Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 review

January 8, 2011

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

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The GF2 is Panasonic’s smallest and lightest compact system camera, yet it has some of the most advanced features on the market. Mat Gallagher discovers just what the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 has to offer

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 at a glance:

  • 12.1-million-pixel Live MOS sensor
  • Venus Engine FHD processor
  • Micro Four Thirds lens mount
  • World’s smallest and lightest body
  • 3in, 460,000-dot touchscreen LCD
  • 144-zone multi-pattern metering
  • 1080p HD video capture
  • Street price around £600 with 14mm lens

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 review – Introduction

The Compact system camera (CSC) has been the biggest growth area in the camera market over the past year and currently shows no sign of slowing down. As a whole, the market has been clearly split into two main camps: the DSLR-style models and the compact-style models.

Panasonic split these with its G and GF-series cameras, while also introducing a third GH-series for video-focused models. The Lumix DMC-GF2 is Panasonic’s seventh CSC, which replaces the last of the original line-up, the GF1, and fits into the compact-style set.

The race to dominate the compact system camera market is still very much on, and although Panasonic currently has the largest share, the competition is certainly hotting up.

This new model is 18% smaller and 7% lighter than its predecessor, making it officially the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable-lens model to include a built-in flash. Although this caveat means it isn’t smaller or lighter than the likes of the Sony NEX-5, it is still an impressive feat, and is taking advantage of using a smaller-format sensor than the APS-C-format Samsung and Sony models.

After all, the Four Thirds system was always designed to reduce the size and weight of cameras, and for APS-C-format models to still be outclassing them in this way must be more than a little frustrating.

Yet despite its petite frame, the GF2 is anything but basic. It features some of Panasonic’s latest technologies, including a touchscreen display, Full HD video capture and a fast AF system.

It is also compatible with Panasonic’s new 3D lens, which allows 3D still-image capture with the camera. The GF2 has some very strong competitors, but its charm and specification might just make it the one to watch.

  • Tested as: Compact system camera

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