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Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GH2 digital camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Panasonic GH2: 18 mpix SLD with speedy new processor (previewed)
(Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 04:00 EDT)

Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. has today taken the wraps off its Lumix GH2 single-lens direct view camera, and we've just published our hands-on Panasonic GH2 preview.

Externally, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 is quite similar to its predecessor, the GH1, with only relatively subtle tweaks to control layout. Under the skin, though, the Panasonic GH2 sports a new eighteen megapixel Live MOS image sensor, whose output is piped through the latest iteration of Panasonic's image processor, now dubbed "Venus Engine FHD". The combination allows the Lumix GH2 to shoot 1080p, 60i (aka Full HD / 1,920 x 1,080 pixel) video. The new processor in the Lumix DMC-GH2 has three CPUs, and allows speed improvements in other areas as well. For example, autofocus speed is said to be doubled from the previous model, with focus lock possible in just 0.099 second.

The Panasonic GH2 offers full resolution sensitivities ranging from ISO 160 to 12,800 equivalents. The Venus Engine FHD processor also allows faster burst shooting, with the GH2 now able to shoot at 5 frames per second at full resolution using the camera's mechanical shutter, and as fast as 40fps at 4 megapixels when using an electronic shutter. The DMC-GH2 is priced at US$900 body-only and should ship towards the end of the year. Two kits will also be available -- one for US$1,500 with the Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f4-5.8 Mega O.I.S. zoom lens; and the other at $1,000 with the 14-42mm Lumix G VARIO f/3.5-5.6 MEGA OIS lens. The Panasonic GH2 will be sold in the US market in two colors: black, and two-tone black/grey.

For more details, read our Panasonic GH2 preview.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GH2 digital camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeSLD
Model NumberNorth America: DMC-GH2
Dimensions4.9 x 3.5 x 3.0 in.
(124 x 90 x 76 mm)
Weight21.5 oz (609 g)
Planned Price$1000
Planned AvailabilityDecember 2010
Image Capture
Sensor TypePanasonic N-MOS
Four Thirds (approx. 0.85 in. diagonal)
18.31 megapixels (total)
16.05 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Focal Length Multiplier2.00
Aspect Ratio4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions4608 x 3456 (15.9 megapixels)
4752 x 3168 (15.1 megapixels)
4976 x 2800 (13.9 megapixels)
3456 x 3456 (11.9 megapixels)
3264 x 2448 (8.0 megapixels)
3360 x 2240 (7.5 megapixels)
3520 x 1980 (7.0 megapixels)
2448 x 2448 (6.0 megapixels)
2336 x 1752 (4.1 megapixels)
2400 x 1600 (3.8 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1744 x 1744 (3.0 megapixels)
1920 x 1440 (2.8 megapixels)
1920 x 1280 (2.5 megapixels)
1792 x 1792 (3.2 megapixels)
Capture SpeedContinuous: 5.0 frames per second
Image Quality2 levels
Image Preview / Review
ViewfinderYes, EVF; 1,534K dots eq., 1.42x mag., 17.5mm eyepoint, -4 to +4 diopter, eye sensor
LCD3.0 in. diagonal
460,000 dots (approx. 153,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom16.0x max
Lens TypePanasonic 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Lumix G VARIO MEGA O.I.S
3x optical zoom
52mm lens thread
Lens MountMicro Four Thirds mount
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length14.0 - 42.0mm (actual)
28 - 84mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.5 - 22 (wide) / f.5.6 - 22 (tele)
Focusing SystemContrast Detection: Face Detect, AF Tracking, 23-area, 1 area, Touch AF
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
Focusing RangeNormal: 12" - infinity (30 cm - infinity)
ISO SensitivityAuto, 160-12800, Intelligent ISO
Shutter Speed60 - 1/4000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes144-zone Intelligent Multiple, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation+/- 5.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Halogen, Flash, White Set 1/2/3/4, Color Temperature Setting (2,500-10,000K in 100K steps)
Internal FlashGuide Number: 11
Modes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync., Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off
Range: Lens dependent
Flash Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Scene ModesPortrait (Normal/Soft Skin/Outdoor/Indoor/Creative) / Scenery (Normal/Nature/Architecture/Creative) / Close-up (Flower/Food/Objects/Creative) / SCN (Peripheral Defocus/Night Portrait/Night Scenery/Sunset/Party/Sports/Baby 1,2/Pet)
Digital Zoom2x or 4x
Self TimerYes, 2, 10, 10 (3 images) seconds
Movie FormatAVCHD (H.264), MotionJPEG with audio
Recording MediumSD/MMC including SDHC, SDXC
File SystemFAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatRAW, RAW + JPEG, JPEG
VideoHigh definition: Yes (HDMI)
St ndard definition: Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherMini HDMI (Type-C), 2.5mm stereo mic/remote socket, combined AV/USB connector
Battery TypeLithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary
Product Bundle
SoftwarePHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0 BD Edition, SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.1 SE, Super LoiloScope (trial), USB Driver
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlYes, Optional DMW-RSL1 cable remote
Notes1080p HD Movies, Touch-screen Articulating LCD, 2.5mm Stereo Mic/Remote Socket, Mini HDMI Type-C Connector. Available in black or silver.
More Photos
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GH2 digital camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GH2 digital camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GH2 digital camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GH2 digital camera. Photo provided by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

