Featuring a brand new sensor capable of producing 16.05-million-pixel images, could the GH2 be the pinnacle of the Micro Four Thirds system? We find out

Product Overview

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

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LCD viewfinder:
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 review


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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 at a glance:

  • 16.05-million-pixel Four Thirds Live MOS sensor
  • 3in articulated touchscreen
  • Full HD (1920×1080-pixel), 60i video capture
  • New Light Speed AF system
  • Street price around £800 including 14-45mm kit lens

When the Lumix DMC-GH1 was released in March 2009, it was only Panasonic’s second Micro Four Thirds camera. It is easily distinguished from the preceding DMC-G1, as the GH1 uses a slightly larger sensor and has the ability to shoot HD video footage.

Yet with the introduction of the G10 and G2 models, the lines between Panasonic’s G-series cameras became a little blurred. These cameras are aimed at entry-level and enthusiast photographers but, like the GH1, both are capable of shooting video – the G2 even has a touch-sensitive screen.

The Lumix DMC-GH2 re-establishes the G-series hierarchy by employing the best features from each camera, such as the touch-sensitive screen, while also introducing some new features of its own.

These include a sensor with an effective resolution of 16.05 million pixels and a powerful processing system that enables more advanced video capture and faster contrast-detection AF. It also adds the option of capturing 3D images via Panasonic’s new H-FT012E 3D lens.

With this host of new features, the GH2 is at the pinnacle of Panasonic’s G series, but is it the best Micro Four Thirds camera currently available?

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and Handling
  4. 4. Metering
  5. 5. Dynamic Range
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. White Balance and Colour
  8. 8. Resolution, Noise and Sensitivity
  9. 9. Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and Video
  10. 10. Multi-Aspect Sensor
  11. 11. Our verdict
  12. 12. The competition
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  • Dazay

    I reluctantly upgraded from the non-L 70-300mm because I could no longer put up with the rotating front ring. I use polarizers and SD grads. I didn’t anticipate much optical benefit and was not looking forward to the extra weight, but am pleased that it seems a bit sharper mid-range (but perhaps not much better at 300mm) and the added weight is only a small bother. However if the above filters (and weatherproofing) are not an issue, and you don’t earn a living from it, then I’d stick with the perfectly wonderful cheaper version.

  • Gerry McLaughlin

    I own this lens and It isthe best lens I have ever owned. I have never used an aperture smaller than f8 yet it is breathtakingly sharp..
    Even in dull conditions when I have been forced to use f5.6 or f6.3 I am amazed at the quality of the results.
    I use it mainly for aviation photography and I think it is the perfect lens for this subject. many aviation photographers use Canons 100-400 zoom and this is also a superb lens,but it’s rather large and in my experience a bit prone to faults in the zoom mechanism.
    I would thoroughly recommend the 70-00 f4-5.6 lens.

  • Luiz

    I bought this lens to take idonor portraits of my nine-month-old daughter using available light. I was tired of the harsh photos produced by the built-in flash on the Canon 20D or Digital Rebel. A bounce flash improves matters great deal, but I wanted to see what could be done with a fast lens. The Canon 50mm 1.4 gobbles light. It opens up a world of idonor photography that is not possible with a 4.0 lens. The 50mm focal length combined with available light produces natural-looking results. It is exactly what your eye sees. Shadows and highlights are intact. It is a revelation if you’re used to the harsh drop shadows and evenly-lit faces produced by flashes. This is a jarring step up in quality from snapshot to wow As noted, focus is soft at /1.4 and begins to sharpen at /2.0 to /2.8. Not a bad thing, though. Some of my favorite pictures have been produced with the aperture wide open. The depth of field is so narrow at this point, that the subject’s face is in focus, but the shoulders start to blur. I use this lens with a 20D. The balance is perfect, the combination feels very professional and responsive. Operation is very simple. Move the camera into aperture priority mode (Av), look though the view finder and adjust the aperture until you see the shutter speed is faster than 1/30th a second (30). I agonized over the 1.4 vs. the 1.8 versions of this lens. The additional stop does provide more shooting options. Often I’m shooting at the edge of acceptable shutter speed, and juggling both aperture and ISO. Many reviews comparing the two talk about build quality, focus motor speed/noise, etc, but the bottom line for me was the extra stop was totally worth it. If you want to shoot idonors without a flash, get the 1.4. If you simply want a nice sharp lens at this focal length, the 1.8 is for you. As a father, my only regret is I wish I had this lens earlier. From one parent to another, I’ll tell you the price of the lens is irrelevant, as the pictures it produces are priceless. Now, go make a backup of your photo library.

  • john

    why no sony 70-400 mm g.
    so one can see which one is best.