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Panasonic GH1 vs G2 - still IQ quality advice needed

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by daveproctor, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. daveproctor

    daveproctor Mu-43 Regular

    May 27, 2010
    I recently moved back from a big DSLR outfit to a Panasonic MFT kit with a G2 and a GF1

    I've never really done much video but used the G2 and my 14-140 to film the firework display at my brother in law's birthday party. I was amazed by the ease of use and quality but it has set me thinking I would have been better buying a used GH1 for its video capability as this is something I'd like to do more of.

    Has anyone tried both the GH1 and G2 and is there any/much difference in image quality for stills? I am looking to hack the GH1 for optimal video quality but don't really want to go down this route if the newer G2 is better for still photography.
  2. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    IMO the GH1 is a better camera than the G2 in all respects. The sensor has better performance (compare them at DxO to see the difference), and it comes with multi-aspect which allows you to maintain angle of view in your photos. That also means you get slightly wider photos in 16:9 and 3:2 aspect ratios than any of the other non-GH bodies. The only thing the G2 has is a slightly higher ISO setting, but IMO it's over-processed and not very good. The G2 is the original m4/3 G1 sensor with an improved processor. The G2 firmware also allows you to AF with all the other 4/3 lenses out there, whereas the GH1 is limited in that regard.
  3. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    ~1hr north of Portland OR
    Jim R
    This is what prompted me to get a closeout GH1; the DxO score is impressive, and the multi-aspect sensor sounds worthwhile. Then I tested it against my G1 and learned how someone else's test scores compare to my two sensors: the DxO difference of 10 points is in no way visible in my shots. Dynamic range, low light and overall score told me the GH1 was decently better than my G1 and my K-7. I tested all three indoors in RAW mode, let Picasa do the generic conversion and saw nothing of note at iso800, and iso2500 shots that all cleaned up nicely with 3 minutes in Elements 9. Blown highlights and dark areas are all within my personal error bands. Results can be read at my blog (see my sig line) but visible on my picasa site.

    Here's a later test, 45-200 tripod and deeply underexposed at iso160.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    What I see is the GH1 has color-neutral noise and banding, the G1 has chroma noise biased a bit red so a 'warmer' image, and lesser banding. These are strong crops where I exposed to read lettering on the bright part of the mailbox, so the noise is very much exaggerated. It all cleans up fine in post-proc, and shooting jpg shows none of the noise patterns. The NR that I need in Elements requires more chroma NR on the GH1, but results are what matters and both cameras give me images I like a lot. The K-7 does too, but this is a :43: forum.. :biggrin: While my tests were decently rigorous (to my standards), people who want to dissect my work could find flaws at some point - I'm sure that Picasa is not the perfect 'clean room' RAW developer, but it's good enough for me.

    Oh yes - the multi-aspect sensor should appeal to purists, and I love the concept. I simply find the difference to be irrelevant for what I shoot. I believe the G2 and G1 have the same sensor, and I'd be fine with a G2 for what small amount of video I expect to do. In fact I've ordered a G2 from the Club site, and (assuming they didn't oversell & leave me hanging) I expect my GH1 to be in the classified ads soon. It's a fine camera, video is amazing.. but I've 'developed' :rolleyes:  a pattern for RAW processing with the G1, and would prefer to stick with that. I also like the G2 having both focus switches on the left, control wheel on the back.. and am indifferent to touch screen but willing to use it for AF now and then.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    Thx Jim R. I wondered where the G2 stood in comparison to my GH2. You have, in a roundabout way answered my question. And nice blog. I am now following.
  5. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    ~1hr north of Portland OR
    Jim R
    Thanks! I'm not outrageous, so nobody follows me for long :tongue:
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