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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

Dennis Hissink
Photokina report
Friday 1st, October 2010
Posted by: Dennis Hissink

Photokina news report - Panasonic introduces the Lumix DMC-GH2 as a latest member of the New Generation System Camera Lumix G Micro System. Fully compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, the Lumix G Micro System combines a downsized body with advanced functions that achieve both high performance and operational comfort. Featuring an intuitive touch control, the new Panasonic DMC-GH2 boasts its world’s fastest level Light Speed AF of approx. 0.1 second to capture the subject in spur-of-the-moment in sharp focus. The key components including the sensor and the image processing engine are totally refined to achieve even higher performance of the camera to render a stunning image with high resolution.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 hybrid camera
For the hybrid digital camera, recording movie is no longer an additional function but a right option for saving memories according to the subject and situation. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 is innovative in the point it features full HD 1920x1080/60i smooth, high quality movie recording with powerful 60p output. The cinema-like 24p movie with the bit rate of max. 24 Mbps provides overwhelming image quality with richly expressive afterimage. Furthermore, together with the Cinema mode, which is newly added as an option of popular Film mode, 24p movie enables the movie to have a characteristic superior gradation shown in movie. The new Variable Movie mode makes it possible to record motion images in variable frame rate for creating a fast/slow-feed movie to look it unusual. Activating the newly added EX Tele Conversion function, user can virtually extend the zoom beyond the original limit to get the subject even closer, which is available in both photo and movie. The simultaneous HDMI output while recording images is convenient for even professional users to monitor images on the separate screen.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Micro System camera
The intuitive touch-control shooting, which is popular with the Panasonic Lumix G2 for its outstanding usability, also comes with Panasonic DMC-GH2. Combined with easy-to-see free-angle Intelligent LCD and the newly developed Multi Aspect Wide Screen LVF (Live View Finder), the DMC-GH2 achieves highest ever operational comfort for users to concentrate on the shooting. Expanding variety of interchangeable lenses is another advantage of the Lumix G Micro System which boasts a total of 11 exclusive lenses including new single focal length lens Lumix G 14mm / F2.5 ASPH (H-H014), telephoto zoom lens Lumix G VARIO 100-300mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S. (H-FS100300) and 3D lens Lumix G 12.5mm / F12 (H-FT012).

