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
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 is a superb little camera: it is an immense improvement over the GF1, a camera that until just a few months ago was a worthy competitor in the compact system camera market. Its build quality and handling make it a pleasure to use, and the overall size means you really can take it anywhere.
The touchscreen control is a nice feature, and something I found far more useful on this type of camera than I expected. The more I used it the less I needed to use the physical buttons.
The focusing speed is, however, probably the GF2’s most impressive aspect and makes it a far more pleasurable experience to use than quite a lot of contrast-detection AF cameras.
The only areas that let the GF2 down are in terms of its resolution and noise; it seems the current 12.1-million-pixel, Live MOS sensor is unable to compete with the latest APS-C-sized units on either count and therefore for overall quality, especially in low-light conditions.
It makes the GF2 a difficult choice for those looking to print big, but if you are willing to accept some sacrifices in favour of its usability and size, then the GF2 is a great little camera.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2: Focal points
The hotshoe allows use of a range of external flashguns as well as the VF1 electronic viewfinder, which also uses the connection port just below
This handy little thumb dial allows quick control for aperture, shutter and compensation control, plus a range of other functions
The 3in LCD screen allows direct touch control for menu use, focusing and functions, and can even be used to fire the shutter
This control can be used alongside or instead of the touchscreen and offers quick access to a range of functions
Using the touchscreen technology, the GF2 allows you to touch exactly where in the scene you want to focus. This is then confirmed by the focus square appearing under your finger. It is useful when working on a tripod or with more unusual compositions, and also works very well with the focus-tracking function.
With this function enabled when using the touch focus system, not only does the camera focus at the point of touch but it will then automatically fire the shutter as soon as focus as been achieved. This function is great for quick snap shots and saves you having to readjust your grip to take the shot.
With face detection selected, the GF2 will recognise multiple faces in the scene, and using the 1-area AF allows you to set a finer focus around the eyes. It also features face-recognition technology, which allows you to save up to six faces in the memory so your images can be easily labelled for searching and cataloguing.
The GF2 is fully compatible with Panasonic’s latest 3D Micro Four Thirds lens. Once attached, the camera will allow you to take and save still images in 3D MPO format. These can then be played back on any 3D viewer by connecting directly to the camera or plugging the SD card into the viewing device.