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Old July 12th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #1
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GH-1 on DPreview

A very in depth review of the GH 1 and a very favorable one. The reviewer conlcudes that it has the best video of all other DSLR.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
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Old July 12th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #2
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Would it have been so difficult for Panasonic to fit a 25 fps mode for half the world's TVs?
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Old July 12th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Emmanuel Plakiotis View Post
A very in depth review of the GH 1 and a very favorable one. The reviewer conlcudes that it has the best video of all other DSLR.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review
I've had it for a couple of weeks now and it is indeed a fabulous cam!!!! I wish my little Sony XR500 shot as good a video as does the GH1 at 720p! The Panny is sharper, more detailed and has far better dynamic range and color. Just a wonderfully fun camera that does it all! I'm just not a big fan of the stutter at 24p, so I haven't found the 1080 mode too useful even though the detail is out of this world.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 08:12 PM   #4
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Would it have been so difficult for Panasonic to fit a 25 fps mode for half the world's TVs?
They have! The European and Australian version offer 25p/50p. The reviewer must've had the USA/Japan model.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 06:54 AM   #5
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Does anyone else notice that all the interior video clips in the dpreview article are excessively noisy? Unusable from a professional standpoint. Worse there seems to be some strange banding going on in the noise pattern.

So far most of the clips posted are exteriors with plenty of light. I wonder if this camera is not very capable in low light situations. I'd like to be proven wrong, but there's no way I'm buying this camera until I see more interior shots.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #6
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It's pretty good in low light Brett and the banding you may see in some clips is no different than what you see in any CMOS based camera.

But if you don't want one, fear not, you couldn't get one if you wanted it. They're sold out everywhere and many have been waiting for months for theirs...the camera is that good.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 08:24 AM   #7
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The reason people can't get their hands on the camera is because they haven't actually delivered it yet in the U.S. While there may be high demand that will make it difficult to acquire eventually, that's not what's going on now.

I haven't ruled out the camera yet. But what I've seen gives me pause. I'll need more convincing with low light clips.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 09:32 AM   #8
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It’s been released in the US since June. I physically went to an authorized dealer and got one on the same day that I called. It’s just that the preorders are usually much, much higher than what the stores are getting and I‘m one of the very few people that didn‘t have to preorder. Like I said in another forum, people should also try calling local dealers especially the ones that sells the older G1 camera.

There are people who are ordering from many places and once they get one, they will cancel their other preorders. Also some people might be changing their mind and get the Olympus EP-1 instead.

Around a day after the PS3 first came out, a store still had one left and a lot of people didn’t realize it. Instead of paying a fortune on eBay or Craig’s List, some people could have just called up all of the stores first.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 11:46 AM   #9
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The reason people can't get their hands on the camera is because they haven't actually delivered it yet in the U.S. While there may be high demand that will make it difficult to acquire eventually, that's not what's going on now.

I haven't ruled out the camera yet. But what I've seen gives me pause. I'll need more convincing with low light clips.
No, it has been released in the US. Its scarce because the cam has gotten such great reviews...especially from owners
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Old July 17th, 2009, 03:05 PM   #10
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No, it has been released in the US. Its scarce because the cam has gotten such great reviews...especially from owners
The footage from this camera right now is all over the spectrum. I've seen some good stuff and some pretty bad stuff. Plus most is vimeo or You-tube so you have the extra compression and the benefits of resizing in terms of eliminating noise etc. This makes it hard to evaluate. Then many posters don't list basic settings info like ISO, shutter speed, F-stop & at least whether it was shot 720P 30, 60 or 1080P.

I've seen raw MTS samples shot at night at 400 ISO in 1080P that look pretty solid. But then you look at the raw MTS samples provided by DPreview and they just look pretty terrible. The boat on the Thames 1080P sample is really bad. The water is littered with compression break-down and this was shot in broad daylight so you almost have to assume it was well below ISO400. The 720P samples at the end - again raw MTS files aren't much better. But how do you reconcile this with the previous DVX MTS files that look good?? I just don't know. There's a 5D vs. GH1 vimeo comparison over in the 5D forum here that also doesn't look very good for the GH1.

