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Pansonic Lumix DMC-GH1 photo samples

A discussion of the photo quality of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1.

Lori Grunin
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Lori Grunin
335447452440SIC1.jpg
1 of 6 Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET

Noise

Up to and including ISO 400, the GH1 produces relatively clean images. Though it's a bit difficult to see in this sample, there's a perceptible drop off in noise suppression quality between ISO 400 and ISO 800; if you look at the tape measure to the left of the "20" (as well as scattered around the text) you can see some of the yellow streaks that pervade photos at ISO 800 and beyond. Unfortunately, the noise tools in the SilkyPix raw software that Panasonic bundles doesn't improve much on the in-camera JPEG processing. You can also see the incipient problems in the nonuniform density of the text, where the yellow blotches get progressively more noticeable until ISO 800, after which the noise reduction gets aggressive.
335447452440SIC6.jpg
2 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

High ISO noise

Here you can see the yellow streaking that appears in the GH1's low-light shots because of poor processing in the blue channel (the grayscale inset). 1/25 second, f5.3, ISO 800.
335447452440SIC2.jpg
3 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Sharpness

The lens which ships with the GH1, the 14-140mm f4-5.8, produces relatively sharp images.
335447452440SIC3.jpg
4 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Distortion

At its widest, the 14-140mm (28-280mm equivalent) kit lens displays a bit of distortion, which looks as if is corrected in camera--note how the parallel lines get squeezed towards the left, but don't curve.
335447452440SIC4.jpg
5 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Color

The GH1 produces bright, saturated colors that are relatively accurate.
335447452440SIC7.jpg
6 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Exposure

The GH1 does a very good job with metering and exposure, rarely blowing out highlights (within reason) This was shot with the 7-14mm f4 lens (14-28mm equivalent).

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