The Good Interchangeable lenses; comfortable to use; well constructed; excellent low-ISO photo quality; very nice 720p video; fast autofocus; 10X zoom kit lens; flip-and-twist LCD; mic input.
The Bad Expensive; middling high ISO sensitivity image quality for the price; slow kit lens; EVF implementation makes burst shooting difficult.
The Bottom Line If you're willing to pay a premium to be on the cutting edge of digital photography and video, and as long as you don't shoot sports or in dark venues, then you'll likely love the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1. But if you're simply attracted by the not-to-be-underestimated flexibility of interchangeable lenses with autofocus and depth-of-field control for video, wait for the price to fall a few hundred bucks.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1K
More than any other camera I've reviewed lately, my opinion formation about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 inevitably comes back to price. It's fast, but not as fast as other cameras that cost a lot less. It has great photo quality, but its high ISO sensitivity photos don't match that of comparably priced (or cheaper) dSLRs. It supports video capture, and delivers the most camcorder-like recording experience I've seen to date from a still camera. However, does the interchangeable lens capability for video make it worth the price of a comparable HD camcorder, especially since there's currently only one video-optimized lens available?
The GH1 ships with the Lumix G Vario HD f4-5.8 14-140mm lens. Though the camera body is compatible with all Micro Four Thirds lenses, as well as Four Thirds lenses via an adapter, only the HD lenses support continuous autofocus during movie capture and they are designed to focus more quietly than standard lenses. We also tested the camera with the new 7-14mm f4 lens, which isn't stabilized and not video optimized. (Here's a complete list of lens compatibility for the G1 and GH1.) I like the lenses quite a bit, but couldn't help wishing they had slightly wider maximum apertures and could focus more closely.