10 February 2011

GH1.. what, still more gear?

I was preoccupied when the last of the GH1 cameras were dispersed on Panasonic websites. I joined Club Panasonic, I visited their Facebook page - but none of the options I tried led to the $375± camera/lens deal. I could not determine if I qualified for the EPP specials. And since I was working hard on other matters at the time I let it go, presuming that a few of the purchasers would turn the cameras around for a small fast profit.

Well, one came up & I took it - so more tests are coming soon as the G1 and GH1 square off. Very similar cameras in function, the GH1 seems to have a different 'eyebrow' to accommodate the video microphones. The big deal is the sensor though, which outputs similar 12mpx images but scores higher by a decent margin in most tests. The dxomark site shows the GH1 sensor to be a notable improvement on G1 and K-7 scores in most respects, and review sites are quite positive on the new sensor. We shall see about that, and what technical tests show compared to what I actually shoot.

It seems the body I bought is among the very last, according to the serial number. Many GH1 owners prefer cams with the older firmware which could be 'hacked' to provide video specs that sounded better - again, whether that results in images that are substantially better is not entirely clear. I read a few private blogs which showed before/after, and concluded that a small improvement was visible for those who know what to look for. I'm seeking the best bargain stills though, so lack of hacking will not trouble me unduly.. and of course, the GH1 video is far superior to the G1 since it had no video abilities at all. Good enough for me!