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
Build and Handling
Anyone familiar with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 will feel immediately at home with the GH2, as it is virtually identical. Like the GH1, it has a miniature DSLR-style design with a reassuringly solid plastic body and contoured handgrip.
The first noticeable change is the repositioning of the control dial from the grip at the front of the camera to the top right of the rear. For me, this had little effect on how the camera handled, but whether you like it or not will come down to personal preference.
The repositioning of the control dial means the direct movie record button is now on the top of the camera, as on the G2. Unlike the G2, however, the iAuto button on the top of the camera has been replaced with one of three function (Fn) buttons.
The top button is set by default to activate iAuto, but there are numerous other options that can be applied to this, or the other two function buttons. The other function buttons are the left and down directional controls on the rear, which are by default assigned to the metering modes and the film styles.
The only other difference between the GH2 and its predecessor is the secondary switch on the AF point dial. This switch is positioned at the side of the dial and is used to shift between manual focus and continuous or single AF. This was also the case with the G2, and it makes the various different AF configurations quick and easy to access.
In fact, the overall placement of the buttons and dials on the GH2 makes it very clear and simple to operate. All the most regularly used features have dedicated buttons and can be found without having to enter the camera’s on-screen menu system.
The one major change in handling from the GH1 is the touchscreen. It is the same screen as found in the G2 and it works identically in the GH2. While many photographers bemoan touchscreens as unnecessary, fiddly and awkward to use, I have to disagree with them with regard to its use in the GH2. Touch-sensitive screens have moved on in leaps and bounds in recent years: the touchscreen of the GH2 does not require a forceful press like a railway station ticket machine, but rather just a slight touch.
However, the operation of the camera isn’t reliant on using the touchscreen. The quick menu also has its own dedicated button on the rear of the camera and the directional controls can be used to navigate the shooting options.
The GH2, therefore, provides the best of both worlds. For the more traditional photographer there are plenty of dials and customisable buttons for easy access, while the more tech-savvy user will no doubt make good use of the touchscreen for quick assess to every shooting feature.