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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 - Design and Features 1

By Gavin Stoker



  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2


Our Score:


User Score:

Additionally, if you choose to opt for the compact £250 3D H-FT012 lens announced by its maker, available as a standalone purchase, MPO files can also be generated, though only viewed in their stereoscopic glory with the aid of a 3D-equipped TV or monitor. MPO and JPEG can handily be shot in tandem if a more readily viewable back up is required, any extended writing time hardly noticeable and file numbers the same yet with a different extension. Though, of course, 3D shots are naturally composed and framed in a different way to 2D, so results don't always work equally well in both formats. Then there's also the fact that resulting JPEGs are a lowly 1,600 x 1,200 pixels when the 3D optic is in use.

Current kit lens options for the GF2 on launch, and which we were able to have a play with, include the camera body plus image stabilised 14-42mm zoom body with non-stabilised 14mm 'pancake' lens for those wanting a solution that will actually squeeze into a jacket pocket, or the body with both lenses, with prices rising incrementally at each stage.

That said, the least expensive set-up option is still around £200 less than the GF1 was on launch, at £600 for GF2 plus the all-encompassing starter option of the 14-42mm zoom, equivalent to 28-84mm in 35mm terms because of the unique properties of the Four Thirds sensor in use. There's no body only purchase option for anyone thinking of swapping their GF1 for the GF2 yet retaining existing lenses, as its maker clearly believes that's not one option likely to be taken.

It's not only on price that Panasonic is looking to broaden the GF series' appeal. Though it reassuringly sports the same heavyweight feel, mostly metal build, the new camera is officially 19 per cent smaller than its forebear, whilst being seven per cent lighter overall. On initial handling it will still appear a bit of a brick to anyone trading up from a slender pocket snapshot - surely the camera's ideal audience. To disguise this a GF camera is available in a range of colours for the first time; not just the sophisticated black of our review sample, but also silver or red in the UK, white and pink overseas. The campaign starts here to bring the really rather stylish white version to the UK.


January 3, 2011, 1:17 pm

Design score means Build score and Performance means Image Quality? :)

Hamish Campbell

January 3, 2011, 1:47 pm

I bought the GF1 about 6 months ago, so was kinda relieved (in a sad selfish sort of way) when the GF2 turned out to be more a re-focusing of the camera rather than an upgrade.

I know next to nothing about this stuff but have read a number of people were disappointed with the change to the new prime lens (pancake) as the 20mm that came with the GF1 was well regarded and the new supposedly somewhat of a step down in quality.


January 3, 2011, 2:20 pm

Great review, but no full resolution samples? Also, we need crops to check out the ISO performance.

Ray Hopper

January 3, 2011, 3:19 pm

Thanks for the review, Gavin. As I asked your predecessor on several occasions, PLEASE tell us about the shutter noise on mirrorless cameras - they really should be completely silent by now. The Samsung NX100 is the quietest I've handled so far, whilst the Sony NEX's are the noisiest. I shan't upgrade my Canon G11 until near-silent shutters are available.


January 3, 2011, 11:12 pm

Does the 3d effect get reduced because the camera sensors are much closer together than a normal pair of eyes?


January 3, 2011, 11:34 pm


Just curiosity - what's the problem with shutter noise?


January 4, 2011, 5:44 am

Gavin, great review. Full resolution crops in the review or links to the original jpeg files would be very helpful when evaluating image quality. Which lens was used for the test photos? Cheers


January 5, 2011, 2:10 am

Thanks for the comments. We have added an image quality score, and full res images will be in future reviews, which are being written as I type.


January 5, 2011, 11:31 am

Pretty spot-on assessment, although I think TR was a bit lenient with the final score.

The most egregious omission compared to the GF1 is the loss of the AEL button, making focus/exposure lock more of a chore than it needs to be. This is especially important in m43 with its limited dynamic range and tendency to clip highlights.

Another negative point is that the bundled 14/2.5 lens is fairly average, whereas the 20/1.7 was good enough reason to get the GF1 just for the lens.

But nitpicking aside, I do agree that m43 is still a credible alternative (though not necessarily replacement) to APS-C DSLRs. The portability alone is a great reason to get the system, and it still boasts a larger lens selection than, say, NEX. Also, the NEX, while theoretically able to drive some Alpha mount lenses (with adapter), is very slow to focus when doing so (slower than, say, the GF2 with most 4/3 lenses).

If you're shooting in low light, though, you probably want a Pentax K-5 or Nikon D7000.

Matt G Baish

January 5, 2011, 1:03 pm

@Ray Hopper

When I recently tried out the Sony NEX-3D my local Sony Centre I was amazed as how the shutter noise took me back to the days of `proper` cameras - for me it isn't a problem &, in fact, would be a desirable `feature`:)

Ray Hopper

January 6, 2011, 1:45 am

@piesforyou and matt g baish

There are a small minority of photographers, of which I am one, working in theatres, concert halls and rehearsal rooms etc., to whom shutter noise is anathema. IMO street photography also sometimes benefits from silence.


January 10, 2011, 4:08 pm

@Ray Hopper.

That makes sense. If reviewers won't review the shutter noise, then just go down to PC world etc, and try out the camera.

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