View Full Version : HELP me decide! - - - - - STILL CAMERA or ?

06-06-2009, 03:00 PM
Please, HELP me decide!


I'm starting to wonder if I can justify this camera purchase as a STILL camera?
{ with hopefully, video improvements to come }

I wrote it off for the video, for now. The 5dk2 also, since it might be updated.

Then I realized I still need a new STILL camera. There LOTS of choices in
that area, WAY cheaper than the GH-1.


1. form factor - SMALL. I prefer a sub compact, to a dslr.

2 ZOOM - I prefer 20x zoom. { would a multiplier work well here, or not? }

3 VIDEO - there's lots of compact cameras that take good video now. Of course they are mostly NOT large sensor. But some take 1080i, 30p. even 1080p

4. FEATURES - why is this a superior STILL camera? { if it is } Would you get this as a STILL camera, and use the video as an EXTRA Feature?

5 RAW - some compacts DO have raw. I probably wouldn't care though.
since I want speed of use.

If I spend only $ 500 on a compact, I have more money for upcoming video
cameras. If I spend $ 1500 on this, I don't know. Who loves this for

Of course, the worth for me, would be a MAJOR codec update. {or hack} If it's NEVER updated, till a gh2, won't I have to buy the WHOLE package again { since they don't split the lens?}

Any opinions?

[Maybe no one can answer, till many more cameras are in hands?]


John Caballero
06-06-2009, 03:30 PM
Please, HELP me decide!

I am sorry my friend but it is your call based on all the info running at full speed thru this forum and most importantly your own testing of the camera. You can't live life thru others. And the codec as it is right now and for the price is good enough to do some nice work. You can't judge its quality unless you do your own knowledgeable shooting with the cam.

06-06-2009, 04:00 PM
Well, it's a fine stills camera but it all depends on what you're comparing it to. If you're comparing it to full frame DSLRs then there's no contest. When you compare to to cheaper APS-C DSLRs then you're maybe in the ballpark. I have a Canon 30D with some very spendy glass on it. I haven't done a direct comparison yet but my thinking is that in good light the GH1 will be its equal if not better. I think low light performance will favor the Canon.

Zoom, you must be talking about compact or SLR-like stills cameras because no SLR comes with a 20x optical zoom lens. The GH1's image quality will most likely dwarf any camera that you can buy with 20x optical zoom like a Panny FZ28 or any other superzoom camera. On the one hand you're cross-shopping it with a 5D mk II and on the other you want 20x zoom. There aren't 20x zoom lenses for the 5D II. Most good quality 10x zoom lenses for Canon DSLRs cost more than the whole Panasonic GH1 kit.

RAW isn't necessarily any slower to shoot than JPEG. In my experience it's pretty much a wash unless you're really run off a bunch of shots on the motor drive.

The features in favor of the GH1 as a stills camera is the facial recognition focusing, good focus tracking and swivel LCD screen. Having better gear that's harder to use usually means getting worse shots unless you're really willing to commit yourself to it. Having a camera/lens combo that weighs twice as much and requires carrying another additional lens means a lot of folks end up leaving their DSLR rigs at home in favor of convenience. It happens to everyone and it's happened to me as well. Sometimes you just don't feel like hauling all that stuff around and swapping out lenses when all you really want is good quality images and a flexible range lens.

The real disadvantage seems to be in low-light compared to traditional DSLRs. I don't think this camera will perform as well in low-light situations, but I'm likely going to pick up either a native-format fast prime when it becomes available and/or an adapter and some fast manual focus primes from other older camera systems like the Canon FD series or the Voiglaender lenses for Leica M.