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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 - Test shots: ISO performance

By Gavin Stoker


  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2


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Review Price £739.00

The GH2 offers a wide range of manually selectable ISO settings - some 20 incremental choices in all - starting out at ISO160 and finishing at top whack ISO12800 equivalent, with Auto ISO and 'intelligent' ISO for those who want to leave the camera to decide, and with commendable consistency as it happens. Rather than bombard you with a myriad ISO examples, we've chosen a few choice ones to illustrate the more pronounced changes as we move through the settings.


Examining the full frame at ISO160 and all, expectedly, is well with the GH2's performance


Same crisp and clean subject at ISO400 and similarly no image noise to report.


ISO800 and there's noise, but again, as we found with the GF2, it's hardly at a noticeable level.


We're getting a very mild sandpaper effect at ISO1600, but a very usable image nonetheless.


It's at ISO3200 that matters start to go noticeably awry, with the image softer in terms of detail, grittier in terms of grain, and with a green-ish colour tint to boot.


Worse again at ISO6400 with a distinctly speckled look to the entire image.


A simply horrible result at maximum ISO12800 equivalent setting, with our 'photo' looking more like a cheap and crude photocopy of an image. Certainly no match for the results achievable with mid range DSLRs that offer equivalent ISO expansion settings.


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February 14, 2011, 2:53 pm

Please improve your iso tests. They let down the reviews.


February 14, 2011, 6:18 pm

14mm at the wide end is excellent for a kit lens :)

Lets face it, a lot of people that buy DSLRs never upgrade from the kit lens so the greater its range the better. On the other hand, are they giving people less reasons to upgrade their lenses this way (shooting themselves in the profit foot)?


February 14, 2011, 8:13 pm

@PoisonJam: This is 14mm on micro four thirds which equates to 28mm.

Geoff Richards

February 14, 2011, 8:31 pm

Yes, Micro Four Thirds has a crop factor of roughly 2, so the 14-140mm f/4-5.8 zoom as reviews has a full-frame / 35mm equivalent of 28-280mm. If you own a Canon dSLR with a crop factor of 1.6 (essentially everything from 7D all the way down to the 1000D) then this lens is the equivalent of roughly 18-175mm (the closest Canon lens would be the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens)


February 15, 2011, 6:35 am

I agree that the ISO tests are poor in this review. It may be better to have a standardised subject and use it unfailingly. Some people would like to compare images from different cameras and this cannot be done when the subject and ligting differ.

Other than that, another very good review.

Cheers, Peter


February 15, 2011, 7:23 am

I agree, the ISO sample is a tad on the poor side. I know Cliff used to use his own which would be useful to replicate in newer reviews. Maybe a bit more contrast (in colour and lighting) in the shot to show ISO performance over darker and lighter areas respectively?


February 17, 2011, 2:56 am

I dont see why the image quality should be good for 9 points, its a bit hazy, think these are no better then Canon G12


February 18, 2011, 9:41 pm

I enjoyed this review and found it pretty comprehensive. My only criticism is that you said how good your shots of a swan in flight were but did not show these. I think some good action shots would show more of the camera capability than a static object like the house.


March 7, 2012, 1:47 pm

I bought Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 after I read this review. However, I never knew the AVCHD MTS videos from this cam could not be edited directly in my Avid Media Composer 5.

I then searched on the Internet and found a video converter program called Aunsoft Video Converter. This program can convert the AVCHD files to the Avid DNxHD codec in MOV format. The converted MOV file can then be supported very nice in MC 5.

Just share this information here and hope this could help others somehow.

A good cam though.

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