Panasonic Lumix GH2: First 3D Ready interchangeable lens camera

Right on cue, Panasonic has announced the launch of the Panasonic Lumix GH2, a hybrid touch-control digital camera compatible with the world's first interchangeable 3D lens.

The new Lumix GH2 will like its predecessors sport the Micro Four Thirds standard and as debuted at IFA at the beginning of the month, will come with a 16 megapixel sensor, 3-inch touchscreen swivel screen and the ability to take 3D photos with Panasonic's new interchangeable 3D lens.

"The LUMIX GH2 is Panasonic's most professional-level DSLM camera yet, giving users the option to be more creative than ever, from recording video in full HD with cinematic effects to taking 3D photos with our new lens," said Darin Pepple, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company.

Building on the predecessor, the Lumix GH1 – the Lumix GH2 can now record full HD 1920 x 1080 videos in smooth 60i, doubling the sensor output from 25p/24p to 50p/60p2.

The camera also supports 1080/24p native mode at 24 Mbps, the highest in AVCHD format, for richly expressive video.

Other video features in the LUMIX GH2 include:

- New Cinema mode: Record video with rich cinema-like gradation. Added as an option of popular Film mode.
- New Variable Movie mode: Record video in variable frame rate – 80, 160, 200 and 300 percent – speeding up or slowing frames for more creative videos.
- Touch auto focus (AF): Point at the subject on the screen and shift focus to make it stand out against the background.
- Still photos at (16:9): Instantly take a 14MP photo, while recording videos and also save a frame of video as a photo during playback.
- Record high quality sound: With Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator and optional accessory Stereo Microphone (DMW-MS1).
- HDMI output: Monitor images on a separate screen while still recording video.

The LUMIX GH2 also features faster AF, reducing detection time for focusing to approximately 0.1 second by doubling the drive speed from 60 frames per second to 120 frames per second say Panasonic as well as shooting in burst mode up to 5fps.

Panasonic's new compact 3D lens for the LUMIX G Micro System features two optical systems installed within the diameter of the lens mount, creating stereo images from the left and right lenses that are then processed with a 3D image processing system.

But wait there's more:

The LUMIX GH2 includes 22 different shooting modes still shots and 10 different modes for video, including the new Cinema mode, and set the contrast, sharpness and saturation levels for each.

For still photos the LUMIX GH2 features the My Color mode with a total of seven preset effects – Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome, Dynamic Art, and Silhouette – while also keeping the Custom mode, which lets users manually set the colour, brightness and saturation levels and store their favourite settings.

The Panasonic LUMIX GH2 will be available in black and silver models in early December in three different kit options for a suggested retail price of: $899.95 (Body only); $999.95 (Body with lens LUMIX G VARIO 14-42 mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.); $1,499.95 (Body with lens LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S.).

The 3D LUMIX G 12.5mm / F12 (H-FT012) lens will cost $249.95.

Check out our hands on pictures of the GH2, live from Photokina