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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Gordon Laing, July 2009

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 gallery

The following images were taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1. Unless otherwise stated, the GH1 was set to Program mode with Large Fine JPEG quality, Auto White Balance, Multiple Metering, and the Standard Film Mode (the default setting for contrast, saturation and sharpening). Image Stabilisation was enabled for all these handheld images.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS4 as JPEGs with the Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS4 and saved with the default High quality preset.

The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Note: you may wish to open a number of galleries for direct comparison of detail and noise: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 sample images, Canon EOS 500D / Rebel T1i sample images, Nikon D5000 sample images and Olympus E-620 sample images.

Landscape: 5.46MB, Program, 1/640, f9, 100 ISO, 14-140mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  This first shot was taken with the Lumix GH1 and its 14-140mm kit lens under bright light at its lowest 100 ISO sensitivity and therefore represents ideal conditions.

The crops contain plenty of detail and as you'd hope, are bereft of noise. The metering has underexposed a little here though, perhaps fooled by the white hull dominating the frame, although you’ll see more under-exposures later. While coloured fringing is absent in the image – we believe due to in-camera processing – it does become softer towards the edges.


Landscape: 7.02MB, Program, 1/400, f7.1, 100 ISO, 14-140mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Another shot under bright light with the lens zoomed-out and a sensitivity of 100 ISO.

This was taken virtually at ground level, where the GH1's articulated screen made composition much easier.

Once again though, the GH1 has arguably under-exposed a little, and the image becomes soft towards the edges.<


Landscape: 5.53MB, Program, 1/1000, f11, 200 ISO, 14-140mm at 41mm (equivalent to 82mm)

    The steamship Earnslaw was in dock at the time of testing, but we stood back and zoomed-in the lens into an equivalent of 82mm for a short-telephoto image.

The boost in sensitivity to 200 ISO hasn’t had a detrimental effect on noise levels, with the crops remaining clean and detailed. Once again, there’s an almost eerie absence of coloured fringing thanks to in-camera reduction, but while the image isn’t soft, it’s also lacking the bite of many consumer rivals.


Portrait: 5.41MB, Aperture Priority, 1/2500, f5.8, 200 ISO, 14-140mm at 78mm (equivalent to 156mm)

  For this portrait we zoomed the 14-140mm kit lens to around halfway through its range and selected the smallest f-number in Aperture Priority. The GH1 was left at 200 ISO and face detection set for the AF mode.

Face Detection easily locked-onto the subject here, and again the increase to 200 ISO hasn't had any detrimental impact on the quality.

At an equivalent of 156mm with the maximum aperture, we’ve managed to blur the background, and if desired, a smaller depth-of-field can be achieved by standing back and zooming-further.


Action: 5.49MB, Shutter Priority, 1/640, f5.8, 100 ISO, 14-140mm at 140mm (equivalent to 280mm)

  To test the GH1’s action capabilities, we headed to the World-famous Shotover Jet, set the camera to AFC and continuous shooting, then zoomed the lens to its maximum 280mm equivalent.

This first image in the sequence is almost 100% sharp, with only slight softening due to motion, but later images in the sequence became softer due to the AF not quite keeping up.

A bigger issue is a lack of live view between frames, making it tricky to update your angle.


Macro: 6.74MB, Program, 1/100, f5.8, 400 ISO, 14-140mm at 140mm (equivalent to 280mm)

  The VARIO G 14-140mm kit lens has an closest focusing distance of 50cm at all focal lengths, so here we got as close as the camera would focus, and zoomed the lens into its maximum 280mm equivalent.

As you’d expect at this focal length and distance, there’s no geometric distortion to worry about, although you’d need to close the aperture to get more in focus than we have here.

The crops are a little soft, but otherwise detailed, and there’s little evidence of noise at 400 ISO here.


Indoor: 5.91MB, Program, 1/50, f4, 400 ISO, 14-140mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our first indoor shot was taken with the GH1 at 400 ISO and the lens zoomed-out.

The AF mode was switched to Face Detection and the camera had no problem locking onto the subject.

There’s fractionally higher noise than at 200 ISO, but really nothing to worry about here.

The GH1 is very usable at 400 ISO with respectably clean results.


Indoor: 4.92MB, Program, 1/8, f4.5, 800 ISO, 14-140mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our second indoor was taken with the GH1 increased to 800 ISO. Even then, relatively dim conditions resulted in a shutter speed of 1/8, but this was well within the capabilities of the OIS stabilisation.

The GH1 has again under-exposed this shot, which would normally make noise levels more visible, but to its credit, the crops remain fairly clean and detailed.

A great result here for the GH1 which remains very usable at 800 ISO.



Indoor: 5.01MB, Program, 1/40, f4, 1600 ISO, 14-140mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our final shot was taken with the GH1 at 1600 ISO, where there's a bigger drop in quality. The camera has also under-exposed this shot again.

Noise levels are now much higher than before, although the GH1 manages to avoid many of the undesirable chroma artefacts of some rival DSLRs at the same sensitivity.

The GH1 then goes on to offer a 3200 ISO maximum, and you can see samples at every sensitivity in our High ISO Noise results page.

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2015 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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