Panasonic today previews for the first time in Australia the much-anticipated LUMIX DMC-GH1 CREATIVE HD HYBRID – the latest member of the LUMIX G Micro System of new generation interchangeable lens system cameras.
Fully compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, the LUMIX DMC-GH1 is an advanced photographic tool that records not only high-quality photos but also High Definition (HD) 1080/25p or smooth 720/50p HD movies in AVCHDi format. The AVCHD format features almost twice the recording time in HD quality than the conventional Motion JPEG.
Tanya Mudge, Product Manager, LUMIX and Camcorder, Panasonic Australia, said: “This ground-breaking new product is the flagship of the LUMIX G Series, delivering outstanding video and stills and giving the user amazing creativity and versatility. It joins the LUMIX G1 as the latest Micro Four Thirds System camera and incorporates all the hallmarks of this standard, with a downsized body, combining advanced functions with easy operation.”
“Additionally, two new Micro Four Thirds System lenses will be available, and are on display today including a revolutionary new model designed specifically for movie recording with quiet and seamless aperture adjustment.”
The LUMIX DMC-GH1 offers the key features that LUMIX G1 users will be familiar with – including Intelligent Auto (iA) and Full-time Live View for simple operation, as well as the superior quality of a Live MOS image sensor. With this new model, Continuous Autofocus (AF) can be used while recording movies, and high-quality sound recording is available with Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator. Intelligent Auto now includes Face Recognitionii, a function that ‘remembers’ faces from previous shots. When a familiar face appears in the frame, the camera will prioritise focus and exposure to capture it beautifully. This clever function makes it easy to get sharp and clear photos of loved ones in a group of people.
Two new Micro Four Thirds System interchangeable lenses have been announced. The new LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S is the perfect movie recording partner to the LUMIX DMC-GH1. This versatile 10x zoom lens offers silent and continuous auto focusing and seamless aperture adjustment. Panasonic has also unveiled an ultra wide-angle zoom lens, the LUMIX G VARIO 7-14mm/F4.0 ASPH. In spite of its impressive range of 7-14mm (35mm camera equivalent; 14-28mm), the new lens is surprisingly compact and lightweight.
The LUMIX DMC-GH1 and the two new Micro Four Thirds System lenses will be available in Australia in late May. Pricing is as follows:
LUMIX DMC-GH1 (Black) with LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S lens $3,299rrp
LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S lens: $1,999rrp
LUMIX G VARIO 7-14mm/F4.0 ASPH lens: $2,299rrp
Technological advantages for HD movie recording in the AVCHD format
In addition to Motion JPEG images, the LUMIX DMC-GH1 can record Full HD 1920 x 1080 movies at 25 fps or smooth HD 1280 x 720 movies at 50 fps in AVCHD (MPEG-4/H.264) format.
The 12.1-megapizel 4/3-type Live MOS sensor has a high-speed 4-channel readout to support Full HD movie recording. The sensor also allows images to be taken at three aspect ratios – 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 – with the same angle of view, and the camera can also reproduce a square image with a 1:1 aspect ratio.
The LUMIX DMC-GH1 incorporates the Venus Engine HD image processor. The two CPUs in this imaging engine dramatically increases processing speeds 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 sound via mini HDMI.
Enhanced creativity when recording
The LUMIX DMC-GH1 has a Creative Movie mode, which lets the user set the shutter speed and aperture manually for impressive movies. Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to movies, which is especially suitable when shooting fast-moving subjects. The ability to control the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at different distances and you want each of them to stand out.
High-quality stereo sound is assured with Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator, the global standard for superior audio recording. An optional stereo microphone (DMW-MS1) is also available, and a Wind Cut function is included.
iA (Intelligent Auto) mode operates for both images and movies
The LUMIX DMC-GH1 also includes Panasonic’s popular iA (Intelligent Auto) mode which gives LUMIX cameras the ultimate in operating ease and reduces 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.
iA features available include:
Still image shooting
· Face Recognition ‘remembers’ faces from previous shots. When a familiar face appears in the frame, the camera will prioritise focus and exposure to capture it beautifully. This clever function makes it easy to get sharp and clear photos of loved ones in a group of people.
· Intelligent Image Stabilisation comprises two features designed to capture clear, crisp images – MEGA O.I.S to prevent blurring from hand-shake and Intelligent ISO Control which takes into account that the subject is moving and adjusts the ISO setting.
· AF Tracking locks focus 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 optimises 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.
· Optical Image Stabiliser (O.I.S.) helps prevent blurring from hand-shake when using high-powered zoom.
· Face Detection automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure and contrast so it is sharp and clear.
· Intelligent Exposure optimises exposure for each part of an image.
· Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Close-up, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the situation for optimal results.
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 – taking even greater advantage of the compact size and light weight 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 maximise 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. 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.
Because dust entering the body is a concern with all interchangeable lens cameras, Panasonic has equipped the LUMIX DMC-GH1 with a Supersonic Wave Filter as part of a Dust Reduction System designed to prevent dust and other foreign matter from adhering to the image sensor.
Other creative features to enhance the fun of photography
The wide range of creative features available for the LUMIX DMC-GH1 let users customise and personalise their camera. My Color mode, which was popular in the DMC-G1 allows the colour, brightness and saturation parameters to 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 LUMIX 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.
VIERA Link connectivity
Both still images and AVCHD-format motion images recorded on SD Memory Cards are easy to view on a compatible Panasonic VIERA TV, Blu-ray Disc Player or Recorder simply by inserting the card into the SDHC/SD card slot. 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 using the TV remote control.
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 the optional DMW-MA1 mount adapter.iii 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.
· External Flash DMW-FL220(GN22) $399rrp
· External Flash DMW-FL360(GN36) $549rrp
· External Flash DMW-FL500(GN50) $999rrp
· PL Filter: DMW-LPL62 $239rrp
· ND Filter: DMW-LND62 NEW $99rrp
· MC Protector: DMW-LMCH62 $99rrp
· Mount Adapter: DMW-MA1 $349rrp
· Stereo Microphone: DMW-MS1 NEW TBC
· Battery Pack: DMW-BLB13 $199rrp
· Remote Shutter: DMW-RSL1 $149rrp
The LUMIX DMC-GH1 will be available in black from late May from authorised photographic retailers. For more information on the Panasonic DMC-GH1, visit www.panasonic.com.au or contact Panasonic on 132 600.
i FHD (1920 × 1080) movies are output by the image sensor at 25p and recorded at 50i. HD (1280 × 720) movies are output and recorded by the image sensor at 50p.
ii Turn the Face Recognition item ON from the shooting menu and register the person with a full-face portrait in advance. Recognition performance varies greatly depending on shooting conditions, i.e., according to factors such as angles, facial expression and lighting, so operation under all conditions cannot be guaranteed. Because the camera searches for faces that are similar to registered faces, there are cases where the faces are not correctly recognized when the registered image and the shooting image vary greatly. When facial characteristics are similar, particularly between parents and their children, or between brothers and sisters, the camera may not distinguish the faces.
iii Some functions in iA mode will not be available depending on the lens that is mounted.