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Lumix GH1

Updated on November 11, 2010

Lumix Gh1 the best alternative to the Canon 5D mk ii?

Yes, it sounds silly. But this new Panasonic Lumix DMC GH1 really is causing a stir.
And although it may be smaller and in theory far superior to the ever popular Canon, recent events have led some to believe that this little Lumix GH1 gem has got a lot of potential.

I thought it would be good to put together a simplified article to let you all know about it.

panasonic lumix dmc gh1
panasonic lumix dmc gh1

Canon 5D mk ii Vs Lumix Gh1

On paper it might not seem like much of a contest. As a photo camera the Canon 5D is far superior. Without going too deeply into the tech specs, being a full size DSLR with a 21 megapixel CMOS sensor, the still images produced by this baby are stunning.
Plus, you can of course use any other Canon SLR or DSLR lenses with this body, making it quite versatile in that respect.

However, as you have probably heard, the real reason that everyone is going mad for the Canon 5d mk ii is because it was the first DSLR to prove that they can be used to produce high end high definition video.

The Canon 5D mk ii - Video camera of choice?

It may sound crazy, but a lot of film makers are now trading in their hefty video cameras for this surprisingly innocent looking camera.
And in the right hands with the right equipment, the results are astounding. In fact, a season finale for award winning US drama 'House' was even shot on these. That's how good they are.

So I'll go out and buy one right?

Well, if you're getting into film and you want a camera that can give professional results, the cost is pretty low in comparisson to some of the 'industry standard' video cameras. However, in the UK you're still looking at paying over £2000 for the camera and body. ANd that doesn't include any other essential additions.

Canon 5D mk ii
Canon 5D mk ii

That seems like a lot of money

Well, that's where the Panasonic Lumix GH1 comes in. Sure as a stills camera, it can't really compete as its 4/3-type Live MOS sensor only kicks out 12.1 megapixels.
But, if you're looking for a smaller, more compact camera that can give high quality video at a much lower price than the 5D, then this is for you.

And best of all, a recent hack has unleashed even more of the GH1's hidden power!

The Lumix GH1 steals the show!

Yes, the GH1 already had some little advantages over the 5D. One major advantage being its ability to continuously autofocus while filming.
But the image (until now) was inferior to the Canon as the GH1 just didn't seem to have the hardware to compete with the main contender.

The Tester13 firmware hack

UNTIL someone known as Tester13 managed to hack the firmware of the GH1 and bring it right up to speed with the 5D.
To cut a long story short, the hack allows the camera to record video at much higher bitrates. Potentially even higher than the Canon 5D. And although the smaller lens and other physical factors might prevent the Lumix GH1 from being a superior camera, this hack really does change things.
It's now hard to understand why anyone but the professional (and rich) film makers would want to spend all that money on the Canon when the Panasonic has so much to offer for the price.

Which would you choose?

The Canon 5D mk ii or the Panasonic Lumix DMC GH1 which would you choose?

See results

The Conclusion

So unless you really do have a massive amount of disposable income, or a lot of Canon equipment which would be compatible with the Canon 5D mk ii, it's hard to see why you would want to buy one anymore.

For less than £800 you can now buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC GH1, with lens kit and hack the firmware to give you a most powerful and comparitively cheap HD video camera, that can take some nice high quality stills to boot.

And how do I know? I have been researching all this over the past few weeks and intend to buy one myself in the near future.

I'll be sure to let you all know how I get on.

Some footage from the hacked GH1

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