Panasonic Introduces Lumix GH2 -- Hybrid Touch-Control Digital Camera Compatible With World's First1 Interchangeable 3D Lens

The Panasonic LUMIX GH2’s Speed Allows Full HD Video Recording and Professional-Level Photo Capabilities; While Features Like Touch-Screen Operation Make it Easy for Beginners

SECAUCUS, NJ (September 21, 2010) – Panasonic today announced the LUMIX DMC-GH2, a hybrid touch-control camera featuring full High Definition (HD) video recording and compatibility with the world’s first1 interchangeable 3D lens. The LUMIX GH2 elevates the company’s revolutionary LUMIX G Series, its line of Digital Single Lens Micro (DSLM) cameras that deliver professional-level features and performance in a compact and easy-to-use camera body.

Compatible with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, the lightweight LUMIX GH2 is newly designed with an easy-to-hold grip and includes a refined image processing engine and sensor that delivers fast, sharp photos, full HD video recording, and the ability to take 3D photos with Panasonic’s new interchangeable 3D lens. In addition, the intuitive touch-control operation provides ease of use in shooting and playback.

“The LUMIX GH2 is Panasonic’s most professional-level DSLM camera yet, giving users the option to be more creative than ever, from recording video in full HD with cinematic effects to taking 3D photos with our new lens,” said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “At the same time, its compact size can fit in the palm of your hand and its faster auto focus and intuitive touch-control shooting make it possible for even new photographers to literally point-and-shoot for stunning images.”

The LUMIX GH2 combines features for both the videographer and photographer, making it a true hybrid digital camera. A dedicated button on the top of the camera lets users instantly record videos while shooting photos without changing any extra settings. Building on the momentum of its successful predecessor, the LUMIX GH1 – the LUMIX GH2 can now record full HD 1920 x 1080 videos in smooth 60i, doubling the sensor output from 25p/24p to 50p/60p2. The camera also supports 1080/24p native mode at 24 Mbps, the highest in AVCHD format, for richly expressive video. Other video features in the LUMIX GH2 include:

  • New Cinema mode: Record video with rich cinema-like gradation. Added as an option of popular Film mode.

  • New Variable Movie mode: Record video in variable frame rate – 80, 160, 200 and 300 percent – speeding up or slowing frames for more creative videos.

  • Touch auto focus (AF): Point at the subject on the screen and shift focus to make it stand out against the background.

  • Still photos at (16:9): Instantly take a 14MP photo, while recording videos and also save a frame of video as a photo during playback.

  • Record high quality sound: With Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator and optional accessory Stereo Microphone (DMW-MS1).

  • HDMI output: Monitor images on a separate screen while still recording video.

Speed is at the core of the LUMIX GH2, with technological advancements including a new 16.05-megapixel multi-aspect LIVE MOS sensor for higher image resolution and improved signal-to-noise ratio. The LIVE MOS sensor also allows high speed burst shooting at 5 frames per second in full resolution using a mechanical shutter. Working together with the Live MOS sensor, the new Venus Engine FHD processor manages multiple signals at a high speed, making it possible to record high resolution consecutive shots and full HD video recording. The Venus Engine FHD also features advanced signal processing capabilities, including: separation of chromatic and luminance noise for clear images, prevention of color mixture and selective noise reduction for more crisp photos and video recording. The LUMIX GH2 also features faster AF, reducing detection time for focusing to approximately 0.1 second3 by doubling the drive speed from 60 frames per second to 120 frames per second.

The LUMIX GH2 features intuitive touch-control operation, made popular with the LUMIX G2 for its outstanding usability in shooting and playback. The LUMIX GH2 combines the easy-to-see free-angle Intelligent LCD with the newly developed Multi Aspect Wide Screen LVF (Live View Finder) for more comfortable shooting from any angle.

The LUMIX GH2’s large 3.0-inch 460,000-dot high-resolution Intelligent LCD allows users to:

  • Touch the subject on the LCD to adjust AF. Once a user locks onto a subject, the camera tracks the subject with AF tracking even if it moves. Then, with a touch of the screen, users can select the area of focus appropriate mode (e.g., portrait) and even enlarge an image (1x, 5x or 10x) by dragging it on the screen.

