Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 review

Image quality

Panasonic Lumix GH1: Tone and Exposure

The 144-zone metering system does a great job to ensure an even tone distribution and accurate exposure. In high-contrast scenes in does tend to bleach out some extreme highlights to maintain detail in the rest of the image, which for most is preferable. Users can easily use the exposure compensation or shoot in Raw to bring the highlights back in or provide a winder tonal range.





Panasonic Lumix GH1: White Balance and Colour

In daylight the GH1 produces a bright punchy image with a very accurate Auto White Balance

control. However, for indoor lighting, particularly in low light, both the auto and preset modes can struggle to produce an accurate colour balance. This does not effect those shooting in Raw, however, and with a quick adjustment the shots look great again.


ISO 100 ISO 3200

Panasonic GH1 full review - click for full size image samples 

Panasonic Lumix GH1: Noise

Noise becomes visible above ISO 400 and is prevalent at ISO 1600 and 3200. Even at the maximum ISO setting of 3200, due to some heavy noise reduction in the JPEG file, the noise is well suppressed and monochrome in its appearance. This means it doesn’t greatly degrade the colour of the image, only really removing the finer detail, much like a good high-speed film would. On the Raw file, the noise is far more obvious.



Panasonic GH1 small image 

 


Panasonic Lumix GH1: Raw/JPEG

Both Raw and JPEG images appear bright and crisp, with enough processing on the JPEG to happily use straight from the camera, while not overdoing it. Raw files on closer inspection are slightly crisper and carry fractionally more detail. But the main benefits come from the white balance control and the pre-process adjustment options for using this file type.


Raw image cropJPEG image crop

Panasonic GH1 full review - click for full size image samples 

Panasonic Lumix GH1: Sharpness and Detail


Though the lens is not particularly fast in aperture once you get to the long end of the zoom, it still gives an impressively sharp image. Results are generally well detailed at lower ISO values, and though purple fringing is evident in extreme conditions, it is not excessive.



Raw image crop JPEG image crop  

Raw file (ISO 3200)                            JPEG file (ISO 3200)

Panasonic GH1 full review - click for full size image samples 

 

Panasonic Lumix GH1: ISO comparision

The ISO range produces useable images at all levels, though the range itself does seem a little limited among its peers, with most at least offering an ISO 6400, if not higher. It does offer a huge range of values throughout the range though – something that presumably benefits the Intelligent ISO and Auto ISO systems. Noise appears quite early in the range but results at ISO 800 and even 1600 are still very usable. The highest setting of ISO 3200 does have very obvious noise throughout, but, especially in the JPEG, this doesn’t degrade image colouring, and can still be used for effect or necessity.



Panasonic GH1 small image

Panasonic GH1 full review - click for full size image samples 



Panasonic Lumix GH1: Skin tone

The ISO range produces useable images at all levels, though the range itself does seem a little limited among its peers, with most at least offering an ISO 6400, if not higher. It does offer a huge range of values throughout the range though – something that presumably benefits the Intelligent ISO and Auto ISO systems. Noise appears quite early in the range but results at ISO 800 and even 1600 are still very usable. The highest setting of ISO 3200 does have very obvious noise throughout, but, especially in the JPEG, this doesn’t degrade image colouring, and can still be used for effect or necessity.

Panasonic GH1 small image

Panasonic GH1 full review - click for full size image samples 


Panasonic Lumix GH1: Colour

The GH1 produces bright, punchy colours straight from the camera in JPEG mode, as you can see from this indoor shot of coloured cotton reels. This makes it easy to send images straight to print from the memory card, or even plug the camera straight in to a photo printer if you want instant results.



Panasonic GH1 Page 1: Features Part one

Panasonic GH1 Page 2: Features Part two

Panasonic GH1 Page 3: Design

Panasonic GH1 Page 4: Performance and value

Panasonic GH1 Page 6: Specifications

Panasonic GH1 user videos

 

 

 

 


Digital SLR Reviews

Price as reviewed

£1,299.00

Scores

Scores
Features 19/20
Design 18/20
Image Quality 17/20
Performance 17/20
Value 14/20
Overall Score 85%