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Panasonic G1 versus Panasonic GH1

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2008 and March 2009. Both the G1 and the GH1 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 12 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic G1 vs Panasonic GH1

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic G1 and the Panasonic GH1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the G1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Panasonic G1 vs Panasonic GH1
Compare G1 versus GH1 top
Compare G1 and GH1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic GH1 is notably larger (7 percent) than the Panasonic G1. Moreover, the GH1 is markedly heavier (7 percent) than the G1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1 nor the GH1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic G1» 124 mm 84 mm 45 mm 360 g 410 n Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
Panasonic GH1« 124 mm 90 mm 45 mm 385 g 300 n Mar 2009 1,499- i Panasonic GH1
Panasonic G6« » 122 mm 85 mm 71 mm 390 g 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Panasonic GF6« » 111 mm 65 mm 38 mm 323 g 340 n Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GF5« » 108 mm 67 mm 37 mm 267 g 360 n Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« » 115 mm 84 mm 47 mm 336 g 270 n May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« » 108 mm 67 mm 32 mm 264 g 300 n Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
Panasonic G10« » 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 388 g 380 n Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« » 124 mm 84 mm 74 mm 428 g 360 n Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
Panasonic GF2« » 113 mm 68 mm 33 mm 310 g 300 n Nov 2010 549- i Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« » 124 mm 90 mm 76 mm 442 g 330 n Sep 2010 1,499- i Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GF1« » 119 mm 71 mm 36 mm 385 g 380 n Sep 2009 749- i Panasonic GF1

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The G1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 60 percent) than the GH1, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic G1 vs Panasonic GH1

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic G1 and Panasonic GH1 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 12 megapixel. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the G1 and the GH1 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the GH1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the G1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

G1 versus GH1 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the GH1 offers substantially better image quality than the G1 (overall score 11 points higher). The advantage is based on 0.5 bits higher color depth, 1.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Panasonic G1» Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000-21.110.346353Panasonic G1
Panasonic GH1« Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/24p21.611.677264Panasonic GH1
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
Panasonic GF6« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i20.710.662254Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GF5« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.411.661861Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« » Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i21.010.666756Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849Panasonic GF3
Panasonic G10« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.141152Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.349353Panasonic G2
Panasonic GF2« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i21.210.350654Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GF1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000720/30p21.210.351354Panasonic GF1

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GH1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the G1 does not. The highest resolution format that the GH1 can use is 1080/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic G1 vs Panasonic GH1

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The G1 and the GH1 are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 1440k dots. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic G1 and Panasonic GH1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Panasonic G1»1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4001 3.0 Y n Panasonic G1
Panasonic GH1«1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH1
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
Panasonic GF6« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GF5« »- n 3.0 920 fixed Y 4000 4.0 Y n Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 4.0 Y n Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 3.2 Y n Panasonic GF3
Panasonic G10« »202 n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 2.6 Y n Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel Y 4000 2.6 Y n Panasonic G2
Panasonic GF2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 4000 2.6 Y n Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« »1534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GF1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Panasonic GF1

Both the G1 and the GH1 write their imaging data to SDHC cards.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Panasonic G1»Y----mini2.0---Panasonic G1
Panasonic GH1«Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Panasonic GH1
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
Panasonic GF6« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GF5« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« »-stereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF3
Panasonic G10« »Ymono---mini2.0---Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic G2
Panasonic GF2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GF1« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic GF1

Both the G1 and the GH1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The G1 was replaced by the Panasonic G2, while the GH1 was followed by the Panasonic GH2.

Review summary: Panasonic G1 vs Panasonic GH1

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic G1 and the Panasonic GH1? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4001/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (410 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (60 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2008).


Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1:

  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.3 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/24p video.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (5 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the GH1 comes out slightly ahead of the G1 (5 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

G1 04:05 GH1

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G1 or the GH1 handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Panasonic G1»HiRec70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599- i Panasonic G1
Panasonic GH1«HiRec72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 1,499- i Panasonic GH1
Panasonic G6« »HiRec-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Panasonic GF6« »HiRec-4.5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 499- i Panasonic GF6
Panasonic GF5« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2012 499- i Panasonic GF5
Panasonic G3« »HiRec75/1004.5/54.5/55/5 May 2011 599- i Panasonic G3
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
Panasonic G10« »-70/1004/5-4/5 Mar 2010 499- i Panasonic G10
Panasonic G2« »-72/1004/54/54.5/5 Mar 2010 599- i Panasonic G2
Panasonic GF2« »82/10070/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2010 549- i Panasonic GF2
Panasonic GH2« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 1,499- i Panasonic GH2
Panasonic GF1« »85/10069/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2009 749- i Panasonic GF1

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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