Panasonic DMC-GH2 Review
Operations and controls (cont.)
Shooting displays (live view)
The GH2's LCD screen has three display modes (four if you include the screen being turned off) and the EVF has two. When shooting using the EVF, key shooting parameters are always displayed on a strip at the bottom of the image area, but pressing the 'display' button toggles other, less crucial information (like image quality and battery status) on/off.
The third display mode of the LCD screen is an interactive status display which Panasonic calls 'Status panel mode', which shows a list of key settings which can be changed either by touch or by using the GH2's physical navigation buttons. We especially like the virtual exposure compensation dial, which is well-suited to manipulation by touch.
|This is the standard Live View screen as displayed on the GH2's rear LCD. The EVF shows a very similar display, although by default the exposure data is positioned below the image area, rather than overlaid. This can be rectified in the menu.||For a less cluttered view you can turn the data display off.|
|The GH2's LCD info screen is activated by cycling the 'Display' button, and provides easy access to a range of key shooting parameters.||The exposure compensation dial lends itself very well to adjustment by touch, although unless you've got tiny fingers you might need to use the supplied stylus.|
THe GH2 has a movie shooting button on its top plate, but there is a dedicated Manual Movie Mode position on its exposure mode dial, from where (via the menu system) it is possible to take complete control over the GH2's movie output, including the ability to manually control video shutter speed as well as aperture and ISO sensitivity. Whatever position the exposure mode dial is in, movie recording can always be initiated using the dedicated button.
|This is the default status screen when shooting video. Key shooting information is overlaid on the image, and a live histogram||When the exposure mode dial is rotated to the video setting, the Creative movie menu allows you to fine-tune video shooting, including a 'variable' option to slow or increase the GH2's frame rate.|
In playback mode, the GH2 offers four display options - no data overlaid, key shooting data overlaid, extended shooting data overlaid, and RGB histograms. Images can be zoomed up to 16x using the rear control dial, and there are three thumbnail views - the last of which is a calendar display, showing images according to the dates on which they were captured.
|This is the standard review screen, showing key shooting parameters, as well as file sequence and battery status information.||If you prefer you can minimize the thumbnail, for the sake of more information...|
|...or take a look at the histogram - showing all three channels plus luminance||...or if you prefer a less cluttered view you can turn off all shooting data.|
|'Zooming out' using the rear control dials takes you to a 12 image thumbnail display.||Zooming out again takes you to a 30 image display...|
|...and once more takes you to a calendar display, from which you can quickly navigate to pictures taken on a specific date.|
The GH2 has the most advanced specification of any G-series camera to date. As well as offering a highly advanced movie mode with an accompanying suite of video-related functions, the GH2 also allows photographers to take a huge amount of control over its still image capabilities. The 7-page custom menu contains more than 30 options, and the setup option another 23.
Amongst other advanced functions the GH2 includes Panasonic's iDynamic and iResolution modes, which are designed to maximize dynamic range and detail resolution respectively.
|The GH2 provides the same Intelligent Resolution mode as its near-relation the G2. Put simply this is designed to detect and sharpen edges whilst using noise reduction to keep flat areas smooth.||The GH2's three Fn buttons (one on the top plate, two on the 4-way controller) can each be assigned to no fewer than 18 possible options - offering a remarkable degree of customization.|
|If there are any 3D images on your memory card, this menu option allows you to play them back on a compatible 3D television.||The GH2 can shoot in 4 aspect ratios. Its highest effective resolution is achieved in 4:3 mode, dropping to 15MP when set to 3:2, 14MP when set to 16:9, and 12MP in 1:1.|