Panasonic Lumix GH1: The Micro Four Thirds System gains a new member, and with an impressive arsenal of video functions it could just be the best yet
Panasonic Lumix GH1: Weight
Compared with a traditional DSLR, the G-series cameras beat the smallest of the pack – the Olympus E-420 – by up to 9mm. But by creative compact or superzoom standards it’s still fairly substantial. At just 385g the camera body itself may be light, but once combined with the mammoth lens it as heavy as some mid-range SLR models.
The soft rubberised finish helps the feel of the camera and the solid build quality is evident in every part of the GH1, down to the mode dial and even the port covers.
Buttons are plentiful across the back and top panels – though fairly small, they remain large enough to press but some can be accidentally pressed from an overzealous grip, most notably the quick video button that sits underneath your thumb. That said, the mode dial click positively into position and the four-way menu pad configuration works well for quick functions and menu navigation. A second dial on the left of the top plate does feel a little wasted with the three AF modes – perhaps this would have been put to better use with the ISO or exposure compensation values.
Panasonic Lumix GH1: LCD screen
The rear LCD screen is a good size. It’s bright and of high enough quality to use even in bright daylight and, as it can be easily tilted, it doesn’t particularly matter that its viewing angle isn’t exceptional. The electronic viewfinder may have its sceptics but, together with the G1’s, it’s the best EVF to feature on a digital camera, and its fast refresh rate makes it very useable. The rubber eyepiece is set back to allow you to press your eye flush against it, while the light sensors automatically turn off the main screen.
Panasonic Lumix GH1: Menu
The menu system is split into six main sections, which are colour coded according to their purpose. This is fairly easy to navigate, though the array of quick menus, accessed by function buttons, may be less obvious to some.