Review: Panasonic GF2


ed9119

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#1
I just picked up this camera from Panasonic Singapore this afternoon. This unit is milk white in color..... it looks like a beefier LX5 after a gym workout....except that this one's got an interchangeable lens mount.

The GF2 will be released early 2011 and this should be one of the first user reviews on the Net

I will be leaving Singapore tomorrow morning for HK, GuangZhou and the scenic Yangshuo (Guilin) area near Guilin for the next 11 days.

Will bring along the laptop (aaaarrrggghhh HATE THAT !!!)

So this will be a running review of the GF2. Will bring along the Panasonic 7-14super wide zoom as well as the Panny Fisheye and the 20mm pancake.

EVERYTHING fitted into a Thinktank Skin Chimp Cage with loads of room to spare.

Will load the pics of the camera this evening BUT the first impressions are:

1. This camera body is TINY !! It is smaller than the little Samsung NX100 and SLIGHTLY thicker than the super slim Sony NEX3 and 5 body
2. Back and top is VERY uncluttered with only
a. a shutter button, a video on/off button and a iA button for the technically impared...... and a on/off switch
b. back of the camera sports a large 3in LCD touch-screen where MOST of the camera's functions are accessed
c. back of the camera has a dial to do ev+/- compensation, a playback button, a quickmenu/trashbin button , a pop-up flash release button and the usual North/South/East/West/Center navigation buttons
3. Feel in the hand is VERY VERY nice. Build quality is sturdy and love the 'claw-out' posture of the pop up flash unit
4. There is a electronic slot below the hotshoe where you can slot in an electronic viewfinder

This camera is VERY Touch-Screen oriented ........ they do not have any dedicated AE Lock function (I am guessing Panasonic wants us to use the EV+/- compensation dial instead)

The only shortcut buttons are on the North/South/East/West buttons
- ISO
- Metering Mode
- WB adjustments
- Single/Burst shooting mode
- Self-timer mode

Gulp !!! It takes some getting used to doing without the 'traditional' quick-access dials and buttons .... something you PSP, Nintendo DS kids will love

The camera, according to Panasonic is meant for the masses and as such that is why the touch-screen is used (in iA mode, there is a peripheral defocus mode)

Specifications:

Sensor
• 4/3 type MOS ('Live MOS sensor')
• 13.06 million total pixels
• 12.1 million effective pixels
• RGB (Primary) color filter array

Sensitivity
ISO 100-6400 in 1 or 1/3EV steps

Movie mode
• AVCHD :
1920 x 1080i 60fps (Approx 17 or 13 Mbps)
1280 x 720p 60fps (Approx 17 or 13 Mbps)

• Motion JPEG:
1280 x 720, 30fps
848 x 480, 30fps
640 x 480, 30fps
320 x 240, 30fps
• Stereo sound (with adjustable rec volume) mics (there are TWO located on the topside)


LCD monitor
• 3.0" TFT LCD monitor
• Touch sensitive
• 460,000 dots
• Approx 100% frame coverage

Dimensions
113 x 68 x 33 mm
(4.4 x 2.7 x 1.3 in)
265 g w/o battery and w/o card

Battery
DMW-BLD10E 1010mAh
(sorry Panasonic.... but....WHY WHY WHY ......ANOTHER (4th or 5th Lumix G) DIFFERENT Battery ???)

Panasonic Lumix G Micro System - apparently their batteries aren't part of this Micro System....

.... this is a marketing strategy mistake..... and more importantly, this is a Green Earth mistake....

----------------

Did I say this cam was lighter 265 vs 285g and smaller 113 x 68 x 33 mm
vs 119 x 71 x 36 mm than its predecessor the GF1 ?

