Panasonic GH2 review

Panasonic's latest Micro Four Thirds camera is good - but pricey

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Panasonic lumix dmc gh2
The most immediate difference between the GH2 and the model it replaces is the articulated LCD screen, a feature inherited from the G2. While still at 3-inches in size and 460,000dot in resolution, the user is free to pivot the screen around a joint on its left hand side, turning it forward for self-portrait shots or against the camera to protect it while not in use.

By incorporating touch-screen functionality, many options may be accessed through the screen, which include setting the focus point and releasing the shutter, as well as magnifying directly into an area of the user's choosing while manually focusing. This technology proves to be particularly helpful when shooting portraits, and is far more preferable to selecting a focus point manually, although if Face Detection is activated the camera generally has no trouble locking onto the subject anyway.

The system only falters once a captured image has been magnified, as the screen's responsiveness tends to wane when zooming in and around the frame. Furthermore, some of the touch-sensitive controls are small and clearly designed to be operated with the supplied stylus than a larger finger, which isn't likely to please everyone.

Direct access to key controls is something many photographers appreciate, and thankfully the GH2 squeezes in an awful lot on the back and top-plate of the GH2. Between these controls and the Q. Menu option there's little reason to venture into the main menus while shooting, although the downside of having so much functionality on such a small body is that it will necessarily result in small and fairly cramped controls.

Panasonic lumix dmc gh2

This is particularly noticeable if you're used to the greater breathing space afforded to the controls on a DSLR; with the possible exception of the mode dial it'd be hard to make any controls smaller without operation verging on awkward.

Even turning the mode dial any way but cautiously can easily mean knocking the drive mode switch out of position. At this price, some may also expect a slightly sturdier construction than the GH2's plastic shell, although this does help to keep the weight down to just 392g without a lens mounted.

The changes Panasonic has made since the GH1 was released are, on the whole, positive. With the command dial now on the rear of the body, the movie recording button has replaced the Q. menu button conveniently beneath the shutter release, and a customisable Fn button replacess the previous Film Mode option.

This Fn button is in addition to the two other function buttons which can be assigned to one of 18 options, and complements three Custom Settings on the mode dial and a My Menu option. Together with an assortment of custom functions in the menu system, this level of personalisation comfortably equals that of the average mid-range DSLR.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyLumix G
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom3x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, External Flash Shoe, Aperture Priority, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)392 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Image Sensor Size4/3" (17.30 mm x 13 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height89.6 mm
Width124 mm
Depth75.8 mm
Product SeriesG
Focal Length14 mm to 42 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
Product ModelDMC-GH2
Product NameLumix DMC-GH2 Mirrorless Camera
Product LineLumix
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMCGH2KEBK
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The high speed Live MOS Sensor realizes burst shooting in 16.05-megapixel full resolution at 5 fps with mechanical shutter and even 40 fps in 4-megapixel recording mode. The DMC-GH2 also features fast, accurate Light Speed AF. The DMC-GH2 employs an 18.31 mega total pixel sensor. Using only about a 16.05-megapixel area of sensor makes it possible to give three aspect ratios - 16:9, 3:2, and 4:3 - the same angle of view. The image processing LSI, Venus Engine FHD assures high picture quality in both photo and movie recording.

Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-GH2 Mirrorless Camera
  • H-FS014042E Lens
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • Body Cap
  • AV Cable
  • USB Connection Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Stylus Pen
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year