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
As the Lumix DMC-GH2 has a tendency to underexpose images slightly to minimise burnt-out highlights, it often appears that there are large areas with no detail. However, many of these areas are not completely black and there is still detail that can be recovered.
That said, there is a limit to how much detail can be retrieved before image noise becomes an issue. Opening a JPEG file in Adobe Camera Raw, I was able to increase the exposure by around 2EV to recover detail. Beyond this, colour and luminance noise starts to become visible in shadow areas, even at fairly low ISO sensitivities.
The DxOMark website (www.dxomark.com) measures the dynamic range of the GH2 as 11.3EV, which is slightly less than the previous GH1’s 11.6EV. This minute difference is most likely the result of the GH2’s new sensor being more densely populated. Nevertheless, the dynamic range is still very good for a Micro Four Thirds camera – the G2 only measured 10.3EV in the same test.
The GH2’s dynamic range is on a par with, or is only a little less than, most current DSLRs with APS-C-size sensors. The fact it underexposes slightly to preserve highlight detail means there is still plenty of image data that can be adjusted, particularly when capturing images as raw files. If you are more accustomed to shooting JPEG files, then the in-camera Intelligent D-Range Control has various settings that adjust the image to help recover detail in highlight and shadow areas.