Side by side a Panasonic LX5 ...... the GF2 is only a tad bigger (but this is a m4/3 sized sensor with an interchangeable lens mount)


----------------

Be patient..........more this evening and over the next 11 days
 

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aaron80

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#2
Bookmarked this page! Look forward to reading your review on this little camera!:)
 

ed9119

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#3
ok there IS an AE Lock button .......... the Trashbin button doubles up as a Fn button..... set the Fn button in Custom Settings to AE Lock and we are good to go :) ........ we lose the Q. Menu access ....... its a tradeoff but with the main Menu button nearby, its a redundancy that can be sacrificed

the Trashbin button then works only on Playback mode which is logical anyway

-----------------

Like the Lumix G2..... the GF2 also has a touch-screen shutter button that when activated, locks focus and fires off the shutter within a split-second anywhere you touch on the scene on the LCD screen............i enjoyed this very cool feature on the G2 and am glad that its also on the GF2

------------------------
 

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ed9119

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#5
We had a Crossing Bridges photo-sharing session this evening in my office and this was shot with the GF2 with the 7-14 super ultra wide zoom

4
ISO400 f4.0 1/20 handheld by Bananadiver or Photoinc (kok wee)


5
ISO400 f4.0 1/60sec by Bananadiver
 

ed9119

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#6
some quick ISO tests

Tripod mounted
2sec timer to keep everything perfectly still
AWB under flourescent lighting

ISO100


ISO200


ISO400


ISO800
 

ed9119

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#7
ISO1600 a bit more noise starting to creep in .... but still holding the fort


ISO3200 that downhill slope is getting steeper now ...... the weak flourescent light is definitely not helping


ISO6400 - if you REALLY HAVE to shoot it at iso 6400 for record keeping purposes ..... pretty much mobile phone camera territory ha ha ha !!
 

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ed9119

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#8
Camera and lenses all packed away ..... I'll be leaving for the next 11 days but will post results from this cam while in HK/China
 

ed9119

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#11
First full day with the GF2 and these are my initial feedback:

1. the body and 3 lenses (8mm fisheye, 7-14 UWA zoom and 20/1.7) fitted inside a Skin Chimp Cage bag ...... with space to spare for my blackberry, mobile phone, cigarettes etc etc etc ..... AND my Samsung EX1....... this is unreal :thumbsup:

2. one thing about touchscreen screens........and with 80+ % of settings accessible mostly through the touchscreen based Menu, you DONT want to touch the screen while pulling out the camera from the bag...... it tends to re-set settings accidentally ..... I tend to just sometimes stuff the cam back into the pouch without turning it off...... and when taking it back out, the thumb would touch and trigger something accidentally Look at Pic 2 above...... the 'landing' zone for the thumb is a VERY SMALL area..... not helped by the lack of any hand grip 'hump'on the body

3. there should be more space laid out on the back of the camera for the thumb to rest.... otherwise its a touch too easy to accidentally trigger the menu and settings if the thumb accidentally touches the touchscreen...... and my thumbs are small ..... end result..... i now pull out the cam VERY carefully with thumb and index finger with 3 other fingers sticking out like a dainty poodle at tea-time LOL ! have to keep reminding myself to TURN OFF the cam before i put it back into the bag....

4. touchscreen shutter release is totally cool...... a couple of the street shots above were executed with that shutter trigger , up close....

5. battery was still going strong by 10pm (started from 6.30am at Changi Airport)

6. Power On was very fast and there was no lag or delay in ANYTHING

7. is it me or is the GF2 armed with a better image processor ? images at ISO 800 seemed cleaner when I examined it at 100% crop last night..... in only half decent lighting conditions ..... see the pics with the 3 guys sleeping on the MRT and the night street pic...... then again, this is a strictly casual observation ....
 

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tomcat

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#12
The glossy finishing looks somewhat tacky and cheap. But I would get one just because it could shoot 3D with the new 3D lens. :)
 

mckytm

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#13
Bookmarked -- deciding between waiting for the GF2 or splurging for the GF1, and your 'real-world' review should help me decide :)
 

ed9119

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#14
I am not a shopping person ..... so today was tough being a shopping bags carrier for my wife and daughter ...... ha ha!!

Spent all day shopping at Huaqiang Bei Lu area ..... electronics and clothes heaven .....

Its 3.45am now .... and just finished picking a few images ..... will upload it in a few hours time when the traffic is low enough to upload and share
 

ed9119

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#17
off to Guangzhou today for (oh no ) more shopping..... I cannot wait to get to Yangshuo fast enough !!!
 

May 8, 2006
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#18
off to Guangzhou today for (oh no ) more shopping..... I cannot wait to get to Yangshuo fast enough !!!
Haha... Shop for more good things bro... Remember to get us the "stuff"...

After handling the GF2 that day... I believe one hand holding it to shoot and the other hand carrying your wife and daughters stash is more than good enough... Haha... At least u are not munching on corn this time ;)
 

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