Although the Panasonic GF2 is smaller and lighter than its predecessor and Panasonic has managed to do this without compromising the quality of build. The contoured body is constructed from metal and high quality plastics, which feel tough enough to take a little abuse in their stride. Design flourishes such as the gun metal finished shutter button, lens release and grip insert help to make it look the part too, adding to the quality feel.
The Panasonic GF2 is quite comfortable to hold, helped by a slimline finger grip on the front, and the lens itself. Even the 14mm f/2.5 pancake lens provides plenty of room to support the camera. A small thumb rest is provided on the rear, surrounding the only dial on the camera. Space is at a premium due to the svelte design, and care needs to be taken not press buttons unintentionally, or to stray onto the touch sensitive screen.
At first the control method may seem fiddly, even frustrating, but time is a great healer and it is well worth spending some getting used to how the camera behaves. Teething issues include the small size of the on-screen touch targets are, especially in the quick menu, (although a handy stylus that attaches to the camera strap is included) and the ease with which the focus point can be changed accidentally.
Once mastered, the touch screen interface is a joy to use. It's responsive and easy to navigate during both shooting and playback. A decent anti-reflective coating has been added, which does a good job of reducing the mirror-like appearance often associated with touch screens. This makes using the display a pleasure, even in bright conditions. An electronic viewfinder can be purchased separately, which connects via the accessory port on the rear.