Panasonic GH1 vs Sony HX350
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2009 and December 2016. The GH1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the HX350 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GH1) and a 1/2.3-inch (HX350) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GH1 and the Sony HX350. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The GH1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the HX350 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX350 is notably larger (8 percent) than the Panasonic GH1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GH1 nor the HX350 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the HX350 has a lens built in, whereas the GH1 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the GH1 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Panasonic GH1||124 mm||90 mm||45 mm||385 g||300||n||Mar 2009||899|
|2.||Sony HX350||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||652 g||300||n||Dec 2016||449|
|3.||Kodak AZ901||139 mm||104 mm||119 mm||777 g||400||n||Jan 2016||499|
|4.||Nikon B700||125 mm||85 mm||107 mm||565 g||350||n||Feb 2016||499|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||121 mm||70 mm||36 mm||355 g||300||n||Jun 2009||799|
|6.||Olympus E-P2||121 mm||70 mm||36 mm||355 g||300||n||Nov 2009||799|
|7.||Panasonic FZ80||130 mm||94 mm||119 mm||616 g||330||n||Jan 2017||399|
|8.||Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
|9.||Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699|
|10.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499|
|11.||Panasonic G2||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||428 g||360||n||Mar 2010||599|
|12.||Panasonic GF2||113 mm||68 mm||33 mm||310 g||300||n||Nov 2010||549|
|13.||Panasonic GH2||124 mm||90 mm||76 mm||442 g||330||n||Sep 2010||899|
|14.||Panasonic GF1||119 mm||71 mm||36 mm||385 g||380||n||Sep 2009||749|
|15.||Panasonic G1||124 mm||84 mm||45 mm||360 g||410||n||Sep 2008||599|
|16.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|17.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 HX350 was launched at a lower price than the GH1, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GH1 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony HX350 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the HX350 is 88 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the HX350 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the GH1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.19μm versus 4.33μm for the GH1). However, it should be noted that the HX350 is much more recent (by 7 years and 9 months) than the GH1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the HX350 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony HX350 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX350 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GH1 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
For many 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Panasonic GH1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||21.6||11.6||772||64|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55|
|6.||Olympus E-P2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.4||505||56|
|8.||Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
|9.||Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|10.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|11.||Panasonic G2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||493||53|
|12.||Panasonic GF2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
|13.||Panasonic GH2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||21.2||11.3||655||60|
|14.||Panasonic GF1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.3||513||54|
|15.||Panasonic G1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||none||21.1||10.3||463||53|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the HX350 provides a faster frame rate than the GH1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Panasonic is limited to 1080/24p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the GH1 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the HX350 (1440k vs 202k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic GH1 and Sony HX350 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic GH1||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Sony HX350||202||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Kodak AZ901||202||n||3.0 / 920||swivel||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Nikon B700||921||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||Y|
|6.||Olympus E-P2||optional||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||n||Y|
|7.||Panasonic FZ80||1166||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Panasonic LX100||2764||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||n||Y|
|9.||Panasonic GX1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|10.||Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|11.||Panasonic G2||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|12.||Panasonic GF2||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic GH2||1534||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic GF1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Panasonic G1||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Sony HX90V||638||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony HX400V||210||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The GH1 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the HX350 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
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 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic GH1||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Sony HX350||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Kodak AZ901||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Nikon B700||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Olympus E-P2||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Panasonic FZ80||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Panasonic LX100||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic G10||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic G2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic GF2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic GH2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic GF1||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic G1||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony HX90V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony HX400V||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the GH1 has a hotshoe, while the HX350 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The HX350 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the GH1 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GH1 was succeeded by the Panasonic GH2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic GH1 and the Sony HX350? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (1440k vs 202k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2009).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX350:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 29%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the GH1 necessitates an extra lens.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 9 months of technical progress since the GH1 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GH1 emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 9 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GH1 and the Sony HX350 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the GH1 and the HX350 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic GH1||..||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2009||899|
|2.||Sony HX350||..||..||..||..||..||4/5||Dec 2016||449|
|3.||Kodak AZ901||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2016||499|
|4.||Nikon B700||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2016||499|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||..||+||..||66/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2009||799|
|6.||Olympus E-P2||3/5||+||..||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Nov 2009||799|
|7.||Panasonic FZ80||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||399|
|8.||Panasonic LX100||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|9.||Panasonic GX1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699|
|10.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499|
|11.||Panasonic G2||..||..||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2010||599|
|12.||Panasonic GF2||3/5||82/100||..||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549|
|13.||Panasonic GH2||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2010||899|
|14.||Panasonic GF1||..||85/100||..||69/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||749|
|15.||Panasonic G1||..||+ +||..||70/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2008||599|
|16.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|17.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon G5 X vs Sony HX350
- Canon S120 vs Sony HX350
- Canon T3 vs Panasonic GH1
- Leica M9 vs Sony HX350
- Nikon D5 vs Panasonic GH1
- Olympus E-M1 II vs Panasonic GH1
- Olympus E-M5 III vs Sony HX350
- Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony HX350
- Panasonic G2 vs Sony HX350
- Panasonic GH1 vs Panasonic GX850
- Panasonic GH1 vs Panasonic LX7
- Panasonic GH1 vs Sony RX10
Specifications: Panasonic GH1 vs Sony HX350
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic GH1||Sony HX350|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3|
|Launch Date||March 2009||December 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic GH1||Sony HX350|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||19.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||5152 x 3864 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.33 μm||1.19 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.34 MP/cm2||70.91 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/24p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus HD||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||64||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.6||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.6||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||772||..|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic GH1||Sony HX350|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic GH1||Sony HX350|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic GH1||Sony HX350|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Panasonic GH1||Sony HX350|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
124 x 90 x 45 mm
(4.9 x 3.5 x 1.8 in)
130 x 93 x 103 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 4.1 in)
|Camera Weight||385 g (13.6 oz)||652 g (23.0 oz)|
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