Panasonic Adds HiDef Audio to Video in the GH1


Canon made headlines with the 5D Mk. II’s ability to shoot high definition video in 1080p. This was a major development as it allowed photographers the ability to get a big movie look to the videos shot. This was because it brought lenses, shutter and aperture settings and depth of field to video. And it looked like a million. Panasonic sees the handwriting on the wall that convergence is the watchword in photography. But they’ve upped the ante to the next level with the Lumix GH1, which can not only shoot 1080p video, but it also adds Dolby digital audio to the mix, meaning photographers have a serious movie studio in their camera.

But unlike the 5d Mk II, which shoots at 21mega pixels, and costs $3,000 to boot, the Lumix GH1 incorporates a standard, and economical 12.1 mp. It shoots video in AVCHD at a cinematic 24 frames per second, or at what panasonic calls “smooth HD” at 60 frames per second with auto focus. Changing to video is also one button easy as pressing the Motion Picture button instantly moves to video recording. Creative Movie mode allows for manual settings, or iA mode which gives users the point and shoot capability they are used to. And iA mode also provides facial recognition to keep subjects in proper focus and in the right light.

And what’ s great is that the camera has not one, but TWO CPUs which enables the HD Video and Dolby Audio to process far faster on the fly. It also means recording in AVCHD for as long as the camera has storage capability.