For this trip I tried out an interesting new (well, actually almost 2 years old) camera. Panasonic’s GH1 is actually a very capable camera. In good light the image quality is very close to my Canon 5D (mark I – more than 5 years old, but with a larger sensor). The battery lasts a very long time (I lost 1 tick on the battery meter on a 5 hour hike in -25 weather while taking 332 photos). I had problems with my 5d battery dying, although, to be fair I have an old third party battery for my Canon. The 100-300 lens for the GH1 is a very sharp lens with good image stabilization. For a small light telephoto setup, it is great.
The one area where is fails completely is at night. The previous night photo I took with my 5d turned out pretty well, while it was impossible to get anything with the panasonic. I might have been able to get something if I had a lens for it with a focus distance indicator, but with the 14-140 lens there is no way to focus a night shot. The screen was completely black, and of course autofocus would not work on any camera. The photos are also much more grainy than my 5d when long exposures are used.
Here’s one area where the GH1 does better than anything else around – telephoto (at a reasonable cost and weight). Flowing water and ice in Johnston Canyon. Taken with a 600mm equivalent lens.