I know for me I'm most interested in raw MTS footage shot by people that fully list their settings to evaluate what kind of footage this camera can produce. But the DPreview raw MTS footage is some of the worst I've seen and doesn't make the GH1 look very good.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Brett Sherman View Post
Does anyone else notice that all the interior video clips in the dpreview article are excessively noisy? Unusable from a professional standpoint. Worse there seems to be some strange banding going on in the noise pattern.

So far most of the clips posted are exteriors with plenty of light. I wonder if this camera is not very capable in low light situations. I'd like to be proven wrong, but there's no way I'm buying this camera until I see more interior shots.
The camera indeed doesn't do well in low light because of the small chip. You can get both measures of noise and sensitivity plus comparisons with its competition at:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 DSLR Camera Review - Panasonic Camcorders

With this site you have to ignore most of what the say because the staff has almost no understanding of video technology. But, they are the only site to get past the subjective BS that abounds on the net.

At the GH1's price the D90 is vastly better in low-light. If you rule it out because of rolling shutter, you either need to accept poor sensitivity or wait for a better camera.

I'm not impressed by the GH1's color as it seems to lack punch. Moreover, it has a fair amount of color error except in one mode. Which makes on wonder why that setting wasn't the default.

PS: As I re-read the review comments, not the numbers, I had to write a long comment back to the i**ot who wrote it.

1) "... the camera captures the footage at 60i, but its outputted at 24 frames per second (24p)."

NOPE

"the camera captures the footage at 24 frames per second (24p), but it is recorded at 60i after 2-3 pulldown is added.

NOTE 1: IT IS is IT'S not ITS.

NOTE: 2: video is not "outputted" it is "output."

2) 720p60 is not M-JPEG it is AVCHD while the M-JPEG is 720p30.

3) While you say the GH1 offers high resolution, the resolution trumpets show a high level of aliasing. So were your sharpness values visually estimated or computed by your software?

4) "The Panasonic GH1's full HD mode was fairly choppy..."

NOTE 3: Full HD is a marketing term, not an evaluative term. If you shoot with a Red, "full" HD is 4K.

When ANY camera samples motion at the very low rate of 24fps, we expect "Motion Sampling Judder." Moreover, the amount of Motion Sampling Judder one sees also depends on the shutter-speed used. Thus, your comments on "motion" -- here and all other reviews -- are meaningless as they don't relate to a camera but to a camera's settings.

5) "The Panasonic GH1's Full HD mode ... had quite a bit of trailing." Unless you have made up the word "trailing" to describe something you see -- trailing is "Motion Blur" and is dependent on shutter-speed. Thus, your comments on "trailing" -- here and all other reviews -- are meaningless as they don't relate to a camera but to a camera's settings.

6) "All the MJPEG settings record using a 30p frame rate, which produced very smooth, quick motion. In fact, the motion was much quicker than we expected to see from 30p."

An object can change its rate of travel QUICKLY or SLOWLY, but the rate a camera shoots has NOTHING to with how an object's motion appears to change rate. Motion at 24fps is not, of course, "slower." Nor, of course, is motion "quicker" at 60fps.

The only way to change the appearance of motion is to shoot at one rate and playback at another rate. This is the way one gets SLOW motion.

The CI reviewss all make this error. What they may be trying to say is that with low sampling rates one will see Motion Sampling Judder -- which doesn't relate to a camera but to a camera's settings.

7) "When the video is played back, it has the slow, cinematic look of a 24p mode. In actuality, however, the video is captured at 60i and then down-converted to 24p inside the camera (much like Panasonic's Digital Cinema Mode on its consumer camcorders)."

NOPE: CMOS chips capture progressively. And, while 24p may look "cinematic" it does not look SLOW.

8) "Recording with MJPEG compression on the GH1 produced entirely different results than AVCHD."

So what are these "results?" Lower quality? Less sensitivity? If, by chance, you mean something about MOTION then the difference has nothing at all to with AVCHD verses M-JPEG, but once again the difference in frame capture rate which has nothing to with any specific camera.

9) "It captures video at 20 frames per second, which is quite slow, ..."