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 supports 3D lens
The new 3D lens introduced simultaneously is the world’s first development. Not only seeing in 3D but also shooting in 3D is now available. The popular My Color mode and the Film mode including new Cinema mode also adds users’ intention to the photo and movie. The iA (Intelligent Auto) mode is constantly evolving and the Intelligent D-range Control is newly integrated in the Panasonic Lumix GH2. The Intelligent Resolution has new “EXTENDED” option for more natural looking to be printed in large size. Enforced by the high-performance based on the new components and advanced technologies, the creative HD Hybrid DMC-GH2 is now offering even higher level of creative possibility and intuition for every enthusiastic user to explore realms of not only photography but also of videography even at the same time.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 - 16 Megapixels
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 boasts its high performance to make the photographic experience even more comfortable and fun. It features the world’s fastest level Light Speed AF of approx. 0.1 second which is achieved by reducing the detection time for focusing by doubling the drive speed from 60 fps to 120 fps. Not only the accuracy but also the speed excels by far than the high-end DSLRs with phase difference AF with the advanced contrast AF system in Panasonic GH2. Combined with the Touch AF control, setting and focusing at the subject is incredibly easy and quick, never missing the spur-of-the-moment. Panasonic also refined its comprehensive digital imaging technologies for every camera of Lumix G Micro System to raise the level of image quality that rivals or even surpasses D-SLR cameras. The newly developed 16.05-megapixel multi-aspect Live MOS Sensor adopts the high speed digital νMaicovicon. In addition to the high speed, which is an advantage of the CMOS sensor, Panasonic adds its original pixel mix technology. A dedicated process exclusively for νMaicovicon of DMC-GH2 is newly developed by applying the top-class high performance transistor and its interconnection process needed for the high speed operation of digital circuit to make low-noise photodiode and transistor with reduced wiring to achieve both high resolution and high aperture-ratio as DMC-GH1. The result is both high resolution and excellent S/N are realized with more than 3dB improvement of noise and 200% high sensitivity in Panasonic Lumix GH2. Plus, it helps to realize the high speed burst shooting at 5 fps in 16.05-megapixel full resolution using a mechanical shutter and max.40 fps using an electronic shutter.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 image processor
For the image processor, the new Venus Engine FHD is incorporated that features exceptionally advanced signal processing capabilities in both photo and movie recording. By separating chromatic noise from luminance noise even more accurately by applying the optimal noise reduction to each, you can capture clear and beautiful images even when shooting at high ISO sensitivity levels. By preventing the color mixture which tended to occur around the edges, any chromatic noise, not only the in gradation part but also in the edge part, are described clearly. The engine also provides selective noise reduction to the outline part to let it have more naturally-balanced curve without deterioration of the resolution. In addition, the spot-type noise which can be often seen in the dark area of the picture taken in low light situation or color bleeding on high luminance area generated by the chromatic aberration. The Intelligent Resolution technology is another feature of the Venus Engine FHD. With the Intelligent Resolution technology, 3 areas - outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation areas are automatically detected. The outline parts are enhanced effectively to give edges more clearness while giving a moderate accentuation to the texture areas to look more finely detailed. To the soft gradation part, superior noise reduction system of the Venus Engine FHD is applied to make it smoother. Apart from the uniform enhancement of sharpness, the innovative technology Intelligent Resolution precisely performs signal processing pixel by pixel in the most effective way for it. As a result, images are naturally clear and crisp in both photo and movie recording. Linking smoothly with the Live MOS sensor, the Venus Engine FHD processes a large amount of signals at high speed, making it possible to record high resolution consecutive shots and full-HD movie recording.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 video in HD
There are always two options to record spur-of-the-moment scenes – high-quality photos or movies. The user can simply choose the one that saves precious memories most beautifully with Panasonic DMC-GH2.The predecessor DMC-GH1, which was substantially the first full HD movie recording interchangeable lens system camera with practical AF system. The AVCHD format features almost twice the recording time in HD quality than the conventional Motion JPEG. A special, dedicated button on the top lets the user instantly start recording movies while shooting photos without any having to make any extra settings. Now the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 can record high-resolution full-HD 1920 x 1080 movies in astonishing smooth 60i, doubling the sensor output from 25p/24p to 50p/60p. The DMC-GH2 also supports 1080/24p native mode with 24 Mbps, the highest in AVCHD format bringing impressive afterimage to the movie. The newly added Cinema mode option (selectable in the Film mode) gives the movie rich, cinema-like gradation. Now the image recording is more flexible fun with the Panasonic Lumix GH2. It is possible to choose the suitable frame rate of the movie among 80%, 160%, 200% and 300% according to the recorded contents with the new Variable Movie mode. The Touch AF in movie recording also lets users enjoy professional-like rack focusing. Just by pointing the subject, the focus is shifted to it and let it stand out to attract attention. Now the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 can take a 16.05-megapixel photo while recording movie by just pressing a shutter button. Plus you can save a frame of movie as photo during playback.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 features
The Extra Tele Conversion function virtually extends the zoom range up to 2.6x, thus the max.728mm in AVCHD Cinema/FSH mode, max. 1092mm in AVCHD SH mode and Motion JPEG HD / WVGA mode and max.1344mm in Motion JPEG VGA/QVGA mode is available with the Lumix G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. which is developed to be exclusively compatible with movie recording. High quality sound can be recorded with Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, and optional accessory Stereo Microphone (DMW-MS1) can be attached to the Panasonic GH2. A Wind Cut function is also available to block out most of the noise from background wind. The wash-out areas are indicated with lighting highlight when recording movie, too. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 is newly capable of image output via an optional HDMI mini cable to the external monitor, which is suitable for the professional image recording that requires serious confirmation of the images.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 offers touch-control shooting
To elevate its operability even higher, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 adopted touch-control shooting for the first time in the world as an interchangeable lens system camera. Taking this epoch-making advantage in the DMC-GH2, the perception of operating a digital interchangeable lens system camera should drastically change. The focus is immediately set to the subject by just touching it on the large, 460,000-dot LCD and you can even release the shutter. Once you lock on the subject by a touch, the camera tracks the subject with the AF tracking function even if it moves. Just a touch on the screen lets you select the part and the size of AF area with the 1-area AF. The 1-area AF in Face Detection even allows you to set finer focus on the eyes while capturing human face bright and clear. The Multi-area AF with 23 AF areas allows to set a group of AF point according to the composition. With the Intelligent Scene Selector in the iA mode, the camera automatically switches to the appropriate mode according to the subject touched. For example, a touch on a human face switches to the portrait mode and a touch on the background or scenery to the scenery mode while a touch on the subject close to the camera to the close-up mode. In the manual focusing, you can enlarge the part by just a touch to select 1x, 5x or 10x and smoothly move the part by dragging it on the screen. The touch operation dramatically shortcuts the action of setting in the menu, too. The touch-screen operation excels not only for shooting but also for playing back images with outstanding visibility. You can play back the image you want out of hundreds of stocks by touching in the thumbnails. To play back images one by one in order, you can drag the image over the screen with a finger to browse the collection of photos as you flip over the pages of the book. Max. 16x of enlargement is also operated easily with touches.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Live Viewfinder
The large, high resolution with wide-viewing angle rotates 180° to the side and tilts 270° up and down offers approx. 100% of field of view. The free-angle LCD with a touch-screen operation makes both monitoring and touching at any physical position. Both LCD and LED backlight are newly designed to realize vivid, impressive color reproduction by 25%. The primary colors-red, blue and green- are reproduced more clearly true to the original natural colors. The Lumix G Micro System's large, bright 1,440,000-dot equivalent LVF (Live View Finder) retains the outstanding viewability of an optical viewfinder and can also display information about camera settings that the user can see without taking his or her eyes off the subject. Now the LVF is newly designed to be Multi Aspect Wide Screen LVF for DMC-GH2. Increasing the display area to 1,530,000-dot equivalent resolution, the new Multi Aspect Wide Screen LVF boasts the 0.71 x magnification and 100% field of view. Reducing the color breakup by half in principle, the new LVF assures stunning image view for any subject in any scenes. Together with the 60 fps Live View is made possible by the Live MOS sensor, which takes signals directly from the image sensor and sends them continuously to the LCD, in real time. This allows the user, when composing a shot, to check the framing accurately from corner to corner. The image output between the LVF and the LCD is switched automatically with the eye sensor on the LVF, which features options of sensitivity - high, low and off - to reduce false operation during touching on the LCD.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 function buttons
Pursuing the operational comfort, now the number of function buttons of Panasonic Lumix GH2 is increased to control directly shortcut to the frequently-used settings. Users do not have to going in the menu and are able to concentrate on the shooting without getting an eye off the subject even when using the LVF. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 is also refined externally with various improvements of parts pursuing ergonomics including newly designed easy-to-hold grip.

