Panasonic has formally announced its new Lumix GH1 DSLR camera, expanding on the company’s line of DSLRs based on the Micro Four Thirds standard with new video-centric capabilities—including recording 1080p AVCHD video with continuous autofocus (a feature so far absent from DSLRs with video capture capability) and a deep zoom lens with a silent motor.
“Photographers of all levels—professionals, amateurs and beginners—will be stunned by the range of creative possibilities that the Lumix GH1 creates in the world of high-quality photography and HD video,” said Panasonic’s national marketing manager David Briganti, in a statement. “Users will be equally amazed by the camera’s easy-to-use design and small size.”
The GH1 can record 1,920 by 1,080-pixel video at 24 frames per second, or 1,280 by 720-pixel video at 60 frames per second in AVCHD format. The camera sports a dedicated video record button on the back enabling users to start recording video even while shooting stills, plus the camera supports stereo audio recording while shooting video, and an optional mic can be attached for better micing.
As a camera, the GH1 features a small, lightweight body thanks to the Micro Four Thirds design, and sports a 3-inch LCD swivel display with a 60 fps live view. The GH1 snaps 12.1 megapixel images and sports twin CPUs for image processing, along with optical image stabilization, intelligent ISO control, autofocus tracking, intelligent exposure controls, face recognition, and an intelligent scene selector for setting the camera up automatically for five common shooting situations. The camera supports video output via an optional mini-HDMI cable.
The GH1’s kit lens is the Lumix G VARIO HD 14-140mm/ƒ4.0–5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S., offering a focal length from 28 to 280mm (35mm equivalent) with support for continuous autofocus for both photo and video capture.
Unfortunately, Panasonic has not announced any pricing information on the Lumix GH1, nor indicated when it might be available. The camera will be compatible with interchangeable Micro Four Thirds lenses, and Panasonic will be offering a number of peripherals and accessories for use with the camera, including flashes, mount adapters, cables, straps, filters, bags, and battery packs.