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Panasonic launches Full HD DMC-GH1 SLR

Panasonic's G1 now outclassed by its Full HD big brother - the GH1
Panasonic's G1 now outclassed by its Full HD big brother - the GH1
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Has Panasonic just killed the camcorder? PMA today saw the launch of the DMC-GH1 Micro Four Thirds SLR that combines 12MP still photography with Full HD (1080/24p) movie recording and stereo sound.

The new digital SLR ships with a 14-140mm (28-280mm equivalent) 10x interchangeable zoom lens that supports the continuous autofocusing, near-silent operation and 'seamless' aperture adjustment that Panasonic considers 'indispensable for movie recording'.

The f/4-5.8 kit lens also features Panasonic's Mega OIS optical image stabilising system and AF tracking for moving subjects.

High speed hybrid

Although it's released under the Lumix photography sub-brand, Panasonic is actually calling the DMC-GH1 its first 'Creative HD Hybrid'.

The camera can capture either Full HD (1080/24p) or smooth 720-pixel clips at 60p, in AVC-HD format - a better spec than some of Panasonic's dedicated camcorders. A separate button on the back lets you instantly start recording movies while shooting photos.

The GH1 is based around a newly developed 12.1-megapixel high-speed Live MOS sensor and the Venus Engine HD image processor, which features two CPUs for video processing and a Supersonic Wave Filter to prevent dust incursion.

Other features include a 1,440,000-dot, 60fps Live View finder (not as good as an optical finder but a key part of the Micro Four Thirds system), a 3-inch LCD, auto scene detection, face detection and intelligent exposure.

More information on price, release date and photos when we get them.

Mark Harris

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.