Panasonic Discloses DMC-GH1 Pricing, Launch in Japan

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Panasonic launched its DMC-GH1 hybrid camera in Japan this week and with it came some news missing from the U.S. launch two weeks ago: the price and release date.

The camera is a follow-on to the company's DMC-G1, which was launched last September and was the first camera based on the new Micro Four Thirds System lens mount, and adds the ability to record video at high-definition resolution. It was previewed first at the PMA show in Las Vegas in early March.

On Wednesday Panasonic announced it in Japan and said the camera with a 45-200-millimeter lens will cost around ¥150,000 (US$1,530). That's about ¥30,000 more expensive than the DMC-G1 kit version that came with a 45-140mm lens.

In Japan it will go on sale from April 24. Panasonic still doesn't have pricing or launch details for other markets.

The new camera was promised back in September when the original model was first announced. It shoots full HD resolution video in the AVCHD format, that is used by many hard-disk camcorders. Video is pulled from the camera's image sensor at 24 frames per second, which is less than the 25 or 30 frames per second used for TV so it's not quite as good as a video camera.

For still images the camera shoots at 12-megapixel resolution and both images and video are stored on an SD card.

Like the G1, the GH1 is aimed at casual users who want to take better pictures than is possible with a compact camera but don't want a bulky SLR.

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