Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Review
The GF2, while clearly sharing the GF1's blood-line, is a substantially different design. It's less cluttered, and the resculpted handgrip and curved fairing around the hot shoe make it look more elegant and, dare we say it, feminine. It's superbly finished, with an all-metal body shell that gives it a reassuringly weighty feel - you can't help but feel that this is a quality product.
The array of buttons and dials that covered the GF1's body has been heavily culled. Gone are the mode dial and drive mode lever from the top plate, along with the AF/MF, AF/AE lock, depth of field preview and display buttons from the back. Meanwhile 'Quick Menu', 'Fn' and 'Delete' have been consolidated to one single button. The removal of these external controls is substantially - but not entirely - made up for by a redesigned user interface that relies substantially on the new touch screen.
The camera may have slimmed down and lost many external controls, but thankfully the features list has scarcely been trimmed at all. The net result is a camera that's simpler and less intimidating for newcomers, but also one that's less likely to appeal to more advanced users.
In your hand / grip
The GF2 sits nicely in your hand , and despite its reduced size is comfortable to hold. The redesigned grip follows the line of your second finger perfectly, and the click-dial that controls exposure parameters is ideally positioned for thumb operation. However we found to the 'Play' button to be a little too close to the thumbgrip, and all too-easy to press accidentally when holding the camera normally or picking it up (not a big deal - a quick half-press of the shutter is all it takes to switch back to shooting mode).
The other buttons, however, aren't in such easy reach without shifting your grip - this is a camera that really demands two-handed operation. The customizable 'Q. Menu/Fn' button is relatively poorly placed if you wish to program it for a commonly-used shooting function such as Auto Exposure Lock or Auto Focus Lock, as it requires a substantial shift in your thumb position to press it. For advanced users this is perhaps the biggest step back relative to the GF1, which uses a dedicated button beside the thumbwheel for AEL/AFL. One other, minor irritation is that the power switch is also a little less well-positioned for quickly flicking on and off with your index finger.
|The top plate plays host to a pair of closely-spaced grilles, beneath which lurks a stereo microphone, hinting at the GF2's improved sound-recording capabilities. The other new feature is a dedicated button for switching into the user-friendly iAuto mode, which sits close to the large, prominent movie-record button.|
|The GF2 retains the same EVF connector that's used on the GF1 and LX5, making it compatible with the existing DMW-LVF1 viewfinder that clips onto the hotshoe. We talked about this in our GF1 review; it's better than nothing, but some way short of the high resolution EVFs used on the G(H)x range, or Olympus's clip-on VF-2 for the Pen range.
Beside the EVF connector is the small speaker that's used during playback.
|Like the GF1, the GF2 has a little pop-up flash of fiendishly clever design. It's still not terribly highly powered, though, with a guide number of just 6; this still makes it OK for casual social shots or a little blip of fill-flash in daylight.
The menu controls for flash exposure compensation and second curtain sync have disappeared, though.
|In a distinctly undocumented (and most likely unintentional) fashion, the flash can be held in a vertical position and bounced off a low ceiling, which will often give rather more flattering lighting. (The GF2 isn't the only camera that can do this trick - it works on the Olympus E-PL1 and 2 as well.)
Note this isn't described in the manual, so using the flash this way is very much at your own risk.
|The connector ports have moved to the handgrip side of the camera, and the GF1's hinged and sprung door has been replaced by an altogether less-sturdy plastic flap.
At the top is the HDMI connector, with AV out beneath it (with a different port design from the GF1). The socket for the cable release has disappeared altogether, so tripod shots will be best executed using the self-timer.
|The GF2 acquires a new battery, the DMW-BLD10, which is slimmer and therefore has slightly lower capacity than the GF1's (7.3Wh vs 9 Wh). According to CIPA standard tests this should give around 300-320 shots per charge, depending upon the lens used; down from the GF1's 380 shot rating.
The SD card slot, as usual, resides in the same compartment as the battery.
Kit zoom lens - Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 OIS
The GF2 looks wonderfully svelte with the 14mm F2.5 pancake prime, but add a zoom (as we suspect most users will want to do) and, rather like the Sony NEX-3 and -5, things start to look a little out of proportion. The images below illustrate this, with the Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 OIS kit zoom mounted; this combination certainly isn't pocketable in any sensible fashion. In this regard Olympus's clever collapsing kit zooms offer a distinct advantage.
Note also that this lens actually offers slightly less telephoto range and depth of field control than the fast, fixed zoom on the Olympus XZ-1 compact we reviewed recently. Food for thought if you're considering buying the GF2 with just the kit zoom.
Feb 18, 2014
Feb 24, 2011
Nov 4, 2010
Feb 24, 2014
|Carla... by lickity split|
from Beautiful caucasian female faces
|Lunar New Year Fireworks by Michael L NYC 99|
|Vatican Basilica by wam7|
from Street lights
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.
In this interview, Chiara Marinai, photo editor for VanityFair.com, explains exactly what she looks for in new photographers and photo submissions. Take notes.
Massive corporation P&G is being sued by a Cincinnati photographer for serious copyright violations. If the courts rules against P&G, the company could pay as much as $75 million in damages.
Snapchat's camera-equipped 'Spectacles' aren't so difficult to get anymore. You can now pick up a pair through Amazon for $130.
A group of thieves has made away with tens of thousands in camera gear through a carefully orchestrated scam through Venmo and Facebook Marketplace.
A portrait lens from 1910 might be coming back to life if two photographers from Germany succeed in a new Kickstarter project—the latest development in the craze to remake vintage optics.
The updated version of Google Glass is called the Enterprise Edition and, as the name suggests, it's not meant for personal use.
Charles Ommanney was once a photographer for presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, now he's working for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Image compression software JPEGmini Pro was just updated to handle files up to 128MB. They're calling it "The 1 Feature Hasselblad Owners
Apple was just granted a patent for a camera system that prods, coaxes and manipulates users into taking better group and solo selfies.
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a better camera than its predecessor, but how much better? Should you buy one?
The winners of the 2017 Magnum and LensCulture Photography Awards have been announced. Here are the six photographers who took home the top prize in their respective categories.
A NASA study has confirmed what your ears have been telling you: people HATE drone noise. In fact, it was ranked more annoying than that of "any ground vehicle."
This floating bird video isn't edited in post-production. It's the result of the birds wing flap matching the camera's 20fps frame rate.
Adobe released a major update to Lightroom Mobile for both iOS and Android users today.
Could the future of photo and video storage be... alive? Scientists at Harvard have managed to encode a GIF of a galloping horse into a live sample of E. coli.