The price is very similar, isn't it?
Nope, as noted above. Are you sure you're not conflating the GH1 with the G1?
The general features of both cameras are very similar and it seems to me that the target audience of them are also similar, so, in my perception, Panasonic might discontinue the GH1 in the future once the GF1 is smaller and has almost the same features. Is my perception correct? Is the GF1 model a step-up from GH1?
My perception--which stems from the fact that the GH1 has full manual control (including shutter speed) while shooting full 1080p AVCHD video (as well as 720p@60
fps, not 30 fps AVCHD-Lite) and comes with the only HD certified lens--is that the GH1 is targeted at prosumer/low-budget/indie filmmakers; while the GF1 is targeted at people who are looking to take better quality (still) photographs than they can with a compact/point-and-shoot style camera in a package that's smaller than most DSLRs.
Personally, from the tilt-swivel LCD to better video to bigger sensor*, I think that it's the GH1 that's a step up from the GF1. Of course, if you don't need/want HD video, and/or you do want a smaller form factor, and/or you're on a budget, you shouldn't be stepping up from the GF1 to the GH1. But that doesn't mean the GF1 is a step up; it means that the GF1 is better suited to your situation.
Although, the combination of GH1 and GF1 does seem to make the G1 (which doesn't do video at all, but is bigger than the GF1) the odd man out. So I wouldn't be surprised to see that model discontinued.
Having said all of that...
I'm looking for a small DoF though, so I presume zoom would make some difference here?
I threw together a quick comparison of the GH1's 14-140mm kit and 20mm prime lenses; you can take a look at it here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/bitmaestro ... 63/detail/
HTH - Mark
*Practically speaking, the sensors are essentially the same. But technically, well, I'll just quote Gordon's very thorough review:http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panas ... dict.shtml
the Lumix GF1 is equipped with the same 12.1 Megapixel Live MOS sensor as the Lumix G1 before it. As such, the maximum resolution is 4000x3000 pixels in the 4:3 aspect ratio, and if you switch to wider 3:2 or 16:9 modes, the image will be vertically-cropped; this is unlike the Lumix GH1 which employed a slightly larger sensor, allowing it to maintain the same angle of view across multiple aspect ratios.