS sensor is capable of high-speed 4-channel readout to support full-HD movie recording. This sensor is also advantageous for photo recording with a high signal to noise ratio thanks to a new circuit structure that is totally unaffected by the noise generated in each of the circuits. It results in clear pictures even when taken at high ISO sensitivity. The sensor also allows images to be taken at three aspect ratios--4:3, 3:2 and 16:9--with same angle of view.

The LUMIX DMC-GH1 also features the Venus Engine HD image processor. The two CPUs in this imaging engine dramatically speed up processing while achieving exceptional noise reduction performance. The Venus Engine HD's excellent energy efficiency supports long-time AVCHD movie recording, and allows the output of both images and sounds via HDMI.

In addition to recording HD movies--a host of options enhance creativity
The LUMIX DMC-GH1 concept goes much further than simply recording HD movies. Apart from the movie recording capability of conventional digital cameras, the DMC-GH1 also features a Creative Movie mode, which lets the user set the shutter speed and aperture manually to make even more impressive movies.

Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to movies, which is especially suitable for shooting fast-moving subject. The ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances and it is desired to have each of them stand out. Creative Movie mode gives the user a wider range of expressive possibilities to explore.

The movies also come with the high-quality stereo sound of Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, the global standard for superior audio recording. 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.

Panasonic Lumix GH1 Highlights
iA (Intelligent Auto) mode operates for both photos and movies
While featuring a host of creative options to enhance both photo and movie recording, the LUMIX DMC-GH1 also includes the iA (Intelligent Auto) mode that Panasonic developed to give LUMIX cameras the ultimate in operating ease and to reduce shooting mistakes. In iA mode the camera does all the work, leaving the user free to compose shots and capture the moment. All the user has to do is aim and shoot even in situations that normally require complicated settings.

For photo shooting, the DMC-GH1 further advances this mode with the inclusion of Face Recognition, an advanced Face Detection function that recognizes faces that the user has registered prior to shooting. Once a face is registered, this function will recognize it whenever it appears in the frame. The camera will then display the name that was specified for the person and prioritize the focus and exposure so that the registered face is bright and in sharp focus.

In addition to the advanced functions mentioned above, the iA mode inherits the fundamental functions that users need in a good digital still camera. These include MEGA O.I.S., which helps prevent blurring from hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken. AF Tracking is also available, which lets the DMC-GH1 lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves - making it easy to get beautiful, clear shots when a great photo opportunity suddenly arises.

Intelligent Exposure optimizes the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully. Intelligent Scene Selector automatically detects the five most common shooting situations -- Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery and Close-up and switches to the appropriate Scene mode.

Panasonic Lumix GH1 Highlights
The LUMIX DMC-GH1 now makes the popular iA mode available for movie recording. The Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) helps prevent blurring from hand-shake when using the high-powered zoom. Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts the focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion to record it beautifully.

Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change, to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Close-up, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation to optimize visual quality.

The LUMIX G Micro System identity
With the LUMIX DMC-GH1, Panasonic has developed an entirely new concept in digital cameras that comply with the Micro Four Thirds System standard by taking even greater advantage of the compactness and light weight that are made possible by eliminating the mirror box. By increasing the number of electrical contacts between the camera body and the lens, the camera's expandability is also dramatically increased to maximize future potential.

The LUMIX G Micro System’s 1,440,000-dot equivalent Live View Finder retains the outstanding viewability of an optical viewfinder and can also display information about camera settings that the user can see without taking his or her eye from the subject. A clever built-in eye sensor automatically switches on the viewfinder when the user looks into it, then switches it off and turns on the free-angle 3.0-inch large 460,000-dot high-resolution LCD (which boasts a wide viewing angle) when the user looks away from the viewfinder.

Panasonic Lumix GH1 Highlights
The 60-frames-per-second Live View is made possible by the Live MOS sensor, which takes signals directly from the image sensor and sends them continuously to the LCD, in real time. Both the Live View Finder and LCD provide a 100% field of view. This allows the user, when composing a shot, to check the framing accurately from corner to corner.

The contrast AF system adopted by the LUMIX DMC-GH1 is not only accurate and easy to use, but also very fast. Users can choose from a wide range of AF modes, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, and AF Tracking.

To deal with dust and other foreign matter entering the body when changing lenses, a Supersonic Wave Filter is built in as part of a Dust Reduction System designed to prevent matter from adhering to the image sensor.

Other options to enhance the fun of photography
The wide range of options available for the LUMIX DMC-GH1 let users customise and personalise their camera. An option for photo shooting lets the DMC-GH1 reproduce a square image with a 1:1 aspect ratio in addition to the 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 multi-aspect ratios.

My Color mode, which was popular in the DMC-G1, is a special option that gives free reign to the user's creativity. In My Colour mode, the colour, brightness and saturation parameters can be freely adjusted while checking the Full-time Live View image to see how the adjustments affect the picture.

This makes it easier and more fun to create interesting, expressive images. The user can adjust the settings that best suit the shooting conditions and his or her expressive intent, for greater photographic control.

The DMC-GH1 also offers a Playback mode that allows the user to play 'only still images,' 'only motion images,' or 'both'. When choosing to play 'only motion images,' it is even possible to play AVCHD and Motion JPEG videos separately.

Photos and movies can also be played back together with an attractive seamless effect and background music in the LUMIX DMC-GH1's new Slideshow mode that takes advantage of its large, high-resolution LCD. Using an optional mini HDMI cable, slideshows can be shared in stunning HD video and audio quality on an HDTV with family and friends.

Panasonic Lumix GH1 Highlights
HD photos and HD movies with VIERA Link networking
Both still images and AVCHD-format motion images recorded on SD Memory Cards are easy to view on a Panasonic VIERA TV with dynamic full-HD resolution. The user simply inserts the card into the VIERA Image Viewer (SDHC/SD card slot) on a VIERA TV or DIGA Blu-ray Disc Player to play the content.

Alternatively, an optional mini HDMI cable can be used to output still and motion images recorded with the LUMIX DMC-GH1 directly to the TV for easy VIERA Link operation. This makes it possible to take maximum advantage of the camera's playback functions, including slideshows in which both still and motion images are played sequentially, or calendar displays and so on. Operation using only TV’s remote controller is super-easy.

Rich options for expandability
In addition to LUMIX G lenses, the LUMIX DMC-GH1 and LUMIX G Micro System can use any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds standard via an optional mount adapter. This gives the user access to the entire range of Four Thirds lenses. And a stream of new Micro Four Thirds lenses will be announced in the future, providing a large, diverse line of high-performance lenses for the user's photographic toolbox. With the LUMIX G Micro System and the growing assortment of lenses becoming available, the expressive possibilities are unlimited.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 4.9 x 1.8 x 3.5 inches
Item Weight 13.6 ounces
Shipping Weight 5.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Item model number DMC-GH1K
Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #25,282 in Camera & Photo
#484 in Electronics > Camera & Photo > Digital Cameras > Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Mirrorless Cameras
#716 in Camera & Photo > DSLR Cameras
Date first available at Amazon.com October 2, 2001

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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
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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.
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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).
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