Panasonic DMC-GH2 Review
Operation and controls
In most respects, the GH2 operates in exactly the same way as other recent G-series Micro Four Thirds cameras. It has plenty of external controls, including physical dials for drive and AF modes, and retains the familiar fully articulated LCD screen, which is particularly useful for movie shooting. Like the G2, this screen is also touch-sensitive. Panasonic supply a slightly awkward stylus, but our experience of the GH2's screen matches that of the G2 - unless you've got enormous fingers you don't usually need to worry about it. The only exception is when setting exposure compensation, where we find that using our fingers obscures the dial, making it tricky to see how much compensation has been set.
Something that we really like about the GH2's touchscreen, perhaps a little perversely, is that it's essentially optional. There are enough direct control points on the body of the camera that you don't need to touch the screen to set options unless you really want to. We do really like the option to set the focus area simply by touching the screen, but aside from that wouldn't choose to use it for much.
Operation isn't all about ergonomics of course, and we're pleased to see that the GH2's menus have been overhauled, even if the changes are essentially cosmetic. It's been a long time coming, but in the GH2, Panasonic has finally thrown open the windows and given the interior of the G-series a much-needed repaint. The GH2's menus are clearer and more colorful than on previous G-series cameras, but the location of most functions hasn't changed much, (so there's little risk of confusion if you're coming to the GH2 from a GH1, for example). All things considered it's a small change, but a welcome one.
The rear of the GH2 plays host to its large, articulated LCD screen, and to most of the camera's direct control points. A four-way controller provides access to ISO, white balance and up to two other functions (customizable via the Fn2 and Fn3 buttons) whilst 'menu/set' brings up the GH2's lengthy main menu system. Above the LCD you can see the EVF, and to its left an LVF/LCD button to manually switch between the screen and the finder. If you prefer, an automatic switch can do this for you, via a sensor built into the eyepiece.
On the right of the EVF are buttons for playback and AF/AE Lock - the latter's precise behavior can be tailored to your preferences. Adjacent to these is the GH2's control dial, which is the primary method of changing shooting parameters. In manual mode, it is possible to switch between shutter speed and aperture control by pressing the dial inwards, while in other modes, pressing the dial inwards allows you to set exposure compensation. In playback, this dial zooms in/out of captured images.
Beneath the control dial are two more buttons - 'quick menu' and 'Display'. 'Quick Menu' activates a filleted settings adjustment screen which is overlaid on the live view image. 'Display' cycles through viewing options: overlaid shooting information on/off, screen off, and LCD info screen 'on'.
Top Right Controls
On the top right of the GH2 you will find the exposure mode dial, direct movie shooting button and another customizable function button - Fn1. Around the circumference of the exposure mode dial are two switches -one for setting single/continuous frame advance, exposure bracketing and self-timer, and the other, the camera's main power switch. The direct movie shooting button is positioned conveniently immediately behind the shutter release, and the power switch is similarly well-positioned for quick operation with the thumb of the right hand.
Top Left Controls
On the top left of the GH2 we find another dial, this one to set AF pattern/type. Like the exposure mode dial on the right hand side of the top plate this dial also has a smaller switch around its circumference, for setting focusing mode (MF, AFC, AFS). Both the dial and switch are smaller than their counterparts on the top right of the camera, which makes them proportionally more fiddly to adjust in some situations (cold weather, for instance). Just to the right is the pleasantly chunky mechanical release for the GH2's built-in flash.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more