Panasonic Lumix GH2 options for photos and videos
With the world’s first introduction of digital interchangeable lens to make 3D shooting possible with an interchangeable lens system camera, Panasonic proposes to enjoy high-quality shooting in 3D with DMC-GH2. This new compact 3D-capable interchangeable lens allows easier handling and instant 3D shooting with cameras without a special structure for 3D shooting. It produces 3D images without distortion or time lag between left and right images, even for moving objects. The 3D images, even close-up shots, taken with this lens are easy on the eyes when viewed on 3D VIERA televisions. Panasonic made a breakthrough by adding this special way of unprecedented expression in photography with outstanding ease with the innovative technology.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 picture modes
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 provides an array of features that let users capture precisely true-to-life images and create their own beautifully expressive images. The DMC-GH2 features the My Color mode with a total of 7 preset effects - Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, and Silhouette while inheriting the previous Custom mode, which lets users manually set the color, brightness and saturation levels. With the Full-time Live View function, users can see how these settings will affect the images before they shoot, which makes it easier to capture the exact mood or atmosphere desired. For even more elaborate effects, users can choose from a total of 10 Film modes including the new Cinema mode, and set the contrast, sharpness and saturation levels for each. A custom function lets users store their favorite settings in memory. The Panasonic Lumix GH2 also provides a total of 22, and most of these modes can be used when shooting motion images too, letting users create movies with dramatic, theatrical effects without having to edit after they shoot.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 shooting modes
The exposure meter can be displayed in the P/A/S/M shooting modes. The correlation between shutter speed and aperture is shown, with a color-coded warning that alerts users when the settings are not in the proper range. For newcomers to system camera photography, this makes it easy to learn proper settings both visually and logically, enhancing their photography skills. The exposure compensation can now be set in ±5 steps and the white balance settings can be memorized in 4 patterns for finer control according to the wider range of shooting situations. Auto bracket mode can be set within ±3 steps and the Multi Aspect Bracket is also available.

Advanced iA mode on the Panasonic DMC-GH2
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 has advanced functions that will satisfy experienced photographers, yet is easy enough for beginners to use comfortably. It's ideal for compact camera owners who want to step up to higher-quality photos - but without having to worry about the need of technique. Panasonic achieved this superb ease of use by continuing to improve iA mode - with its shooting assist functions that have proven extremely popular in Lumix compact cameras - and adding it to the advanced imaging technologies of the Lumix G Micro System. The iA mode is available not only in photo but also movie recording. This iA mode is further advanced to newly include Intelligent D-range Control and new Intelligent Resolution for Panasonic DMC-GH2. The new Intelligent D-range Control offers even more natural looking by optimizing the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully including the blue color of the sky. An automatic backlight compensation function is activated whenever the camera detects the subject in backlight. The new Intelligent Resolution technology features even more natural-looking with better-balanced sharpness to the detail part and the edge part, suitable for printing in large size.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 camera technologies
With AF Tracking, the Panasonic Lumix GH2 can lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves - making it easy to get beautiful, clear shots when a great photo opportunity suddenly arises. Simply aim, lock, and shoot. The Face Recognition function remembers registered faces to give an appropriate AF/AE on the people. In playback, you can choose to display only photos that contain a specific registered face using Category Playback. In addition to the advanced functions mentioned above, the iA mode inherits fundamental functions users need in a good digital still camera. These include MEGA O.I.S., which helps prevent blurring from hand-shake, and Intelligent ISO Control, which reduces motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken. Intelligent Scene Selector automatically detects the most common shooting situations - Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery, Close-up and Sunset - and switches to the appropriate Scene mode. The user can activate all of these useful, convenient shooting-assist functions by simply selecting the iA mode.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

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