Hands On Panasonic Lumix GH1 1080p HD Video Shootin' Micro Four Thirds Camera

Two things make Panasonic's Lumix GH1 Micro Four Thirds camera stand out from its G1 forebear: The mondo 14-140mm kit lens and its 1080p full HD video powahs.

We couldn't pull any video off the cam—it is a prototype, after all—but we did notice while playing around with it that even on its dinky LCD screen, the video produced by its 60 frame-per-second 720p mode is noticeably smoother and less jerky with fast motion than 24fps 1080p mode, so it's what you're gonna wanna shoot your kids' soccer games or your home sex movies with.

Besides video, the camera is otherwise identical to the G1, a Panny rep confirmed—even the screen is the same. And the electronic viewfinder still sucks. =( It should theoretically, he said, have slightly better noise reduction, but that's about it for other differences.

They're being stingy with the price and release date. All the rep would venture is by summer, and for under $US1500, neither of which is very helpful—-it better be out by summer, and it better be under $US1500, by God. But for now, it will be the cheapest DSLR still camera with swappable lenses to shoot 1080p HD video, which counts for something.

PMA is an annual show where we get to see tomorrow's digital cameras—the ones that'll be populating pockets and purses for the rest of the year. We'll be here for the next couple of days.

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