  • Touch and view the screen from any angle, rotating the screen 180° side to side and tilting it 270° up and down for approximately 100 percent of field of view.

  • Change menu settings quickly by touching the screen, shortcutting the time it would take to navigate using standard cursors.

  • Touch thumbnails to play back images one by one or drag images over the screen with a finger to browse the collection of photos, as though flipping the pages of a book.

  • View primary colors – red, blue and green – 25 percent more vividly when compared to the GH1, thanks to a newly designed LCD and LED backlight.

The new large, bright Multi Aspect Wide Screen LVF in the LUMIX GH2 features:

  • A display area of 1,530,000-dot equivalent resolution.

  • 100 percent field of view and 0.71x magnification.

  • Reduced color breakup by half for stunning images at any angle.

  • Live View at 60 frames-per-second because of the Live MOS sensor, which processes signals directly from the image sensor to the LCD in real time. This allows the user to check the framing accurately from corner to corner when composing a shot.

Continuing Panasonic’s record of 3D technology leadership, the LUMIX GH2 can shoot in 3D (35mm camera equivalent: 65mm4) when used with the world’s1 first interchangeable 3D lens LUMIX G 12.5mm / F12 (H-FT012)5, also announced today. Panasonic’s new compact 3D lens for the LUMIX G Micro System features two optical systems installed within the diameter of the lens mount, creating stereo images from the left and right lenses that are then processed with a 3D image processing system. This new compact 3D-capable interchangeable lens is easy to handle and allows instant 3D shooting, without distortion or time lag between left and right images – even when shooting moving objects. The 3D images taken on this camera, even close-up shots, are easily viewed on Panasonic’s 3D VIERA® televisions.

The LUMIX GH2 includes 22 different shooting modes for creative shooting options. When shooting video, users can choose from ten different modes, including the new Cinema mode, and set the contrast, sharpness and saturation levels for each. For still photos the LUMIX GH2 features the My Color mode with a total of seven preset effects – Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, and Silhouette – while also keeping the Custom mode, which lets users manually set the color, brightness and saturation levels and store their favorite settings. With the Full-time Live View function, users can see how these settings will affect the images before they shoot. The LUMIX GH2 also features more shortcut buttons for frequently used settings.

In addition to the advanced functions that will satisfy experienced photographers, the LUMIX GH2 is easy enough for beginners to use comfortably because of Panasonic’s iA (Intelligent Auto) mode, a popular setting in the LUMIX point-and-shoots that automatically engages features and settings for optimal image quality by detecting the shooting environment. The LUMIX GH2 features new additions to the iA mode including Intelligent D-range Control for optimized exposure of an image and Intelligent Resolution for better-balanced sharpness in images for printing at larger sizes.

After users capture images using the LUMIX GH2, it’s easy for them to enjoy their photos or HD videos easily on a Panasonic VIERA HD television. Simply remove the SD Memory Card from the camera and insert it into the VIERA Image Viewer (SD Memory Card slot) on a VIERA HDTV or Panasonic Blu-ray disc player6 to play the content. Alternatively, an optional mini HDMI™ cable can be used to output still photos and video recorded with the LUMIX GH2 directly to the Panasonic HDTV via VIERA Link™. Using the VIERA HDTV’s remote control, users can take advantage of the LUMIX GH2’s advanced playback and slideshow features. Photos taken with Panasonic’s new interchangeable 3D lens can also be viewed in 3D via the 3D Image Viewer.

Software bundled with the LUMIX GH2 includes:

  • PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0 BD Edition to easily organize photos and movies.

  • SILKYPIX® Developer Studio 3.1 SE for RAW file development.

  • Super LoiloScope (trial version)for high speed HD movie editing.

The LUMIX G Series continues to expand its variety of interchangeable lenses with a total of 11 exclusive lenses, three announced today: the world’s first1 interchangeable 3D lens LUMIX G 12.5mm / F12 (H-FT012), a new single focal length lens LUMIX G 14mm / F2.5 ASPH (H-H014), and new telephoto zoom lens LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S. (H-FS100300).

In addition to LUMIX G lenses, the LUMIX GH2 and other LUMIX G Series digital cameras can use any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds System standard via an optional mount adaptor DMW-MA1 and with the prestigious Leica M/R Lenses via DMW-MA2M or MA3R7. Additional accessories include external flashes, filters, a stereo microphone, a remote shutter, HDMI mini cables and a variety of stylish straps and bags. For more information on LUMIX digital cameras and all available accessories, visit: http://www.panasonic.com/lumix.

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