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
Noise, Resolution, and Sensitivity
The GF2 does suffer slightly from a market where the megapixel race is still creeping upwards, and its 12-million-pixel resolution is already looking dated. The GF2’s main competitors are now sporting 14-million-pixel sensors on the larger APS-C format, so their sensors still have larger pixel sites. Adding the new 16-million-pixel sensor from the GH2 would have made the GF2 class-leading, though would have meant an increased cost.
The GF2 reached 20 on our resolution chart in JPEG and 22 from the processed raw file, with the benefit of some sharpening.
As the ISO increases, the resolution is maintained until ISO 6400, when it drops to 18. JPEG artefacts are visible as low as ISO 400 and noise starts to creep in from ISO 1600. This is increasingly prevalent at ISO 3200, and at ISO 6400 there is severe discolouring to the image.
From comparing the JPEG and raw files it is clear that the processor is working hard to keep the images noise-free, but ISO 6400 at least should be classed as an extended mode rather than a regular ISO setting.
These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using a Panasonic 14mm f/2.5mm lens. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting.