BrickHouse Photo School

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Posts Tagged ‘Camera

Panasonic Adds Lumix GH-1, Offers HD Recording Capability

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

Las Vegas, NV – Panasonic recently introduced the DMC-GH1, the newest member of the company’s revolutionary LUMIX G Micro System – a new digital interchangeable lens camera system that delivers professional-level features and performance in a compact and easy-to-use camera body.

Compatible with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, the new LUMIX GH1 features advanced video photography functions, such as the ability to record High Definition (HD) AVCHD 1080p/24p video. In addition, the new LUMIX GH1 comes with a newly developed long-zoom interchangeable lens – the LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. This lens was specifically designed to support HD movie recording and features a silent motor and continuous auto focusing (AF) capability; two features which distinguish the LUMIX GH1 from DSLRs that offer HD video recording capabilities.

“Photographers of all levels – professionals, amateurs and beginners – will be stunned by the range of creative possibilities that the LUMIX GH1 creates in the world of high-quality photography and HD video. Users will be equally amazed by the camera’s easy-to-use design and small size,” said David Briganti, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “Beyond its creative potential, the LUMIX GH1, a sister product to the award-winning LUMIX G1, is also innovative and differentiates itself from the pack by recording High Definition video with continuous AF, an indispensable feature for practical video recording.”
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In late 2008, Panasonic redefined the traditional DSLR category with its launch of the Panasonic LUMIX G1 – a digital, interchangeable lens camera system that takes the radical step of eliminating the large, internal mirror structure that is currently contained in all traditional DSLR cameras. This innovation allows for dramatically smaller camera body and lens sizes and permits many new, advanced consumer features such as LUMIX G1 “Live View Finder”.

The new LUMIX GH1 provides cutting-edge video recording features, including the ability to record high-resolution full HD (1920 x 1080) video at 24 fps or smooth HD video (1280 x 720) movie at 60 fps using an AVCHD format (MPEG-4/H.264). The AVCHD format provides the important benefit of doubling the HD quality recording time compared with Motion JPEG. The LUMIX GH1 hosts a dedicated video record button on the back of the camera which lets users instantly start recording videos, even while shooting still photos – removing the fear of potentially missing a must-see video moment. The LUMIX GH1 also records video in high-quality stereo sound via Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, the global standard of audio recording. An optional stereo microphone (DMW-MS1) is also available to achieve a more intensive sound recording experience. Finally, a convenient Wind Cut function is provided to help to block out distracting video background noise.

Like the LUMIX G1, the LUMIX GH1 features the Live View Finder system which enables something that simply is not possible with conventional DSLR cameras – the ability to preview the effects of camera settings (e.g., exposure, aperture, shutter speed) before taking the photo. This helps take the guesswork out of the camera setting process and helps users ensure that every photo they capture comes out exactly as they envisioned.

The brilliant 1,440,000-dot equivalent Live View Finder system can also display information settings that a user can see without removing their eyes from the subject.  Furthermore, a built-in eye sensor automatically switches on the viewfinder when the user looks into it, then switches it off and turns on the swivel 3.0-inch large 460,000-dot high-resolution LCD when the user looks away from the viewfinder. The 60-frames-per-second Live View is made possible by the Live MOS sensor, which takes real-time signals directly from the image sensor and sends them continuously to the LCD.  Both the Live View Finder and LCD provide a 100% field of view – allowing the user to accurately frame and compose a shot from most any position.

The LUMIX GH1 kit lens – the LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. –provides a broad focal length range of 28-280mm (35mm camera equivalent) and supports continuous AF using the contrast AF system for both photo and movie capture. The low-noise lens design also seamlessly supports video recording by minimizing the mechanical sound generated by AF/AE actions.

At the core of the LUMIX GH1 lies a newly developed 12.1-megapixel high speed Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine HD, which features twin CPUs for outstanding processing capabilities. The Live MOS sensor is capable of high-speed readout over four channels to be compatible with full-HD movie recording. This sensor is also advantageous for photo recording with a high signal-to-noise ratio thanks to the new circuit structure that is unaffected by the noise generated in each of the circuits. This results in crisp photos – even those taken at high ISO levels. The multi-aspect type sensor allows users to take photos in 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratios with the same angle of view.  The Venus Engine HD is also energy efficient, supporting long periods of AVCHD video recording on a single battery charge.

In addition to the digital camera’s HD video recording capability, the DMC-GH1 features the LUMIX Creative Movie mode which lets the user manually set the shutter speed and aperture, making their videos more creative and representative of their own personal video style preference. Changing the shutter speed gives the videos a special look, particularly suitable for shooting fast-moving subjects. Controlling the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at varying distances, so the user can focus on the foreground and blur the background – or vice versa.

While the LUMIX DMC-GH1 has cutting-edge still image and video capture features, the LUMIX GH1 is also incredibly easy-to-use, thanks to Panasonic’s iA (Intelligent Auto) mode – a user-friendly setting made popular in the LUMIX line of digital point-and-shoot camera products. Panasonic’s iA mode is a suite of technologies which engage automatically (no settings needed). The latest addition to the iA suite of features is Face Recognition, a feature that directs the camera to prioritize focus and exposure on a specific face that that the user had previously registered in the camera. This invaluable function makes it especially easy to take sharp and beautifully exposed images of things the user values most in their photos – the user’s friends and family.

Panasonic’s iA mode offers other innovative features which help deliver consistently outstanding photos: O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) to help reduce blurring from hand-shake; Intelligent ISO Control to help limit motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken; AF Tracking that lets the camera lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves; Intelligent Exposure which optimizes the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights, and helps ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully; and Intelligent Scene Selector which automatically detects the five most common shooting situations – Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery and Close-up – and switches to the appropriate Scene mode.

Best of all, the benefits of Panasonic’s iA mode extend to motion image recording on the DMC-GH1. For example, the LUMIX GH1 motion iA includes O.I.S. and Face Detection, which automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion. Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows. Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Close-up, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the environment.

The Contrast AF system adopted by the LUMIX GH1 is accurate, easy-to-use and fast. Users can choose from a wide range of AF modes, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, and AF Tracking. To help keep the images free of spots from dust and particles, the Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction system helps prevent foreign contaminants from adhering to the image sensor.

In addition to the new LUMIX G lenses, the DMC-GH1 and LUMIX G Micro System is compatible with any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds standard. This gives users access to the entire range of Four Thirds lenses. Additional Micro Four Thirds lenses will be announced in the future, giving users a large, diverse line of high-performance lenses to add to their photographic toolboxes. With the LUMIX G Micro System and the growing assortment of lenses becoming available, the creative possibilities are endless.

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Written by jeremyparce

March 9, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Sigma Introduces 14 Megapixel SD15 Digital SLR Camera.

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

The newly announced Sigma SD15. (Photo Credit: Sigma)

The newly announced Sigma SD15. (Photo Credit: Sigma)

The newest edition to the SD series of SLR cameras is powered by the 14 megapixel Foveon X3 direct-image sensor making it possible to capture all primary RGB colors at each and every pixel location and is arranged in three layers. The developing SD15 incorporates the “True II” new image processing engine. It provides high resolution power and reproduces high definition images, rich in gradation and impressive three-dimensional detail. Incorporation of the large 3.0 inch LCD monitor and improved processing speed provide ease of operation.

Since October 2002, Sigma has introduced three digital SLR cameras, the SD9, SD10 and SD14. In March, 2008, Sigma also introduced a high end compact digital camera, the DP1 which uses the same large image sensor as is featured in Sigma’s digital SLR cameras. They have established a strong following from a wide range of photographers, both amateur and professional. Photographers expressed a desire to incorporate the image processing engine “TRUE”, which is used in the DP1, into a digital SLR camera. In order to meet this demand, the SD15, with the high resolution direct image sensor, has been designed around the new “TRUE II” image processing engine. This combination delivers superior image quality as well as improved processing speed, operation and performance.

Written by jeremyparce

March 3, 2009 at 12:45 pm