Panasonic debuts fast-focusing Lumix GH2

The new Lumix GH2 can auto focus in 0.1 seconds, says Panasonic

Panasonic's Lumix GH2 digital still camera, the latest in its line-up of cameras with removable lenses, will go on sale next month and features a speedy auto-focus that takes just a tenth of a second to work. Panasonic says that's the fastest auto-focus yet for any camera of its type.

It can capture 5 pictures in burst shooting mode via a 16-megapixel image sensor and has high light sensitivity of ISO12,800. It can snap up to 40 pictures per second but that speed comes at the cost of resolution. With a compatible lens it can also shoot 3D pictures, Panasonic said in a statement.

The GH2 can capture full-HD (1080i) video in the AVCHD format at 60 frames per second. It cannot shoot 3D video.

The camera is based on the Micro Four Thirds lens mount, which is also used by Olympus. Cameras based on the lens mount are among a growing number of models that combine the compactness of a point-and-shoot with interchangeable lenses.

Until recently users had to put up with a bulky camera if they wanted the flexibility that comes with interchangeable lenses, but these new cameras do away with the reflexive mirror and have an image sensor placed directly behind the lens. The sensor provides both a live preview and captures the image.

It will go on sale in Japan on Oct. 29 and will cost around ¥100,000 (US$1,166). The camera will also be offered packaged with one of two lenses: a 14-140mm Vario HD lens or a 14-42mm Vario lens. The former will cost ¥150,000 and the latter ¥110,000 in Japan.

Launch details and pricing for other markets is expected to be announced when the Photokina camera show gets underway in Germany later on Tuesday.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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