Panasonic Lumix GH2 does HD video and interchangeable lenses

Panasonic has announced its new Lumix GH2 Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens camera, supporting 16 megapixel still images, 1080p high-definition video capture, and the ability to work with Micro Fourth Thirds lenses—including a new lens that enables the camera to capture 3D still images. Micro Four Thirds cameras are designed to offer the quality and flexibility of DSLR photography without the comparatively huge and unwieldy camera bodies—Panasonic, at least, has started referring to them as “DSLMicro” cameras, or DSLMs.

“The Lumix GH2 is Panasonic’s most professional-level DSLM camera yet, giving users the option to be more creative than ever,” said Panasonic senior product manager for imaging Darin Pepple, in a statement. “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 offers a 16.05 megapixel multi-aspect Live MOS sensor—the same one found in the company’s earlier Lumix G2—along with a new Venus Engine FHD image processor and a faster autofocus that helps enable a burst mode that can handle five frames per second at full resolution. The Lumix GH2 can also shoot 1080p high-definition video with variable frame rates: the camera supports 60i, but can also handle 1080/24p in AVCHD format.

The Lumix GH2 also sports a 3-inch swing-out-and-swivel touchscreen LCD display, HDMI output for pushing content to an HDTV, and can accept SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. The GH2 packs a total of 22 shooting modes and also features Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto (iA) mode from Lumix point-and-shoot cameras. Of course, the camera also offers a full suite of manual controls for experienced photographers.

With the GH2, Panasonic is also introducing what it’s terming the world’s first interchangeable 3D lens, the LUMIX G 12.5mm / ƒ12 (H-FT012). The lens features two separate optical systems to create stereo images that are then processed by the GH2’s 3D processing system. Panasonic promises the images can be viewed easily on its own Panasonic 3D Viera televisions.

Panasonic says the GH2 will ship in early December—silver and black bodies will be available—in three different kit options. A body-only version will have a suggested retail price of $899.95; adding a Lumix G Vario 14–42mm/ƒ3.5–5.6 ASPH./Mega IOS lens takes it to $999.95, while a LUMIX G Vario HD 14–140mm/ƒ4.0–5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S lens steps the package up to $1,499.95. The 3D interchangeable lens will be available in November for a suggested price of $249.95; it can be used with any of Panasonic’s Lumix DSLM (DSLMicro) cameras.

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