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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 - Test shots: Zoom, Contrast and Colour

By Gavin Stoker


  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2


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User Score

Review Price £456.99

Here are some general test shots taken with the GF2 and lenses as stated to give an idea of performance ability when it comes to image quality, dynamic range, colour rendition and the focal range of the respective optics.


This festive Santa image taken handheld without flash with the 14mm test lens, camera in program mode and white balance and ISO set to Auto, has produced a pleasingly colourful and moreover sharp result


A 2D image taken with the 3D lens available for the GF2 and with an early production sample of the camera in this instance. The 2D image at a default 1600x1200 pixels is noticeably soft compared with the results from regular 14mm and 14-42mm lens; more of an aide memoire than keepsake


Taken at the wideangle end of the 14-42mm kit zoom, this image betrays itself with some pixel fringing noticeable on the very top branches of the tree


An image which illustrates the vividness of the GF2's performance when it comes to colours, which veer toward the strikingly warm as a default

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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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