Panasonic GH1 Comparison Review
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in March 2009 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 12 megapixel.
Is the Panasonic GH1 a good camera? The GH1 has a Camera Elo of 1572. This rating puts the GH1 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the GH1 also ranks below average. – Well, the Panasonic GH1 is more than 11 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2009.
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|12 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 1 600 (100 - 3 200)|
|Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 460k dots|
|Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second|
|300 shots per battery charge|
|124 x 90 x 45 mm, 385 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The physical dimensions of the Panasonic GH1 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Panasonic GH1 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.
|Panasonic GH1||124 mm||90 mm||45 mm||385 g||300||n||Mar 2009||899|
|Olympus E-P1||121 mm||70 mm||36 mm||355 g||300||n||Jun 2009||799|
|Olympus E-P2||121 mm||70 mm||36 mm||355 g||300||n||Nov 2009||799|
|Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599|
|Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|Panasonic G2||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599|
|Panasonic GF2||113 mm||68 mm||33 mm||310 g||300||n||Nov 2010||549|
|Panasonic GH2||124 mm||90 mm||76 mm||442 g||330||n||Sep 2010||899|
|Panasonic GF1||119 mm||71 mm||36 mm||385 g||380||n||Sep 2009||749|
|Panasonic G1||124 mm||84 mm||45 mm||360 g||410||n||Sep 2008||599|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Panasonic GH1 was launched in the US market at a price of $899. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Panasonic GH1 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Panasonic GH1 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|Panasonic GH1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||21.6||11.6||772||64|
|Olympus E-P1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55|
|Olympus E-P2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.4||505||56|
|Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
|Panasonic GF2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
|Panasonic GH2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
|Panasonic GF1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||513||54|
|Panasonic G1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||none||21.1||10.3||463||53|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The GH1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the GH1 can use is 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the GH1 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1440k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.70x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Panasonic GH1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One convenient feature of the GH1 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the GH1 has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the GH1 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Panasonic GH1||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||899|
|Olympus E-P1||+||66/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2009||799|
|Olympus E-P2||+||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2009||799|
|Panasonic LX100||+ +||85/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|Panasonic G6||+ +||..||5/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599|
|Panasonic G10||..||70/100||4/5||..||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|Panasonic G2||..||72/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599|
|Panasonic GF2||82/100||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549|
|Panasonic GH2||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||899|
|Panasonic GF1||85/100||69/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||749|
|Panasonic G1||+ +||70/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2008||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Panasonic GH1 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the GH1.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the GH1 based on?
The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Panasonic equipped the GH1 with the Venus HD image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the GH1?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.
Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?
Yes, the LCD-screen of the GH1 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1?
Panasonic does not publish a shutter rating for the GH1. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
Does the Panasonic GH1 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The GH1's flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.
Which battery does the GH1 use?
The camera gets its power from the DMW-BLB13 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, 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.
|Camera Model||Panasonic GH1|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2009|
|Launch Price||USD 899|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||225 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 000 x 3 000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.34 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1 600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3 200 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus HD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||64|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||772|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||DMW-BLB13 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge|
124 x 90 x 45 mm
(4.9 x 3.5 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||385 g (13.6 oz)|
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