When talking about a FREQUENCY the word to use is LOW and not SLOW.

Moreover, "... you can definitely notice its speed lagging in our motion test."

An object may fall behind another object and therefore be said to be LAGGING, but SPEED itself can't LAG. LAG WHAT?

10) "We're disappointed that Canon didn't offer a 24p mode in any of its recording settings. Even though the Canon T1i's motion looks good by some accounts (it has very little blur and artifacting), the speed of its 20p frame rate is just too slow."

If it LOOKS GOOD then it can't really be TOO SLOW. What 20fps is -- is a non-standard frame-rate which happens to be too LOW. (And, WHO is the "by some accounts?" Or, did you mean to say "... the Canon T1i's motion looks good because it has very little blur and artifacting ...."

11) "The Nikon D5000 probably has the worst motion of the video-capable DSLRs we've tested." Wouldn't that depend on who is MOVING the cameras? :)

12) "... it isn't capable of matching the motion on the HDC-HS300..." YOU MEAN "... it isn't capable of matching the motion captured by the HDC-HS300."

13) "The interlaced frame rate does produce some blur and trailing, but the motion is much smoother than any video-capable DSLR is capable of at a 1920 x 1080 resolution."

Of course it is because none of the DSLR's shoot Full HD at 60fps.

14) "AT 24P, the camera needed 17 lux of light to reach 50 IRE on our waveform monitor—an amount that's nearly double what the Panasonic HDC-HS300 needed AT ??FPS.

In the camera's 60p record mode (720/60p) it needed even more light, 36 lux, to reach 50 IRE. Testing the 720/30p record mode, which uses the MJPEG codec instead of AVCHD, 31 lux of light was needed."

While you are presenting sensitivity as a function of capture rate, the differences MAY well be from the shutter-speeds AUTO SELECTED by the camera at each rate. Since you fail to note the shutter-speeds, we are left in the dark.

15) "but the quality is not as good (due to the lower resolution)."

NOT EXACTLY. Most, if not all, scientific tests show that at typical viewing distances with typical HDTV screen sizes -- it's not possible for the human eye to SEE the difference between 1920x1080 and 1280x720. Thus, if most viewers will never SEE a resolution difference, how can one resolution offer more QUALITY than another.

Moreover, even when screen and viewing are arranged so viewers can SEE a difference in resolution -- a difference in quality is not as simple as you make out it to be. That's because 720p60 has 2 times the TEMPORAL RESOLUTION as 1080i60 while 1080i60 has 2 times the SPATIAL RESOLUTION. So who gets to define which aspect of video is the definition of QUALITY. Best to leave out these kind of evaluative comments and report on the measured differences.

16) "Of course, the GH1 still doesn't come close to handling as well as a dedicated camcorder..."

Are you comparing the GH1 to a pro camcorder or to one of the fleet of "too tiny with no VF or manual controls" consumer camcorders? For anyone who grew-up shooting with an SLR, the GH1 is far more natural for shooting anything. Again, an evaluation that says more about your experience than it does about the camera.

PS: your assumption that "most" folks will shoot at 24p to get maximum resolution is flawed. That's because the GH1 has severe compression artifacts (loss of detail) when capturing fast motion at 24p. (Something you fail to note.)

Therefore, were your review to have pointed this out, enlightened shooters would use 720p60. Which is why Sharpness and Noise should have been reported for 720p60.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; July 17th, 2009 at 06:00 PM.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #12
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But how do you reconcile this with the previous DVX MTS files that look good?? I just don't know. There's a 5D vs. GH1 vimeo comparison over in the 5D forum here that also doesn't look very good for the GH1.
]

It makes me wonder if there aren't some Quality Control issues. Maybe it's luck of the draw whether you get a noisy or clean camera.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:58 AM   #13
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Steve - this is nail-on-the-head stuff, and congratulations for fine tooth-combing (down to apostrophe level) the sloppy evaluation and writing of this particular GH1 'test'.

Love the bit about us being left in the dark. Well done lad; I for one appreciate what you've done and flinch every time I see such nonsense put out as fact.

tom.
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