Advertisements

For everything that Four Thirds User doesn't cover; Digital Photography Now, the general photography site run by the same people who run this site!

Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens

Panasonic Lumix replaces its flagship camera and introduces three new lenses, including a 3D optic

This story has been syndicated from our sibling site, Digital Photography Now

The new Panasonic Lumix GH2 fitted with Panasonic's unique 3D stereoscopic interchangeable lens for creating 3D content.

Buoyed by market data which indicates that Panasonic Lumix and Micro Four Thirds in general are the clear market leader in mirror-less interchangeable lens cameras, Panasonic strengthened their hand further today by unveiling a new flagship for the Micro Four Thirds Panasonic Lumix G-Micro range, the GH2. In addition, Panasonic formally launched the Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 pancake lens (28mm equivalent) and Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 Mega OIS telephoto zoom lens. But the show-stealer was the Lumix G 12.5mm f/12 stereoscopic 3D interchangeable lens.

The GH1 gets a new 16MP Live MOS sensor, and a new Venus V1 Full HD image processor.

For anyone who thought the Four Thirds sensor format was too small, Panasonic has endowed the GH2 with a 16 megapixels sensor. Despite the hike from just 12 megapixels, Panasonic says it has managed to increase dynamic range performance compared with the old GH1's sensor.

It can also pump out its data twice as fast and the ISO sensitivity range has been boosted to a maximum of ISO 12800 compared with the GH1's ISO 3200.

Mamoru Yoshida, who headed up the team that started Panasonic Lumix, was on hand to introduce the latest fruits of the labours of that team.

The GH2 is capable of shooting full HD (1920x1280) video at 50 frames per second in 50i mode. Improved image processing performance is claimed to have improved video image quality by 20% as well as resulting in smoother action.

Meanwhile, the GH2's electronic viewfinder has been widened, increasing the number of dots to 1.53 million compared to the GH1's 1.44 million. The wider screen better accommodates the GH2's over-size 'multi-aspect ratio' sensor that does not force the cropping of the frame in some wide aspect ration modes.

Besides the new 3D lens, Panasonic officially launched the Micro Four Thirds Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 pancake lens (28mm equivalent) and Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 Mega OIS telephoto zoom lens.

Logically, Panasonic has included the touch-screen articulating LCD first introduced with the G2 back in the spring. Some controls have also been rearranged.

But it's the 3D capability of the GH2, when used with the new Lumix G 3D lens, that Panasonic were keen to emphasise. Although Hollywood is now in the grip of 3D movie production, Panasonic believes that this alone may not be enough to maximise sales of 3D TVs.

With an eye on promoting the sales of its 3D flat panel TVs, Panasonic sees user-created 3D content as the way forward.

But if you can create your own 3D video and stills, the incentive to purchase a 3D TV will be much greater. As the boss of the Panasonic division responsible for still and video cameras remarked: "Keep your precious moments in 3D."

Panasonic now says that its contrast detect AF, once thought of as the Achilles heel of mirror-less interchangeable lens cameras, is actually faster than the AF found in many DSLRs.

One area that many felt would hold back mirror-less cameras from the stated ambition of rendering DSLRs obsolete for many photographers was the issue of autofocus speed. DSLRs use a complex system of semi-silvered mirrors and dedicated focus sensors to range-find focus quickly. This isn't possible with mirror-less cameras and finding focus using the main imaging sensor through contrast detection has, until recently, been considered comparatively slow and inefficient. But Panasonic now claims that its work to refine contrast-detect AF has even made it faster than typical DSLRs.

Ichiro Kitao (left), who heads the team that decides the design and specifications of Lumix cameras, and Mamoru Yoshida, pose with the new GH2 just announced at the press conference.

If sales in Japan are anything to go by, it could simply be a matter of time before we start to see erosion of the lead in the market currently claimed by traditional DSLRs. Panasonic even predicts that mirror-less camera will overtake DSLRs by 2012.

We'll have more from Panasonic later in the week.

 

Reader feedback:

Discuss this story:

Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens

Four Thirds User editorial team Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
Panasonic Lumix has moved to strengthen its grip on the mirror-less or hybrid camera market sector w... (more)

hschnee Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
The GH2 looks very impressive. I look forward to tests and image samples. Ian, did you have a chance... (more)

addieleman Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
Just great, this GH2, especially considering some remarks in a review from SystemKamera-Forum (in Ge... (more)

hschnee Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
No other comments about the GH2? Has the E-5 grabbed all the attention? :confused: I think the GH2 i... (more)

click-click Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
I hope they will have it here, in Toronto, at the Photographic show in 3 weeks. I am going to take a... (more)

Idle_Bull Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
I agree Hal, in fact I think this is more interesting as it's promising some quite big leaps in p... (more)

ReggieB Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
I am glad I just read this post. I am going to be visiting home just over the border from Sarnia... (more)

click-click Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
Here is more detailed info: ... (more)

Alan Clogwyn Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
I'm easgerly awaiting news on the GH2's Image Quality, especially with it's new rather skewed ISO ra... (more)

AdrianF Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
Thanks for posting and look forward to any review:) This is something I'm curious of. I think ... (more)

click-click Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
Just curious - do you consider these lenses much superior to the default 14-140mm lens (in the v... (more)

AdrianF Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
The 14-140 was an amazing breakthrough and for m4/3 as a general purpose video system, it's a rea... (more)

hschnee Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
I found a compatibility chart on one of Panasonic's websites, and it claims that the GH-2 will wo... (more)

AdrianF Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
Well that sounds good. I just tried to take a look but the Panasonic site seems to be down.... (more)

gcogger Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
Hmm... if they won't guarantee accuracy, it's of very limited use!... (more)

hschnee Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
It may be that they're just being conservative. Focusing may be very accurate in almost all cases... (more)

ReggieB Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
I am still hoping they do the adapter with the mirror in it to allow for Phase detection auto-foc... (more)

hschnee Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
An adapter with a mirror doesn't make much sense to me. The idea is clearly to gain the focusing spe... (more)

ReggieB Re: Photokina 2010: Panasonic launches 16MP Lumix GH2 and interchangeable 3D lens
There is a patent out for it, I think Steve posted it originally here, I think filed by Panny. T... (more)

Advertisements